Customer Success and Their Role With Sales


Customer Success Teams work integrally with nearly every aspect of your business, more than any other team in your organization. Working closely with accounting, support, development, marketing and sales. So let’s talk about Customer Success and their role with sales. 

Sales plays an important role in any organization, converting cold leads collected by marketing into warm leads from a Sales Development Rep (SDR) and onto a closer. 

After sales has done their part you may have an intermediary position, where someone takes everything sales had learned along with interviews and conversations with the client and gets them up and running. Let’s call that person an Implementation Specialist. 

After the Implementation Specialist is done (anywhere from a couple weeks to a few months) the Customer Success Manager will step in and take responsbility for the long-term relationship with the customer. 

By this point, the sales team is but a memory in the customer’s mind and will remain that way until either the Customer Success Manager identifies an opportunity for expansion or upsell at which point the sales team can be brought back in to help facilitate that conversation. 

Customer Success-Sales Feedback Loop

The place that Customer Success and Sales really need to work together is in telling the same consistent story from start to finish. 

If sales tells a story of unicorns and pixie dust in the sales process the customer is almost certain to be disappointed when they get handed off to the Customer Success Manager. 

It’s important for Customer Success to loop back to sales and provide feedback they receive from clients. Let sales know what has gone well and where any pain-points have been for the customer. This will help sales develop tactics and methods that set expectations accurately for your customers. 

There’s No Room for Sleazy Sales Tactics

We’ve all worked with the sales-person that says whatever she needs to say for the sale to go through. Only to have it passed onto Customer Success and the client churn a year later. 

This ‘tell them what they want to hear‘ tactic only serves to damage the relationship between the customer and your company. Setting expectations that are too lofty makes everyone look bad and the customer ends up feeling let down, cheated and your Customer Success Team will have to work harder to build that trust. 

Have you experienced a situation where sales set the bar too high? How did you deal with that, or what has your company done to ensure Customer Success and Sales are working towards the same goals? Let us know in the comments!

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