Oct 30, 2020 • 54M

208 Rav Dhaliwal Go to market is half the battle. Customer success is the other half

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Bill Cushard
Helping Sells Radio is the enterprise software podcast for people who want to help customers achieve outcomes with software. We talk to technology professionals who work all over the customer journey, from marketing and sales to customer success and professional services, to unpack innovative ways people are taking a helpful approach with customers. Brought to you by ServiceRocket Media.
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Rav Dhaliwal is an investor and venture partner at Crane Venture Partners, and he wrote an article recently called, There’s no such thing as post sales. You might be thinking, as I was thinking, “Wait a minute, of course there’s post sales. We have pre-sales (marketing and sales), which is everything that happens before the sales is made. And then there is post sales (customer success, professional services, support), which is everything that happens after the sale.”

Every software company has this.

We need both to be successful, don’t we?

We do. Dhaliwal says so in his article...

To truly have any chance of becoming a company that can grow to millions in (sustainable) recurring revenue, you not only need a great product that you can market and sell effectively, you really have to figure out (and invest early in) how you are going to keep and grow those customers forever.

Go to market is half the battle. Customer success is the other half.


We need both.

But here’s where Dhaliwal’s article, and our conversation, gets interesting.

Customer lifetime value (LTV) is a critical number to know for each customer. It guides how much we invest in sales and marketing to find new customers, and how much we invest to retain and grow existing customers. In some sense, LTV is the ultimate team measure of success because it is a barometer for all of the following:

  1. Did we sell to the right customers?

  2. Did the implementation satisfy both the buyer and the user?

  3. Did the customer achieve first value in a reasonable time frame?

  4. Is the customer achieving the milestones in the success plan?

  5. Is the customer showing signs of using the produce more, using more of it, and using it more often?

Positive answers to all of these questions generally leads to a strong and growing relationship with customers.

LTV goes up.

Positive answers to the questions above only happen when pre-sales teams and post-sales teams work like one team.

A tight alignment between sales and customer success is really the main point Dhaliwal is making. Customer success should be attending sales calls and pipeline review meetings. Sales teams should be attending QBRs and renewal calls.

Just two example of how a software company might bring sales and customer success together around the customer.

After talking with Rav, I am down with saying “there's no such thing as post sales. Just the next sale.”

More about Dhaliwal:

  1. Crane Venture Partners

  2. His Medium post: There’s no such thing as post sales

  3. On Linkedin