The Audible-Ready Sales Podcast
The Audible-Ready Sales Podcast

Episode 70 · 5 months ago

Aligning Sales with Customer Success W/ Kathleen Schindler

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

Unlock the full potential of your Customer Success teams by building alignment with your sales teams and your buyers. Kathleen Schindler, Force Management Managing Director of Customer Success, takes a deep dive on how sales and company leaders are equipping post-sale teams to execute on critical buyer outcomes.

Tune in to hear real-world examples of how these leaders enable their entire customer-facing organization to have value-based conversations that drive company-wide impacts.

Check out this and other episodes of The Audible-Ready Podcast at Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or our website.

Here are some additional resources on aligning Sales with Customer Success:

- How Sysdig Built Sales & Customer Success Alignment 

- Sysdig Customer Case Study

- Building a Culture of Buyer Alignment 

They're always thinking about the nextstep in the evolution and maturity of working with our customer. So I lovetalking about making sure the CS organization is really part of thatconversation. When you're talking about transformation and drivingeffectiveness of your customer facing organization, you're listening to the audible, ready,podcast, the show that helps you and your teams sell more faster willfeature sales leader sharing their best insights on how to create a salesengine that helps you feel repeatable revenue growth presented by the team offorce management, a leader in bt sales effect in this. Let's get started hello and welcome to the auto alreadysales podcast, I'm Rachel clapier and joining me today is Kathleen Shiler,I'm managing director of customer success, High Caplin Hi Rachel. How areyou I'm good and I'm excited for our conversation today for those of youlistening Kathleen heads up our customer success team at force,Management and Catholic. I know that...

...you're passionate about making ourcustomers successful, but today we're going to talk about sales organizationsand their own customers. Success that pivotal team. That's part of thatcustomer engagement process, as well as some best practices in getting the mostout of those teams from a leadership standpoint. It's an important topic forsure. It's actually one of the things that I love talking to customers about.It's really, you know unlocking the potential of their customer successorganizations as well, because they're, typically on an evolution themselves interms of transforming their CS organizations. You know in the past alot of sous organizations were just about support, keeping the customershappy, it's a ball to owning the renewal and then driving some expansionopportunities, whether they actually do the expansion deal themselves or atleast they hand off to the sales team. So they're always thinking about youknow the next step in the evolution and...

...maturity of their working with theircustomer. So I love talking about making sure the CS organization isreally part of that conversation. When you're talking about transformation anddriving effectiveness of your customer facing organization Yeah. Also, youknow for these companies who are becoming more mature, a lot of the hightech companies. We work with their fast growing and things change quickly, somaking sure your for lack of a better ter paying attention to how customersuccess is engaging is really important and we're in these conversationsfrequently with our customers. They know that they need to improve salesperformance to looking to train their sales teams, get that revenue up, butsometimes that power of that long term growth is really in enabling that fullcustomer engagement process, including the customer success teams. So let'stalk a little bit about how you align a sales training with that whole customerengagement process. How do you use an initiative to build this alignment fromthat pre cell to post initial sale?...

Yeah? That's a great great conversation,I think just you know, stepping back and makingsure you're framing it really approaching it from the buyerperspective that outside and approach so just making sure that that's likethe core of where you're trying to get to with your you know, saleseffectiveness and your transformations, and some people hate the term saleswhen they, when they're recurring, to see us other people are like I'm finewith it. It's great that's what we're doing. Let's be honest about it, soeverybody that's judging the customer is having those value basedconversations trying to attach the biggest business problem, and so, if we,if we're only focused on these sales transformations with like the landopportunities for the initial sale, we we kind of leave stuff on the tableessentially because, if we're taking a more uncommon approach that aligns morewith the customer outcomes like I know, typically, sales celebrates right whenthe deal poses. You know people bang...

...the gongs. If they, you know a used tobe in the office. But if we're taking an uncommonapproach and we're really aligning with the customer outcomes, we should bethinking about how do we or our organization? You know postale team,like the implement implementation team, the CS organization, if there's aseparate rool team, how are they all aligned to drive? The great outcomes ofthe customer is looking for. That's a moral uncommon approach. I would saythat we typically are. You know just trying to expand and have thoseconversations with the customers and I think, they're open to it, which isgreat and that's where we tend to see those com, companies that are taking anuncommon approach, bringing in the entire customer basing organizationinto the fold these transformations yeah. You make a good point. You knowwe're all in an opportunity to talk about by our value if we are dealingwith the customers. I work in marketing at force management, but I'm talking tocustomers all the time right. So I do...

...consider myself in sales so to speak,and if you, if you're, not able to talk about the value, you certainly can'tprovide it right. We can't provide value to our customers if we're nothaving those value based conversations so looking at it from that wholespectrum, a really provides impact for a lot of these fast growing companies.So if you, if we transition to those that buyer value and alignment, if youthink about our concept of essential questions right, what problems do yousolve? How do you sell them? Where have you done it before and what's yourproof? It's about capturing that value, you've, delivered and re reposition andto solve additional problems continue to add value, so coplen go through somebest practices. You've seen for how customer success teams are able to usethat alignment on value that value based conversation, post sale that wasarticulated before the customer even signed up yeah. I think we have a fewof those and I'm really happy to say...

