Bridging the Divide Between Customer Success and Sales: Part 1

Bridging The Divide Between Customer Success And Sales

 

I recently had the privilege of leading a discussion with over 50 Sales and CS professionals in Vancouver, Canada on the question of whether there’s a Great Divide between Sales and CS.

It was an amazing discussion. Here is Part 1 of a 2 part series sharing the key takeaways. This post focuses on the strategic and operational takeaways. (Part 2 is now available here)

Takeaway #1:  A divide between Sales and CS is not a question but a fact. There is a strategic, operational and personal divide between these two critical motions in MOST B2B SaaS companies.

Takeaway #2:  There is no one single silver bullet or magic formula that can close the divide in all B2B SaaS companies.

  • Company growth stage
  • Prioritization of top line growth or profitability
  • The value drivers in your subscription model
  • Market type
  • Product/solution complexity

These are just some of the strategic variables that will determine the right approach to integrating sales and customer success in your company.

Takeaway #3: While there’s no single magic formula, there are several key strategic components applicable to all B2B SaaS companies that should be assessed and realigned to enable sales and customer success integration:

  • Incentivization models
  • Role definitions
  • Access to data
  • Ideal Buyer versus Ideal Customer Profiles
  • The usage of systems and technology

This last point I see as a big new risk. With the explosion of sales tech vs customer success tech, you must make sure your Sales and CS teams aren’t creating or worsening silos  by unnecessarily using separate technology to drive their processes.

So, in summary, reducing the strategic and operational divide between Sales and Customer Success is a multi-dimensional long-term program but it is very achievable with the right focus and approach.

But in the immediate term, what can you as individual Sales and CS professionals do to reduce the divide? Turns out, we can learn a lot from couples therapy! Check out Part 2 to find out more.