As a SaaS business owner, you know that the competition is intense.
For your brand to stand out, you have to provide an exceptional experience to your clients. The customer journey from acquisition to retention has to be seamless.
To create an effective and efficient sales funnel, your sales and customer support teams need to be well trained and in sync with each other. The coordination will facilitate a free flow of information. That free flow of information can aid sales. Insights gained from your customer support agents can improve the process of pitching, converting, and retaining leads.
This guide will look at how you can include the support team in the sales process. We will also walk through some primary benefits of having the two teams on the same page.
Benefits of involving your customer support team in sales
Your customer service and sales teams work directly with the customer but at different stages of the sales funnel. If they work together, they can combine their customer insights to help your business create a more accurate buyer persona. Moreover, involving your customer support teams in sales can help you identify both strengths and weaknesses in your offerings.
If you have products to sell online, you need the two teams to work together for revenue and margin growth. Here are three ways in which involving your customer support team in the sales process gives your customer a better overall experience:
1. Identify and fix common pain points
The customer support team is the primary point of contact for the customer after sale closure. It is at this stage that consumers share their problems and queries, which puts the customer support team in a crucial position as they have the first-hand experience of customer concerns.
By sharing customer query data with the sales team, the support team can help identify strengths and problems. That information can help the salespeople make an improved pitch to the next client. This knowledge can help the sales team pitch more effectively and convert more leads.
2. Reduce churn
Better customer experience encourages your customers to stay with you longer. Involving the customer support team in the sales process helps reduce churn by setting realistic customer expectations, streamlining the customer funnel, and ensuring consistency in the type and quality of support provided across the customer journey.
How does this consistency help reduce churn? If the sales team establishes expectations that the customer support team is able to meet, the customer will feel that they are getting their money’s worth. However, this is only possible if the customer support and sales team are on the same page as to what each can offer to the customer.
3. Opportunity to upsell and cross-sell
Even after you close a deal with a client, there is always an opportunity to upsell or cross-sell. For SaaS businesses, value bundles and upgrades are an excellent profit driver.
Customer support teams are in a prime position to upsell and cross-sell services. They spend more time with the customer after the sale and are able to identify additional customer needs. An excellent after-sales experience also places the business in an excellent position to pitch additional products and services to their customers.
4 ways your customer support team can help your sales campaigns
Collaboration between the sales and customer support teams creates a seamless transition for the customer post-conversion.
The customer support team can provide valuable insights into common customer issues that can improve the sales process. Let us look at four ways the two groups can work together and boost your sales and client relationships.
1. Generate referrals
Customer support teams can look at generating sales through referrals. Since they are in touch with the clients more often, they can identify and cultivate relationships that may lead to referral sales.
Turning your customers into brand advocates is an excellent way to get more leads. Over 80% of small business owners say that referrals are their primary source of new business.
The best way to increase referrals is to put a policy in place that supports your goals. For starters, the type of customers that are most likely to refer you to other users share one of the following characteristics:
- Engaged with your platform: The best type of brand ambassadors utilize your product or service. You can measure engagement by tracking how often they use your tools.
- A significant relevant digital presence: they might have lots of visitors to their website, or have a strong social media presence.
- Have their own clients: agencies and other companies that have their own client base.
Identifying potential sources of referrals requires you to actively monitor account use. That is combined with a policy of segmenting your customers based on relevant metrics to identify customers who are most likely to generate leads for your business.
Your customer support team can support efforts to identify potential sources of referrals and pass this information on to your sales team.
Referrals are a great way to tap into the potential of your customer support team. Your potential clients are more likely to buy from a brand recommended to them by their acquaintances. It is an excellent way for the customer support team to complement the sales process. In addition to this, it also adds to the credibility of your business.
2. Prevent churn and highlight positive customer experiences
The customer support team interacts with the consumer long after the sales process is over. Sharing customer data gathered from support calls with the sales team has two benefits.
