We asked Sales Performance International executives and consultants what kind of changes we can expect to see for the sales profession in the coming new year and compiled their perspectives and opinions in our eBook, “Sales Performance Improvement Trends for 2018 and Beyond”.
Dorthy Wood is SPI’s Director of Customer Success Group in North America.
What major trend do you see in your area of sales or learning performance expertise?
Customer success management roles are becoming mainstream, but the customer success managers focus too heavily on utilization as opposed to business outcomes.
What is causing this trend?
Companies, especially SaaS-type companies, realize that new customer acquisition is difficult, expensive and unpredictable. These companies have invested in building “Customer Success” functions to drive renewals proactively by ensuring that the customer fully utilizes the solution and creates value that justifies the renewal spend. Measuring utilization is easy but measuring value creation is difficult. As a result, customer success focus has been too heavy on utilization and too light on value.
What opportunities or threats does the trend pose for businesses and sales organizations?
Companies that don’t measure value creation put themselves at risk of an unpleasant surprise. The economy and business have been relatively good over the past few years. However, if conditions change then organizations will become much more focused on value creation and return on investment. As technology and point-solution applications have exploded in popularity, organizations have become bloated with tools that don’t create sufficient value. These investments will get cut if vendors cannot help the customer justify the investment.
In light of the trend, what advice do you have for business and sales leaders?
Companies must learn to measure the value they create for their customers, and customer success groups must focus more on this metric. Measuring value takes some work and commitment, but it is in everyone’s best interest to go that extra step. Establish a standard protocol for measuring value with the customers, train your people, and stay committed.
Download our eBook “Sales Performance Improvement Trends for 2018 and Beyond” today!