B2B Startups: Why moving your focus from closing deals to customer success will actually help you to
This is a particular passion of mine. As a sales person, as a sales manager, you’re always battling to reach and exceed quota. So, of course, you’re focused on closing the deals you need to hit your target. But your prospective customers couldn’t care less about you making quota. In fact, they’d probably be happier if you didn’t have a sales target at all, because then you could focus on what they need, not what you need.
So here’s the key to how I coach sales people to sell and sales managers to manage.
The goal you should have uppermost in your mind is not to hit your sales target. It’s to find and nurture successful customers who gain real value from your solution.
Make the closing of a deal, the signing of a contract, simply another step along the journey to customer success, not an end goal in itself. Celebrate customer success as much as, if not more than, closing a new deal.
This will make you a more successful sales person, a more successful sales manager and create a more successful company.
The why is simple. Your success as a business will be determined by how successful your first 30 – 50 customers are. If you can’t make them successful, you’re never going to build a great B2B company. Not least because your prospective customers will make contact with your existing customers – with or without your say-so – and what they hear will likely determine whether they buy.
This philosophy has a great impact across the whole sales cycle. By focusing on customer success, you’ll be smarter about qualifying and stop wasting time on prospects you were never going to be able to help anyway.
Focusing on customer success will also make your sales team really pay attention to the needs of your prospective customers. This will make them sell more consultatively, paying more heed to what the customer needs and wants, and enabling them to sell your value more effectively.
Focusing on customer success will also make sure that you’ve got great case studies to promote via your inbound strategies and throughout your sales cycles, which will also be critical to your success.
Focusing on customer success will – I guarantee you this – bring you in more deals. But it’s that success that needs to be the focus of your sales strategy and the business, not the deal count.
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