Many moons ago, when I started my channel marketing career at a tech giant, I’m pretty sure I never met anyone on our customer success or customer experience team. And as I moved to smaller companies where I led marketing, no one ever suggested that channel marketing, channel sales, or customer success teams should collaborate, like never. Fast forward to 2020 when I launched Spark Your Channel and investors asked me what my first hire was going to be, which was a no-brainer. Customer Success. I can sell and I can market (not to mention I own a marketing agency that can help) but as anyone who has worked in CS/CX or account management can tell you, their relationship with the customer is typically longer-term and more personal. So how should marketing, sales, and customer success work together? Our through-channel demand generation flywheel blog post is a great example.
Back In The Olden Days
You know the story….we walked four miles to school, barefoot, in three feet of snow, and uphill both ways. But really, marketing sent emails, sales made calls and had really expensive dinners with prospects (when I was at EMC I got to partake once, the bill for 12 people was more than I made in a month) and customer success did what they did, whatever that was. Truth be told, no one in sales or marketing really knew what customer success did.. Triage irate phone calls from customers? Teach people how to use our products? Defer to our channel partners? But today, it’s very clear that customer experience is a driving force when it comes to business success.
Let’s Get Real
For some reason whenever I’m in a room with someone from sales, someone from marketing and someone from customer success, I feel like they can’t hear each other. They each feel their challenges are the most important ones to solve and that the other teams don’t understand how hard their job is. The bottom line…if these three teams worked well together, challenges would disappear, customers would be delighted and excited to renew, and selling would be ten times easier. Here’s how…
- Marketing would be able to attract new prospects because the general reputation of the company and solutions would be so great.
- Listening to customer success, marketing would be able to build case studies, hear about different use cases, and drive a product-led growth strategy that would make the sales team’s job a million times easier.
- Sales wouldn’t over-promise something the tech wasn’t capable of, but instead be able to explain why that feature/function isn’t available and why we’re better for it!
And on that note…people often ask me why Spark doesn’t include email automation.. So I explain how Partners want to send email through their own platform, and how they don’t trust direct vendor sales teams with their lead lists.or how adding email would make the entire platform much less agile. One conversation at a time, I’m changing the way people think about through-channel demand gen while also ensuring my dev team doesn’t get distracted by something being injected into their roadmap at the last minute.
- Sales can now leverage great content, case studies, and anecdotal information from customer success when trying to nurture a lead or close a deal.
- Customer Success, who is in the longer-term relationship with the customer, now has the resources, thought leadership, and recognition they deserve as so much more than just “handling angry client calls.”
All in all, there are so many benefits to HubSpot’s flywheel methodology than we can cover in one blog post. For more on why we’re loving the flywheel model, be sure to check back. In the meantime, check out my recent session on What Star Wars Can Teach You About Through-Channel Demand Gen…hint it was recorded on May the 4th!