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How do you collaborate with other teams, such as product development or marketing, to enhance product adoption efforts?

4 Answers
Jessica Broderick
Jessica Broderick
Yext VP, Client Solutions Management, North AmericaAugust 1

The CSM is an internal and external advocate for the customers they support. Because of this, it is important for them to collaborate with internal teams to ensure clients have everything they need to be successful and adopt the product.

As an example, customers will often make feature requests for an enhancement to the product that helps them improve a specific use case. By working with product development teams, CSMs can drive innovation to the product roadmap that directly aligns to how their customers want to be using it.

There are many ways to enable this kind of collaboration but I find that creating a process around it helps streamline the efforts. This can be accomplished by creating a workflow to submit feedback/ideas/requests with various teams in Slack, JIRA, SFDC, CSP, etc in combination with a forum where the feedback can be openly discussed to identify deliverables.

John Brunkard
John Brunkard
Sitecore Vice President of Customer Success APJApril 2

Product Development:

It is important that Customer Success has a close collaborative working relationship with product development. Customer Success Managers can provide user feedback, share pain points, and provide information on feature requests to input into the product roadmap.

Customer Success should highlight the importance of Product Development clearly documenting and communicating the benefits and value proposition of product features. This helps CSMs  to effectively position these features during onboarding and user training.

CSMs can provide access to real users for testing and feedback sessions, ensuring new features address genuine customer needs. At Sitecore our CSMs collaborate closely with Product Management on user research initiatives. 


Alignment on Value Proposition: Work with marketing to ensure your messaging aligns with the customer journey. CSMs can share insights on how users perceive the product's value, aiding marketing in crafting compelling narratives.

Targeted Content Creation: Collaborate on creating targeted content (e.g., blog posts, case studies, webinars) that showcases product features and their impact on user success and value realization.

Coordinated User Journeys: Work together to ensure the user journey is seamless across touchpoints. CSMs can provide feedback on marketing campaigns or website copy to ensure clarity and alignment with the product experience.

Other Teams:

Partner with the sales team to identify successful customer use cases. CSMs can leverage these stories for onboarding, training, and marketing materials, demonstrating the product's real-world impact.

Collaborate with support teams to analyze common customer issues and feature requests. These insights can be shared with product development to prioritize fixes and improvements that enhance user experience.

Meenal Shukla
Meenal Shukla
Gainsight Senior Director of Customer SuccessApril 23

Collaborating effectively across teams like product development, marketing, sales, and customer support is crucial for enhancing product adoption efforts. Here’s how you can foster such collaboration:

1. Establish Clear Communication Channels:

Set up regular meetings, shared digital workspaces, and communication tools to keep all teams aligned. Tools like Slack, Microsoft Teams, Product Board or Asana can facilitate seamless communication and project tracking.

2. Define Common Goals and Metrics:

Align all teams around shared goals related to product adoption, such as user engagement rates, conversion rates, and customer satisfaction scores. Establishing common metrics helps ensure that everyone is working towards the same objectives and understands how their contributions fit into the broader picture. At Gainsight, product teams and CS teams are both measured on adoption as one of the metrics.

3. Cross-Functional Workshops and Brainstorming Sessions:

Organize workshops where team members from marketing, product development, sales, and support can come together to brainstorm strategies to improve product adoption. These sessions can help surface insights from different aspects of the customer journey and foster innovative solutions. One of my favorite days at Gainsight is brainstorming at an AI summit organized by the product.

4. Shared Customer Insights:

Create a system where insights from customer feedback, support tickets, and user behavior analytics are shared across teams. This can help the product team understand user pain points and requirements, while marketing can use these insights to craft targeted messages.

5. Feedback Loops Between Teams:

Implement structured feedback loops where teams can provide insights back to each other on what is working and what isn’t. For example, the sales team could share common objections they hear from prospects, prompting the product team to make adjustments.

6. Co-Creation of Content and Resources:

Work together to create educational content, tutorials, case studies, and other resources that help users get the most out of the product. This content can be used by marketing to attract new users, by sales to close deals, and by customer support to help existing users.

7. Role-Specific Education/Enablement of new and existing releases

Educate each team on the roles and responsibilities of other teams. For instance, training sessions where the product team explains new features to the marketing and sales teams can ensure that everyone is well-informed and can effectively communicate the benefits of these features to users.

8. Celebrate Shared Successes:

Recognize and celebrate the achievements that come from collaborative efforts. This not only boosts morale but also reinforces the value of working together towards common goals.

Corey Pudhorodsky
Corey Pudhorodsky
Community Brands SVP, Customer ExperienceJanuary 24

I recently presented to a group of CSMs on the Customer Journey and a key part of that presentation was how to collaborate with other teams through supporting their goals and points of view. Some key points I'll highlight here:

  1. Consider each department's role and perspective in the customer journey. How they are involved will influence how the CSMs should bring info and suggestions to them.

  2. Where are the handoff points between teams? What does this look like internally? What does this look like to the customer? Look for areas of friction because these could be points of risk for adoption.

  3. Understand and be empathetic to the goals and KPIs of other teams. The more you can frame the needs to drive product adoption directly to the goals of other teams, the more buy in you'll get. For example:

    1. Sales: Adoption = Better referrals for new customers

    2. Product = Increased use of the solutions they are building

    3. Marketing = Improved case studies and testimonials

    4. Finance = Higher ROI

  4. Celebrate other department's wins: Let Customer Success take the back seat when it comes to celebrating customer wins. This will draw the teams into your success and make them more invested in working with you in the future.

  5. When having Crucial Conversations, use STATE
    (borrowed from the book Crucial Conversations):

    1. Share your facts, 

    2. Tell your story,

    3. Ask for the other person's viewpoint,

    4. Talk Tentatively,
      Encourage Engagement

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