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The 4 Important Handover Questions for Customer Success Managers!

Even before the ink on your contract is dry, you might be on a slippery slope down. Too many customers with great potential get lost because the handover between Sales and Customer Success just isn’t that great.

You can fill a book with the processes and workings of a perfect handover culture, but here’s my take: To fix the most urgent issues, 4 questions are enough. Ask your Sales rep these 4 questions before every handover, and you’re on your way to more healthy and happy customers.

1: What pain(s) is the customer trying to solve?

Does this sound obvious? It doesn’t – to many Sales reps. If they’re not used to a strong customer-centric culture, the Sales process can be very inside-out, with little focus on the actual pains of the customer. Just asking this question will be a great filter for you. Watch out though: Make sure your Sales team doesn’t just come up with the pains they think the customer wants to solve.

2: Who holds the budget? Do they also drive the implementation and adoption of the tool?

When it comes to handing over your customer, the decision maker should have been involved for a long time, and the financials should be clear. But just because we know who’s paying for it, doesn’t mean we know who’s driving implementation and adoption. Does your Sales team have the answers to this?

3: What does success look like for this particular customer?

Success is very different from just resolving a certain pain. In a well-rounded Sales process, your colleagues will have already sketched out what we need to deliver to make the customer truly successful, happy – and stay with us. What is the success moment that we need to get them to?

4: What competitors did they also look at and what made us different from these competitors?

For some reason this is an awkward question to ask. But chances are your new customer has had a demo call or at least a look at one of your competitors. Understanding what they liked better about your solution – or about your competitor – ensures that you can set a specific focus on the benefit or feature, and, in the long run, inform your commercial strategy.

If your sales team can’t answer all these 4 questions, hand it back to them to ensure a healthy and successful onboarding process. It might hurt the first time, but you all will be smarter and happier in the long run. 🙂