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 Todd Caponi, Senior VP of Sales at PowerReviews. 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 Todd’s full contribution and get access to other sales executive viewpoints. Missed last week’s edition? Check it out here.
PowerReviews is on a mission is to unify and amplify the voice of the consumer throughout their journey, across all channels, to help consumers make better purchase decisions and to help businesses drive sales and improve products and services.
Create Value in Every Customer Conversation
Todd and his team play a critical role in customer success. In his words, “The role of sales is to make customers smarter about their own business, not ours. Our responsibility is to be more like a business ‘personal trainer’ to a client; there to challenge them to achieve more than they thought they could; to break them free from their comfort zone; to rethink their possibilities. The customer should be stronger because of the relationship with our sales organization and our company.”
Because customers are so fundamental to Todd’s role at PowerReviews, a key part is to develop and maintain key strategic relationships with the company’s customer base. Todd went on to explain, “I, along with my team, are part of initial conversations during the selling cycles, relationship building at events, check-ins during their journey with us, and special eCommerce/digital marketing leadership dinners we host around North America and Europe. I take pride in doing my homework prior to those interactions and holding myself to the same requirement of driving incremental value and teaching something new to the customer in every conversation.”
Customer Success Metrics at the Forefront
Todd monitors a specific set of metrics to determine success or failure when it comes to engagement with customers. PowerReviews has built a platform that has a low total cost of ownership for their clients. And according to Todd, it doesn’t need much ongoing maintenance. “However, the opportunities for our clients to optimize the way they engage with their consumers are practically never ending,” he went on to say. “Our proactive customer success team uses client data on review generation, purchase-to-review ratios, page load times (which really matter for the in-store, mobile consumer of reviews), and a host of other metrics. We also closely monitor net promoter scores, we survey our customers frequently, and have a highly engaged customer advisory board.”
Place the Customer at the Center
The world of selling has changed dramatically, and according to Todd, it seems to do so every few years. But even in the midst of change, the sales teams at PowerReviews makes certain the customer is always kept at the center. “Back in the 1950’s, the feature based door-to-door salesperson would show-up-and-throw-up product features, hoping something would stick,” Todd explained. “In the 1980’s, ‘solution’ selling became the norm, where a salesperson would ask a bunch of ‘discovery’ questions, then mold their pitch to the prospect’s unique situation. Starting in the early 2000’s with the explosion of data available online, prospects gained all the power.
Prospects are now able to go through entire sales cycles without ever engaging the seller in many cases. And, when they do engage the seller, their requirements are defined, their required solution is defined, and they’re at the tail end of the cycle.” Todd concluded that, “As a selling professional in today’s world, our role is to focus on the customer: make them smarter about their business instead of focusing on our own. That requires a rep to study the prospect before ever actually engaging with the prospect. That requires our reps to have a pseudo ‘eCommerce Master’s Degree’. If they’re not making the prospect smarter about their business, they’re not adding value.
Read Todd’s full contribution to the ebook entitled, “Customer Success as a Culture: Sales Leaders Edition” and learn from 6 other sales executives like Todd.
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