I want it, I got it. I want it, I got it
You like my software? Gee, thanks, just bought it.
— Ariana Grande, "7 Rings" (sort of)
How many times have you been in that situation? You’re about to purchase or the pixels are barely dry on your electronic signature on the annual subscription for a new software tool. The sales process built up excitement and anticipation. It seems like this proposal software is going to add automation and consistency to your sales docs. You and your team are ready to add to your sales tech stack and get started.
But where to start? The implementation stage is so important and you don’t want to get it wrong.
I get it. I’ve been on the other side, too, purchasing software tools that flopped early and failed hard. That ‘new toy’ excitement fizzled fast without proper set-up and optimization. We were flailing around trying to figure it all out ourselves. After a lot of effort, we gave up on it.
Which is something I love about Proposify—that we're committed to helping our customers sustain that buzz when purchasing our software. And ensure that the initial enthusiasm eventually transitions into a feeling of, "We can't live without this."
Let’s look closer at how that happens. What do Proposify power users have in common? There are many factors that influence software implementation and ROI but, in general, our most successful new users have:
- An internal champion or point person.
- Established sales docs and simplified workflows.
- Thoughtful content management and template strategies.
There’s one other thing that these teams have on their side. Their secret weapon for getting the most out of adding proposal software to their sales tech stack. And you can have one, too.
It’s a Customer Success Manager (CSM).
What is a Customer Success Manager?
The CSM role has evolved out of traditional account management. Account managers are ubiquitous in B2B industries. They take over after the sales rep closes the deal, taking over the customer account management with a focus on renewing, upselling, and cross-selling.
Most software-as-a-service (SaaS) companies, including Proposify, have moved away from the account management set up to the customer success approach. This approach centres customer outcomes, like satisfaction and account health, which lead to higher customer retention and lifetime value (LTV).
This means for you, as a new proposal software customer, that a CSM will help you implement, configure, and optimize your new tool. They can also advise on upgrades or add-on services you might need as you use the product and renew your subscription.
So that’s what a CSM does throughout their relationship with you. Let’s focus on three ways they can help you as you start out with proposal software.
Why do I need a proposal software CSM’s help?
Your CSM helps you get it right, right from Day 1
Why? Implementation is the most important part of adding software to your tech stack. Getting from that brand-new, where-do-I-start stage to the let’s-roll-this-out-to-the-whole-team point is a short jump but it’s a deep chasm to fall into if you don’t get it right.
And you might think you have time to tinker with it, figure things out organically, and dive deep into the documentation. But (as much as our Technical Writer, Allan, would be delighted if you read our online knowledge base pixel by carefully-crafted pixel) you likely have other tasks to take care of.
Do you know who has a lot of that knowledge in their head? Your CSM. Or if they don’t have an immediate answer to your question, they know exactly how to find you one, fast.
You get a built-in consultant
Have you ever worked with a proposal workflow consultant before? Great, now you do!
Some people hear Customer Success Manager and focus on the two less important parts of that phrase: customer and manager. They think, I just bought this and you’re going to try to upsell me? Or, I think I know my business. I don’t need to be managed, thanks.
However, the key part of this job title is ‘success’. Your CSM is invested in your success. They’re working with you in collaboration, as a consultant that comes packaged with your proposal software purchase.
Deciding between two template styles? Want to totally revamp how you organize your proposal content? Not sure which interactive proposal feature to implement first? Your CSM has insight that can help you figure all that out.
No cookie-cutter approach here. The CSM will analyze your account to help you create an optimal set-up for streamlined document creation. They’ve seen tons of accounts and use cases. However you and your team like to work—maybe from home?—your CSM can help you optimize for that.
How? Well, one important way is via an optimization call. It’s a candid discussion between you, the customer, and your CSM about what is going well, and what is not, as you navigate and use the software. You can give feedback, problem-solve, learn best practices, and more.
How to get the most out of working with your CSM from Day 1
Your relationship with your Customer Success Manager is key to your overall efficacy and efficiency with your new proposal software. So here are three things you can do to make sure that that connection is strong right from the start, straight from our Proposify CSMs.
1. Establish a proposal process point person
As CSM George points out, putting together a process around your new proposal software is easier when there’s someone on the customer side who understands what the entire team needs. Here’s George with more on this:
2. Be open to collaboration
The customers CSM Nick likes to work with the most are the ones who view Proposify as more than just a B2B tech tool. Here’s Nick on how that works:
3. Treat your CSM like an extension of your own team
Senior CSM Jasper says the client-CSM relationship is bigger than just customer and vendor. Jasper explains how to make this happen:
No more ‘thank u, next’
When you purchase proposal software, your first thought might not be, ‘How can I ensure I have a good working relationship with my vendor’s customer success manager?’ But it should be.
Your CSM is your secret weapon for achieving long-term ROI and can’t-live-without-it success with new software.