First, it helps identify dissatisfied clients who may churn. Instead of running after clients after they’ve canceled their subscription, the sales team can take preventive action right away. This action can take the form of special discounts, extended support hours, or dedicated customer care lines for the most common issues.
With an active account management policy, customer support agents can engage with customers when certain warning signs occur. For example, low levels of customer engagement with your product are a clear warning sign of churn. If people aren’t using your services, there’s a high chance they’ll stop paying for your services.
An active account management policy can help you identify customers before they churn. You can identify customers who are likely to leave and engage with them. You should implement policies to reduce customer churn that addresses the first 90-days of people using your product.
The opposite situation is also true, of course. Customers who are utilizing your service more than most, are the ideal target audience for up-selling and cross-selling. If you can put a strategy in place to facilitate the communication of this type of information between the customer support and sales team, you will see an increase in average order value.
Second, data like testimonials, reviews, and customer satisfaction surveys can be helpful elements to include in the sales prospecting content. These help you gain credibility for your brand. It also sends a strong signal to your potential clients that your solution works well in real-life settings.
Source: Chow Now
Take the example of the online delivering site Chow Now that helps local restaurants. It displays client testimonials on a separate tab on its website, and this tab acts as a sales pitch in itself. The testimonials help potential clients see the impact of Chow Now’s on industry peers.
3. Identify client demands through feedback
The customer support department deals primarily with customer issues. If there are any recurring issues with the clients, the sales team can use this to better position their service. The feedback can be directly related to the sales process or product and is an excellent source of market intelligence.
If there are any questions that the clients are asking that could be a potential deal-breaker, the customer support staff can inform the sales team right away. It helps them address these issues right at the start of the sales funnel. For instance, if a product works on iOS devices but performs poorly on Android tablets, the customer support team can forward the feedback to the sales team.
The feedback also helps the sales team identify new industry trends and customer demands. For SaaS companies that are looking to solve specific needs of the fast-paced industry, this is crucial. They need to reposition their sales pitch or improve the product according to the needs of the industry.
How many times have you heard, “I would’ve signed on with you, but unfortunately you didn’t have [name of the feature here]?” Instead of hearing this at the top of the customer funnel, it would be much better if you know what customers want even before you start the product development cycle. And who could provide better feedback than your current users?
Regular feedback between the customer support and sales team improves the quality of the sales pitch. It helps both groups work towards the same goal: improving the client’s experience.
4. Train customer support reps in the sales process
The sales team should update the service team on all potential client issues that may arise down the line. This foreshadowing would enable the support team to work out resolution mechanisms. For example, the sales team may think that the pricing may cause a client to back out of a deal. If the customer support team is aware of this, they can be prepared. Doing this helps preserve the effort of the sales team.
Training customer support teams in the sales process helps in managing tough client relationships. It should become a standard practice but is a must-have for key clients.
Introducing the service team to the sales process also helps them appreciate the challenging journey from a cold pitch to a deal. It encourages them to work hard to maintain client relationships. As the customer support team puts in more effort, it is able to build stronger relationships with clients, which improves customer retention levels.
The customer support process is also a good opportunity for upselling or cross-selling. For example, if a SaaS customer calls and asks for a feature that their current subscription doesn’t offer, the customer support representative can offer to upgrade the customer’s subscription on the spot.
Why is this important? A typical customer looking for a specific feature is not likely to call back again or wait for their call to be transferred to the sales team. In contrast, giving your customer support staff the tools and training they need to sell product upgrades or add-ons will keep the customer on the line and add a new revenue stream to the business.
Collaboration between the sales and customer support team yields a seamless brand experience for the customer and lowers churn rates. It also allows you to upsell and cross-sell existing clients.
By providing referrals and testimonials, the customer support team can help the sales team generate additional leads. They should also share other customer data like expectations set during the sales process. Bringing both teams on the same page can help you boost your revenue and create stronger relationships with your client.