In this Expert Insight Interview, Brent Keltner discusses how to transition elegantly from sales to customer success and develop that as a continuum. Brent Keltner is the president of Winalytics, and he has created the Winalytics Value-Driven Growth Methodology.
This Expert Insight Interview discusses:
- How customer success has changed in the subscription-based economy
- Why organizations must work hard to make the customer experience seamless
- How the role of the CSM has changed over the years
Once upon a time, there was no such thing as customer success. We used to throw stuff over the wall to the next team and hope for the best, but those methods no longer work. Customer success is an excellent example of a whole new area where the lines between departments are blurred.
Customer success has become a third revenue team in today’s subscription-based economy. Renewals and incremental expansions become as crucial to growth as the net new. They are key to ramping up the foundation. In that world, the way that sales and customer success teams create a seamless experience around value becomes critical.
Aligning Your Goals
If you clearly establish the goals and there’s a good hand-off, the information is all there. This results in the whole organization working to achieve the same goals, creating a more seamless experience for the customer.
One of the worst things to experience as a customer is getting used to a salesperson, going through the process with them, establishing trust, only to be shifted to a new implementation person as soon as you sign on the dotted line. This always feels slightly off, as the new person is not always completely aware of everything you already agreed on with the salesperson.
Redefining the CSM Role
Ultimately the job of the CSM (customer service manager/customer success manager) is to make sure the contract gets renewed and take advantage of any upselling opportunities. This is much more than a simple maintenance role nowadays, so they have to work closely with their sales manager.
It also needs to be laid out very clearly what the expectation is for selling from the owner of the account, as opposed to the customer success person. In other words, the definition of the CSM role has changed over the years, and so has their partnership with the sales/account manager.
John is the Amazon bestselling author of Winning the Battle for Sales: Lessons on Closing Every Deal from the World’s Greatest Military Victories and Social Upheaval: How to Win at Social Selling. A globally acknowledged Sales & Marketing thought leader, speaker, and strategist. He is CSMO at Pipeliner CRM. In his spare time, John is an avid Martial Artist.