How to Determine Who Gets the Sale: Customer Success or Sales

Are you struggling to decide who should get credit for a successful sale – customer success or sales? This is a common concern for companies looking to improve their sales strategies and increase revenue. In this article, we will discuss the importance of this decision and provide insights on how to determine the rightful owner of a sale.

What is Customer Success?

Customer success is the proactive process of ensuring clients achieve the desired outcome while using a product or service. It involves understanding clients’ goals, providing support, and guiding them to realize value from the offering. This approach fosters long-term customer satisfaction and loyalty, leading to increased retention and advocacy.

Did you know that companies with strong customer success programs experience 25% higher customer lifetime value and 35% lower churn?

What is Customer Success?

What is Sales?

Sales is the process of exchanging goods or services for money. It involves understanding customer needs, offering solutions, and closing deals to generate revenue.

Pro-tip: In sales, building relationships and providing value are just as important as making the sale.

What is the Difference Between Customer Success and Sales?

In the world of business, two key roles play a crucial part in the success of a company: customer success and sales. While they may seem similar, these two roles have distinct focuses and goals. In this section, we will explore the differences between customer success and sales, including their respective focuses, goals, and approaches to building and maintaining customer relationships. By understanding these differences, we can better determine who is responsible for closing the sale and ensuring long-term customer satisfaction.

1. Focus

  • Understand the customer’s needs by actively listening and asking relevant questions.
  • Identify the appropriate solution that aligns with the customer’s requirements and expectations.
  • Align with the customer’s goals by ensuring that the proposed solution supports their strategic objectives.
  • Consider the customer’s relationship with the company to personalize the approach and enhance their experience.

Pro-tip: By focusing on the customer’s specific needs and goals, you can tailor your approach to provide personalized solutions, strengthening the customer-sales relationship.

2. Goals

  • Establish clear, measurable objectives for the sales team to strive towards.
  • Align sales goals with customer success goals to prioritize a customer-centric approach.
  • Consistently review and modify goals based on customer feedback and evolving market dynamics.

The concept of setting specific goals for sales teams dates back to the early 20th century when businesses recognized the significance of defining clear targets for their sales force to drive performance and revenue growth.

3. Customer Relationships

  • Building Trust: Establish a genuine connection with the customer to foster trust and loyalty in customer relationships.
  • Understanding Needs: Actively listen and comprehend the customer’s requirements and pain points to better serve their needs.
  • Providing Value: Offer personalized solutions that add value to the customer’s business or life, strengthening customer relationships.
  • Communication: Maintain clear and consistent communication to address concerns and provide updates, promoting healthy customer relationships.

How Do Customer Success and Sales Work Together?

In any business, there is often a debate over who gets credit for a successful sale – the customer success team or the sales team? However, the truth is that these two departments work together in a symbiotic relationship to ensure the satisfaction and retention of clients. In this section, we will explore the different ways in which customer success and sales collaborate, communicate, and handle handoffs in order to achieve the common goal of closing a sale and maintaining a successful customer relationship.

1. Collaboration

  • Establish a clear common goal for both customer success and sales teams to collaborate towards.
  • Encourage open communication and sharing of customer insights between the teams to foster collaboration.
  • Create joint success plans that align with the customer’s needs and the company’s goals, promoting collaboration between the two teams.
  • Regularly review and refine the collaboration process to ensure its effectiveness in achieving the common goal.

2. Communication

  • Active Listening: Engage in attentive and empathetic listening to comprehend customer needs.
  • Clarity and Transparency: Communicate clearly and effectively, ensuring the customer understands the information provided.
  • Timely Response: Address customer queries and concerns promptly to demonstrate commitment and foster trust.
  • Empowerment: Equip customers with the necessary knowledge and tools to fully utilize and benefit from the product or service.

A customer success manager utilized active listening and clear communication to understand a client’s issues, resulting in a successful resolution and strengthened customer relationship.

3. Handoffs

  1. Prepare: Ensure all necessary information about the customer and their needs is documented.
  2. Communicate: Clearly convey the customer’s requirements and status to the sales team.
  3. Coordinate: Arrange a smooth transition, keeping the customer informed throughout the handoff process.
  4. Support: The customer success team should be available to assist the customer even after the handoff is complete.

When implementing handoffs between customer success and sales, it’s crucial to maintain open communication and ensure a seamless transfer of customer information. This helps in providing a consistent and positive experience for the customer.

