Big News: FounderDating is joining OneVest to build the largest community for entrepreneurs. Details here
Latest Notifications
You have no recent recommendations.
Name
Title
 
MiniBio
FOLLOW
Title
 Followers
FOLLOW TOPIC

Question goes here

1,300 Followers

  • Name
    Entrepreneur
  • Name
    Entrepreneur
  • Name
    Entrepreneur
  • Name
    Entrepreneur
  • Name
    Entrepreneur
  • Name
    Entrepreneur
  • Name
    Entrepreneur
  • Name
    Entrepreneur

How long before your salesperson transitions the customer to customer success?

We've just hired our first customer success person. At what point should this person take the client relationship over from the sales team?


11 Replies

Paul Murskov
2
0
Paul Murskov Advisor
CEO @ HireKeep - If you haven't found it yet, keep looking. Don't settle.
In my opinion the introduction to the AM (customer success) should be done immediately after the client is onboarded so that the sales person can continue to focus their efforts on selling and the customer success person is now responsible for the account but can of course involve the sales person on a case by case basis. Of course any upselling, cross-selling, etc should be done by the salesperson unless the customer success person is more an Account Manager at which point they should have a quota driven role and a more sales oriented proactive follow-up with the customer. Hope this helps!
Braydon Johnson-McCormick
0
0
Proven CEO, co-founder and practical business strategist for real-world results
@Paul - totally agree - I think you nailed it. The only other real consideration is how much the customer success person is responsible for actual delivery. It can get very dicey if they are on the hook for managing/contributing to client efforts and also selling to them.

Brent Hultman
1
0
Brent Hultman Advisor
Business and Leadership Coach/Consultant at Pursuits Coaching and Wellness Network
If your sales model is transactional then the hand off should be at the time the sale is closed and the sales person should make the client aware of this before they've closed the deal. If your sales model is relational then the sales person and the customer success person should look like a team to the client whereby the client sees that they have both of these people who are interested, involved, and available to support the customer within their defined roles on the account.
Neil Licht - HereWeAre
1
0
Want To find-close Business Online without competition Before They Google Search? We solve this problem 1(508)-481-8567
Remember, your customer success people are not by nature sales types, they are nurturing-support types. Let it be known that you have such a specifically dedicated group to do only that as you sell and get acceptance as part of the value your sales team brings to the prospect/customer.

When to bring them in?
In fact, as part of the selling process, it's good and frankly quite powerful as a sales tool to allow a prospect to talk with a customer support person to learn from them what they do.

For sure, Formally bring them in at the close, intro them to the customer and let them work out contacts, implementation processes, schedules, who to do that with, manage the rollout, best times to talk, even a regularly scheduled call where any questions or emerging issues can be discussed and the process put in place to resolve them.

The customer success person should be known to a prospect and a new customer or existing customer asap, and of course already be valued, known before the sale is made since that kind of support is part of the sale and a differentiatorregetting the sale.

Upon closing, the sales person should then, with the customer knowing this is happening, move the customer over to a specific person in customer successand in factmake the introduction so to speak. Next, when that is done, the customer success person should call the new account and with them, clearly define contacts at the new customer, who they are, how to reach each other as an account profile.

Doing things this way we Now we have a supportrelationshipinplace. The support person should know how to ask about changes at the customer that could reveal new opportunities, need a friendly sales visit. keep the customer.

When not to use a customer support person re the sales cycle:

PLEASE Don't ever ask customer support to sell or actually do any upselling because it goes against their grain of who they are, they see it as undermining their credibility as a support person to their accounts and their core traits won't let them do that. It won't work. Clients don't expect selling or upselling from the support arm and resent it.

Dont put them in the sales seat while you are selling and make sure they can softly defer sales related questions to the sales person as "better equipped to answer xxx question" and then take the steps to get sales directly and immediately involved.

How and when sales can help a customer support person seamlessly become the contact/account manager person:

Spell out clearly for your customer success folks when a sales person should be referred and or the customer/prospect told that the "expert'" in the area under discussion is the sales person.

