Product pitching hurts when selling, but it is more common and more damaging in customer success. 

When Jeremy Kelly was at Burning Glass, he saw customer success teams were not often getting beyond their product — product onboarding, training, and implementation — to reconnect to a customer’s why.

He committed to being different. He used continuous discovery in his product trainings and implementations to always go deeper on the customer’s goals for using Burning Glass.

Burning Glass offers labor market data to help colleges and universities connect their degrees to specific jobs and careers as well as potential earnings.

Jeremy would lead his customer success calls in this way:

  • He’d start: “Remember, we help campuses in five ways — undergrad admissions, graduate admissions, career services, program strategy, and workforce development.”
  • “Today we are talking about X, but as we go through today’s training, think about if there are other things we could work on together or other colleagues we should speak to.”
  • He would then do the planned product training or implementation. 
  • He’d end: “Remember, there are five ways we help campuses. Are there any other goal areas you’d like to cover or any of your colleagues we should engage?”

Many of Jeremy’s customer success team members would say, “I don’t want to be salesy” as an excuse for not actively revisiting their customer goals.

While his CS team members were focusing on “not being salesy,” Jeremy was getting internal referrals 30% to 40% of the time by refocusing on his customer’s why.

Customer success is in a unique position to understand and go deeper on a customer’s why. 

Why did they buy your product in the first place? 

What were they hoping to accomplish?

What are they hoping to accomplish next?

Let’s be clear, it is not the job of customer success to sell. It is the job of customer success to care for the customer and make the customer successful and help them achieve their goals.

However, customer success can really only advocate for the customer if they go back to the customer’s why for using a product in the first place.