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The Handoff: From Sales to Customer Success

Making the sale is a celebratory moment. However, you can’t let the wind out of your sail by slacking off on the next steps. A great customer experience is predicated on a smooth handoff from the sales team to the customer success management (CSM) team. This transition is crucial to establishing trust with the customer and outlining a path to mutual success. Here we break down the top tips to help you seamlessly transition customers from the sale to your customer success management team.

 

The first step is defining what success looks like for your customers. When customers feel like their needs are not being met, there’s a misunderstanding of information, lack of communication, or even mistaken accountability, the customer-company relationship starts to fall apart. Invest the time to collaboratively discuss and set expectations between the CSM and the customer. Expert CSMs will provide visual and written information and an engagement timeline to ensure customers receive the support they need at every touchpoint along the customer journey.

 

Transparent communication – both internally and externally – is essential to providing customers with a seamless transition post-sale. Our second tip for a successful handoff is team communication. If your company doesn’t already have an internal communications strategy for sharing product updates, brainstorming solutions, or celebrating milestones, now is the time to develop and select the processes, teams, and tools that will enhance your communications efforts.

 

The third tip for engineering a great handoff is to host a kickoff meeting. This meeting between t he customer and CSM helps customers understand how to start using the product or service you sold them and also provides an opportunity to address the customer’s performance measurement and reporting needs. You might want to provide company playbooks, tutorials, and guides to succinctly explain all this information.

 

In the kickoff meeting, you mutually established the metrics used to track performance success. An essential component of that is deciding which technology you’ll use to track touchpoints in the customer journey experience and which tasks will be completed in the handoff process. A CRM software is the industry-preferred method of tracking engagement along the customer journey. This will help you efficiently document and automate some steps in the journey, further increasing CSM productivity and improving outcomes.

 

Our final tip is to ensure your internal teams are aligned on strategy and goals. Your salesperson and CSM will work in close collaboration to identify prospects and close the deal, but it doesn’t end there. Sales and customer success each have their own individual responsibilities and performance metrics to manage and hit, but you’ll want to incentivize them to work together throughout the onboarding process to ensure better customer outcomes and retention rates.

 

You’ve already spent valuable time and resources going out and acquiring a new customer – don’t drop the ball on the crucial post-sale handoff. Identifying and closing the customer is only the beginning of your relationship with them. Implement these five tips to make the onboarding and adoption process simple and straightforward for your customers.

 

ServiceSource is a leading global provider of exceptional B2B customer journey experiences. Contact us today to learn how we can improve the post-sale handoff and transform your customer relationships.

Nick Herff

Author

Nick Herff