Apology +

I published an article yesterday. I apologize. I re-read the article. It was a total rant. I unpublished it. Deleted it. Gone. Done. I apologize. This should be more productive.

Two things happened yesterday that stem from the same seed.

A service provider asked for a referral that could help with his website. I made the introduction and yesterday, I got this from my web guy.

Rick, when I was introduced, he and I spent a lot of time together.  Tried to figure out the problems and if I could help.
 
He's looking for a magic bullet and lacks patience in the sales process.
 
His biggest issue was lack of leads and he's afraid to ask for referrals or do anything that isn't subservient.
 
If he used the tools that you use and did what you said he wouldn't need my help or whoever's help he's looking for.
 
He's in a business that is referral based and wants orange kool aid and an agency b/c he's from an agency.
 
When he gets over himself and is able to be himself I'd love a reintroduction.
 

Also, I finished an exchange with a Director of Customer Success. Here are some excerpts...

Them: Being a Customer Success leader in an organization is often a challenge. Why? Because no sales rep will qualify out a lead when they have a target to hit. And those leads, that they won’t give up on, end up churning after a year, taking down the KPI for which I am responsible...
 
Needless to say that my team is unable to increase Net Retention when the bucket is leaking. 
 
Do you have an advise/tip/recommendation for bridging this gap? 
 
Me: I referred them to several articles on churn and the flywheel and ended with so, back to your original question. "Do you have an advise/tip/recommendation for bridging this gap?"
  • Determine whether there are employees. managers or executives in your organization that renew when they're happy customers.
  • Think about and use this page.
  • Decide whether you want to take up this gauntlet.
If you'd like to talk with me, book a call.

Them: The read about the flywheel is a very interesting one, applying this to post-sales organizations (like customer success/ account management) can help us to increase our cross-sell and upsell rates. That said, post-sales organizations do not have a pre-defined funnel like sales organizations do, or at least at my company, we do not have it.

Me: I hope that this doesn't upset you, but are you trying to get an answer without identifying the real issue? In my first reply to you, I suggested that the short answer is "hire better". In your last reply, you wrote, "The read about the flywheel is a very interesting one". I agree, but your answer is probably here.
Them: Customer Success is not 100% identical to sales, though, different skill set (with some overlap) is required. 
 
For the post sale team, the quality of sell is key. If reps will not sell for success it does not matter how talented my people are and how happy we make our customers, they will not renew. 
 
When $$ are on the table, Churn becomes secondary to new sales and only at the end of the Q it is when management starts to think about renewal rates and why these aren’t as high as they wanted it to be. Maybe this is common for companies at hyper growth phase? 

I both cases, the 'prospect' is avoiding the fact that they have a sales problem. If sales is doing their job well, they'll do much of their own marketing using the flywheel. If sales is selling clean, their customers will succeed, renew and refer. BUT, if sales is the bottleneck... if sales is sloppy or under-performing... if sales is over-promising, cutting price, no amount of marketing or customer success efforts can help.

I'll socialize this article on LinkedIn and Twitter. Feel free to comment there. 


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