Why the Customer Success Team Should Own Upsells and Expansions
Updated: Apr 13
Upsells and expansions are a huge part of your company’s revenue. They can also be an enormous headache to manage for both the customer success team and the sales team. But who should own them? We know that companies love upsells, with a 90% win rate and 84% faster sales cycles than a new logo, but they often fail to provide value for the customer if not handled correctly. The good news is that one party in your organization has all the tools necessary to make sure these offers are successful: Your customer success team! At involve.ai, we have experimented with both sales teams and CS teams to run upsells, and our vote is for the CS team to own it. Here’s why:
The customer success team is the best team to sell upsells and expansions
The customer success team is the best team to sell upsells and expansions because they have all of your customers’ information at their fingertips. They know what features are most important, which ones need improvement or updating — and how much each one costs! Plus, if a user has an issue with any part of the product (even something that’s not related), it can be escalated quickly without involving sales reps who may not understand the customers’ situation.
Sales account executives are great to close existing customers because of their negotiation skills. However, with some added training for CS teams to identify expansion opportunities and manage sales cycles, they can better find and close expansion opportunities. Sometimes sales reps call customers who are not happy with the product or have support tickets open, which can backfire.
Imagine the product you are using is not working, and then the vendors’ sales director calls you to talk about their new shiny feature worth $$s. I have been there on both sides, and it’s not fun.
They have a deep understanding of the customer’s needs
The customer success and customer service teams have a deep understanding of the customer’s needs. They are knowledgeable about what they’re using and know the customer’s pain points. They also have a deep knowledge of their company’s product or service offering so that when it comes to upselling opportunities for expansions in other areas like support services (e-mail marketing) or new features/products, they can better find them by listening more closely than sales reps who may be only looking at numbers on an excel spreadsheet without context.
They also have a good relationship with the customer
So it feels more like an extension of their service rather than another company trying to make money off them Customer success and customer service managers have a great relationship with the customer. The sales managers may know the decision-makers. However, selling happens by committees now. And the customer service manager will have relationships with the champions, users, IT, security team, project managers, and the decision-makers. It can make relationship selling a better experience for your customers.
In conclusion, the customer success team should own upsells and expansions.
In conclusion: The Customer Success and Service team should own upsells and expansion. At least they should tag upsell opportunities for the sales team. My recommendation would be to incentivize your customer teams by compensating them on upsells and cross-sells along with retention. Train them on closing, MEDDIC, and sales skills. And empower them to handle upsells.