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How to Set Customer Success Managers Up To Play Offense

customer success

In most B2B organizations, it’s more the exception than the rule that customer success managers inherit accounts where they’re in a position to play offense because the customer is thrilled with your products.

Let’s dream for just a minute.

It Starts With Product Management

Product management consistently does discovery at a level that makes them more knowledgeable holistically on the markets and customers than all other disciplines.

With strong top-down discovery as the foundation, product managers collaborate and build products that make users better at their jobs in ways that have measurable strategic value to the customer (and to your own organization).

Product marketing receives all the WHO, WHAT & WHY content from product management to create and communicate value messages that fill the sales funnel with influencers and buyers that have a need worthy of engaging with you.

Sales has a differentiating story, products and solutions to back it up, and brings home one win after another, and they’re customers that fit nicely into your sweet spot (80/20 rule) where your odds of success are high.

Customer onboarding teams know exactly which job tasks are most critical to the customer and help them configure the solution accordingly with metrics for quantifying success. Economic buyers are thrilled with the partnership they’ve formed with your organization.

The Buck Stops With Customer Success Managers

Customer success takes the reins from the onboarding team and other than some minor issues or to-do’s, they’re in a position to help customers realize even more value from their partnership with your organization.

Customers agree to regular strategic account planning meetings where they share their top priorities, why they’re critical and the hurdles standing in their way.

Customer success managers identify opportunities for further adoption of existing products and opportunities for add-on modules/products.

Since customers are receiving value they can quantify, they’re on board with your strategic account plan, and budget accordingly for the additional adoption and/or modules.

Customers are happy (and loyal). You’re growing the revenue of the account and annual renewals are more of a formality than an uphill struggle.

Your organization is hitting its revenue numbers on both new and existing accounts, customer adoption is up, and so is customer retention.

Here’s the $1 million question: Why does this have to be a dream?

Answer: It doesn’t. 

That’s the beauty of a portfolio management approach that begins in product management. It’s a “strategic customer value first” approach to aligning all products and customer-facing disciplines to the top-down priorities of your target customers so that everyone is doing their part to eliminate the obstacles standing in the way of those customer outcomes. 

When you make the business outcomes of your target customers everyone’s top priority, by default, they’ll return the favor to your organization.

If you’re interested in how a product portfolio management model can make your product management, product marketing, sales, customer on-boarding and customer success teams more effective in ways that are measurable, contact us and see how our training programs can elevate the performance of all customer-facing functions across the board.

Becoming More Strategic

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by John Mansour on October 23, 2023.