How Customer Success Evaluation and Training Supports Your Sales Team

12 mins

Elevate your sales with Pareto's customer success training. Boost product knowledge, align communication, and enhance retention and upsell opportunities for sustainable growth.

Establishing and maintaining strong relationships is crucial in sales. If you're experiencing challenges, such as high failure rates in the early stages of your sales process and limited upsell opportunities, it's worth evaluating your sales teams’ customer success approach. Luckily, Pareto’s customer success training team can support you with this. 

Successfully closing a sale relies heavily on effective interpersonal skills. Building and nurturing connections with existing and potential customers can significantly impact your success. Implementing proven customer success practices not only helps secure the initial meeting but also plays a vital role in sustaining a positive client relationship, potentially leading to significant retention and upsell opportunities.

If you want to improve customer success metrics within your team, check out our top five tips for evaluating your team from Pareto's Jessica Perez. Jessica is a course leader focussing on customer success training. 

We’ll dive into: 

  • The importance of product knowledge.

  • Ensuring your sales team’s communication aligns with customer expectations.

  • Seeking feedback from the sales team.

  • Setting standards for the sales reps.

  • The benefits of customer success training.

1. Product Knowledge is Power

 “Get in the know. If your sales reps are calling potential customers and they don’t know exactly what they’re selling and how it can benefit the person or company they’re calling, then there are already some potentially serious pitfalls in your customer success offering.”

When your sales team picks up the phone or speaks to a prospective client, they need to know precisely what they‘re selling. They should understand the benefits of every product or service inside and out to ensure they meet the  customer's needs. If the customer asks questions and they don’t have an expert response, you could lose your customers’ trust.

Product knowledge is not just a means to better-informed customers but a catalyst for quick problem resolution and building a solid company reputation. Here are the key benefits of a well-trained sales team with outstanding product knowledge. 

Benefits of Product Knowledge for Customer Success

  • Builds Confidence - When your sales possess in-depth product knowledge, it boosts their confidence. This confidence translates into authority and effective communication when assisting customers. Well-informed representatives navigate complex inquiries more adeptly, contributing to a positive customer experience.

  • Builds Customer Trust by Providing Factual Information - Trust is invaluable in customer success. Accurate and reliable information fosters trust, encouraging customers to see your company as a dependable source. Satisfied customers are more likely to recommend your brand, leading to positive word-of-mouth and an enhanced brand reputation.

  • Enhance Customer Retention - Customer retention is more cost-effective than acquiring new customers. 89% of customers would make another purchase after a positive experience. Deep product knowledge allows your team to proactively address issues, offering personalised support that makes customers feel valued. This personalised approach reduces churn and increases customer retention rates.

  • Increase Your Upsell Opportunities - A well-informed customer success team can identify opportunities for upselling or cross-selling complementary products. By recognising when additional offerings benefit customers and suggesting them, your team contributes to business growth and increases customer engagement.

  • Increased Efficiency and Effectiveness - Efficient customer success relies on the precision and effectiveness of the information provided. Product knowledge enables your team to swiftly identify and address customer problems, reducing wait times and improving overall efficiency. It also streamlines support processes, leading to smoother interactions and effective service delivery.

2. Align Your Communication with Your Customers’ Expectations 

 “Stay on top of your communications at all times. Mirror your client. If they like to chat on the phone, call them back. If they email you first thing in the morning, be on hand to respond. As soon as you lose contact or they can’t get hold of you when they need you, you’re putting your relationship in jeopardy.”

The way you communicate with your clients is essential to keeping them happy and ensuring a sale. Don’t pester them or get in touch too often, but always appear available to help out and even become a trusted advisor. Always aim to communicate with your client within half a day and keep them in the loop with any problems or issues. Even failed projects can be a chance to learn – use them to see what’s working and what’s not.

Enhancing communication to better align with your customer’s expectations is a crucial step toward improving your sales team's effectiveness. As a sales manager, focusing on practical strategies that resonate with your team's day-to-day activities can yield positive results. 

Here are some vital communication skills needed to ensure customer expectations are met.

  • Actively Listening - Encourage your sales team to prioritise active listening. By truly understanding customers' concerns and preferences, they can gather valuable insights to tailor their approach effectively.

  • Personalisation - Emphasise the importance of personalised communication. Show your team how using customer names, referencing past interactions, and acknowledging specific needs can significantly enhance customer relationships.

  • Preferred Communication Channels - Stress the significance of identifying and respecting customers' preferred communication channels. This not only streamlines communication but ensures that messages are received promptly, contributing to a smoother sales process.

