Reduce Churn With Customer Success and Sales Collaboration

Reduce Churn With Customer Success and Sales Collaboration | Mixmax
  • Types of sales objections
  • Why is objection handling important?
  • How to handle sales objections
  • How to respond to common sales objections
  • Key takeaways
  • Let Mixmax help you close more deals

It should come as no surprise that customer success and sales collaboration can help revenue teams close better deals.

What do we mean by better deals? 

Simple.

  • Customers who are the right fit for your product or service. 
  • Customers who will become advocates.
  • Customers who will contribute to expansion.
  • Customers who won’t churn.

Sales teams used to be encouraged to sell at all costs to grow revenue. Even if it was the wrong fit.

But if Cinderella has taught us anything, it’s that no matter how hard you try, if your foot’s too big or too small, the shoe just won’t fit. 

Nailed that analogy.

Anyway.

The problem with that old-school method of selling is that customer success teams are left to pick up the pieces. They’re left trying to figure out what went wrong when the customer churns. And more often than not, they take the blame for it.

Doesn’t sound fair, does it?

The best way to avoid that whole fiasco is through collaborative selling.

This post covers:

  • Importance of customer success and sales collaboration.
  • Ways to facilitate cross-team collaboration.
  • Benefits of feedback loops.

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Importance of customer success and sales collaboration

Working in silos is rarely a good thing (is it ever?).

And it makes sense.

When sales and customer success have no visibility into each others’ work, things are bound to fall through the cracks.

Finding critical information becomes a tedious affair. Work is duplicated. Time is wasted.

And the worst part? All that directly affects your customers.

It’s no wonder that 86% of employees in leadership positions blame lack of collaboration as the top reason for workplace failures.

When collaborative selling isn’t encouraged within the revenue team, the sales process is broken. And everyone suffers.

Customers are forced to repeat information they’ve already discussed with the sales team. Customer success runs after the sales team to figure out the details of the account. And so on.

This kind of disorganization stresses the customer out, especially if they were iffy about signing the contract in the first place.

The result? Skeptical or unhappy customers who might churn when it comes time to renew, or just back out of the deal altogether.

If you want to reduce churn and sell to customers who will be happy long-term, it’s important to build a sales process that breaks the barriers between sales and customer success.

Doing so will help both parties do their jobs effectively, making the customer feel like they’re in the right hands.

Ways to facilitate cross-team collaboration

You understand the importance of customer success and sales collaboration, but how do you achieve such a thing?

Here we go.

1. Choose sales tech built for the whole team

One of the easiest ways to facilitate customer success and sales collaboration is strategically choosing sales tech that the whole team can use.

Take, for example, a sales engagement solution.

It’s something SDRs, AEs, and CSMs need to successfully engage and manage prospects and customers. 

But instead of getting different sales engagement solutions for each role (or only getting it for one role), you can opt for the hidden gem that’s built for the sales AND customer success teams.

Here’s what you’ll gain by choosing a sales engagement solution that does it all, like Mixmax:

  • All prospect, lead and customer interactions are automatically updated in Salesforce (without duplication), which is easily accessible through a sidebar in Gmail by both teams.
  • Customer records are always up to date, making the handoff between sales and CS painless.
  • Sales and CS have full visibility on each others’ activities at all times.
  • A nifty side chat feature allows sales and CS to collaborate and keep each other in the loop on important email threads without using CC or BCC.
  • Call recording helps sales and CS share key conversations they’ve had with leads and customers with each other to get a better understanding of accounts.
  • Workflow rules can be set up to send automatic templates (e.g., a sendoff email to the CSM) when sales closes a deal.
  • Cross-team calendar availability and prevention of double bookings make involving both teams in meetings with prospects and customers easy.

 

2. Hold meetings regularly with sales and customer success

If sales and customer success aren’t meeting regularly, there’s a serious disconnect that needs to be mended asap.

Both teams’ expectations should be aligned, otherwise neither will be successful in the long run. But that’s not possible if one has no idea what the other is doing.

Here’s what sales and customer success can discuss during weekly and internal QBR meetings:

  • Cross-functional goals
  • Upsell and cross-sell opportunities
  • Product updates/changes
  • Renewals
  • Churns (and the reasons for these)
  • Trends
  • High-profile leads
  • Customer feedback (more on that later)

By having open channels of communication between both teams, sales and CS will be able to provide better value and service to customers, making sure the shoe actually fits.

Check out this post by Mixmax’s VP of Sales on how he conducts internal QBRs.

3. Establish a proper handoff process

The handoff between sales and customer success normally happens just after a lead signs a contract and becomes a customer.

The faster (and smoother) the handoff, the more confident the customer will be in the decision they’ve made. 

Here’s how you can ensure a seamless transition:

  • Introduce the CS rep to the prospect before the deal closes. The earlier the better, especially if it’s a big contract.
  • CC (or BCC) the customer success rep in important emails. Or better yet, use Mixmax’s Sidechat feature so the CS rep can follow the entire conversation without receiving 100 notifications.
  • Use tools with built-in CRM integrations to keep customer records up to date. That way, the CS team can have a complete picture of a new customer at their fingertips during–and after–the handoff.
  • Create an easily fillable form that covers high-level account information that sales can quickly complete for the CS team during handoff (i.e., company size, industry, # of employees, pain points, and any initial hesitations/concerns about your product).

By making the transition as easy as possible for sales, CS, and the customer, you’ll be making a significant difference in the customer’s time-to-value, because they’ll get to their ah-ha! moment sooner (and smoother) than anticipated.


Related post: 3 Salesforce Automation Hacks for Revenue Teams


Benefits of customer feedback loops

Before we discuss the benefits of customer feedback loops, we need to first talk about how to collect that feedback.

Collecting feedback is a huge part of the CS team’s role, and here’s how it can be done:

  • QBR meetings with customers (the best way).
  • Virtual surveys.
  • Online review platforms such as G2.

If you’re going the QBR route, you’ll first need to secure that meeting. Using a sales engagement solution can help you create sequences with specific calendar links, making it easy for customers to book those QBRs every quarter.

See how Insightly was able to book 4x more QBRs within two quarters with Mixmax.

If you’re going the survey route, you can use Mixmax’s built-in email enhancement feature that lets you embed a survey directly into your message.

So what do you do with all this feedback? Why is it important?

Customer feedback loops are essential if you want your revenue team to provide the best possible service to prospects and customers.

Not only will your current customers feel heard, but you can also apply your learnings to future prospects and customers to deliver an unparalleled experience. For example, if a customer brings up a specific pain point, CS can help find a solution for them and pass that message along to the sales team so they can use it in their outreach.

Sales Engagement Checklist Thumbnail Image

 

Final thoughts on customer success and sales collaboration

Customer success and sales collaboration brings the revenue team closer together and makes everyone feel like they’re part of one team. Plus, it builds trust among teammates, which will encourage further communication between sales and CS.

When both sales and customer success are aligned, the chances of signing and retaining a customer increase. And isn’t that the end goal for both teams?

Want better results from cold emailing? 
Use Mixmax to increase your reps’ productivity and achieve pipeline success.


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