Chapter 2

— 5 min read

Enablement is the responsibility of ALL teams, especially the customer-facing ones

Shareil Nariman

Shareil Nariman, Head of Customer Success, Arrows

Every team at your company plays a part in helping your customers become successful. Whether they engage directly or through their contributions to your business, everyone should understand that their work impacts the experience your customers have.

This is especially true for the Marketing, Sales, and Success teams who engage directly with customers and are tasked with enabling them on their path to success.

These customer-facing teams are also responsible for ensuring every other team understands the goals your customers have, the challenges they are looking to solve, and the road-blocks they encounter along the way.

It is imperative to your customers that these 3 teams own this responsibility and create a process for sharing the insights they learn.

Let’s look at each of these 3 departments a bit more granularly to understand their individual roles AND how they should be collaborating amongst each other.


Marketing

The work of your marketing team is likely the first thing your future customers engage with. These prospects come to your marketing site to learn about your product. They follow your brand on social media. They sign up for your newsletters or blogs. And, they might go through self-sign up flows on their way to scheduling a demo.

Product and acquisition marketing help prospects see the value of your product or service. Customer marketing helps communicate future updates once those prospects sign up!

Your marketing teams set the initial stage and expectations for your future customers.

Here are 3 things they SHOULD be doing

  1. Customer interviews - speak with as many customers as possible to understand the needs they come to you for. This will help create better assets and messaging on all marketing materials
  2. Learn from sales - your marketing leaders and sales leaders should constantly be talking. The questions that come up in sales about your product or service, should be answered through marketing materials earlier in that customer journey
  3. Work with success - customers have many needs and questions beyond the initial sales cycle. Have your marketing teams listen to customer calls, join business reviews, and meet with your success leaders to be sure the voice of the customer is always top of mind

Sales

Your sales teams are likely the first “humans” your future customers engage with, the front line if you will. They should know the ins and outs of your product AND be able to communicate that clearly with potential customers.

If these folks set proper expectations, it makes everyones future lives easier - on the customer side and for your success and support teams.

Here are 3 things they SHOULD be doing

  1. Product knowledge - these teams should be the first to know about new features and their functionality. Be sure your product marketing teams are collaborating closely with your sales enablement teams to empower your sales reps to answer questions and highlight new value your product can deliver
  2. Foster relationships with customer success teams - when a deal hits “closed - won” and it’s time to introduce the next line of support, the smoother that handoff, the better. Be sure your sales and success teams have a process for handoffs and a CLEAR action plan for your customers as to what’s next.

The questions your success and support teams eventually have to answer could be answered proactively in the sales cycle if your sales teams are aware of these situations. Share, share, and keeping sharing between teams! 3. Leverage the relationship they’ve built with prospects - things happen and newly won customers might get frustrated or go MIA. If your success teams are struggling with connecting with a customer to start onboarding or implementation, tap your sales person back in and use their existing relationship to your advantage.


Customer Success

This might be obvious, but we’ll touch on it anyway!

Once a prospect has made it through the initial marketing efforts and through your sales cycle, it’s up to the success teams to support them. But they can’t do it alone. Although they field the questions and hold the calls, without support from marketing and sales, success can’t be successful.

Here are 3 things they SHOULD be doing

  1. Learning from sales - be sure your success teams are reading sales notes, understanding what discovery has been done (to avoid double asking and annoying customers), and really understanding the pains being shared with sales reps - all of this insight will help them better nurture and support those customers in the future
  2. Give feedback to marketing and sales - your success teams are likely doing customer onboarding, check-in conversations, business reviews, and crisis-management. All of these are opportunities to learn what customers need AND insanely valuable for your marketing and sales teams to be aware of.

As a rule of thumb, if your success teams are constantly being asked the same questions, your sales and marketing teams should be answering those same questions proactively in the customer journey 3. Partner with marketing to scale their efforts - be sure your success and marketing leaders are in unison when it comes to what customers needs. These efforts could be scaled through partnership with marketing.

Turn your onboarding calls into live webinars and work with marketing to host and communicate them. Turn business reviews into workshops and work with marketing to host them in your Learning Management Systems. And, partner with marketing to create assets based on the needs of those customers!


The main takeaway here is that ALL of your teams should be focused on enabling your customers, especially the ones that are directly engaging with them.

Be sure you are fostering environments internally that allow space for collaboration and learning from each other. The more these teams can work together and learn from each other, the smoother the journey becomes for your customers.

Let’s make “handoffs” an internal term that your customers don’t even know exist!

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