Sales to Customer Success: Partnering through the Handoff

Have you ever bought a product and immediately regretted it? I’m sure it’s not just me. We’ve all done it. It’s part of being a typical consumer. Luckily, in the SaaS world, there is a process that if fine-tuned, can prevent this from happening to our new clients.

Let me introduce the Sales to Customer Success Handoff.

It’s imperative that sales and CS are able to work together so that every handoff can be seamless, efficient, and productive for the new client.

The Customer Success Leader Podcast recently interviewed Josh Fedie who had a lot of great things to say about the sales to CS handoff. One of the points he really emphasized is that the experience you give your brand-new clients is so critical. The company’s growth and the overall satisfaction of the client are dependent on it.

Listen to the full episode here:

Buyers remorse is a real thing even in the SaaS world. When a customer signs on and you, as the CSM, have the opportunity to speak to them for the first time, make the first experience a a memorable one.

Basically, make sure they get off your first call/meeting knowing they made the right decision.

One of the best ways to make a the first call/meeting memorable is to go in with lots of knowledge about the client. This can be done by collaborating with the sales rep before the call.

By doing this, you accomplish two important things that every CSM should have as a priority.

  1. You create a good, collaborative relationship with the sales team.
  2. You become more knowledgeable about your clients needs, positioning yourself as a Trusted Advisor rather than just a typical “Account Manager” (more on this in a later post).

When speaking with the sales team before your initial call with the new client, here are some questions to consider:

  • Are we replacing an existing solution or is this a new tool for them?
  • Who are the key stakeholders? Are there any personality stand points I should be aware of?
  • Were any additional line items added to the contract that I should be aware of?
  • What problems is the client trying to solve?
  • Are there any potential risks with this client that I should be aware of?

I’ve been with companies where the relationship between sales and post-sales is great and in companies where it’s not. The secret sauce for a good hand-off is open and respectful collaboration between departments, especially with management.

A strong partnership between sales and CS can make a world of difference for the company’s growth and culture.

Additional Resources