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12 May 2018

Integrating Customer Success and Sales

by Ross Fulton Reading time: 2 mins

I recently had the privilege of leading a discussion with over 50 Customer Success and Sales professionals in Vancouver, Canada on the question of whether there’s a Great Divide between Customer Success and Sales.

Spoiler alert: most B2B SaaS companies have not yet integrated their Customer Success and Sales teams, but are eager to close the gap. The good news? There are dozens of companies that are successfully bridging the divide between these customer-facing teams. For example, here’s how Gainsight is closing the gap between Customer Success, Sales, Product, and Marketing.

It was an amazing discussion. Here are my top three takeaways from the event: 

Key Takeaways On Bridging The Divide Between Customer Success and Sales

Takeaway #1:  A divide between Customer Success and Sales is not a question, but a fact. There is a strategic, operational and personal divide between these two critical motions in the majority of B2B SaaS companies.

Takeaway #2:  There is no one single silver bullet or magic formula for integrating Customer Success and Sales in all B2B SaaS companies.

  • Company growth stage
  • Prioritization of top line growth or profitability
  • The value drivers in your subscription model
  • Market type
  • Product/solution complexity

These are just some of the strategic variables that will determine the right approach to integrating Customer Success and Sales in your company.

Takeaway #3: While there’s no single magic formula, there are several key strategic components applicable to all B2B SaaS companies that should be assessed and realigned to unite Customer Success and Sales:

  • Incentivization models
  • Role definitions
  • Access to data
  • Ideal Buyer versus Ideal Customer Profiles
  • The usage of systems and technology

This last point I see as a big new risk. With the explosion of Customer Success technology vs Sales technology, you must make sure your CS and Sales teams aren’t creating or worsening silos by unnecessarily using separate technology to drive their processes.

In summary, reducing the divide between Customer Success and Sales is a multi-dimensional, long-term program that requires effort and investment. However, with the right focus and approach, integrating Customer Success and Sales is well within reach.

For more insights on how to integrate your Customer Success and Sales teams, browse our extensive content library. If your software company is ready to unite all of your customer-facing teams, we’re here to help.

Ross Fulton

Prior to founding Valuize, Ross spent over 16 years growing software companies and their partners in go-to-market strategy, sales engineering and customer success leadership roles on both sides of the Atlantic. An Englishman by birth but not by nature…he’ll take an espresso over tea every time!