Customer Success in Sales

Most of the customer issues we talk about are in reality customer traits. Lincoln Murphy has written an amazing post regarding this. I am going to talk about one of the solutions to this issue. Customer Success is not dependent only on the Customer Success teams. Every employee working in the company needs to be working towards customer success. The first in a line of interaction with clients is the sales team or Account Managers as some companies call them. Sales team needs to be more Customer Success centric than any of the other departments.

Role of the Account Managers

The role of a Customer Success team was fulfilled by the sales team before being made separate. This divided their time as they needed to work on new leads while maintaining a healthy relationship with the old clients. This, in reality, is a very taxing situation. Working and nurturing new leads takes a lot of time. The added task had overburdened the sales teams. The concept of Customer Success was then borrowed from the services industry. SaaS companies changed it to the concept of Customer Success which in itself is extremely new.

Customer Success in Sales

Sales team need to start thinking about the success of a customer.  If the sales team sells to a customer who they inherently know won’t be successful after using the product then it means it’s a bad sale. The sale should not just be focused on increasing the dollar amount every quarter. It should also take into consideration as to who they should be selling the product too. They can’t do this alone. This is where Customer Success Managers come into the picture.

Role of Customer Success Managers in a Sale

We as CSMs need to own this part of the process. We need to start creating a profile of what a successful customer looks like. This is a document that contains traits and every other information we have seen over time that we have seen in successful customers. There is always a pattern. It’s about how we discern this pattern and share it with the Sales team. This becomes more and more important as many CSM teams are moving towards owning “upgrades”. “Upgrades” can only happen if the sale was made to a customer who had the potential for success.

Author: Karthik Nambiar

I am a Customer Success Manager with earlier experience in Account Management from various marketing agencies. I come from a different background and a different perspective to this extremely new yet extremely exciting role. You can reach out to me on Twitter or Linkedin if you want to discuss more about Customer Success Management.

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