Businesses often make the critical mistake of prioritising sales over nurturing loyal relationships with customers. However, this isn’t a realistic or even long-term strategy in today’s increasingly competitive world. Therefore, if you want to ensure growth or even accelerate it – you need to be focusing on how you’re going to align sales & customer service. Furthermore, how you can ensure complete sales enablement across sales, marketing and customer service.
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Why do sales and customer service teams struggle to align?
It’s no secret that sales and customer service clash sometimes. The problem begins when sales reps feel pressured to make any deal, regardless of its quality—ultimately filling up the pipeline with clients who are like square pegs in a round hole.
Now, the customer service team has to spend a lot of time letting down poorly qualified customers. Not only does this cause unnecessary friction, but the deeper problem with this is that the customers’ needs or wants haven’t been considered.
On the whole, to provide your customers with an exceptional experience, sales and customer service need to understand, value and support each other.
8 Ways To Align Sales & Customer Service
The real secret to success in business today is creating a great customer experience every step of the way. Now, a lot of salespeople may be thinking, well, “I’ve made my sale, delivered our promise and now I’m onto the next one, what more is there to consider?”
Well, success continues long after the sale. However, to see the benefits, you need to align sales & customer service – but how do you do that? Below are eight ways to align sales and customer service teams.
1. Know your customer
The first way to align sales and customer service is to map your customer journey and establish a customer persona. Whilst they may have completed these separately before -this exercise is an excellent way to unite both departments by creating a great customer experience together. Additionally, having a customer profile will aid everyone in knowing precisely who your ideal customers are. More so, seeing them as real people, not just figures.
2. Meet regularly
Similarly to anything in life, if you want something to work, you have to practice commitment and consistency. So help your opposing departments to unite and collaborate with regular meetings. Regardless of whether they’re virtual or in-person, you need to make time to meet.
3. Integrate technology into your process
Collaborative tools are vital for the alignment of your customer service and sales teams. Therefore you should consider what sort of software you can integrate into your operation to make collaboration seamless. Often, there is a technology solution for every budget. So really, there’s no excuse for your customers to feel as if they’re working with two different businesses when being passed from sales to customer service.
4. Create a Feedback Loop
It’s often easier to say “we should not have signed that customer!” instead of saying “I think we need to establish clearer expectations before signing this customer.” However, since both customer support and sales teams keep data and analytics about the buyer’s journey. Your customer service team knows the problems customers have during onboarding and sales teams know the problems they’re trying to solve with your solution, so both departments can use this information in tandem to fine-tune every aspect of the customer journey. This will also allow both departments to be aware of how each other contributes to the team’s success.
5. Consistent brand messaging
Your customers expect a flawless experience regardless of what’s going on internally. Their experience of your brand needs to be consistent across all departments.
6. Train customer service in the sales process
Your customer service team should understand the customers’ journey right from the beginning of the sales process. Furthermore, if your sales team have encountered any issues throughout the sales process that you think could impact the future relationship between a customer and your customer service team – discuss it as soon as possible, so there aren’t any future surprises.
7. Cross training sessions
Perspective is sometimes everything. For this reason, having departments sit in on each other’s daily activities is hugely beneficial. Not only does it help them to get to know each other closer, but it allows insight into unique challenges each team faces. Particularly how this has a ricochet effect on one another. For example, your sales team will understand how to realign their approach if they sit in on a customer service call and see the consequences of creating customer expectations that the business can’t meet.
8. Priorotise customer retention
Here’s a telling statistic – your odds of selling to an existing customer are between 60-70%. For new customers, that figure drops to 5-20%. For this reason, you need to focus on adding value rather than just selling products or services. Therefore, if you start to mould your businesses into a customer-focused one, you’ll retain more customers, and make it easier for sales teams to meet targets. Ultimately, by maintaining a focus on the customer – rather than the sale itself – your revenue per customer should steadily increase.
How SOCO Can Help
SOCO/ is an expert-led, award-winning sales training company. We’ve spent decades working with some of the most innovative and forward-thinking companies across around the world.
Have SOCO train your team in the top sales skills needed to take on 2021 through either Virtual Instructor Led Training through video conferencing software or let your team learn new skills in their spare time using our popular e-learning platform – SOCO Academy.
Not sure which of the top training programs is right for you? Book an appointment with one of our program advisors who will be happy to build the right training plan for you.
Don’t just take our word it. See what others are saying!
“We recently had Tom conduct a virtual external Sales Training Program for our entire commercial organization at Carousell Group for our different brands in 5 countries.
Tom shared great insights on consultative selling and needs analysis to win new customers. He energized and fuelled our sales & trade marketing teams to apply the concepts they learned into their day to day interactions with customers. Throughout the session, all 200+ attendees were fully engaged and inspired to apply the concepts shared into their interactions with clients.
At the core of Carousell, we constantly raise the bar, growing and inspiring one another. Thank you Tom for helping us raise the bar. “– Vishal Salunkhe | Head of Sales Operations & Enablement Carousell