Customer Success naturally owns revenue.
Businesses need to make money to exist
To make money, businesses need to create and keep customers
Customers remain loyal when they realize value and have a good experience
The purpose of Customer Success is to ensure that this value realization and positive experience occur
Customer Success does this by compelling efficient product adoption and effective business leverage of the application
When Customer Success is done well, customers generally continue to buy and likely buy more
In that case, generating revenue does not require a disparate sales action, it is a natural result of customer success
Customer Success naturally owns revenue
(I simply could not resist getting a mathematical proof in one of these days. ;)
Let’s unpack this.
Peter Drucker famously said “The purpose of a business is to create and keep customers”.
When companies do this efficiently and profitably they are rewarded with the money required to keep them going and growing.
In the early days of Software-as-a-Service, subscription business, Salesforce accurately identified that retaining customers is critical for the requisite profit, and the profession of Customer Success was born.
Although still nascent as an industry in its operational practices, the objective of Customer Success is to make sure customers successfully adopt the technology as efficiently as possible so that they quickly realize the business benefits of the application.
When Customer Success focuses on customers achieving business value, executes in a manner that makes it easy and enjoyable for the customer to do so, and they are able to demonstrate to the customer the return on investment of the purchase, the risk of the customer leaving is significantly reduced.
In fact, expansion revenue out of the customer base is also notably increased.
The point is, when done well, customer retention and expansion is an exercise in effective product adoption and value realization, not in advanced sales methodologies.
Customer Success, who’s main focus is all about working with the customer to drive their sought-after business outcomes through the use of the application within their business environment, and who hold the closest relationships with the customers, is therefore naturally equipped to have these discussions.
As such, it makes a lot of sense for Customer Success to own revenue.
SaaS companies need to sell services and keep customers to make money and stay in business.
Customer Success’ purpose is to ensure customers realize business value so they remain loyal.
When customers receive the return on investment that drives their business, they have no reason to churn.
If there is no reason to churn, there is no reason for the renewal or upsell to be a separate, time-consuming event requiring specialized skill sets, it should simply be a natural extension of what Customer Success does.
Owning revenue therefore should not be the focus of concern for Customer Success and something to avoid, rather delivering successful business outcomes through a well-established Customer Success business model that results in retained and expanded revenue is.
Own customer success and Customer Success will naturally own revenue!