Last week, we discussed the development gap between closing the sale and CS training and established the need and importance of training for any CS team, irrespective of its size and company size. Let’s dive into the various elements of training involved at each step of the company lifecycle.

Training based on Company Stage

What your CSM team needs will vary depending on the complexity of your product, the maturity of your organization and target market, and your go-to-market approach.  Below is a diagram that outlines the skills that are important based on where you are in the evolution of your business.

Methodology

A lot of research & effort has gone into the field of sales and that has resulted in several methodologies going mainstream like Target Account Selling, SPIN Selling, Challenger Approach, Value Selling, Solution Selling, Sandler Selling System, Conceptual Selling, Inbound Selling. A couple of these methodologies have also become popular in the customer success community like Challenger approach and Value selling.

The Challenger Approach provides a good framework to the CS professional in terms of asking questions to establish a strong understanding of the customer’s business and needs. This approach guides the CSM’s on how to take control of the conversation and move away from a passive saying ‘yes’ mode. CSMs should use this to inculcate the skill to connect with customer’s outcomes and create win-win scenarios.

Value Selling methodology emphasises the benefit of your product and how not to obsess on the product itself. It orients the CSM on thinking that the customers don’t buy products but instead buy the outcomes of what the product brings to the table. The customer will perceive the product as a must have and non-replaceable if the results that they derive feel like more than the price paid. The CSM’s will find doing QBRs easier if they are able to establish the value of the product with the customer.

It’s time to establish a customized methodology for the Customer Success field. It should have it’s foundation in the 4 P’s:

  • Psychology: Customer Success managers would benefit from understanding the ins and outs of consumer psychology to gain a deeper understanding of behavioural attributes. It will go a long way if the CSM’s understand how to contribute in helping customers to get what they want in their lives.
  • Project Management: Good project management skills are needed to ensure the promised value is delivered on time and with minimal disruption. Customers appreciate predictability and fulfilled promises.  
  • Product led growth: There’s a product led movement where the product is adopted well by the customer’s that it’s embedded in the core processes of the organization. The CSM needs to understand how they can collaborate with the product team in defining the ‘aha’ moment and the value framework
  • Process: The CSM needs to establish repeatable processes for onboarding, adoption, QBR, renewal, feedback. It’s important that customers have consistent experience that delivers value and CSM’s can scale with the increase in the number of customers.

Phase 1

Phase 2

Phase 3

Sarah Doughty is a Customer Success Champion and Founder at Crescendo-Labs. Her specialties include: Customer Journey Mapping, Customer Health, Getting to Proactive, Customer ROI, Building Buyer Cohesion Within Clients, Customer Relationship Mapping, Influencing Others, Determining Client Potential, Adoption Mapping, Discovery Skills, Customer Onboarding
Sarah Doughty

Customer Success Champion and Advisor, Crescendo-Labs