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How to Get Buy-in From RevOps when Bringing on a Customer Success Platform

RevOps can be an obstacle when it comes to getting the CS platform you need. Here’s a four-step process you can use to w
Stefan Palios
September 6, 2022

Oh, there goes the gong. Another new client in the CRM for Customer Success to onboard? Honestly, congrats to the sales team. They’ve been doing great work.

But wait.

No one rang the gong when the CS team landed a huge expansion two weeks ago because your company’s CRM is solely customized for sales and upsells aren’t visible?

Or worse, you realized your customer success manager missed an expansion opportunity after the fact because you couldn’t get the CRM customizations you need to adequately track customer health? And you didn't have customer success software to back you up?

Groundbreaking.

If you’re frustrated that sales gets all the glory—and purpose-built software—we’re here to help you change that and get the customer success tools you deserve. And no, we don’t mean by buying your own, louder gong to ring for renewals and expansions (though that would be fun). We mean getting a customer success platform (or “CSP” for short).

In your next chat with RevOps, here’s a four step process you can follow to get their buy-in for a customer success platform.

1. Remind leaders that customer success is distinct within RevOps

Revenue operations is typically touted as the service arm behind all revenue—marketing, sales, and customer success. Unfortunately, this definition often means that customer success gets smushed into the broader “RevOps motion,” which really just means sales gets prioritized and everyone else is supposed to deal with it.

When you’re speaking with your revenue leaders about a CSP, remind them that CSOps is its own distinct function within the RevOps umbrella. CSOps needs to think about customer churn, not just new revenue gain. And health scoring, not just lead scoring. More specifically, the CS team has to manage actual customer relationships and deliver customer support—to say nothing of creating a strong customer experience.

As a result, you need your own customer success software rather than being told to make do with whatever sales leaves behind. It’s not that you want to be separate. It’s that you are a distinct part of the RevOps team. You work in service of the same goal—revenue—but you get there differently. And that means you need success tools rather than just sales tools.

2. Explain the different data needs for CS versus sales

Your RevOps leader is likely to ask why a customer success platform is necessary. After all, a CRM system tracks everything related to revenue, right?

Well, only sort of. Yes, a CRM is great at tracking dollars in a pipeline. But it doesn’t track the detail or data that CS needs to do its job properly. 

Where revenue operates in a bit more of a binary—is the prospect moving down the funnel or not?—success teams are responsible not just for new revenue but also retaining existing revenue. This means the expansion motion must also include customer health scores, usage tracking, customer journey mapping, customer engagement notes, customer feedback, and other metrics that indicate revenue will be preserved first and expanded second.

This is where the right customer success software comes in handy. You can ensure you're delivering the right level of customer service to individuals when they need it, plan for the whole customer lifecycle, and focus on product adoption to both reduce churn and increase upsells.

It’s also worth noting that CS-tracked data is important to sales as well. If the sales team wants to make more revenue, who better to target than prospects similar to your happiest current customers? When CS can properly track the data they need in their own software platform, it means sales can use that platform to increase their close rate. Win-win.

3. Ask for the customer success software you need

The simplest way to ask for a CSP is to do so directly. You’re not asking for fun, but to empower you and your team to do their jobs properly and earn more revenue for the business. Which, ultimately, is the point of any business expense.

Unlike a lot of other expense requests made in a business, a CS platform is directly tied to revenue. When you can accurately track customer data in a customer success software, your CSMs can more easily spot upsell opportunities and collaborate with the sales team on closing leads. This is something RippleMatch did, achieving a 200% increase in upsell leads with a CSP rather than a CRM. 

When you have the right customer success tool in place, you can focus all team members on using customer insights to identify retention and expansion opportunities. 

And a quick note: be clear you are not asking for customer service software. Customer success software is about tracking the whole customer experience from the onboarding process onward. While you might have a service hub within your overall CS motion, success management software is explicitly about the business relationships your team manages, not the day to day issues they might have.

4. Explain the financial benefits

In short, a CSP allows the customer success team to see the data they need in order to earn more revenue. It’s analogous to a CRM giving the sales team the information they need to earn more revenue.

But there are cost saving benefits as well.

With a CSP, the customer success team saves time. Snapdocs is a great example of this, using a CSP to save 1,300 hours of time in 6 months.

A CSP also means that customer success will no longer need expensive CRM customizations. This not only saves the raw costs of customizing (consultants, lag time, etc.) but also means the sales team is free to use their CRM how they need to, giving them the freedom to earn more money.

Give each team their own field

RevOps is a great umbrella—almost like a multi-sport franchise. Customer success and sales are like two different teams within that franchise, for instance baseball and football.

Yes, both play outdoors in large fields of dry land. And yes, both have the same goal of scoring as many points as possible to win their respective game. But how the games are played differs widely. Further, both teams need their own field in order to play their game at peak performance.

This is the dynamic between sales and customer success. RevOps “owns” both, but the teams need their own field to play in. While the fields in this case are digital—a CRM and a CSP—the message is the same: customer success needs its own field to play in so it can play better and win more. You’re not asking for a favor, you’re asking for the resources needed to hit peak performance.

Let us show you how Catalyst can help your CS team hit peak performance. Book a free product walkthrough to learn more.

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