The Often Overlooked Sales Engine: Customer Success as Seen by Dan Mosher

The Often Overlooked Sales Engine: Customer Success as Seen by Dan Mosher

By: Dan Mosher, COO, Botrista

Some organizations treat customer success as an auxiliary support role rather than a core revenue driver. Treating this unit as a reactionary group hamstrings growth and retention. In the experience economy, customer success isn’t just about putting out fires – it’s about demonstrating value and accelerating sales momentum on an ongoing basis.

As the COO of Botrista, the leading beverage automation company, I’ve witnessed firsthand that prioritizing customer success as a sales function accelerates expansion and solidifies renewal rates.

Building the foundation

Traditionally, the lion’s share of resources is dedicated to initiating the contract, executing a compelling sales cycle and closing deals. But that’s just the opening chapter. The post-sale journey of implementation, optimization, and driving ROI is a make-or-break stage. If customer success can’t vividly illustrate the value, you’ll be lucky to make it to renewal.

At Botrista, we take a fundamentally different approach by viewing customer success as a continuation of sales rather than a support function. This holistic model encompasses seven distinct stages:

1) Deal Signed & Handoff  – where the hard work changes gears and the partnership begins.  The sales team hands off the engagement to the Customer Success team

2) Kickoff – Sets the tone of the relationship and conveys the Customer Success team’s commitment to excellence in operation. It also lays out key milestones that will guide the rollout and overall partnership

3) Implementation – Using great attention to detail in crafting a guided approach structured to maximize ROI from the get-go, we all jointly agree and launch the perfect ramp-up

4) Go Live – all the effort culminates into the perfectly-crafted launch of the partnership.  Immediately review metrics versus goals and assumptions

5) Iteration – success is about evolving, adapting and iterating to craft a perfect solution by leveraging data and known best practices

6) Analytics Utilization – leveraging our incredible data-backed platform to refine execution

7) Renewal/Expansion  – generate proof points and then leverage those to grow and expand the relationship based upon success

The benefits of a strong foundation

Each phase represents an opportunity to resell the value while seeding the narrative for continual growth.

Our account managers are dedicating immense amounts of time to ensuring the relationship and partnership continue to evolve. With between 40-70 accounts to visit on a regular basis, they’re focused on driving new business and positive customer outcomes. Every interaction, whether a simple check-in or a major marketing launch, is viewed through a sales lens. We approach each customer touchpoint with an intentional agenda – to reinforce the ROI, reiterate our differentiators and cross-sell supplemental offerings.

But true customer success can’t be contained to a silo – it requires organizational commitment and a multi-threaded approach. We maintain a collaborative partnership that puts us on the same side of the table as our customer. This type of engagment transcends a typical vendor relationship. Relationships are multi-threaded. While field-level Account Managers are forging strong relationships on the ground, Botrista’s senior leaders develop the relationship with senior executives of our customers. Additionally, our field operations (Service & Support) members develop relationships and strong lines of communication with our partners’ operations leaders.

Why it works

We compensate our customer success personnel based upon revenue growth and Annual Revenue Run Rate (“ARR”). This keeps the team members focused on elevating the customer relationship across all vectors.  

For restaurants and hospitality businesses, the stakes are high. Guest expectations are increasing, so simply remaining on the sidelines in the post-purchase journey is unacceptable. If we fail to maximize their investment and foresee opportunities through a hospitality lens, we’re failing at our mission of helping them captivate guests.

In today’s ultra-competitive environment, a strong customer success operation is mission critical to the success of your organization. A well honed customer success team transforms customers into growth catalysts and referral engines rather than churn risks. The sale doesn’t end at the signing of the contract – that’s just the starting line.