When I was at primary school back in the early ‘80s, my class put on a production of “Fiddler on the Roof”. I was terribly under-cast as the “Villager” during a scene that involved me mostly standing at the back of the stage, wearing a fake beard and looking earnest. Post show, my parents raved that I was a wild success and the “star of the show” (it’s amazing what you believe as a kid). My only other involvement in the show was to join the chorus in the singing of the production’s big number: “Matchmaker”, a song I can still modestly sing the main verse to – it goes like this:
Make me a match,
Find me a find,
Catch me a catch
Look through your book,
And make me a perfect match
The role of “Matchmaker” in history is well established and although in “Fiddler on the Roof” it was about marriage, all of us deal with different types of matchmakers in our everyday personal and professional lives:
In bringing the client and the Customer Success Manager together, the Sales Executive in this case is the “Matchmaker” attempting to make the “perfect match”. Whether the relationship has a chance of blossoming into a long-standing love affair (think Scarlett O'Hara & Rhett Butler) or hits the rocks immediately (think Jordan and…well almost everyone) will be in large part down to how good a job the Sales Matchmaker does in the pre-sales process.
Get it right and your chances of a successful launch, long-term user adoption, first-year renewal and future growth prospects are all high. Screw it up and you have a customer looking for the exit door before the ink of their contract has hardly dried. In reality, it’s rarely a binary choice between a perfect customer who ticks every box and a terrible one who ticks none – more often they typically sit somewhere in the middle.
Here are my top tips about how you can help ensure that Sales become the best possible matchmakers and set up a long-standing love affair between the client and the Customer Success Management team:
Although the matchmaking process (for marriage at least) seems archaic to many people in the modern world, it may come back into fashion. According to a 2012 study by “Statistic Brain”, the global divorce rate for arranged marriages was 6% (compared to the 55% of non-arranged marriages). Just imagine how good a 6% churn rate (or even lower) would be for your business? That’s definitely something that we can all sing to - with or without the fake beard.
Author Bio: Adam Joseph
Founder of CSM Insight who had previously spent 15 years managing Customer Success organisations for leading businesses. Passionate about all things Customer Success and a recent keynote speak at the Gainsight Pulse EMEA conference.