The customer buying journey has fundamentally transformed in recent years. Today, both consumers and business buyers are often well-versed in a product or service before they ever talk to a salesperson. And customer behavior after the purchase has changed as well. Through social media, every customer large or small now has a platform to share their voice. This modern customer journey, in our experience, requires a shift in how companies approach their pre- and post-sales processes; the traditional, top-down sales funnel – one that starts with a lead and ends with a contract – is no longer relevant. Instead, we encourage growth companies to adopt a “bowtie” approach to customer engagement, one that is designed to integrate a sales orientation in every aspect of the customer experience.
Companies are already beginning to expand the sales aperture beyond the initial deal and identify opportunities for post-sale customer engagement. A recent survey of high-growth SaaS companies conducted by the Alexander Group showed customer success (CS) headcount is growing faster than overall sales headcount. Those companies that have invested in CS saw strong returns on their investment, generating 122% net dollar retention on average.* So, how can your team access this opportunity? Applying a sales mindset to four key post-sales levers – onboarding and implementation, product- and sales-led growth, long-term customer health, and price discipline – can help your team think like a sales rep and, in the process, shorten the next sales cycle and increase the lifetime value of your customer relationships.