Building a Culture of Collaboration Between Customer Success and Sales to Increase Customer Value

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The Implementation Process

This live webinar features two professionals in sales and customer success respectively, sharing their expert tips for handling the always tricky handoff between CS and Sales. The conversation leads off with an overview of what roles and responsibilities get defined as you go through a post sale customer engagement process.

Sarah, the Head of CS at Front, makes a point to note that these models can be different depending on your customer journeys. You might find that it’s dependent on the stage of growth your company is in, or the complexity of your product, or even the customer type. Oftentimes, more specialized roles are needed to better serve specific customer needs. Implementation teams in particular are effective and necessary for ensuring the customer is successful really early on.

Ongoing Engagement

On the sales side, Armen notes the importance of feedback to find value and feed that back into your sales process. However, the work doesn’t end after the implementation period. There’s ongoing engagement. You have to architect your CS team to be able to tackle both the initial onboarding and then the customer experience that comes afterwards.

The Key Question

The key question to ask throughout this process, according to Sarah, is: what do your customers expect or need from you to be successful? If at any point you feel like you’re not succeeding in that, whether it’s between the roles or it’s the interactions and touchpoints, then you have to go back to the drawing board and revisit what’s not working.

Setting Expectations in the Sales Process

This is why it’s all the more important that the sales team is not closing customers just for the sake of closing customers. You want the customer to be successful with your product, and internally, you want to make sure that both teams are incentivized in the same way. You have to figure out what’s right for the teams that you have in place and the product that you have in place. It’s essential to set these expectations in the sales process.

Aligning on the Upsell

Once a customer is live and seeing value, there is an opportunity to upsell them. However, as Sarah points out, this process has to be handled carefully. Only sell the customer on what they truly need. Ultimately, if you’re going to make your customers successful, you have to be comfortable with having the conversation around expansion and having the conversation around upsell. It doesn’t mean that your post sales team have to own that number, but as with the rest of the process, your CS and sales teams should work together to achieve the result that is best for the customer and best for your business.

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About the Presenters

Sarah Sheikh
Head of Customer Success @ Front

Sarah Sheikh is the Head of Customer Success at Front. Prior to Front, she led the Customer Success team at BetterWorks, and was also a CSM at both Microsoft and Cisco. Sarah graduated Carnegie Mellon University, with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration and Political Science.

Armen Zildjian
VP of Sales @ Drift

Armen is an award winning hands-on leader with 23 years of sales and sales management experience driving above average growth in pre and post IPO environments. He is a goal driven individual with proven experience developing and leading multi-channel, international early-stage sales teams with little structure or process into established growth channels.

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