Empowering Customer Success teams to deliver exceptional experiences is hard. As a newer function within B2B SaaS, it comes with its own unique challenges. These challenges become particularly evident as companies scale.
Most organizations still depend on tools like Hubspot and Salesforce to manage their CS operations. Are these excellent platforms for managing the sales funnel? Yes. But when it comes to the customer funnel? Not so much. In this article you'll find out why this is a problem, and how you can fix it.
Understanding the Customer Funnel
Before diving in, we need to first understand the difference between the sales funnel and the customer funnel. A sales funnel represents lead generation and conversion. This stage is only the beginning of the customer journey. The customer funnel contains every engagement customers have with your business. This includes sales, onboarding, product adoption and renewal. CS needs to ensure consistent value delivery across them all.
Salesforce and HubSpot: Powerful Sales Tools
Salesforce and HubSpot are well-regarded for their capabilities in managing sales processes. Their robust CRM functionalities enable businesses to optimize lead generation and pipeline management. They are the go-to choice for sales teams because they excel at lead nurturing, scoring and automating sales workflows.
The Gap in Customer Success Operations
There's no doubt that Salesforce and HubSpot are excellent assets for sales teams. But they may not adequately address the needs of customer success operations. Customer success comes with its own challenges. This means CS teams need a different set of tools and approaches to perform at their best. Traditional CRM platforms do not enable proactive engagement and ongoing value delivery.
Key Challenges in Scaling Customer Success
Key Challenges in Scaling Customer Success:
a. Limited Customer-centric features
Customer success requires personalized customer communication, customer health tracking, and proactive support. Traditional CRM platforms may lack dedicated features tailored to these needs.
b. Difficulty in churn & expansion prediction
Customer Success has 2 main aims:
1. Prevent churn; and
2. Drive expansions
CS teams need to be able to predict customer behaviour to achieve them. This requires rely on indicators like product usage and adoption patterns. Standard CRM tools often lack the capability to adequately track these specific indicators.
c. Lack of in-depth product analysis
Customer success relies on understanding how customers interact with the product. Advanced analytics specific to product usage may be missing in general CRM platforms.
d. Challenges in customer segmentation
Customer segmentation works differently in CS compared to sales and marketing. Instead of personas and verticals, customers are segmented based on the type of support they need. This functionality may not be available in traditional CRMs.
Bridging the Gap: Dedicated Customer Success Platforms
To truly scale customer success operations, businesses need to rethink their approach. A dedicated customer success platform (CSP) with inbuilt tools would serve CS teams much better than CRMs. Most CSPs contain insights, automation and collaboration capabilities. These features cater to the unique requirements of the customer funnel.
Empathetic CSPs focus on the customer's success above all else. Features like inbuilt product analytics, churn prediction tools and automations enable businesses to:
- Proactively engage with customers;
- Personalize communications;
- Track customer Health;
- Leverage detailed product analytics to optimize user experiences;
- Create segments for tailored engagement strategies;
- Manage and report revenues within the platform.
Salesforce and Hubspot, while great options for sales teams, simply don't offer the same capabilities. CSPs bridge the tech gap by offering the CS-specific features that traditional tools lack.
Organizations looking to do CS at scale need to invest in CS-focused tools. It's the best way to maintain a proactive and engaged CS team at scale. With this investment, businesses can build a loyal customer base that supports sustainable growth.