3 Benefits of a Combined Sales and Customer Success Team

By Mark Mitchell
Jul 21, 2021

One of the very first questions that a new client asks during the onboarding process is, “Where is my money going?” When time quite literally means money, it’s a fair question. But, unfortunately, for many organizations, the answer isn’t always easy to find, which can result in customer churn. Here’s why. 

In a typical marketing model, your sales team wins a new customer, gives each other a high five for closing the deal. Then they pass the newly signed client to the customer success team for client onboarding. But who monitors the post-sale success? 

Customer retention is the ultimate goal for your customer success team. A successful onboarding process can make or break a client’s decision to continue with the company. Studies show that 44 percent of companies focus on customer acquisition while only 18 percent focus on retention. For this reason, many companies now treat their sales and customer success teams as one sales powerhouse. 

Your sales team has metrics to help track the buyer’s journey, but effective customer retention also requires an onboarding system. This can provide a clear line of opportunity to not only “hook”, but also retain new customers right from the start and minimize the risk of customer churn. 


What About Customer Churn?

Churn rate is the percentage of customers that stop using these services within a specified time period. This is mostly for companies that rely on subscriber-based services models for their business. In other words, when you don’t understand why customer churn happens, it can give your business the ol’ heave ho.  

In my experience, there are two main reasons customers churn. 

  1. The client doesn’t understand your company’s product.
  2. They can’t see the value in it.

When your sales and customer success teams work together, they can create a seamless transition from acquisition to retention. They are better equipped to implement measurable features like transparency, tracking time and costs per task, and keeping a constant eye on the bottom line.

When the sales and customer success teams collaborate tasks using an automated onboarding system, your customer experiences better transparency while your team delivers optimal productivity and focus. Here’s how.   


Achieve Customer Transparency 

Your sales team establishes the customer relationship, but it needs to be nurtured throughout the duration of the customer’s relationship with your company. A recent survey found that 7 out of 10 consumers prefer working with the same representative or agent each time they interact with the company. The sooner you establish a formal plan that supports a strong relationship and ensures your client’s onboarding will stay on schedule and within budget, the easier it is to establish trust

Using an automated system that establishes different hourly rates for tasks, for instance, on a centralized platform, provides a complete view of team tasks and status updates. It also tracks the amount of time used to complete them. Studies show that over 80 percent of respondents are concerned when clients raise project status questions. But when stakeholders can check for themselves, there’s no need to shy away from those probing questions. 


Leverage Resource Management and Team Productivity

Successful onboarding requires more than just checking to-do lists and tallying completed tasks; effective resource management involves strategic forecasting, scheduling anticipated tasks, thoughtful delegating, and allocating resources for optimal efficiency. 

An automated platform seamlessly tracks the costs within the project and allows for ready access to essential information, so your entire team can get started on assigned tasks without waiting for crucial information or approval.

It also makes it easier for team members to share their tools and techniques, which can help improve everyone’s productivity—no lag time in waiting for progress reports or task completion. Organized onboarding strategies leverage your team for peak performance. 


Keep An Eye On The Big Picture

We do what we can to maintain trustworthy and productive relationships. But as we work to dazzle the client with our organizational expertise, we can’t lose sight of the big picture. Studies show that 80 percent of onboarding projects fail to meet the project’s deadline. With a robust onboarding process that monitors tasks for all members of the sales and customer success teams, those delays are avoided. 

“It’s important to gauge goals, expectations and ideal outcomes for a project, and then discuss how you’ll work together to make them actionable and achievable,” says Madeleine LaPlante-Dube. “In many cases, you’ll have to find a happy medium between what the client wants to achieve, what resources they have available and what your team’s time and efforts will allow for.”

Even if you don’t bill for time, your sales and customer success teams need to understand how much time the onboarding process is costing you. The most reliable way to track those expenses is by using a collaborative, automated system that provides precise time to value (TTV) calculations that will keep your onboarding process not only focused and on track but within budget.  

Happy customers are those who had a positive onboarding experience with a company that is prepared not just to meet but exceed their expectations. Implementing an onboarding system that aligns your sales and customer success team on a centralized platform with key features that provide interactive communication and product demos may translate into a faster customer commitment. 

Meanwhile, the onboarding process can have a direct impact on both upselling and renewal rates. When you instill trust in your product, you can help clients reach their goals with minimal effort and continue to create a new level of customer experience based on transparency, efficiency, and clearly defined goals. 



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