The Future of Customer Success

This article is a bit of a cop-out for one very simple reason: The future has been taking place over the better part of the past two years. We’re just seeing it all come to fruition.

SaaS companies have been told to build models that center on the customer, but it’s difficult to not put your own company’s success first since that’s what the board and investors will want to see win. It’s a long term play, to be certain, but by investing in the people that use your platform, you’ll build brand loyalty, strengthen your base, and improve your chances upstream as those people grow into more senior roles.

This is going to be a series this month from me, and obviously, the other authors will be writing more. I wanted to kick us off by talking about how we can help impact the customer’s success through the use of other teams building on this idea earlier in the customer lifecycle.

The future of customer success is more than building your CS teams. It’s about building bridges and getting other teams invested in the success of the person using the platform. If you’re not already doing this, you’ll want to start thinking about how your sales teams can help deepen these relationships.

Sales Teams Should be Invested in the Customer Journey

You have to close. That’s a fact. We can’t move beyond the conversation about sales teams until we all understand and accept this very principle rule to our sales teams. They have to close and they have to sell. Period.

Once we grasp this, it makes it easier to help put ourselves into a salesperson’s thinking about how they can better serve people with whom they’re working to bring aboard. Work with sales teams and provide them with learning materials that will help better educate the prospect on how they can do their job better. Help the salesperson develop an understanding of how difficult an uneducated customer is during onboarding or if there’s a misconception about the use of the product. When the salesperson can account for these troubles, you’ll see an improvement in your day-to-day. Gary Marroquin said it best on the podcast, “It’s a company goal to get the customer across the finish line. It’s not just creating success for external customers, but it’s also creating success internally.”

There’s talk about how we do this even more and maybe even tying sales metrics to retention, but I fear that takes the focus off the most important aspect of the sales role (closing). We should help support our sales staff by giving them more resources to close good leads and effectively build “poor” leads into more educated consumers and direct them to use platforms in manners that are most useful to them.

CS professionals are going to be working with other teams as well, so keep following along as we publish more content throughout the month on this topic.


Joe Huber is one of the co-founders of the Chicago Customer Success Podcast. He is currently a Customer Community Strategist with Sprout Social.

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