How to Determine Who Gets the Sale?

In the competitive world of sales, it can be challenging to determine who ultimately gets the sale – the customer success team or the sales team. To make this decision, it is crucial to understand the customer’s needs, identify the appropriate solution, and align with their goals. Additionally, the customer’s relationship with the company also plays a significant role. In this section, we will discuss the key factors to consider when determining who gets the sale and how to effectively navigate this decision-making process.

1. Understanding the Customer’s Needs

  • Gather Information: Initiate conversations with the customer to gain a comprehensive understanding of their specific requirements and preferences.
  • Ask Probing Questions: Inquire about the customer’s challenges, objectives, and desired outcomes to fully comprehend their needs.
  • Active Listening: Pay close attention to the customer’s responses, ensuring a deep understanding of their concerns and aspirations.
  • Interpret Data: Analyze past interactions and feedback to extract insights that contribute to understanding the customer’s needs.

2. Identifying the Appropriate Solution

  • Understand customer requirements: Start by comprehensively understanding the customer’s needs and pain points.
  • Evaluate available options: Assess various solutions to determine which one aligns best with the customer’s needs and goals.
  • Consider long-term impact: Look beyond immediate benefits and evaluate how the appropriate solution will contribute to the customer’s long-term success.

3. Aligning with the Customer’s Goals

  • Understand the customer’s objectives and desired outcomes.
  • Identify how your product or service can help achieve the customer’s goals.
  • Align the sales process with the customer’s strategic initiatives and goals.

A company diligently aligned its sales efforts with a client’s environmental sustainability goals, resulting in a successful partnership that garnered industry recognition for their efforts in aligning with the customer’s goals.

4. Considering the Customer’s Relationship with the Company

  • Evaluate the level of customer loyalty and engagement with the company, assessing their long-term commitment.
  • Assess the customer’s past interactions and feedback with the company to gauge satisfaction and the dynamics of their relationship.
  • Analyze the customer’s purchasing history and engagement with the company’s products or services to understand their level of investment.
  • Consider the potential for the customer to advocate for and refer others to the company, indicating a strong relationship and satisfaction.

What are the Benefits of Having a Strong Customer Success and Sales Team?

Both customer success and sales play crucial roles in a company’s success, but what are the specific benefits of having a strong team in each department? In this section, we will discuss the advantages of having a robust customer success and sales team, including increased customer retention, improved customer satisfaction, higher revenue and profits, and an enhanced company reputation. By understanding the benefits of each team, we can determine how to effectively balance their efforts to ultimately drive sales and success for the company.

1. Increased Customer Retention

  • To achieve increased customer retention, it is crucial to provide exceptional customer service that builds trust and loyalty.
  • Implementing proactive strategies to anticipate and address customer needs can also contribute to retaining customers.
  • Offering personalized support and solutions tailored to individual customer requirements can further enhance customer retention.
  • Regularly communicating with customers to gather feedback and improve service is also important.

When striving to boost customer retention, it is essential to focus on delivering value and fostering strong relationships to ensure long-term satisfaction and loyalty.

2. Improved Customer Satisfaction

  • Actively listen and ask probing questions to understand customer needs.
  • Identify appropriate solutions to address customer pain points and enhance their experience, resulting in improved customer satisfaction.
  • Align with the customer’s goals and provide personalized support to foster a strong relationship and increase customer loyalty.
  • Tailor sales and customer success strategies based on the customer’s relationship with the company, leading to improved customer satisfaction.

In the early 2000s, a renowned company implemented a new customer service model that focused on personalized interactions and proactive issue resolution, resulting in a significant surge in customer satisfaction and loyalty.

3. Higher Revenue and Profits

  • Implement data-driven sales and customer success strategies to drive higher revenue and profits.
  • Utilize customer success to increase customer lifetime value and generate repeat business.
  • Integrate sales efforts with customer success to identify upsell and cross-sell opportunities, boosting revenue.
  • Develop a seamless handoff process between sales and customer success to ensure continued revenue growth.

4. Enhanced Company Reputation

A strong company reputation is achieved when customer success and sales efforts work together seamlessly, resulting in positive customer experiences and trust in the brand’s offerings. This synergy promotes customer advocacy, positive word-of-mouth, and a strong market position.

Thanks to the diligent collaboration between a software company’s customer success and sales teams, a client’s product implementation was a success, leading to glowing testimonials and industry recognition that greatly enhanced the company’s reputation.

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