TSE 526: How to Build a Sales Team that Contributes to Long-Term Customer Success

Mark Ripley, Insightly, Donald Kelly, The Sales Evangelist Podcast Sometimes we tend to overlook the impact of treating our customers right when in fact it’s one of the most critical things to having long-term customer success. Your customers should not merely be transactional.

Today’s guest is Mark Ripley and shares with us great insights into building that long-term customer success. Mark runs sales for Insightly, which builds CRM tools for small to medium-sized businesses. Insightly was recently named #1 CRM for small businesses by Entrepreneur Magazine.

Here are the highlights of my conversation with Mark:

Why you need to have a long-term view of client success:

  • The customer has become the bigger king because it’s now easier for them to switch to other brands.
  • Building that customer loyalty to your company and the value you bring is critical.

Common problems with customer success:

  1. Communication between sales and customer support.

Put a lot of energy upfront into building that process. Customers should never know the difference that they’re already going from sales to CS so they will have a wonderful experience all the way through.

Strategies to smoothly hand-off your customer from sales to CS:

  1. For the velocity play.
  • Figure out what information is really critical for CS to have to ensure wonderful customer experience.
  • Narrow it down to the key core things that’s realistic for sales to put into the CRM system and what’s really mission-critical for the CS person to have.
  • Warm hand-off. There should be a minimum of email introduction from the sales rep to the CS rep.
  1. For larger deals with more complex needs.

Pre-sale: Think about bringing CS in pre-sale. You want to bring a CS leader or manager to come in and walk them through that to give them a high degree of confidence. Then ask your customers what success looks like for them. This assures them that you have a legit process.

Post-sale: Every 90 days, the CS person and the sales rep will reconnect and get together on the phone to figure out and track things. This is also a great way to unveil up-sell opportunities.

The Red Carpet Treatment

Give your customer the red carpet treatment throughout the sales process. Keep making them feel amazing.

The Concept of Perceived Value

People’s perception of you can go a long way. So you have to be able to create that perception to your prospects in a way that they want to do business with you and that you care about them. Create whatever you like in terms of that perceived value.

How to help your sales team have a long-term vision of client success:

  1. Create a “tiger” team focused on improving customer experience.

Their whole mission is to find solutions to constantly improve the customer experience so it gets better and better over time.

  1. Set up a great sales structure that gives inherent motivation for the sales rep.

At Insightly, when an account executive signs a new customer, they get to keep the customer so if they buy again in the future, they come back to that account executive.

  1. Leverage relationships.

Build a relationship. Build trust. Understand your customer and leverage that so the customer continues to have an even more amazing experience.

Balancing new business and current customers:

  1. Have very clear role definitions.

Build those role definitions based on what your goals are.

  1. Set roles that are very specific to different functions.
  2. Communication.
  • Have a CRM that allows a very consistent way to communicate so the communication transfers between the two parties in a seamless, effective way.
  • Set expectations. 95% of problems or challenges can be traced all the way back to misaligned expectations due to lack of communication.

Mark’s Major Takeaway:

Focus on people first. Hire the right people. Set the roles the right way and make sure they’re in a place where they can continually grow. Set those up and empower them and that’s the key to building long-term growth-oriented teams.

Episode Resources:

Connect with Mark Ripley through email at mark@insightly.com.

Insightly

The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho

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