Evolving Sales Kick-Offs into Shared Kick-Offs with Marketing & Customer Success

Emilia D’Anzica   |   September 2019

When I started my career on the brink of the new millennium, Customer Success really didn’t exist – at least as a career path. Today, Customer Success is not only the 5th fastest growing profession according to LinkedIn, but also where company expansion revenue is being generated at a faster pace.

According to Invesp Consulting, compared to new customers, current customers are 50% more likely to spend on new products you release and will spend 31% more.

As a result, fast-growing companies like Adobe, TripActions, MavenLink, and Thought Industries understand that “closed won” in your CRM is no longer the end of the revenue stream from that customer, but rather the beginning of a partnership where both your company and the customer can benefit for years to come if shared goals are achieved. For your company, it is an opportunity to further expand the relationship with the customer via more product and service offerings. For the customer, it’s a way to reduce costs, centralize technology, and increase revenue.

Shared Kickoffs are fully Customizable

Example of a Shared Kick-off Workshop, Winning by Design

Compared to new customers, current customers are 50% more likely to spend on new products you release and will spend 31% more.

Team Zygo + Renata Centurion, GM, Winning by Design

Team Zygo + Renata Centurion, GM, Winning by Design

This speaks to the power of companies where alignment across Marketing, Sales, and Customer Success have been achieved; this is where the magic and true enablement begins. When cross-functional teams are able to speak the same language, create alignment, and feel enabled with relevant education and tools, they can work together as one team to grow as a whole and as individuals.

Including other teams in Sales Kick-Offs is becoming the norm in Silicon Valley and beyond, and the impact on organizations has been immediate. One client sent me a text the morning after their company Kick-Off and said, “We have already started implementing the frameworks you taught in our internal meetings – thank you!” Another customer told me, “I wish Product was part of these Kick Offs too, so they can better understand how Sales sells the product and how we enable our customers.”

Winning by Design Bow-Tie

The Customer Journey, Winning by Design

Companies are also recognizing the need to enable the Marketing team, especially around account-based marketing initiatives. Shari Johnston, Partner at Winning by Design, says, “My customers are realizing that “scaling” can’t just mean adding reps in new territories, but they need full end-to-end market creation for success. Sales shouldn’t have to feel responsible for the entire buyer’s journey – instead, they need to partner with their marketing counterparts to build the market in their area and get a foot in the door at those accounts that are likely to be their next customers. Marketing is a critical piece to market creation and revenue, and a Shared Kick-Off is a much-needed step to creating or maintaining that critical sales and marketing alignment needed to scale.”

‘Scaling’ can’t just mean adding reps in new territories, but they need full end-to-end market creation for success. Sales shouldn’t have to feel responsible for the entire buyer’s journey.

Investing in your employees for cross-team enablement on a yearly and biannual cadence is a strategic and crucial investment in your company. If you create experiences for your team where they can learn, role-play to practice what they are learning, and work through cross-functional challenges, they will deliver a better customer journey. We’ve had the pleasure of helping our customers address these challenges at their Kick-Offs – through keynote speaking, running workshops, and facilitating strategic sessions – and the results are high impact.

For example, by working with our client Mavenlink, they were able to see a significant impact on their Q1 vs. Q2 team performance:

*10% increase in Net Dollar Retention

*5% increase in Gross Dollar Retention

It’s not just a Sales Kick-Off anymore; we call this evolved event the Shared Kick-Off

It’s not just a Sales Kick-Off anymore; we call this evolved event the Shared Kick-Off. You can go here to learn more about the principles of a Shared Kick-Off and how to implement them at your event. And here is an example of part of a Shared Kick-Off agenda, for measurable impact with cross-team enablement:

Imagine what you can accomplish if you start including your Customer Success and Marketing teams in your annual Kick-Offs!

If you are interested in learning more about how to evolve your Kick-Off into an event that drives true high impact for your organization, we’d love to hear from you – please contact me!

Blog originally published at Winning by Design.

Published by Customer Growth Advisor

Emilia D'Anzica is the founder of Customer Growth Advisors. The company was acquired by Winning By Design in December 2018. She is a senior technology business leader with nearly 20 years of delivering customer outcomes. Leveraging extensive comprehension of and talent for customer success transformation, Emilia is a valuable asset for tech, e-retail, recruitment, HR, communications, and telecom industries seeking expert assistance with digital transformation, building a customer success team from scratch, customizing professional services, creating exceptional company cultures, and establishing scalable operations and processes. Prior to launching her own consulting firm, she was the Vice President of Customer Engagement at WalkMe™ for three years where she built the customer success team and customer marketing team across four global locations. The team won a 2016 Customer Service Award from Stevie's as a result of her transformational work. Previously, Emilia served as a Director of Customer Success for both BrightEdge and Jobvite, scaling programs and teams globally. Emilia has been recognized as one of the “Top-25 Customer Success Influencers” and a 'Top 100 Customer Success Strategists' by Mindtouch. She was also recently named as one of the '7 most influential women in Customer Sucess'. Emilia has served as public school board member and part of a Parent Action Coalition in San Francisco, making a lifetime commitment to supporting public schools because it was those teachers who had the largest impact on her future. In addition, Emilia served on two SaaS advisory boards, Crowdvocate, and Catalyst, and has been on other boards over the past decade. Emilia holds a Masters of Business Administration (MBA), with Honors Distinction, from Saint Mary’s College of California. She focused on global strategy and competition. She attained a Bachelor of Arts Degree with a Canadian Studies Major, and a Social History Minor, from the University of British Columbia. You can contact Emilia at Emilia@winningbydesign.com.

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