Today, the sales process doesn’t end when a prospect signs a contract. In fact, the moment a brand new customer comes on board, the beginning of a whole new sales process starts — the road toward cross-selling and upselling.
At Totango’s Customer Success Summit, some of the best minds in sales, services, and the overlap between the two functions converged this week in San Francisco. The conversation on day one of the event centered around what “customer success” really means, what it’s worth to an organization, and how to get it right.
Whether you work for a high-growth technology startup, an enterprise behemoth, or a company that’s somewhere in between, the following insights on customer success will inspire you to reevaluate how you manage your customers’ happiness.
1) “Customer success is not about support. It’s not about being reactive — it’s about being proactive.” – Guy Nirpaz, CEO and founder of Totango
2) “The best way to talk to your prospects is through the success of your customers.” –Alex Bard, CEO of Campaign Monitor
3) “Focus on Monthly Active Users [MAU] and NPS, and churn will probably take care of itself.” – Jay Simons, president of Atlassian
4) “How do you get a salesperson invested in retention? What we’ve found works for our salespeople is that for every client that terminates they don’t get that account replaced for a year — so that’s one less client they have to sell to.” – Mari-Frances Bentvelzen, senior director of client success at Concur
5) “Support the customer or there will be no customer to support.” – Alex Bard, CEO of Campaign Monitor
6) “Start with the buying journey as opposed to your sales process. The best place to start is your buyers’ perception of where they want to go.” – Mark Roberge, chief revenue officer at HubSpot
7) “Customer success is a mindset, not an organization.” – Tom Weeks, VP of customer success and digital strategy at Apigee
8) “Every single person should be thinking customer-first, whether you’re in Marketing, Finance, Procurement; whether you’re doing front-end code [or] back-end code.” Matt Oxley, co-founder and VP of customer success at Opal Labs
9) “It’s important to activate or mobilize your promoters– there are opportunities to leverage them for sales and marketing. Make sure they know you love them.” – Evan Klein, founder and president of Satrix
10) “Culture building is one of the most important aspects of a voice of the customer program. You want everybody thinking ‘What can I do to put our customer first?'” –Evan Klein, founder and president of Satrix
11) “The most interesting information is the negative feedback.” – David Apple, director of customer success at Typeform, on customer NPS surveys
12) “I am all for creating happy customers, but I can tell you for a fact that I have sat down with customers and they’ve said positive things … and then a few months after, they churn. So happiness isn’t everything.” – Sandeep Menon, VP of customer success at Sefaira
13) “Happiness and retention don’t necessarily correlate with success.” – Mark Roberge, chief revenue officer at HubSpot
14) “It’s sure a lot more cost-effective to retain customers than to acquire new customers.” – Matt Rosenberg, chief revenue officer at Eventbrite
15) “One size doesn’t fit all in customer support. You need to give your customer service reps the ability to shift how they act depending on who they’re talking to.” – Leyla Seka, SVP and general manager of Salesforce’s Desk.com
16) “If you are focused on value creation, customer success ends up being a revenue generator rather than a cost center.” – Sandeep Menon, VP of customer success at Sefaira