Many people think that sales is all about winning customers and customer success revolves around keeping customers. But did you know customer success can play a key role in supporting sales for your SaaS company and closing more deals faster? These two teams should work together to bring in more business and stimulate sustainable growth.
Unfortunately, sales and customer success can often feel in opposition – especially as a company scales. Priorities can clash as sales struggles to bring in new business while customer success wants to cultivate the customers you already have. It may even be that sales are bringing in prospects that are a bad fit for customer success, resulting in higher churn and lost revenue.
Aligning these two teams is the key to winning even more customers to use your product and spreading positive word-of-mouth about your company. Happy customers that have been supported by customer success can play a key role in attracting more leads for your sales team.
How Customer Success Can Help Sales Close More Deals
The business looks much more professional when customers experience a seamless hand-off between sales and customer success. The customer has a coherent experience, and there is much more continuity between what customers expect from the product and the reality of using it.
Customer success may have an even deeper insight into using the product than sales has and will be able to offer their advice and experience during the sales process. When customer success and sales work more closely together, this offers a greater chance of persuading the customer to close the deal.
Customers don’t have to wait to meet customer success until after they have made the sale. Customer success can come in early to show customers what it will be like to work with them and assure them they are making the right choice in selecting the product.
It’s better if customer success can build a closer bond with new leads right from the beginning because it establishes expectations. Happy customers in contact with customer success can also bring in valuable referrals, new leads that are particularly primed to be open to your sales messages.
The Similarities Between Customer Success and Sales
In a well-functioning SaaS business, everyone feels responsible for customer success and sales. These two teams are responsible for the relationship-building function of the company and managing that relationship from beginning to end. Both sales and customer success are responsible for making customers happy and delivering on a promise that the business has made.
The reality is that sales and customer success rely on each other for mutual support. Sales must hand off new customers to the customer success team,, which then ensures that the customer realizes value. Ensuring alignment between customer success and sales ensures a much more productive customer relationship.
Sales and customer success can learn from each other when bringing in revenue from new and existing customers. Many of the same techniques can be applicable; ultimately, customer success and sales have the same goals.
How Can You Help Make Your Sales Team Be More Productive
Sales teams can become more productive when they understand the priorities of customer success. Instead of wasting time chasing leads that won’t go anywhere, they’ll pursue customers who can truly find value in your SaaS product. When customer success managers work closely with your sales reps, your goals will become more aligned.
The transition between sales and customer success will be much more seamless, and customers will be more impressed with your company’s work. Presenting a professional face during the customer journey is the key to a productive sales team, with fewer leads falling through the cracks.
As we’ve mentioned, sales needs to spend less time searching for new leads when they have referrals from customer success. Personal recommendations from friends or colleagues are much more likely to convert and save your sales reps much more time during the sales process.
Customer Success and Sales Collaboration
When sales bring in new leads, they need to be the kind of customers that customer success has the potential to nurture. Not all leads are of the same quality, and when sales and customer success are aligned, this results in a much better pipeline of new leads. These two teams need to share their knowledge and align their processes.
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This kind of collaboration also streamlines the processes for customer success when they eventually take over the customer because they already know more about them. They don’t have to spend extra time getting to know their customer because they are already involved in the sales pipeline.
You may also find that your customer success teams and sales teams are duplicating efforts. They may be collecting the same information or assessing customers based on the same information. More effective collaboration means both teams can successfully nurture customers and close deals faster.
Customer success and sales don’t have to be in opposition – in fact, when used correctly, customer success can help you win more leads. Both functions are concerned with bringing in more revenue for the business, and existing customers can bring you valuable insight into what will attract more business.
Sales might be focused on attracting new leads, but customer success is the department that keeps customers renewing their subscriptions. In fast-growing SaaS companies, sales and customer success must work together to achieve revenue goals.
Of course, it’s not all about winning customers at any cost – it’s about attracting the right customers who your business will ultimately retain, and that’s where customer success can really shine. Customer success has first-hand experience with the customers who are most likely to continue their subscriptions and eventually be open to cross-sells and upsells.