When I first started at LeadUp, I was equipped with 6 months of cold calling experience, an idealist attitude, and a burning desire to impress my new bosses with my drive and curiosity.
I worked hard, closed a few deals, and ultimately realized that I thrive in customer success rather than sales (anyone else with a “bleeding heart” will understand). So in order to utilize my strengths, we figured out a way to make customer success the bulk of my role.
Since transitioning from sales to customer success, I’m beginning to see some irony. It’s clear in my new role that customer success has helped my remaining ties to sales thrive. A few cold leads from last winter have since heated up (whoop whoop!), and I have been able to use my new perspective in approaching them.
But don’t worry – I’m not going to make you listen to the story of my resurrection as a sales rep. Instead, I want to share a couple reasons why CSMs might be your best bet for closing rockstar deals, or at least a few reasons they should be involved in order to accelerate the sales process:
CSMs can sniff out a good (or bad) deal a mile away
In customer success, we have the snout of a bloodhound when it comes to clients who have mismanaged expectations, bad tempers, or hard-to-sell products. This means that even if a prospect is ready to sign a check on the spot, your CSM will be the first to say “…let’s pump the brakes.” CSMs know they’ll be left feeling like this if they rush a deal:
Equally as valuable, we can point out the deals that we should be fighting for. The ones that we know we can take under our wing and make our new golden goose.
The point is: CSMs seek the lifetime value of the deal above the initial payday, so you should seek their expertise when weighing whether it’s a good idea to push your hottest lead to sign on the line that is dotted.
The level of trust and loyalty skyrockets
As I started talking to potential clients while in my customer success role, I realized that I was using anecdotes from my best clients in my pitch to them. This tactic was instantly more attractive than a standard value prop because the potential client could mentally plug themselves into the story – with me still at the steering wheel. Their trust in me was already miles ahead of where it would normally be because they knew I was talking to them as their advocate and their partner.
Knowing that I’ll be with them through every part of their customer journey motivates me to take extra consideration to manage expectations and give advice on the most beneficial timelines to meet their goals. A successful client relationship starts with a very clear explanation of what on-boarding, ramp up, and the contract execution will look like. Our comfort in communicating contributes to a feeling of loyalty, and ideally, this will translate to a longer and happier relationship between the CSM and client.
I hope for all you CSMs out there, this inspires you to take a proactive approach to becoming involved in your company’s sales process. For the account execs and sales reps still reading, I have the utmost respect for your process and hope these thoughts help you guys close the best accounts possible. Look out for more thoughts on Customer Success and Sales collaboration coming soon!