Imagine you’re a customer. A salesperson has lavished attention on you and your every need. As a result, you’ve made a purchase. Now, you’re ready to use the new product, and you’re looking forward to seeing if it lives up to the hype. But what happens next? Do you continue to get the same level of attention from that company’s customer success (CS) team? Or does communication slow or stop?
As you can see from the customer’s perspective, the attention you offer after a sale is completed is just as important as the attention you show during the sales process. This makes the sales to customer success handoff a critical moment that can determine whether or not you retain a customer.
Why the Sales to Customer Success Handoff Matters
What the customer experiences during the sales to customer success handoff is determined by your ability to share information across internal teams. The CS team must have a detailed record of all customer interactions so they can provide informed support and make relevant recommendations. Do it right and you can make a great impression on the customer, forging a strong relationship that could last a lifetime.
Offering customers a smooth transitional experience is an enterprise-wide effort. It requires clear and easy communication channels between sales and customer success. And these communication channels must include everyone else within the organization too, as CS teams usually collaborate with 90% of the other teams within a business.
But why is a seamless transition so important? A customer should never have to repeat their story. Nothing feels more frustrating or impersonal than being transferred from one team member to another and having to repeat oneself again and again. Make sure everyone in the organization has access to a customer’s history so that any member will be able to review all touchpoints and customer data with context. This enables you to assist customers faster and more effectively.
Best Practices for the Sales to Customer Success Handoff
By aligning the efforts of the customer success team, sales, and the rest of the organization, you can deliver a seamless experience customers will love and remember—until renewal time and beyond.
Tested methods shown to ease the transition from sales to onboarding include:
- Document everything. The sales team sets customer expectations early, so make sure you document every promise and communication your sales team makes. This makes it easier to prevent any miscommunications or broken promises. Also, this creates a detailed record in case customers return to the sales stage in the future, such as for expansion or an upsell opportunities.
- Implement a repeatable handoff process. This standardizes the handoff for all customers and makes it easier for team members to provide strong support.
- Establish inter-team workflows. Create workflows that span both the sales and CS teams. This ensures all tasks are delegated and that every team member knows their role.
- Add event-initiated triggers. You should watch for any customer behavior that indicates they may be having trouble moving from the sales stage to onboarding, such as little to no engagement with team members or the product. The best way to do this is to create automatic triggers that fire when a specific behavior is exhibited. These triggers will send CS team members notifications so they can take action immediately.
- Collect customer data. Gather data about the customer, their business, and goals at all stages of the customer journey. This enables you to separate customers into segments—groups that share similar characteristics—which makes it easier to provide personalized support.
- Make all information available and accessible. Give your entire organization a fast and easy way to access relevant information as they guide customers through onboarding and adoption. All team members must have a customer’s information handy to make informed decisions and offer effective engagements. Use a tool that eliminates barriers and streamlines customer data across teams.
To carry out all of these methods, you’re going to need the right software. Software that gives both Sales and CS teams the ability to immediately add and access notes from every team member’s customer interactions. It must bring all customer data into one universally accessible interface.
Deliver a Flawless Experience throughout the Customer Journey
Your CS team is talented. Your entire organization is dedicated to customer success. But what’s the next step? Use a customer success platform to optimize all of your sales to onboarding initiatives.
The right customer success platform will identify changes in customer behavior and utilize an early warning system, ensuring no customer is ignored. It offers immediate access to client info and data pulled from every source. This way, all customer data is stored in one location, and it’s easy to share information across the entire enterprise. A CS platform makes it easy to set goals, create actionable steps, and evaluate your results. The right customer success platform has a fast time to value, yielding results in just a few months.
With this kind of software, you can provide the same level of attention given during the sales stage throughout the entire customer journey—a difference customers will feel.
Totango can help you support and engage every customer as they move through the customer journey. Request a demo today to establish seamless transitions during the sales to customer success handoff. To learn how it can help you improve customer success handoffs, explore Spark.