This article is based on a presentation given by Natalie at the Customer Success Festival London, 2023.

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When it comes to fostering seamless collaboration between customer success and sales teams, the journey involves transforming traditional boundaries into synergistic partnerships. 

It's about crafting a unified approach where each team member’s strengths are leveraged to achieve collective goals. 

As the Director of Customer Success at Litera, I’ve gained profound insights into the essential elements of fostering cooperation across different functions. My experiences have revealed the crucial nature of understanding, mutual respect, and a shared commitment to our customers' success. 

In this article, I’ll share the practical strategies and insights that have significantly improved our CS and sales team alignment. I’m specifically going to explore:

  • Why sales and customer success collaboration is so crucial
  • A case study: How Litera improved its cross-functional collaboration
  • Why we implemented account pods 
  • Breaking down misconceptions and building alignment
  • Measurable outcomes of team alignment

Why is sales and CS collaboration important?

Before diving into what we've done to improve collaboration, let's first discuss why alignment between sales and CS is crucial.

Closest collaborators

According to the Customer Success Collective's State of Customer Success 2023 Report, sales remains customer success's closest internal collaborator, even more so than product, engineering, or marketing. 

State of Customer Success 2023 Report
Source: State of Customer Success 2023 Report

For this relationship to function well, it's vital not only for the business but also for the employees. 

Good working relationships between sales and CS foster higher employee engagement, contributing to better mental and physical well-being, loyalty to the company, a sense of purpose, and overall job satisfaction.

Customer experience

A seamless customer experience matters. Being siloed from other teams that interact with customers daily leads to a disjointed customer journey. Clients expect us to work together and understand the nuances of each relationship. 

We've all been in situations where a customer mentions having just spoken to an Account Manager (AM), and we have no clue about the conversation. This is not conducive to a positive customer experience.

Let me share some relevant statistics from Salesforce's State of the Connected Customer report:

  • 88% of respondents find the experience a company provides as important as its products or services.
  • 73% expect companies to understand their unique needs and expectations.
  • 62% expect companies to anticipate their needs.

These findings emphasize that delivering a seamless customer experience requires a well-aligned relationship between sales and CS.