Sales vs Customer Success
Customer Relations

Sales vs Customer Success

Why Shift From Sales

Dan Petrenko's portrait
Dan Petrenko
Head of Customer Success
Sales vs Customer Success

I have experience working in sales and customer success, but after a few years of exploring both worlds, I’ve noticed that the latter is much better for the company and myself than plain sales. I want to share my knowledge and tips with everyone who wants to make a change, so let’s do it!

What Is The Difference?

When you have worked in both sales and customer success, it’s easy to spot the difference between the two after some time. Sales are, well, about sales. You are focused on getting as many clients and deals as possible. Hold onto that thought, and let’s explore why this mindset and goal is getting in the way of your personal success as well as undermining the company’s growth.

#1. Stress

If you have any experience dealing with sales, you know how stressful the job is. No matter what, you are under constant stress. You have KPIs to keep up with, and that’s the most painful thing in the world. Don’t get me wrong, metrics can be a good thing, but not when you are simply sacrificing everything, including customer experience and your health to make it through yet another quarter.

#2. Customer Experience

You don’t have enough time and motivation to make every customer happy when you are in sales, that’s a fact. You don’t work for customer satisfaction, you work for numbers. Let’s be real, you have your own bills to pay, and to get good compensation, you have to get good KPIs. With that, you sacrifice a good experience for your customers.

#3. No Room For Personal Growth

Sales don’t have any room for personal growth. Yes, you earn good money, but at what cost? The most painful problem that I have faced there is stagnation. I learned many sales techniques that helped me to close deals and for that I am grateful, but that is not what I wanted to do. As an empath, I relate to people’s problems and honestly want to help, and my goal is to make it happen with each and every partner.

Customer Success. What Is It Really About?

When I shifted to Customer Success, it was like I was thrown into a completely different universe. Suddenly, I didn’t have to force myself into a different mindset: numbers were just numbers, and while I still had to maintain them, they were more about how I approached the client.

#1. It Feels More Natural, Hence Less Stress

When you don’t force yourself to simply sell, it’s a great thing. With that feeling of constant metrics chasing me, I began to feel more relaxed and actually to began enjoying work. It felt more natural doing things this way because our company is all about making people happy by fulfilling their visions and dreams and making them a reality.

#2. It’s All About Customer Experience Now

After the shift happened, I started to fully focus on customer experience. You know that feeling when you are unboxing an Apple product? The feeling of joy and relaxation. That is the goal that I want to bring into every conversation that I have with the client: it doesn’t have to be stressful for me or them. When I was in sales, I just had to close the deal and hand it over to the PMs, but now I began to contribute to management even after signing the contract: customer experience is not finished until we finish the project. And after we do, I still check up on the client every once in a while to see if everything’s alright just because I am really interested in everything being okay.

#3. A Lot of Room for Personal Growth

As an empath, I enjoy helping people, because I can relate to their problems easily. When I shifted to Customer Success, I started to develop this skill into a useful thing for both my personal and work life.

Why Change?

I bet you’re wondering why making a change. Maybe you don’t want or don’t know how to, but let me say this: in current reality, we all expect and want to see excellent customer experience in everything. It’s crucial to provide the best experience, and when you do just that, more deals and business will come your way. Apart from that, you have to shift from focusing on numbers and KPIs and especially relying on them so much when evaluating the employees’ performance. There are a lot of other important metrics to look forward to like customer reviews, aren’t those important?

How Do I Make the Shift?

That’s actually not hard at all. You don’t even have to move away from sales, that’s a mindset change thing. Talk to your management and try to explain what you are trying to do and why. You can show this piece to them, I’m sure they will consider helping make the change.