...actually one of them all mentioned byname here Siste, they just announced you know new round of funding and thatyou know Plus Billion Dollar Valuation Mark. So that's awesome for them. Keganriles her Sera, but he you know recently did a testimonial for us andin that conversation, he's explicitly said: Hey having my CS team, the postsales team is part of this alignment process there everyding on the valuefor the customer. He says you know we don't miss a beat. You know when we'rebeing introduced. The CS organization is being introduced. The customer we'reall talking about the same in the same language or positive business outcomesrequired capabilities and that tricks and that's such a credible thing and tobe consistent all the way through the customer life cycle, and he even gavean example to of a customer that expanded several times within thequarter. And while the CS team didn't explicitly own that opportunity, theywere so pivotal in driving those...

...expansions with the sales GAM andmaking sure again like that. Alinement is so key, and I think I mean I justwant to compliment them and give them some Kudos. I guess they've done justgreat yeah and another one is you know another selfward company, that's acustomer of ours with their Seas Organization. They were looking to kindof Rebab and think through how we make our customer business reviews is thosequarterly business reviews that we're doing more valuable for our customers,and you know at the same time, because they're more valuable, we're talkingabout outcomes and and where they're taking their business, we're making ita differentiated experience for that because, typically, when you knowyou're sitting through a Br with a partner, it's the same kind of supportissues. Tickets, you know, feature function, conversations and if we canelevate it and bring it to the right altitude around outcomes again, it justdrives a lot more value for our customers and, in turn, like just helpsus different. The way we engage with...

...our customer, so I think that's anotherbest practice that I might call out here. Yeah. Those are some greatexamples and I think when people come come to us or if they come to anybody,even if they don't come to force Panighet, sometimes taking on thissales training initiative, you know it's a big bite. You got to be ready todo it and it's a big investment time, scope and resources. It's all involvedif you want to do the outcomes, but in some ways, depending on the structureof your company, if you don't include the customer success in building thatby our alignment, you really can do your initial. What I, what am I tryingto say, you're executing it in it halfway right, you're, not you're,already starting behind the car, because you have stopped at a criticalcom point for the buyer in that coster engagement process exactly. I know itis a bit of Cringer. Sometimes when you see that happen- and you know everybodyhas the best in ten originally when...

...they're, when they're going throughthese transformations, but we typically we do time to see. You know within aquarter a couple things tend to happen and the customer experience. Is itright the hand off between sales? And you know the post sales team is not assmooth as it should be value starting to leak out of the economat on. So itusually does you know, come up. We have those conversations, a hey. What can wedo to bolster the CS team and equip them so that they can drive? They canbe aligned and drive the best results for for your customers. So I thinkthere is a quick realization after the back, if it's not, if it's notoriginally part of you know the original transformation and engagementthat we course correct, which is totally fining and we can do it and thecustomer you know drives which is wonderful, but he'd rather plan forthat and then advance. But you know we have a saying: Do you can't tell acuster they have to reach the conclusion on on their own so h? Thisis their way of reaching that...

...conclusion. But you know what the wholething is is that the ces organizations, if you think about like previousinvestment, just in sales teams right like so much investment, goes into thesales teams. The SE teams, yes, ses organization, it like in the past, has been a little bit.You know not March T, maybe marginalis after ana t that yeah as we're all trying to drive that net new revenue right atexactly and they're so they're hungry for this type of engagement- and youknow, training at the base line of it, but they want to. They want to changetheir creer trajectory. They want to be successful as a CS leader as a CS andso having them involved in this, I think, will drive a lot of justemployees. You know ad on benefits or on employee retention and engagement toso always have that, in the back of your mind, you and you're planning forthese things it's trying to drive that overall company alignment around thecustomer and the buyer and their...

...outcomes yeah that's a great greatbottom line, and you were talking kind of thing. I was thinking you know thisis an investment in your own organization right to build thisalignment, but it really is investing also in the experience for your buyers,because we've all been on the phone with those vendors to do in quarterlyreviews or whatever they've got a new product. They want to pitch or whatever,and you get on there and you're like I've, set hundreds of thousands of dollars foryou over the past five years, and you barely know who I am and we're stilltalking a OI's so frustrating, because because you have been a customerpersonal love, so it's almost there's more risk if those don't go right,exactly your spot on spot on. Well, Hey, Cathleen! Thank you! So much for thisconversation today. I appreciate I enjoy talking to me about this topic. Iknow you're really passionate about it. Oh for sure, so, yeah well breederreach out you guys that are listening, happy to have this conversation withsales, eaters, CS leaders, again great...

...outcomes to be had for fourorganizations that think of about it. A holistic lay all right- and I will stayKathleen also mentioned this sisting interview that we did with Keka Riley,where he talks about how he did this in his own organization. I've linked thatconversation out in the show notes to be sure check it out. Thank you all forlistening at force management, we're focused on transforming salesorganizations into elite teams, are proven methodologies. Deliver programsthat build company alignment and fuel repeatable revenue grow. Give yourteams the ability to execute the gross strategy at the point of sale. Ourstrength is our experience. The proof is in our results. Let's get startedvisit us at force. Management Com. You've been listening to the audible,ready podcast to not miss an episode subscribe to the show in your favoritepodcast player. Until next time,...

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