Result re cementing the sale and keeping the client:

When that sale is closed, the Customer support person is now a "partner" to the new customer, is seen that way and stays that way so the relationship is strong, cemented and can actually grow opportunities at the account.
Braydon Johnson-McCormick
0
0
Proven CEO, co-founder and practical business strategist for real-world results
This is a great thread, thanks for starting. I'd like to ask the group a question that is adjacent (but ties in here). When is a Customer Success Person not an Account Manager, and what is the difference - and how are either different than the delivery manager? We have a relationship driven model for enterprise customers (we are a services company) and we've had a lot of trouble differentiating the delivery manager from a success person from the account manager (they tend to get blended). Guidance?
Paul Murskov
0
0
Paul Murskov Advisor
CEO @ HireKeep - If you haven't found it yet, keep looking. Don't settle.
Hi Braydon - I before we get into the answer - can you explain in brief detail what the delivery manager does now? Also, do you have AM's and CS people or just CS people you would potentially like to make into AM's.
Braydon Johnson-McCormick
0
0
Proven CEO, co-founder and practical business strategist for real-world results
The delivery manager is responsible for project management and event management (these are virtual training events). Sometimes they are also responsible for approach design and scope updates (which can be a bit solution-sales centric). Account managers have been solution selling (designing approach/scope), but sometimes have also wound up managing delivery (hence the issue with overlap).

One of the key issues we tend to see is what Neil pointed out - that clients don't like to be sold to by the delivery team. I suspect real problem we're having is how do we get the AM to be more pure sales, while 1. not irritating the client and 2. still providing SME style guidance and support (if that even is a good idea).

It feels like the kind of problem that consultancies have "hunt it, kill it, eat it". But we've been down that methodology before; it doesn't scale and is fraught with risk forsinglepoint of failure.
Guita Gopalan
1
0
Guita Gopalan Advisor
Head of Customer Success at Stacck
Test the different hand-over options i.e. after close the CSM comes in, sales and CSM handle the customer for a period, etc. Was there a difference in customers achieving key metrics in the first 30 days, 90 days (whatever time frame you use to track metrics). Prefer the hand-over option with more favorable metrics achieved and refine from there.

The same is true for every component of your customer/user journey. Choose the option that moves your metrics positively.

@BraydonThe objective of customer success is to get clients to experience the maximum value from your services quickly, often and with the least amount of stress as possible. In this manner, CS can be your 'delivery manager.' Customer Success is proactive. Before a customer calls with a problem customer success should already be solving it. Customer success reaches out to the customer making calls, sending emails, etc. Whereas in customer support, people call in and get assistance. Customer success is also a sales role, but the responsibility is on maintaining the MRR (monthly recurring revenue) and increase CLV (customer lifetime value). Customer success can do upselling - but these should be organic. Within the conversation with a customer, the CS person makes a recommendation that would benefit the customer vs. calling up just to call.
Braydon Johnson-McCormick
0
1
Proven CEO, co-founder and practical business strategist for real-world results
@Guita - thanks for this comment - that resonates with me, particularly how a CSM ties back to MRR/CLV and how the CSM needs to be solving problems proactively.

If I were to synthesize, it's AM/CSM can be the same (but don't have to be) and can also act as a delivery manager. They have goals for revenue but the methodology needs to be service not sales centric. Sales on the other hand can do the "calling for the sake of calling" way of approaching things.


Ryan Dohrn
1
0
Ryan Dohrn Entrepreneur
Founder Brain Swell Media
More and more I have observed serious dissatisfaction from the client perspective when after they buy from your sales team they are handed off to CS. The client often buys because they love the sales person. If that relationship is not managed from the get-go you will have an unhappy client. Lets be honest, most sales people are fun, vibrant and charming. Many CS/CSR's are not. Because my focus is solely on the sales training/coaching side of the house I am a HUGE proponent of team selling. Sure, it makes the process more complex, but it allows a client to fall in love with the team and not the sales person. It also shows to new customers that you operate like a team from day one. It shows you have a serious product/business when the team is present on that first demo or client meeting. Ok, to answer your question... I like to set expectations on the hand-off from day one. Make sure the client knows the time-line. After the deal is signed, the team co-manages the hand-off for one week. Then, the sales team/AM checks in every other week for 60 days. Then, they check-in quarterly. The AM pops back into the conversation quarterly to give the client an out if they do not like the CSR. I could go on for hours. I just love this topic.
Join FounderDating to participate in the discussion
Nothing gets posted to LinkedIn and your information will not be shared.

Just a few more details please.

DO: Start a discussion, share a resource, or ask a question related to entrepreneurship.
DON'T: Post about prohibited topics such as recruiting, cofounder wanted, check out my product
or feedback on the FD site (you can send this to us directly info@founderdating.com).
See the Community Code of Conduct for more details.

Title

Give your question or discussion topic a great title, make it catchy and succinct.

Details

Make sure what you're about to say is specific and relevant - you'll get better responses.

Topics

Tag your discussion so you get more relevant responses.

Question goes here

1,300 Followers

  • Name
    Details
  • Name
    Details
  • Name
    Details
  • Name
    Details
  • Name
    Details
  • Name
    Details
  • Name
    Details
  • Name
    Details
Know someone who should answer this question? Enter their email below
Stay current and follow these discussion topics?