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A Conversation that Nails the Sales vs Customer Success Argument

It’s eye opening seeing how great sales people, selling deals worth millions, really operate. It’s an even greater shock seeing that they know customer outcomes better than anyone else. I’m in an office space near some sales guys and had a surprising chat with them during their pitch interval.

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The conversation.

The 2 sales guys working near me regularly close large deals.

From what I saw, they were always off wining and dining and they’re LOUD and WILD, with barely a filter on their thoughts. They are the stereotype.

Recently these 2 sales guys were doing a pitch along with their CEO to a team from a potential purchaser of the product.

During an interval I asked one of the sales guy how the pitch was going and he explained:

“Well, the CEO started to take the lead in the conversation with the clients.

He has lots of passion for the product, which is great.

He goes in and out of lots of details, which can be great but it’s too soon for that.

The clients don’t want to know about all the details yet and while they appreciate the passion, they want to know the statistical proof of the value of the product.

What will it do for them? What are the numbers? He’s not a salesman. He doesn’t understand.”

My immediate thought was “So, good sales people are mostly numbers driven and not primarily bullshit artists?”. Pretty damn obvious? I’m a fool.

Secondly, what the f**k?

Hey dude.

Passion and stuff.

Isn’t that what’s it all about?

My co-founder brain is part analytics and mostly product passion driven and so I was automatically on the CEO’s side but damn, the guy was obviously right. That CEO is not a better salesman because of his passion, he needs to focus on the results they get from the product.

My recent joy in learning about customer success as a perfect way to capture both sides was struggling with all the other sales related thinking I was doing.

This conversation told me that the sales side is perfectly in tune with the key purpose of customer success which is to make customers successful by achieving their desired outcomes.

Sales people are as good, if not far better, at understanding customer outcomes than anyone else. They just drink more. Lots more.

No-one gives a sh*t about your product, they want…

No-one gives a shit about your product, they want to buy a specific RESULT your product gives them*” is one of my favourite quotes by Mitchell Harper who has built multiple $200m revenue companies.

It's a hard truth.

Read more about growing your company the hard way including using customer success as your core philosophy

A Conversation that Nails the Sales vs Customer Success Argument
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