Throughout my career, I’ve seen the term “customer success” grow from an industry buzzword to an integral, revenue-driving force within most organizations. Many companies have held focus on customer satisfaction and expanding their existing client base, but within the last 5-7 years, organizations have restructured their sales teams to focus on the install base and look for revenue opportunities from within. Strategic growth has proven to have a major impact on bottom line revenue and continues to assert itself as one of the most important assets amongst the field teams.
As a Solutions Consultant, I don’t have the same pulse on the new trends in Customer Success that I had as a CSM but I have noticed one change within our organization – a new strategy, if you will – that has made a world of difference in terms of proving value and creating a smooth handoff between Sales and CS. In my role, I am responsible for driving growth and regularly spend time working with the Success team to build new business cases that we can use to widen the customer footprint within our product suite. One strategy we have experimented with to increase the efficacy of this process is to insert the CSM/CSD much earlier in the sales cycle, to promote familiarity with the existing scope and gain awareness of any expansion opportunities that may exist down the road.
By engaging CS earlier in the process, we are able to humanize relationship post signature and provide the client with a growth plan, customized to their use case, that we can begin to implement from day 1. Traditionally, the transition from Sales to CS has been distinct in that process dictates handing over the keys at the signature. With this new approach, we have been able to provide our prospective customers with the white-glove, high-touch service they deserve while helping them see value beyond the initial project plan.
The major takeaway is that cross-departmental collaboration is a great way to keep momentum in the sales cycle and prove that your commitment to a long-term partnership is real and has already begun.