In this era of SaaS and subscription businesses, getting the user to buy your product is only the beginning of a long journey ahead. During the entire process with the customer, pre-sales and post-sales, there is a need for a close relationship between Customer Success and Sales.
This close relation can be built with good communication and articulation between both teams. But the most crucial is the need for knowledge transfer about the customer.
You really don’t want to end up saying
The customer was upset during our kick-off because we asked them the same questions that the sales team had asked them before close.
Knowledge Transfer is important for Customer Success and is a process for ensuring that the sales team relays the information they gather from the customer to your post-sales teams.
How is Customer Success Different from Sales ?
The customer success job in itself is very different from traditional sales roles. Although both sales and customer success are customer-facing in nature, sales is mostly focused on transactions and upsells, while customer success is focused on client growth and adoption.
Steps to Establish a Successful Knowledge Transfer
Define the parameters for success
An important question here is what is your customer looking to achieve with your product or service?or How does your customer define success? Before closing the deal, the sales team must have promised to meet certain expectations of the customers.
It’s important to understand what commitments were made to your customer, what products or services were sold, what timelines were set, and any other promises that were made. It is usual for new SaaS companies to commit to certain new products or features or changes in their customer success software to satisfy the prospective customer.
Suggested Reading: The Essential Guide to Choosing a Customer Success Platform
Understand the Compelling Event and Timeline
It is important that both the teams understand the compelling event and timeline for each of their customers. Transferring knowledge about specific details around the compelling event and timeline will help set proper expectations for customer success.
During the sales process, this was likely an important focus to ensure the contract was signed with plenty of time so the implementation could be completed prior to the compelling event or timeline. Make sure your knowledge transfer includes a compelling event and timeline.
Know Your Customer’s Pain Points
These issues are the things that influence the customer’s decision to buy. Unearth the customer’s problems and pain and you will discover their hot buttons. Then present how your product or service will solve those problems, and you will be pushing those hot buttons.
You need the answers to questions like, why did your customer actually buy your solution in the first place? What were their hot buttons or pain points? What did they absolutely love about your solution or services offered? It is indeed a tedious task and if something goes wrong in the process, make sure to confront the customer immediately and make the situation right.
Put the right tools and processes in place
Getting 100% adoption for any product is nearly impossible. In fact, it’s a challenge. In order to reduce time to adoption, a sharing tool can be used to interact and explore knowledge.
Many teams are already using Slack. Also, Donut can be set to pair new teammates together every one-to-four weeks for quick virtual get-togethers or chats. The way we see it, it’s the virtual coffee break!
Bonus Tip: How to calculate the adoption rate and its impact on customer LTV?
Best Practices for knowledge transfer from sales to customer success
If your customer success rep doesn’t follow up on the promises your salesperson made, it will result in a bad impact on your relationship with the customer. Let us look at some best practices to help your company successfully transfer knowledge from sales to customer success.
Build Trust Between Teams
To successfully transfer knowledge from sales to customer success, reps from both teams have to work together closely. One great way to accomplish this is by pairing reps together.
Your sales team will learn how to warm customers up for the next stage of their journey, while your customer success team will learn the best ways to further the promises and vision laid out by sales reps.
Align Your Goals
For sales and customer success managers to properly align their teams and for this, they must first agree on mutual goals.
Your customer success team is most likely responsible for customer retention and satisfaction, while sales are responsible for, well, sales. These conflicting goals can prevent the two departments from working as a team if approached with the wrong mindset.
Ask questions to your sales team
Knowledge must be transferred early and often. However, as your business starts to scale it is very important to have a list of questions documented so that these insights are not lost or forgotten.
Sales teams need to provide Customer Success teams with a knowledge transfer framework that captures all the information that was gathered during the buying process.
Important questions that should be asked by CS Team
- Is there anything unique about this agreement?
- How will the customer be evaluating the success of our product?
- What was the customer’s motivation for buying our product? Will our product be replacing an existing solution?
- Was an onboarding/ training schedule or format discussed?
- Does the customer have an idea of how our product will fit into their existing workflows?
So, if you’re in the Customer Success team, start building relations with the Sales team. No one knows the customer better than the Sales team. The sales team was the one to explain to the client why your product is the best one, but it’s now the Customer Success Team’s job to keep assuring that it’s still the best product.