• Chandramouli (CM)

Should Customer Success Do Sales Enablement ?

Absolutely Yes – Customer Success should own and perform Sales Enablement activities.

Customer Success should own and perform Sales Enablement activities

Read on if you want to know the top 5 reasons why Customer Success should take ownership of Sales Enablement.

Most companies have Sales Enablement/Sales Engineer role as part of the Product/ Support teams. The reporting bias inherent in this model diminishes the effectiveness of the role. More often than not product focused sales engineers become too nerdy during demos and losing track of the key objective, i.e., selling.

If you do a quick recall of your colleagues in Sales function, you can classify them under the following groups

1) Pre-Sales – Lead Generation through cold calling, emailing, web/event generated lead follow-ups, etc.

2) New Business Sales – Business Development Managers, Sales Executives focused on acquiring new customers

3) Sales Operations – Provide sales operations support for the teams. Activities include territory assignment, quota setup, CRM metrics, and dashboards. You find these type of groups in large enterprises

4) Account Managers – Account executives, relationship managers focused on creating on-going subscription value and own renewal. Most often they are also responsible for account growth

5) Customer Success – New Kid in the block (Started by SF.com in 2007) group that helps in onboarding, training, churn prediction and NPS

There will be a high degree of variability of how the groups structured within companies.

Now the big question, Where is “Sales Enablement”?

Sales enablement/Sales Engineer role is most often one person or a small team. The primary goal of sales enablement is to the help “Sales teams sell better.” Investment in this role will pay-off with increased productivity (Higher Revenue).

Sales Enablement teams typically need to understand the product, customer & sales process. Sales engineers need to have really good knowledge of

  • Product – Understand the product features and workflows, ability to perform product demos

  • Customer – Buyer persona and priorities, reasons for the purchase of technology, the definition of success

  • Sales Process – Understand deal process, various roles, and their objectives

Now, if you map the sales engineer role requirements to various groups, the best team to perform this activity is Customer Success. Here are the five reasons

1) Customer Success teams understand the customer requirements and workflows as they operate with onboarding activities

2) Customer Success teams understand the top reasons why existing customers use the product. Product utilization metrics tracking helps in knowing the reasons

3) Customer Success teams also know the top reasons why customers churn, i.e., they understand the limitations and also the challenges of the product

4) Customer Success teams also understand Success Stories. Customer success has good visibility of CSAT and NPS scores. Most often great marketing stories originate from these highly satisfied customers

5) Lastly, Customer Success team also interface with the sales process. Depending on sales process being high touch or low touch, Customer success teams will have a role to play in understanding the lead gen, prospecting and deal closure cycle

How is sales enablement role structured in your company ? Feel free to share your thoughts (Needless to say - Please abide by your companies confidentiality terms)

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