Customer Success & Sales Team Communication

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Customer Success & Sales Team Communication

By | 2016-11-03T19:56:05+00:00 November 3rd, 2016|Customer Success, Customer Success Best Practices|0 Comments

Talk with Tim

Got questions about Customer Success? Ask Tim. Tim Conder is Vice President of Customer Success here at Bolstra, and has a wealth of knowledge he’s chomping at the bit to share. Ask him anything about how to get from your current state to an organization with best practices geared specifically toward helping YOUR team get YOUR customers to reach THEIR goals. Tweet #TalkwithTim or click here to submit your question.

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How do your Customer Success and Sales teams communicate to set the right expectations for the Onboarding & Launch process?

Our customers have mentioned the following pain points that impact trust between Sales and Customer Success:

  1. Too many or variable potential outcomes that your technology can accomplish
  2. Unique, non-standard or complex contract terms
  3. Not enough info from Sales
  4. Deploying technology with inexperienced customer teams
  5. Unclear or unrealistic client expectations that need to be reset at the point of kick off
  6. Lack of consistency and effectiveness during onboarding
  7. Highly variable time to get live and to first value

These happen in three distinct areas of the transition: Handoff, Kickoff, and Onboarding/Launch. Let’s take a look at each area separately:

Pain Points during Handoff

  1. Too many or variable potential outcomes
  2. Unique, non-standard or complex contract terms
  3. Not enough info from Sales


  • Begin Customer Success involvement once a prospect has reached 70% forecast (ideal for most situations and required for non-transactional oriented sales)
  • Standardize offerings and prescribed outcomes to create efficiencies within your execution
  • Address these 4 key questions: (everyone on the team should know these answers and continue to remind themselves of them throughout the relationship)
    – Why did they purchase?
    – Who purchased?
    – What was promised?
    – What does success mean?
  • Streamline points of transition (kickoff, onboarding, etc.) and emphasize communication to ensure the team follows through

Pain points during Kickoff

  1. Deploying technology with inexperienced teams
  2. Resetting client expectations


  • Kickoff is a key step to setting the stage for an effective partnership
  • Lifecycle and journey maps should be leveraged in kickoff to ensure the customer understands key dates, and that roles are responsibilities are clearly communicated
  • Specify what aspects of onboarding the customer will be responsible for, and begin to identify the team members and skill sets needed.
  • Revisit desired outcomes that were discussed in the sales process and take time to understand their higher level organization goals prior to aligning your solution to their goals.
  • Set specific success metrics to align delivery to and agree on what will be measured against at points of review.

Pain points during Onboarding & Launch

  1. Deploying technology with inexperienced teams
  2. Lack of consistency and effectiveness
  3. Variable timing to get live


  • Create efficiencies: Templates, self-directed training, checklists and self-serve knowledge can help teams be more productive with customers during on boarding.
  • Keep an eye on duration for onboarding – more time spent on this cycle leads to extending time to first value realization and customer fatigue.
  • Onboarding efforts should focus on providing or helping customers develop an effective launch promotion and engagement strategy.
  • Launch should be facilitated in such a way that we are listening carefully to the needed adjustments, large and small, that are critical to ensuring that effective usage is realized.

There’s more where this came from. Keep the questions rolling!

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Tim Conder

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