  • Adaptability - Instill the importance of adaptability in communication styles. Different customers have different preferences, and by adjusting their approach, your sales team can better meet individual customer needs.

  • Timely Responses - Reinforce the value of timely responses. Promptly addressing customer inquiries builds trust and demonstrates a commitment to customer satisfaction, which are key elements in improving sales performance.

  • Clear and Concise Messaging - Highlight the importance of clear and concise communication. Provide examples and guidance on avoiding jargon, ensuring that your sales team's messages are easily understood by customers.

3. Seek Feedback from the Sales Team

 “Your team are the ones on the ground, and a great way to get to the bottom of a potential customer service issue is to simply ask them what they think and what they need to improve.”

Bring your team together and strike up a dialogue about it. Ask them if they feel supported, have the right skills, or have any ideas for improvements. You might find they lack confidence or simply need a little extra, but you might never know without asking.

Here are key strategies for gathering feedback from your sales teams:

Employees Surveys 

These surveys create a culture where sales team members feel confident leaving feedback. They are usually sent out every six months or annually and can gather information about your sales team's satisfaction and how they think those processes can be improved. These surveys should be anonymous to encourage the sales team to be truthful.

Here are key questions you should ask in your surveys:

  • What’s the biggest obstacle while adding new customers?

  • What are the most common questions customers ask?

  • What does the customer’s typical buying process look like? How long does it last?

  • How do you define a sales-ready lead?

  • Information and data you wish you had about your customers

  • Are there any sales technologies that could support your role? 

Pulse Surveys 

Pulse surveys are increasingly favoured approaches for gathering employee feedback. These are brief, regular surveys that focus on specific topics. Position them as a means to add variety to the workday. The regularity of these surveys contributes to cultivating a feedback-oriented culture, emphasising your dedication to listening to employees at every level. Additionally, you can monitor the evolution of employee opinions on important matters over time and communicate your discoveries through newsletters and your workplace website.

One-on-One Meetings  

These dedicated and confidential sessions create a safe space for open communication, allowing sales reps to share insights on the customer experience.

During these sessions, managers can actively listen to their sales team members, inviting feedback and offering assistance. This approach fosters a deeper understanding of the employees' perspectives, including their needs, concerns, and aspirations. Furthermore, one-on-one meetings serve as a platform for the sales rep to pose direct questions, gauge their overall satisfaction, and discuss any challenges they may be encountering.

4. Set High Standards Across the Sales Team

 “Take a look at your team. What do their attitudes and behaviours say to you and what could they be saying to your clients? If you don’t like what you see, it might be time for a refresh.”

Reflection on your sales team is key to maintaining high standards and positive client interactions. As you evaluate their attitudes and behaviours, consider the narrative they may convey to you and your clients. If what you observe falls short of your expectations, initiating a team refreshment and training initiative is an opportune moment.

The attitudes and behaviours exhibited by your sales team serve as a direct reflection of your company's image. This extends beyond internal dynamics to influence how clients perceive your brand. If there are discrepancies between these behaviours and your desired standards, addressing them promptly through professional training and refreshment can be a proactive strategy.

Continuously monitoring and upholding these standards not only ensures a cohesive and professional team but also strengthens the positive impression your clients have of your company. Remember, a well-aligned and trained sales team is an asset that significantly contributes to overall client satisfaction and loyalty.

Here are a few examples of standards to observe and maintain: 

Personal Appearance:

  • Adhering to grooming and hygiene standards set by the company.

  • Ensuring that team members present a neat and professional appearance.

Customer Interactions:

  • Politeness and courtesy in customer interactions.

  • Ability to address customer concerns with empathy and patience.

  • Maintaining a positive and helpful attitude during customer interactions.

Adherence to Company Policies:

  • Following company policies and guidelines in all interactions and transactions.

  • Compliance with ethical standards and industry regulations.

Problem Resolution:

  • Effectively resolving customer issues or complaints in a timely manner.

  • Seeking solutions and involving the necessary resources to address challenges.

Cross-Team Collaboration:

  • Collaborating effectively with colleagues from different departments.

  • Sharing information and resources to enhance overall team productivity.

Continuous Learning and Development:

  • Demonstrating a commitment to ongoing learning and skill development.

  • Staying informed about industry trends and advancements.

Feedback Receptiveness:

  • Being open to constructive feedback from both peers and superiors.

  • Using feedback as an opportunity for personal and professional growth.

