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16 April 2018

Sales And Customer Success Alignment For B2B SaaS

by Ross Fulton Reading time: 3 mins

Accidents happen at intersections…

…and 100% of the accidents that cause customer and revenue churn in your B2B SaaS business happen at intersections that exist in your customer journey.

There is one particular intersection that, if allowed to exist, is the most dangerous and will cause the most churn in your B2B SaaS business.

That’s an intersection separating your Sales team and your Customer Success team at the point of customer acquisition.

Why is an intersection between Sales and Customer Success so dangerous for a B2B SaaS company?

Without Sales and Customer Success alignment, your organization is putting the most critical phase of the customer journey at risk: the first 90 day postsale period.

What happens or, as importantly, doesn’t happen in the first 90 days of the customer’s lifetime has a profound impact on the likelihood of:

  1. The customer churning or reducing their subscription/consumption
  2. The customer progressing to be a successful customer that is likely to expand their investment in your solution.

We need to ensure your customer realizes as much measurable value as possible during this 90 day period. We need to achieve at least one pre-agreed and measurable Value-based Outcome in that 90 day period.

How do we make an intersection separating Sales and Customer Success safer?

To ensure safe passage of new customers into your Customer Success team and towards that first Value-based Outcome, Sales must provide Customer Success with clear and immediate access to complete data about the new customer as well as key customer relationships.

Having walls across the intersection blocking access to this data and these relationships OR gaping holes into which the data and the relationships can fall into, creates huge risk to the objective of retaining and expanding that customer across their lifetime.

Make sure all data required by Customer Success to ensure a successful first 90 days is:

  1. Fully documented by your Sales team
  2. Is available in a system or format that Customer Success can access and utilize
  3. Drives a seamless extension of customer relationships from Sales to Customer Success

This will make the intersection a lot safer…

…but why not go one step further?

Remove the intersection entirely. Collaborate on your organization’s pre-sales processes to achieve Sales and Customer Success alignment.

Empower Customer Success to partner with your Sales team and your prospects to ensure that all the data and relationships needed to execute the seamless transition of prospect to successful customer are in place BEFORE the clock starts ticking.

By doing this, you can create a great momentum in the later stages of your sales process to not only achieve and accelerate a Win. By successfully achieving Sales and Customer alignment, your organization can then ensure and accelerate the achievement of the first critical milestone in the customer’s journey: their first Value-based Outcome.

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!