Sales 101 for Customer Success Managers

Customer Success is a nomadic existence. Where is our home planet? It’s been about ten years after the term was coined, and CS teams are still the wanderers of the corporate org chart.

When I first became a CS team manager, we were often regarded as a cost center. CS was part of Product, Support, or simply its own department. But it’s an increasing trend to see CSMs falling under the sales umbrella. This is for CSMs who suddenly find themselves in a land where they are “carrying a number.”

Myth: If I am in Sales, my credibility goes out the window.

Reality: “Sales” is more of a conversation than you think. You can still be a trusted advisor. I have always been. My first retail sales job was in my early 20s, at music stores, which was incredibly competitive. I was selling synths, samplers, and studio gear. I knew my products inside and out. It’s where I learned how to take computers apart. We never “hard sold” anyone, and I still don’t. Sure, I learned how to persuade and articulate my beliefs better, but even today, I never lie at my job. I listen and respond.

If you are passionate about your company’s products, and solving your customers problems, Sales is more about customers getting the most from your products and services, and making sure this value proposition is heard amongst the competitive noise.