I’m in this really great Customer Success group on LinkedIn, and it’s honestly one of the best groups I’ve come across. It’s a tight-knit community where people share ideas, ask questions, and learn from each other. I’m absolutely loving it!
Recently, I decided to post a poll in the group because I’ve been having countless conversations with Customer Success Managers (CSMs), and I noticed that there were three common challenges they face:
- Fully understanding their product
- Encouraging customers to attend meetings
- Building the confidence and skills to upsell and cross-sell
Since I primarily work in the Education Technology (EdTech) industry, I wondered if these challenges were specific to EdTech CSMs or if they were universally experienced by CSMs from all industries.
Guess what? Turns out, these challenges are pretty much universal across all markets covered in the LinkedIn group. And the best part is, the group is open to CSMs from various industries, so we get insights from a wide range of perspectives. It’s truly eye-opening!
If you’re a CSM looking for a supportive community to connect with and gain valuable insights, I highly recommend checking out this Customer Success group on LinkedIn. Trust me, you won’t be disappointed!
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I’m absolutely thrilled with these results! Ha! Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying I’m happy that CSMs are facing these challenges. But I’m over the moon because we had a whopping 338 people vote on this poll. That’s a pretty solid number to gauge how CSMs are feeling about these issues.
Take a look at the image below. It’s quite interesting because it shows a pretty even split among the three main problems we discussed earlier. These challenges really stand out, don’t they? It’s fascinating to see the data so clearly represented like this.
You can see that I gave the group the option to let me know if I’d missed the mark, and – if so – explain what challenges they’re facing. I had 31 people do that and I’ve summarised that here:
- Having too many accounts (7 people)
- Understanding product usage trends (6 people)
- Responsibilities not clear between Sales and Customer Success (6 people)
- Launching product updates too early, very quickly (6 people)
- Asking strategic and leading questions (3 people)
- Managing renewals (3 people)
But here’s the thing, when we look at those rare cases and compare them to the number of people who voted for ‘Learning your product fully’ (100 people), ‘Getting customers to meetings’ (105 people), and ‘Having to upsell/cross-sell’ (102 people), it becomes pretty clear that these three issues are the most pressing challenges faced by customer success managers worldwide.
So, the good news is, EdTech folks, you’re not alone in this. However, we still need to figure out how to overcome these obstacles.
Now, I can’t personally assist you with the internal training strategy of your specific product, so that’s something you’ll have to handle. But, I do have some suggestions on how to make customers genuinely interested in attending meetings with you and how to address the confidence and skills needed for upselling and cross-selling.
How To Get Customers To Meetings
Scheduling a meeting with a customer is one thing, but getting them genuinely excited to attend is a whole other ball game.
So, here’s the secret: get to know them. Now, you might be wondering, “But how can I do that if I can’t even get them to a meeting?”. Well, fear not, because I have a simple answer for you. Dive into the world of social media platforms like Twitter (X) and LinkedIn. Find your customers, connect with them, and start engaging with their posts. Like, comment, and ask questions. Repeat this process again and again until they start noticing you.
Once you’ve built that connection, when you post something, they’ll be more likely to engage with your content. And when it’s time to ask for a meeting, boom! You’ll be in a much better position.
But hold on, there are two more crucial things to keep in mind.
- Make sure you have a proven strategy for posting content that resonates with your customers. This will help you stay on their radar and keep the engagement going.
- When you finally get them to the meeting, make it count. Show them the value of your meeting so they’ll be eager to attend the next time you ask. It’s all about making a lasting impression.
Here are a few strategies that could help you host a valuable meeting:
- Understand Their Needs: Before scheduling a meeting, do your homework. Understand what the customer is looking for and tailor your meeting agenda to address those needs. If a customer sees that the meeting will be of value to them, they are far more likely to attend.
- Make it Interactive: Nobody enjoys sitting through a one-sided conversation. Make your meetings interactive. Encourage your customers to share their thoughts and experiences. This not only makes the meeting more engaging but also helps you better understand your customer’s needs.
- Showcase Value, not Features: It’s easy to get caught up talking about how great your product is. However, what your customers really care about is how your product or service will benefit them. Focus on the benefits and the customer will be more likely to want to attend the meeting.
- Follow Up: Don’t just schedule a meeting and then forget about it until the day. Send a follow-up email a few days before the meeting, reminding them of the agenda and the potential benefits they can gain from attending.
- Offer Flexibility: Be sensitive to your customer’s time. Offer to meet at a time that is convenient for them and be prepared to reschedule if needed. The more accommodating you are, the more likely they are to attend.
Remember, the goal isn’t just to get the customer to the meeting, but to create an environment where they find value and want to continue the relationship with you.
Boosting Confidence & Skills in Upselling and Cross-Selling
Remember the advice I gave earlier on how to get customers to attend meetings? Well, guess what? Social media is the answer once again. Having a strong social media strategy allows you to leverage platforms like LinkedIn and Twitter to connect with your customers, engage in meaningful conversations, and eventually set up meetings. And over time, this opens up opportunities for upselling and cross-selling.
Now, here’s the key to a successful social selling strategy: do not sell. I know it may sound counterintuitive, but it’s crucial not to come across as salesy on social media. Instead, focus on sharing valuable content that resonates with your customers. Keep interacting with their posts, and when the time is right and they encounter a problem that your product can solve, they will naturally turn to you.
That’s right, they’ll come to you.
At that point, you’re not selling; you’re presenting a solution to a problem they have. The pressure is off you because you’re simply showcasing the value of your products, just like a great Customer Success Manager would. Nice!
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