To succeed with customer success at your organization, it takes alignment and collaboration with Sales. We interviewed and asked 7 industry leading sales executives their advice on how they put customers first throughout the sales process at their particular companies. Today we’ll highlight Jeff Dolan, VP of Sales at LevelEleven. In this post, we’ll briefly explore his approach to customer success alignment as it relates to his sales team.
Download a complimentary copy of the ebook “Customer Success as a Culture: Sales Leaders Edition” to see Jeff’s full contribution and get access to other sales executive viewpoints. Missed last week’s edition? Check it out here.
Modern sales leaders, meet your Sales Activity Management platform. Based in Detroit, Michigan, sales teams use LevelEleven’s platform to transform their teams into data-driven sales machines.
Identifying the Ideal Customer Profile is Crucial
As VP of Sales, Jeff ensures customer success by understanding how the LevelEleven product is being used and what his customers are focused on, as well as keeping a pulse on key customers and use cases. Jeff’s sales team is not only responsible for bringing on new customers, but bringing on the RIGHT customers. Jeff commented, “We have worked hard as a team to identify the ideal customer profile and that is a focus for marketing, the sales development group, the account executives, and of course, our customer success team. Sales specifically works hard to keep the customer success team in the loop when nearing the end of the sales cycle so there are no surprises. In addition, we have a formal service level agreement (SLA) that is in place and signed by the entire sales and customer success team to ensure we stay aligned beyond that as well.”
Modern Sales is About the Buyer – Not the Seller
Modern sales is now increasingly focused on the buyer, not the seller. LevelEleven views the customer in the same light and they keep the customer at the forefront, across the entire company. Through the product development process, Jeff and his team listen to customers to understand what is happening in the market, and what the customer needs and wants. “We then work to build a prototype, and then get feedback from additional customers,” explained Jeff. “Our product development roadmap is heavily influenced by customers. We supplement that with our own experience, insight, and thought leadership.”
Marketing and Sales Alignment – Build Thought Leadership
In addition, the LevelEleven sales and marketing teams stay very close to the customer. The marketing team enhances their messaging from customer success insight and inputs. Learning from our customers on a regular basis is important as we build a new category, and relevant messaging is critical to drive thought leadership around our brand and products.”
Advice to Sales Leaders
2016 is sure to bring with it many focus areas for sales leaders, but Jeff’s advice to his peers is this: “Understand the buyer matrix for your product or service. Who is involved, and what do they influence? On average, there are more than 5 people influencing every B2B sale, so it is important to understand that making 5 different buyers a hero requires 5 different strategies. I would recommend leveraging your internal resources to help. For example, LevelEleven often engages our CEO to interact directly with our prospects at executive levels, I (as VP of Sales) will personally introduce myself to the VP-level buyer, our CTO will reach out to technology evaluators while the AE works with the day-to-day contact. Our team has gotten a very positive response from this type of relationship-driven approach.”
Read Jeff’s full contribution to the ebook entitled, “Customer Success as a Culture: Sales Leaders Edition” and learn from 6 other sales executives like Jeff.
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