Love Your Customers by Specializing Your Sales Team

Everyone has heard the age old adage that it costs less to keep the customers you have than it does to acquire new ones.  That is true on multiple levels. First, there’s the cost of getting someone to buy your product or service in the first place, or the “cost of acquisition.”  Then there’s the cost of unhappy customers spreading negative word-of-month that turns one lost customer into several very quickly.

It’s a wonder then that so many companies fail to staff and train sufficient account management and/or customer service people to ensure existing customer happiness and success.  Too many companies assume that salespeople are properly motivated to manage customers after the sale is made, but just the opposite is true.

Salespeople are paid commissions to keep them focused on one thing – selling.  But if the only tool they have is a hammer every problem looks like a nail.  Meaning, if they are compensated to sell then that’s what they are going to do.  You want salespeople swinging their hammer at customer problems when appropriate, but most problems post-sale require a less blunt object.  Account managers, customer service reps, technical support, etc should use a different set of tools and be compensated on metrics that measure resulting customer satisfaction, like retention and churn.  Only when customer problems require a hammer does the salesperson get called back in to nail the deal!

At SalesCrunch, we have a very highly specialized sales organization broken down into three groups.  All three groups wear the “Customer Success” moniker regardless of what role they play in the customer life cycle as a reminder of their #1 priority.  Here’s how the groups breakdown:

  1. Customer Success Consultants. Our consultants are 100% focused on qualifying prospective customers to ensure there is a good mutual fit. They schedule a meeting with our Customer Success Managers if, and only if, our platform alleviates at least one big pain for them.
  2. Customer Success Managers. Our managers take handoffs from our consultants, drill down into customers’ deepest, darkest problems and demonstrate the aspects of our platform that can help them the most. They then manage the entire customer procurement process until an agreement is signed.
  3. Customer Success Specialists. New customers are immediately assigned a Customer Success Specialist who does 1-on-1 training with each and every individual user to get their account setup and run them through the platform until they are 100% confortable before the first time they use it with a customer.  Our business and enterprise customers often have dozens or hundreds of individual users, so this is no small feat. Our specialists also provide ongoing support to customers.

By specializing our team, all three groups are super focused, motivated and compensated to ensure their part of the customer experience is the best that it can be.  It also makes them highly efficient by eliminating context switching between prospecting, qualifying, selling and servicing customers, all of which require very different skill sets in our opinion.

This is one of many posts I will do around the benefits of specializing your sales team, so stay tuned.

27 more posts to go in my 30 posts in 30 days challenge.


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