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Stop Hemorrhaging Customer Insight: An Open Letter From Your Customer Success Rep

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Posted by: Aaron Montague

A customer success rep leans over to one of your account executives and asks why he didn’t bring up a new premium feature as he closed his latest deal. The customer success rep explains that on the onboarding call the client asked about that feature, and once the client understood its details, they wanted to buy a couple hundred more product licenses for another department. Ideally, sales reps will address every angle of a deal before they close, so that both the company and the rep receive the most possible value from the deal. However, as comprehensive and detailed as most sales reps are, sometimes value-building opportunities are missed on a call.

Additionally, because sales organizations understand the voice of the customer better than other groups in the company, they are a goldmine of knowledge about clients and their product wants and needs. In a perfect world, sales reps would establish a process to pass everything they know about clients on to the customer success rep, product management, and marketing so that the entire company could benefit from their detailed information. Most companies don’t have the correct process down and so with every deal they have already fought for and closed, they are losing information that translates into additional revenue for the company. In aggregate, this is a lot.

Why aren’t sales reps collecting this information to pass on, and what can be done to improve their process?

Sales: A race to the finish

Sales organizations try to answer customer questions while simultaneously probing to connect product value with customer needs, and even the most seasoned rep can sometimes miss key selling opportunities. Once a rep feels like they have found a feature that resonates with the client, the rep nails down the sale, then grabs their client’s hand and runs to close the deal and collect payment, sometimes leaving a wake of loose ends and unanswered questions.

The beauty of process documentation: The checklist

How would you make sure that your sales team is collecting all relevant information for your company? Would you use a complicated software? Maybe hire someone to make sure that information is being captured? Gathering relevant customer information doesn’t require a huge investment--use a checklist.  To build your checklist, identify the key conversations that each sales rep on your team should have and continually update it as you build out product functionality and discover new sales plays that help your team win.  A concise checklist is a map to discovering buried treasure along the path to a purchase order and client credit card information. As sales team leads, product managers, and customer success reps perform quality assurance on the content that sales is writing, all organizations win with the information and upsell opportunities that are leveraged with a checklist approach.

Lucid Software: Sales and customer success

At Lucid Software, we have rapidly growing sales and customer success teams working with an ever-evolving SaaS product. The ever-changing learning curve makes it hard for two very new organizations to sync for every call. To make sure all the right points are discussed, we’ve implemented cloud checklists to make those conversations more uniform across the organization. The checklists coupled with our robust CRM are helping us identify key conversation points and are making sure both departments are capturing value from customer interactions. We are continually looking to implement better catch-mechanisms for voice-of-customer data, and checklists are helping us get there.

Conclusion

A checklist is a simple, cheap way to make sure that a process is being followed on every call. Robust data and precise coordination is demanded in today’s markets and by capturing relevant sales information, sales, product management, marketing, and customer success can leverage that relevant sales information for opportunities to build a better product for customers.

About the author

Aaron Montague recently earned his B.S. degree from Brigham Young University where he graduated magna cum laude in business strategy. As employee number four on the customer success team, he has been a part of building and improving the customer success core metrics and processes. He enjoys spending time fishing and wakesurfing with family and friends.

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