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    This Summer, Customer Success May Be The Most Important Thing You Can Focus On

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    Here in Sweden, we’re just past our annual holiday of Midsommar (Midsummer), which we celebrated on June 25. This is one of our biggest holidays, and we usually celebrate with family and friends, often in the countryside.

    It marks when the weather is finally warming up here, and our days have grown quite long - in fact, in Stockholm, Midsummer Day is more than 18 hours long and in the northern part of the country, the sun doesn’t go down at all.

    For most of the Northern hemisphere, even those with shorter longest days, this is the time of year when fruits and vegetables start ripening and outdoor feasts are common - such as on July 4 in the United States. It’s a time for enjoying the summer harvest.

    For companies heading deeper into the summer of 2022, this summer is a critical time to take a look at how you are onboarding and managing your existing accounts. Are you giving them the “fruit” you promised when you sold them your product or service? And are you, in turn, harvesting all of the “fruit” that the customer has to offer?

    Why you absolutely must invest in customer success this summer

    Most experts agree that we are headed toward a recession, and some companies are responding by cutting costs in advance. This may be the worst possible thing you can do.

    Instead, smart businesses are checking their metaphorical boats for leaks and preparing for the storm in an intelligent, strategic manner. Your new and existing customers are one of the most important resources your company has. If they leave during the recession, you have a big problem. On the other hand, if you manage your customer success process successfully, you can shore up existing revenue and drive additional revenue from that basis.

    Here’s what you should be doing to prepare your customer success process this summer.

    Connect the sale with onboarding

    Too often, the sales team throws sales “over the fence” for the customer success team to catch, more or less blind. Instead, equip your sales team to hand the baton to the customer success team smoothly and effectively, with all of the information they need including:

    • Why they bought the service/product
    • The problems they’re trying to solve
    • Who their key stakeholders are
    • Who they have been speaking with, so channels of communication can remain open
    • What promises were made during the sales process
    • The key success metrics that will make them happy

    Equip your customer success team for success

    I talk a lot about using a dynamic sales process, but it’s just as important for your customer success team to have an effective process, with stages and milestones and steps and checklists.

    Manage your customer success process successfully to keep customers through rough times.

    Like the sales process, this process should map to the customer’s needs, and guide them through everything they need to onboard with you in a seamless way. At Membrain, we offer our Clearpath Promise, a structured onboarding process that guarantees the customer a fixed price, a well executed integration into our system, and a sensible timeline.

    Our customer success advocates walk new Clearpath customers through every step of our process, from gathering their requirements and importing their data to customization, data review, tailored configuration, admin and user training, and going live. We check in with the promises that were made during the sales process, and ensure that the customer’s experience matches the expectations set by the sales team.

    'Once customers are onboarded, your customer success process should, at minimum, include regular check-ins to ensure they’re happy and that the product or service is meeting their needs. This should be integrated with your account management and account growth processes. In tough times, this becomes even more important as you strive to retain customers and grow your revenue with them.

    Ideally, this process should also have stages, milestones, steps, and checklists.

    The Membrain Account Growth Module is the perfect platform for ensuring customer success

    Membrain’s account growth module is the best platform on the market for account management and helping customers grow. But did you know that it’s also ideal for managing the new customer onboarding process and ensuring customer success?

    We use it internally for exactly that, for executing on our Clearpath Promise. We’re planning some new updates that will make it even more powerful as a customer success tool (look for those announcements later this year).

    First and foremost, the Membrain Account Growth module enables you to hand data over from sales to customer success in a smooth, complete, and sensible manner. Everything the customer success advocate needs in order to help the customer is available and organized in a manner that enables them to immediately start meeting the customer’s needs.

    Then it guides the customer success advocate through the process in the same way that our other modules guide the sales team. Checklists are built in so that no steps are missed, helping to ensure timelines are met and the onboarding process is smooth for the customer.

    Finally, the account growth module visualizations enable customer success advocates to easily see which accounts require attention, which could use some nurturing, and which ones are ready to grow. You can see what each stakeholder expects, and who they have been working with. And you can use it to create account plans and to collaborate with other team members on each step and milestone.

    This summer, celebrate the season by investing in the fruits of your company’s labor. Strengthen the way you onboard and grow with your customers, and you’ll be able to celebrate each success for a long time to come.

    George Brontén
    Published July 6, 2022
    By George Brontén

    George is the founder & CEO of Membrain, the Sales Enablement CRM that makes it easy to execute your sales strategy. A life-long entrepreneur with 20 years of experience in the software space and a passion for sales and marketing. With the life motto "Don't settle for mainstream", he is always looking for new ways to achieve improved business results using innovative software, skills, and processes. George is also the author of the book Stop Killing Deals and the host of the Stop Killing Deals webinar and podcast series.

    Find out more about George Brontén on LinkedIn