amos wasgatt
Linda Formichelli

Linda Formichelli

How Our New Sales Leader Approaches the Sales and CS Dynamic

Team members teach you a lot. In this case, our new Head of Sales, Amos Wasgatt, has spent a decade in early-stage SaaS working closely alongside Customer Success teams and observing how they leverage tech. And Amos has a lot of good things going on outside the 9-5, too: He’s the busy dad of two young girls, loves visiting Cape Cod, and is an avid golfer and fisherman.

So I was excited to learn Amos’ insider insights about:

  • How Customer Success and Sales work together to support the customer
  • What it was like as a Sales leader leveraging Customer Success platforms
  • Why every team across the entire organization needs access to CS software
  • Balancing focus on new business while also delighting existing customers

I was intrigued by what Amos shared—and I think you will be, too.

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What’s your philosophy on Sales and Customer Success?

“When you’re signing up new customers, you are signing up ambassadors for your company.”

It’s part of my job as a salesperson to ensure we’re bringing in the right customers. When you’re signing up new customers, you are signing up ambassadors for your company. Customers talk, customers take part in forums. When customers are out there talking to each other, you want to make sure they have a great sales experience and share how much they love the product. I’ve seen ineffective sales organizations slow down company growth long-term because they have a bleak name out in the field.

Salespeople are often tasked with getting a deal done at all costs, leading to unqualified deals. Sales are chasing after MRR and MRR only with an “anything it takes” attitude in many organizations. At best, this mentality can set your Customer Success team up for an awkward kick-off and, at worst — inevitable churn. I feel it’s my team’s job to set our Customer Success organization up for a healthy relationship so that our company can flourish.

This is why a strong understanding of what a healthy customer looks like is essential across your entire organization. It advises sales and marketing to go after the right customers, and you end up growing with a clear purpose for longer-term success. It leads to building an organization that’s bringing in quality customers-people who will be passionate about your product.

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In the past, you’ve worked at SaaS companies that used Customer Success software. What was that experience like?

“Customer Success Managers want to spend their time with customers—not decoding how to use complicated third-party software.”

Even though I was a Sales leader, I never had access to our Customer Success software. I might see a screengrab of it in a meeting here and there, but I never had access to it. I couldn’t see the health of the customer base in my territory. I couldn’t pinpoint healthy customers and start exploring whether we could get referrals or examine their network. That was unfortunate because it holds the team back from rapid growth potential.

CS software can illuminate great opportunities for Sales and CS—giving them an understanding of who’s requesting specific features and why…but many are too expensive and too siloed to provide the sales team access. For most SaaS companies, you have to use so many different products to try to put together the information you need.

Like most of the products today, the software was also too complex and challenging to use. The CS team had to get trained and retrained on it, and engineers and full-time administrators were required to manage the product. It took a year for the CS team to feel like they are getting any value from the platform in many cases.

Customer Success Managers want to spend their time with customers—not decoding how to use complicated third-party software. That’s why I was excited to join the Quala team and help our customers spend more time with the people who matter most…their customers.

What’s the most common question you hear when you’re first discussing Quala with new CS Leaders?

“CS Leaders want to hear about where we are headed as a business and what makes us different from other Customer Success tech.”

Here at Quala, we know our customers do business with people, not logos. That’s why our approach to market is very human-centric. We allow teams to precisely uncover how their customers are using their products while also capturing previously untapped qualitative insights that influence customer health.

Our take on qualitative insights is unique. We work to amplify the CSM’s voice by allowing them to complete a series of customized and standardized assessments where they share how, in their expert opinion, healthy a customer is. We call this data “insights from the field,” and it’s our way of weaving in essential insights that allow sales teams to better prospect, marketing teams to better message, and product teams to deliver better value to customers.

We then weave all quantitative and qualitative insights into a health score that delivers a unique understanding of customer renewability. On top of that, Quala offers a frictionless onboarding experience that has allowed teams to get up and running as little as 60 minutes.

We Love Learning About Customer Success. Want to Learn With Us?

Would you like to be part of the conversation around human-centric Customer Success, share your insights on Customer Success topics, and learn from other smart CSMs? Join us in the Humans of CS Community. (It’s free!

 

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