Customer Success (CS) has become vital to sustainable sales growth.

Recent headlines tell the story: “Why Customer Success is the Future of Revenue Growth” and “Why Customer Success is Vital to the Future of Sales.” 

So why is this?

This strategic role of customer success has been heightened by a number of shifts:

  • Greater focus on customer lifetime value
  • Increasing customer acquisition costs 
  • Growing awareness that buyers expect a personalized, frictionless evaluation and purchasing process into an onboarding experience. 

But, the recognition that CS is a critical component of the revenue engine is often not matched by the day-to-day realities of the CS role. We often see a number of common inhibitors, or activities that are misaligned, such as:

  • Expectations of the role/function
  • Resources and enablement
  • Organizational mindshare

So, what to do? Glad you asked.

First, process inventory of what your CS team does today and then determine where there are gaps. 

  • Customer goals first
    • Does your CS team start every interaction by confirming what the end customers’ goals are? And, have those goals changed or evolved? 
    • This includes during onboarding, EBR/QBR, renewal calls, etc. 
  • Bench strength in account relationships
    • Is there an expectation that CS team members are multithreaded within their accounts?
    • Can they connect tactical customer goals to what the customer’s C-suite is focused on, aka, connecting tactical/technical to business outcomes?
  • Expansion process and sales collaboration 
    • Are they tasked with identifying opportunities to upsell or cross sell? 
    • Is there a standard operating procedure for how those opportunities get commercialized in collaboration with sales?
  • CS team enablement
    • Does the CS team have the tools, resources, and training necessary for being a trusted advisor?
    • Are there regular opportunities to practice these skills? 
  • Cross-GTM collaboration
    • Does the CS team have a regular forum to share what customers are saying about the value the product or service delivers? 
    • Are they regular contributors to the product roadmap and marketing plans? 

For customer success to be a revenue engine, expectations, goals, skills, and tools all need to be aligned. It takes time and effort to create a more strategic CS focus and build alignment with sales and marketing, but the revenue lift makes it worth it.