Apr 2, 2021

6 min

How Sales, Product, and Marketing Use a Customer Success Software

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The Ripple Effect of Customer Success Software

When you contain the idea of and responsibility for Customer Success to a single department, it’s like a drop in the ocean. However valiant your efforts might be, the ocean (and your organization) is too big for you to make a transformative impact on your own.

To spread Customer Success everywhere, you need to make a ripple. You can think of Customer Success software as the pebble that courses energy and customer insights throughout your organization.

Customer Success software gives departments access to customer data they never before had – shining a light on who your customers are, what your customers need and want, where your customers are in their journey, how your customers use your product and make decisions, and why your customers keep coming back, or not.

In this article, we look at how three teams that have a major role in shaping the customer experience – sales, product, and marketing – can use Customer Success software to level up their game and drive success.

How Sales Benefits from Customer Success Software

Get tighter industry focus

Using Customer Success software, Sales teams can easily see the customer type or industry in which current customers have renewed and are forecasted to renew. They can then prioritize outreach to prospective accounts in these high potential segments that have shown the best product-market fit and contributed the highest predictable revenue.

To strengthen sales territory planning, sales teams can use customer health scores, which measure a customer’s product engagement, satisfaction, and renewal likelihood, to help define the organization’s ideal customer profile. Customer Success software allows teams to automate, adjust, and monitor multiple scoring models at a time based on customer segments, lifecycle stages, and situational factors.


Find more relevant customer references

Since Customer Success software manages all your customer data in one place, sales teams can quickly find customer references for specific use cases. Teams can search for their ideal customer profile using a combination of account attributes, such as a company’s firmographics (industry, size, funding, location), technographics (current tech stack and integrations), and product usage (features, functionality, frequency). To verify that an account is still in good standing, teams can easily check a customer’s health scores, survey responses, and financials from within the platform.

With the ability to log activity on customer accounts, sales teams can monitor how often they call on a reference to make sure they don’t overuse these valuable advocates, as well as track which references actually convert prospects.


Give customers realistic timelines, every time

Once stats get handed down and passed around, they’re bound to skew over time – whether it’s the result of a slight embellishment here, some padding there, or incremental changes in internal processes that render it outdated and inaccurate. Or it could be that the data was unknowingly based on anomalies, outliers, or subsets that don’t reflect the average.

During sales pitches, discrepancies between what’s said and what’s real in terms of getting customers implemented and live often leads to overpromising (and headaches for CSM’s down the line). You don’t want to aggravate or disappoint your new customer before they even start using your product.

Since ChurnZero tracks the entire customer journey down to task-level detail, Sales teams can find the average onboarding duration among all accounts or by targeting account attributes, such as industry or license count for more precise specifications.


Surface every expansion opportunity with ease

To increase expansion opportunities, renewal teams can pair customer data – both quantitative (product usage and service utilization) and qualitative (relationship quality and satisfaction) – with automation to trigger personalized communications (in-app messages, product walkthroughs, and emails) that target the right customers, at the right time, with the most relevant upsell offers.

Renewal teams can also create more accurate expansion forecasting and reporting using customer health scores to predict the likelihood that a customer expands – allowing them to better prioritize their pipeline.


How Marketing Benefits from Customer Success Software

Automate requests for online reviews and referrals

Marketing teams can increase their chances of receiving raving customer reviews or a referral by perfectly timing their request. Using automated playbooks, you can trigger an email to ask for an online review or referral after a customer leaves a positive Net Promoter Score® (NPS) – allowing you to capitalize on the moments when a customer is most primed to spread your good wood. 

Sales can also use customer review data to see which customers have engaged with a campaign and left a positive review to target prospects with similar attributes.


Find customer use cases for every case study

Using Customer Success software, marketing teams can easily source customers for case studies without having to ask or rely on the Customer Success team for input.

Teams can start their customer search using baseline requirements for candidate consideration, such as a customer’s health score (is it in the “green,” aka healthy?), tenure (have they been a customer for at least nine months?), product usage (is the account above 80% license utilization?), and CSM sentiment (does the customer have sentiment score of four out of five?). From there, teams can narrow their results by searching for use case specifications such as industry, size, and product/feature.

Once a candidate is selected, to help prepare for case study interviews, marketing teams can view an account’s logged activity and key details to get quickly get up to speed on their history.


Reinforce marketing content in your application

Most marketing teams rely on email to reach their customers – whether they’re promoting new content, webinars, or events. To complement their outreach efforts, teams can use a centralized Success Panel, which lives within their own applications, to reach customers when they’re actively using their product. Customers can open the Success Panel (which first displays as a small icon similar to a chatbot) to engage with the content or message you’ve sent.


How Product Benefits from Customer Success Software

Know your customer beyond their persona

 Acting as the single source of truth for your customer data, Customer Success software offers product teams a deep and intimate understanding of their customers so they can build the best possible experiences for them. Product teams get detailed insight into how customers use and feel about their product and can segment customers into specific groups to power targeted engagements and reporting.

Using pre-built and custom dashboards to track product usage, teams can easily analyze trends and identify opportunities for product enhancements. They can also create alerts to notify them about significant customer behavior, such as when customers start using a new or updated feature.

 
Reach customers when they’re most engaged

 In-App Communications allow product teams to communicate with customers from directly within their application – increasing their likelihood to engage and take action in the moment. Product teams can use In-App Communications and WalkThroughs (multi-step guides in your application) to introduce new customers to your app, highlight new features, or simply display content to the right person at the ideal time. In-App Communications can be tailored by customer segments, which allows you to contextualize guidance based on a customer’s role, tenure, product proficiency, or use case.

 
Improve your product with direct customer feedback

 Surveys give product teams invaluable information about their customers’ experience and help them identify any pain points or opportunities for product enhancements that customers may not take the initiative to share on their own. Customer Success platforms with integrated surveying capabilities allow teams to easily solicit feedback to measure customer sentiment and satisfaction with your product, as well as stay abreast of and adapt to evolving customer needs.

Teams can deploy popular survey types such as Customer Effort Score (CES) and Customer Satisfaction (CSAT) surveys to better understand customer satisfaction rates and product ease of use, as well as NPS surveys to identify product promoters who are likely to recommend your product. Product teams expand their perspective and problem-solving abilities with a greater exposure to and understanding of the customer experience.

 
Don’t Boil the Organizational Ocean

 When other departments outside of Customer Success don’t prioritize or understand your customer, you boil the ocean trying to become a “customer-centric” company. It takes a company-wide effort to put the customer at the center. Customer Success cannot (and should not) carry the customer experience on their back. An organization where every department prioritizes the customer will always be greater than an organization with only a part that does. Customer Success software democratizes your customer data – allowing every department to make better, more informed decisions with the customer at the center.


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Fighting Churn is a newsletter of inspiration, ideas and news on customer success, churn, renewal and other stuff and is curated by ChurnZero

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