Sales and Support are a goner??

Its natural for any business to think that they need a Sales and a Support team to carry out their business operations. After all these are their face to the world— their customer facing teams. But times are changing and you don’t need to stick to what’s been followed all the time (traditionally!)

The things that I am going to talk about can not only help a business to streamline things in a much better way but it can also help you cut down costs. Yes! you heard me right (especially if you are a start-up!)

Traditional way of doing things:

Let’s say you are in software business. Customers sign up for your software and the Sales team make sure that they get their requirements in to check if the software actually meets those requirements. If yes, then Sales takes things further and take care of the payment.

While all that happens, there are certain other things happening in parallel too! When a Sales guy gets requirements from a customer, he goes on to discuss them with the Support guys because they are the ones who support the software, right? There is constant communication between the two and this communication is entirely based on each team’s presumptions and assumptions. While everyone is busy with the same routine day-in-day-out, we miss to notice the following:

> A Sales guy is taking things on from a Sales perspective because he wants to nail his monthly quotas.

> A Support guy is answering those requirements from a technical point of view without realizing the bigger picture as to how it would fit in the overall workflow for the customer.

Note: Here, the entire workflow is with the Sales team (or dependent on the Sales team’s understanding.) But we know the Sales team can only sell and not understand things from technical aspect about the software.

> The above point clearly highlights that there is a conflict somewhere and a possible gap in the process which we can improve to make things better!

The question is HOW? To which the answer is quite simple!

Combine Sales and Support into one mighty team and call it Customer Success team! When I say that I don’t mean to simply to give a new fancy name to the team and still continue the operations individually. To create a Customer Success team in real sense, you need to have the people with right set of skills. Any member of the Customer Success team should be able to deal with the end-to-end process of gathering requirement, seeing the bigger picture and answering any question from technical point of view too. This means your team should have both business skills as well in-depth knowledge of the product that you are selling.

But what about proactively reaching out to potential customers?

Yes, that’s a very genuine question. Reason being, if you are setting up only one team to on-board your new customers and also to help your existing customers, they may not be able to actively look for prospects or they may not be able to dedicate time to follow-up with people who can be potential customers.

This is where your Growth and Marketing teams comes into the picture. They can help you get the word out there to potential prospects. They can even help you target the right kind of customers. Besides, if you are doing good word of mouth can be your biggest weapon. The other thing that Sales team takes care of in particular is — Payments! That should be the least of your concern, if you get the payment process automated in a right way!

Would this Change work for me?

Change is always scary to start with! But that doesn’t mean that Change is not good! You can start it as an experiment with a small team of Customer Success agents and direct new customers to them to take care of the complete end-to-end process and see how it goes! ‘Start small’ is the mantra to play it safe.

Overall, if you can make it happen you can not only cut down a lot of costs but also you can streamline things in a much better way. You will be able to kill it nicely with the same person being able to sell and support the product at the same time. Thus, leading to a much better and smooth customer journey and experience!!

Let me know if you think there are still going to be any hiccups if you end up replacing Sales and Support entirely with a Customer Success team!

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