How to Develop a Successful Sales & Customer Success Partnership
Sales will tell the customer what you need and the cost. Success will tell you why you need it. Support will tell you how to do it.
A SaaS company needs clarity on what’s required from Sales and Customer Success, how these operations are distinct, and how they work together.
Even though there is an ongoing revolution changing how B2B SaaS companies manage the customer relationship, there are businesses that aren’t entirely clear on the role of Customer Success. As a result, they tend to confuse Sales Enablement activities with Customer Success Enablement initiatives.
Sales Enablement (SE) and Customer Success Enablement (CSE) are valuable processes for ensuring a company provides teams and team leaders with everything they need to best support customers. However, to get an optimal outcome, a SaaS company needs clarity on what’s required from Sales and Customer Success, how these operations are distinct, and how they work together.
This article compares the two and discusses the specific benefits of Customer Success Enablement for B2B SaaS companies. First, let’s look at how these two B2B support strategies differ.
While both CSE and SE processes center around education, support, and empowerment, the target audiences differ.
Customer Success involves reducing customer churn and increasing customer lifetime value by enhancing the customer experience. This is accomplished by building and nurturing relationships with customers and providing them with what they need to have a good experience with a SaaS company’s products.
On the other hand, a Sales team’s function is more transactional. While they, too, will be required to extend some level of customer care, by necessity, it will lack the depth that a CS team can provide.
Customer Success Enablement focuses on providing Customer Success teams and CS managers with specific tools, training, processes, and operations to strengthen customer relationships. Likewise, Sales Enablement involves providing teams and managers with tools, support, and training, but with the goal of shortening sales cycles and converting more leads.
While the operational goals of CSE and SE are different, they require interdepartmental cooperation to be executed effectively.
Collaboration between Customer Success Enablement and Sales Enablement helps B2B SaaS companies enhance projected outcomes, like increasing customer retention. When these two operations and their enablement strategies are siloed, the result is often a disjointed customer experience. Cooperation and data sharing allows these teams to learn from one another, leveraging insight and expertise on both sides.
For example, consider how helpful it would be for a Sales team to analyze specific Customer Success information like customer feedback and behavioral data as part of their enablement process. Conversely, a Customer Success Enablement strategy can benefit from partnering with Sales to learn more about what calls-to-action customers respond to best or which products or features first attracted customer segments into the sales funnel.
Customer retention is essential to a B2B SaaS company’s long-term survival. Sharing knowledge and aligning goals leads to a more holistic approach to building customer loyalty and reducing churn. The benefit of interdepartmental operations isn’t just anecdotal; when core operations like Sales, Customer Success, and Marketing align, companies see over a 25% boost in revenue.
Customer Success Enablement teams have several vital responsibilities they fulfill, all of which serve to support and empower the Customer Success department. This support is provided by giving teams all the resources necessary to create a great customer experience.
Typical responsibilities involve designing customer onboarding experiences and product training so that new customers and existing customers have the support they need to benefit from a B2B SaaS company’s products. CSE will also devise customer loyalty programs that the Customer Success team can use to convert customers into brand advocates.
The Customer Success Enablement team is also responsible for collecting valuable data like user feedback, customer health scores, and customer satisfaction metrics. This information can be used to improve products and services and customer-facing touch points in other departments.
Deploying an effective CSE process requires the right tools to streamline workflows and free up human talent for high-level work. Below are a few examples of the resources you will often find employed in a CSE tech stack:
Learning Management Systems (LMS) are used to facilitate and track training for both teams and customers. Many LMS platforms also include course authoring and delivery tools, discussion forums, and analytics. Here are some we love:
Knowledge Centers fueled by help desk software are often the first step to providing customer support. Through the Knowledge Center, customers can access easily digestible, direct answers to common questions regarding the use of your product. Some knowledge management tools, and a help desk tool, we love:
Marketing and messaging applications are essential for communicating your message to your customers. These tools allow you to connect with your audience, build relationships, and drive engagement with your product. These tools are often included as part of a CRM (customer relationship management) or CSM (Customer Success Management) platform. Some marketing and messaging applications we love:
Content is a significant component of the customer relationship-building process. It’s deployed at every stage of the customer journey. To create and manage a large volume of content, it helps to have an application that makes writing and publishing quick and easy. Content management tools we love:
Last, but most certainly not least, because Customer Success touches every customer-facing departments within a B2B SaaS company, it has a lot of components that make up its workflow i.e. project management, customer health scores, feedback, reporting, customer data, etc. Much like Sales teams need a dedicated CRM to support their efforts, Customer Success teams greatly benefit from having a dedicated Customer Success Platform. And while we may be bias, Vitally, is our top choice for a CSP. You can also check out our Buyers Guide to Selecting a CSP here.
Customer Success Enablement is crucial to ensuring a B2B SaaS company can provide an optimal customer experience. What’s the next step to implementing good Customer Success Enablement in your company? You can start by using a robust CS platform that provides everything your Customer Success team needs to win. Request a free demo of Vitally today!
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