How scaled CS can help your team get more done
First of three articles explaining digital CS or scaled customer success, why it's important and how to spot and leverage customer success scaling opportunities in your own organizationLearn More
In a crowded market of sales & post-sales SaaS products, there’s a growing need for tools that help companies interact with customer data platforms more efficiently. By streamlining the way professionals access and work with customer data, companies can improve their sales process and empower revenue teams to focus on high-value activities, such as building relationships and closing deals, rather than spend time and energy finding information or updating their CRM.
While CRMs are perfect for storing, sorting and analyzing customer data, integrated workspaces and sales engagement layers are software tools created to make working with large software stacks easier, faster and more effective. They connect to existing platforms’ records in your stack and let each internal user engage with the data they need in one actionable view.
In this article, we’ll break down the value of engagement layers and integrated workspaces, describe the value of systems of engagement, and discuss why adding another piece of software to the pile can actually make life easier rather than making your workday more complex.
One of the biggest flaws of large software stacks that include a CRM, sales management and CS tools is the wasted time accrued by context-switching between them. Research suggests that each switch costs around 2 seconds, with the average professional spending around four hours per week on re-orientation and switching between apps (that’s 9% of annual work hours!).
Moreover, the same research revealed that many app switches are simple data reads, with 65% of professionals tabbing back withing 10 seconds of opening an app window. What this tells us is clear - in most day to day activities, professionals need relatively simple data, they need it visible, and they pay surcharges for getting it from different parts of their tech stacks.
In contrast, engagement layers pull all relevant data related to a customer, a specific task or group of accounts, saving the time it takes to gather it manually. For example, let’s say you have a meeting with a customer coming up - instead of reading through emails, checking Salesforce or HubSpot for customer data, reviewing notes and looking up follow up actions from previous interactions, the professional can see it all in a customizable view showing all of these data points side by side in real time.
Another major challenge for data-driven SaaS companies is maintaining data hygiene while trying to maximize their results. In general, good hygiene means you have an accurate picture of your customer, with no out of date information, no irrelevant data and some level of standard basic information present in all accounts. Good data hygiene helps teams make informed decisions, have better customer interactions, reduce churn and increase upsell opportunities.
With an engagement layer, data hygiene becomes easier to maintain - when you pull customer data into your workspace, you will see gaps between entries, and can easily weed out mismatches or complete missing entries.
In many companies, different teams use different parts of the CRM stack differently. For example, customer success teams follow Jira feature requests and Zendesk support tickets while sales personnel are more focused on Salesforce opportunity information or HubSpot leads. This disparity can cause a lack of sync between teams, and different standards of data collection and organization between functions.
A workspace makes it easier to prevent these gaps, as every professional gains instant visibility to all relevant customer data, regardless of which platform or app it comes from. Moreover, it empowers teams to support each other in new ways, like feeding customer success insights directly into sales notes, or prioritizing high value accounts for more attention from CS teams based on sales data.
As an added bonus, having multiple teams and stakeholders work on the same data infrastructure helps in maintaining data hygiene and keeping all entries clean and useful for other internal stakeholders.
The bottom line is pretty trivial - CRMs are great tools for collecting, organizing and analyzing customer data, but most CRMs weren’t created for collaboration or for cross-platform data visibility. In a rapidly changing environment where teams have to work together to provide the most value to customers, they are not always enough.
Workspaces solve that pain by leveraging the powerful features of CRMs and pulling them into a single actionable view. Workspaces are not meant to replace existing CRM solutions, but to exist as engagement layers between professionals and complex stacks - saving each professional almost 10% of their time and making previously annoying processes easier to carry out.
If you feel like your team is spending too much time on logistics or wasting time struggling with their software tools instead of contributing to the bottom line, you should really consider implementing an engagement layer fit for your needs.