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Partner with Customer Success

Learning Objectives 

After completing this unit, you’ll be able to:

  • Explain what customer success is.
  • Understand how customer success and sales work together.

What Is Customer Success?

Customer success (CS) ensures that your customers are set up for success to achieve their business goals. Customer success managers (CSMs) work to anticipate customer needs, questions, and challenges, and then provide answers and solutions. They proactively address challenges, different from support teams that address issues as they arise.

CS is all about people—your customers and the relationships built with them. When your customer success team offers the support it should, like sales, it leads to growth and loyalty from customers. When customers are happy, they’re loyal to your business and provide growth opportunities and referrals. It’s a great way to expand your reach.

What Makes a Good Customer Success Team?

There are a few skills needed for a customer success team to be successful. Let’s discuss a few of them.

  • Communication: A solid foundation with your customer is built on clear communication. Document everything and get consistent feedback from your customers.
  • People/Relationship management: Exceeding customer expectations lets them know you care about them and their business. Creating a great relationship allows them to view you as a reliable and trusted partner.
  • Empathy: Customers want to know that you hear them when they come to CS with problems or concerns. Show them empathy and validate their feelings throughout their experience.
  • Proaction: Consistently gather feedback from customers so you know how happy they are with your products/services and if you’re adding value to their business. This ensures retention.

How Sales and Customer Success Work Together

Customer Success bridges sales, marketing, and support to create a seamless customer experience. When sales and CS are aligned, your business has a greater change of customer loyalty and retention. So how do you ensure these two teams are working well together?

  1. Share your vision and processes. Sales wants support for their deals in order to win opportunities. CS wants an organized handoff from sales to ensure customer success. Creating a shared process between the two teams provides the best experience for their customers.

    What kinds of information should be shared between teams? When Sales hands a new customer off to CS, they should answer these questions.

    • Why did the customer buy your product/service?
    • Will your product be replacing an existing solution?
    • How will they measure ROI?
    • What business goals are they trying to meet by purchasing your offerings?
    • Who did you work with on this deal? Who is the point of contact?
    • Were there any obstacles you faced while closing this deal? If so, what and with whom?
  2. Establish a metrics system for customer health. Both sales and CS teams need to align on what data is important to understand the customer’s health, needs and satisfaction. Establish the overall health of your customer by:
    • Analyzing deals together to identify where deals succeeded or failed in order to replicate the successes in the future. Find solutions for the things that didn’t go as well.
    • Creating a shareable timeline of events to ensure everyone stays accountable, and knows their specific tasks. Set up milestones and share the timeline with your customer too.
    • Soliciting feedback from your customer.
  3. Celebrate each other’s successes. When sales and CS teams stay aligned, they understand each other’s value, and work together to reach their goals. Supporting and acknowledging cross-team successes creates mutual appreciation and alignment to meet the customer’s needs.

When sales and customer success teams work together, you’ll build trust, increase efficiency, and create a great overall experience for you and your customer. 


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