Professionalism on Social Media:

  • Maintaining professionalism in personal and professional social media accounts.

  • Avoiding controversial or inappropriate content that could reflect poorly on the company.

5. Embrace Professional Customer Success Training Providers

 “Sometimes you’re too close to the project and the team. Occasionally you need to take a step back and let professional training providers get your team up to scratch.”

Businesses must prioritise customer success training to address this perception and stand out in a competitive market. It goes beyond finding fast solutions to individual customer issues; it involves treating each interaction with care. Training sales reps to view customer interactions as opportunities for valuable engagement and the foundation for building long-term relationships is paramount.

Professional training providers offer a variety of courses designed to enhance individuals' customer service skills and selling techniques. Businesses can choose from a range of options that best suit the needs of their customer service teams. Whether seeking specialised training or preferring private sessions for all customer service representatives, these training providers are equipped to assist.

The courses cover a spectrum of topics, including communication skills improvement, effective handling of customer complaints, and strategies for fostering customer loyalty. Professional training providers are committed to tailoring bespoke training packages precisely to the client's requirements. 

Here are the impacts that external professional training providers can have on your sales team: 

Building Customer Loyalty

One of the most significant outcomes of effective customer service is the building of customer loyalty. As stated earlier in our guide, 89% of consumers consider high-quality customer service as a determining factor for repeat purchases. However, the onus is on businesses to ensure their representatives are adequately trained to provide excellent support experiences.

In today’s business environment, where competition is fierce, customer service stands as a key differentiator. Properly trained customer service teams can give businesses a crucial edge over competitors, fostering customer loyalty and improving overall retention rates.

Empowering Employees for Success

The benefits of customer success training extend beyond customer satisfaction. Sales reps who undergo professional training are more likely to develop new skills, making them better equipped for their roles. This investment in employee development communicates to staff that the organisation values their continual growth, leading to increased engagement and motivation.

Engaged employees, armed with new and refined skills, become more adept at dealing effectively with customers. By involving the sales team in developing professional training programs and considering their feedback, businesses can further enhance engagement and ensure the relevance of the training to real-world scenarios.

Better Conflict Resolution 

Improved customer service directly correlates with increased customer satisfaction, retention, and loyalty. A reported 67% of churn was avoided if businesses resolved customer issues during their first interaction. Through professional training, customer service representatives enhance their ability to resolve issues efficiently, minimising the need for return calls. 

Trained sales reps interact with customers in a manner that makes them feel appreciated, laying the foundation for repeat business and lasting customer loyalty despite the initial conflict. 

Building a Company Culture

Employees who feel valued are more likely to contribute positively to the organisation. Customer success training plays a crucial role in demonstrating that employees matter. A positive work culture, where employees feel valued, not only aids in employee retention but also attracts more customers to the business. It delivers a brand-consistent customer experience, effectively communicating the business’ values to customers.

Understanding Customer Preferences for Business Growth

Every business aspires to attract more customers, but understanding how to do so remains challenging. Determining what existing customers want is an effective way to draw in new customers. Therefore, actively seeking customer feedback regarding their preferences is essential to improving customer success.

Driving Profitability through Customer Success

The impact of customer success training on a business's bottom line is undeniable. It contributes to higher customer retention, acquisition of new customers, reduced employee turnover, and increased sales. This professional training significantly affects employee motivation and morale, increasing productivity. By rallying sales reps around a common goal — satisfying the customer — businesses witness a positive ripple effect on profitability.

If you want to know how to assess your sales team’s training needs, check out our insightful guide, How to Conduct a Sales Training Needs Analysis.

Final Word on Evaluating Your Sales Teams’ Customer Success

Evaluating and improving your customer success processes is crucial to business strategy. The five tips provided - enhancing product knowledge, aligning communication with customer expectations, gathering team feedback, setting standards, and investing in a professional customer success training provider - collectively offer a practical approach to strengthening your customer success foundation.

Adopting a customer-centric approach, supported by well-informed and trained teams, not only addresses immediate customer needs but also establishes a foundation for long-term success. Regularly evaluating and refining your customer success practices is a proactive strategy that positions your business for sustained growth in a dynamic business environment.

Seeking Expert Customer Success Training for your Sales Team?

Transform your customer success and sales teams with Pareto's expert training. Elevate your business with tailored courses focusing on communication, complaint resolution, and customer loyalty. Let us shape your team into customer success champions and discover effective customer success training for enhanced skills and happier customers. 

Contact us and discover how we can become your specialist customer success training provider. 

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