CSM's involved pre-sales

Lexi Santiago
Lexi Santiago Member Posts: 5 Seeker
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edited August 2023 in CS Org Conversations

Could you please share any effective strategies or approaches your organization employs to ensure the active involvement of customer success managers in the pre-sales process, thus fostering more vital collaboration between the sales team and the customer success team?


  • Jeffrey Kushmerek
    Jeffrey Kushmerek Member Posts: 96 Expert
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    @Lexi Santiago I have done this a lot in my career. The most important thing is to let the Sales leader know how you can HELP the sales team close deals. Whether it is meeting with prospects before they close, answering their questions, giving them the confidence they need to close a deal - these are all things you can do to help.

    I also like having 3 clear slides that the sales team can present on the post sale process, and then you can get brought in at a later time

  • Marc Phillips
    Marc Phillips Member Posts: 13 Contributor
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    Agree. Presumably access to a Customer Success Manager post the sale to help the buyer get what they need from the software they are buying is an additional benefit from purchasing from your company. In a sense, you're another feature of the 'product' that Sales should appreciate in helping them close the deal. If Sales doesn't view CS in this way, dig into that and you'll probably unearth an iceberg of which this is the tip. Definitely a worthwhile exercise for long-term success.

  • John Bosch
    John Bosch Member Posts: 26 Expert
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    I'll share some things that have worked for me in the past with more of an operational lens to it.

    1. Assign the CSM 1 or 2 steps before "CLOSED WON" in your sales process.
    2. Introduce the CSM once assigned. Approach it as a "meet and greet" and get the customer excited about the post-sale relationship. Both the CSM and Salesperson should be able to speak eloquently about the post-sale experience and how it will all work. A few standard slides or one-pagers are great here.
    3. WARNING: Do not fall into the trap of actually starting onboarding work prior to the deal closure, use meeting the CSM as a "carrot" to get ink on paper so the customer can start to work with the CSM.
    4. If the deal doesn't close, it's no big deal that a CSM was assigned, now just take their name off the account and they get put back into the list for the next assignment based on whatever your CS assignment process is. If it does close, it makes the hand-off process even easier.

    The key benefits of this from the CSM perspective were really around understanding the people and scope of what has been talked about before anything is officially on paper. It also becomes a way for CS to start managing expectations earlier in the process. I've seen many great Sales/CS partnerships develop from this approach, where the CS meet and greet is really leveraged as part of deal-closing activities.

    Hope that helps!

  • BillDavis
    BillDavis Member Posts: 1 Navigator
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    I generally assign a CSM around 80% probability for Enterprise or High Touch. They then get engaged for the more strategic use cases, introduced for all. For SMB or Growth accounts assignments are around 95% when we are in final negotiations.