Recent research reveals customer success is a vital component of the overall client experience, and it’s become so important that numerous companies have started to heavily invest in specialized customer success teams. Companies that have high customer success rates have even been shown to have up to a 24% lower churn rate than others.
But the ultimate verdict of customer success isn’t just in the hands of a specialized team; inside sales reps have a unique capacity to influence whether or not their customers thrive after a deal is closed. The journey to improved customer success rates begins well before a salesperson has even picked up the phone to call a prospect, and it continues for the entirety of the business relationship in various stages.
To routinely succeed in inside sales requires vast reserves of disparate knowledge. People in other fields can be great at their jobs by developing a specialized expertise, such as software coding or accounting practices, but sales reps need to hold a diverse range of information in their heads, including but not limited to: market trends, product information, competitor profiles, interpersonal communications, and psychology.
This kind of breadth of knowledge simply isn’t possible unless a sales rep is inherently curious about everything around them, and constantly wanting to learn more about their business, their customers, and even the state of the world itself. The more curious an inside sales professional is in their daily life, the better equipped they will be to transmit important details to the customer that will allow them to prosper with the solution in question.
Every business transaction arises out of need, and one of the key drivers of customer success is always how well the proposed offering aligns with the specific needs of the customer. If the solution doesn’t actually address the prospect’s pain points, how could they possibly be expected to consider the arrangement a success?
High-performing organizations that excel at marketing and sales alignment have a head start on dealing with this issue, because those companies consistently produce qualified leads that are primed for success. However, even the most effective marketing unit will produce leads who aren’t a perfect fit from time-to-time, and that’s when sales reps must listen closely, and put themselves in their prospect’s shoes to determine if the product will truly deliver the promised value.
Attention to detail
Customer success requires proper execution from multiple departments throughout the buyer’s relationship with the company, from the brand design team to customer service representatives. There are so many individual factors that will impact how, when, why, and where the customer implements the product, and inside salespeople must take an active role in the process by controlling as many of these factors as possible.
Since the sales rep is typically the main point of contact for the customer through the early stages, it’s up to them to make sure everything is squared away when the onboarding transition begins. They have to introduce the buyer to all appropriate parties, provide accurate and updated contact info, make sure the financial details are right, confirm the expectations for the onboarding schedule, coordinate with IT implementation teams, and so forth. When salespeople get these details right the first time, it clears the way for immediate and sustained customer success.
Inside sales reps may not have exactly the same types of client relationships field sales reps do, but they can still act as a hub of knowledge whom buyers can rely on throughout the process. Customers are naturally going to have questions and concerns throughout their journey — all the way from their initial contact to the onboarding process — and they will want to direct those questions to someone they can trust to make things happen.
You are the buyer’s eyes and ears as they navigate their B2B purchase and the sooner you can give them the information they need, the greater the chance that everything will go smoothly, both for their company and yours. Responsiveness is so important, in fact, that in a survey of over 6,000 B2B buyers, it was the second most-listed factor in determining the strength of the relationship, trailing only trust.
Head of Sales at ArtyGeek
We have faced the same challenges here. Actually, lots of work to do for the sales rep, such as deep research, customer engagement, diverse information to remember to make a perfect USP and, at the end, there is always the risk that introduced parties inside the selling company might screw up so I’d rather put the ‘Responsiveness’ as #1 skill.
Providing ongoing customer value
The most talented inside sales professionals understand they have a limited number of opportunities to show their clients how valuable their company can be, and therefore they have to maximize those opportunities at every turn. Their commitment to being a value-added partner doesn’t stop at the end of the sales call; it continues throughout every interaction between the two parties. Inside sales reps must take it upon themselves to share content and developments that will help the buyer get the most out of their experience, and to strengthen the bonds of partnership throughout the process.
Source: Tenfold Blog