For many years now, businesses have considered customer service and sales to be two separate departments. Each team has a manager, team members and separate goals, with the aim of making profits for the organisation. Traditionally, the sales team bring customers to the business while the customer service team does everything they can to keep them. This idea of contrasting methods is a concept that has been long since accepted with a strong belief it works for a business.
According to Performance In People, there is a direct link between great customer service and sales. With increased customer loyalty in place, more sales will be generated because customers will likely shop there more often. With such a positive experience, they are likely to recommend your service to others, thus driving more sales. Therefore, many consider that your sales and customer service teams should work together.
Customer Service and Sales together creates a better customer experience
When a customer makes a purchase from you, they are also buying into your customer experience. An experience is a process of creating a benefit for the client from the product that is on offer. It is not possible for two departments working separately to achieve this. Customer service representatives (CSRs) cannot provide an effective experience if they cannot sell products that could solve problems for a business.
By working together, both departments can keep customers happy. A salesperson can inform a CSR about a new customer to the business and give them advice on how they can serve the client effectively. In return, CSRs can then feedback to the sales teams about aspects of the products the customer base finds most helpful. They could also inform the sales team of reasons customers leave and don’t renew contracts to avoid such actions. With 89% of consumers stopping their business with a company after experiencing poor customer service, it is vital departments collaborate to ensure complete satisfaction. Positive relationships will only increase sales.
Drive profits by providing a need and a benefit
Integrating sales and customer service is only good as long as the right goal is in place. If a business is only interested in making money before providing a service, then customers will not like it. Customers want to feel they are a priority while they benefit from the services you offer. With a profit first mentality, your business may fail to create quality products or provide a service that is efficient.
Sales and profits will be generated when a company fills the needs of its clients. Although it make take time, that trickle down effect within your organisation will benefit the business in the long run. In time, your business will be known for its reliable and dependable service, meaning more customers will be drawn to you.
That passion will then be embedded within the core of the business. When hiring staff, find those who will subscribe to the visions of the company. This way, departments will be easier to run as everybody is on the same page.
How to Integrate Customer Service and Sales effectively
With integration in place, your customer service and sales teams will work to the same goal of creating profits from creating a positive customer journey. With your company goals and messages the same, your outcomes will also be the same. So, how do you integrate your two teams together effectively? You can do this by following these tips:
It can seem overwhelming to have all departments communicating regularly- even if systems are in place to encourage it. Organisations will always benefit when teams get together, even if it starts with friendly banter which will serve to improve the company culture. Help Scout provided a few tips on how to create a collaborative environment:
- Make customer satisfaction the priority of the business.
- Establish point people within teams – department leaders that bridge the gap between teams.
- Quick weekly 10 minute meetings to keep both teams informed.
- Show how contributions by individuals have impacted success company-wide.
With separate goals and incentives for sales reps and CSRs, it can be difficult to encourage staff to alter their work. If a salesperson takes commission for sales made, are they going to focus too much on the experience of each customer? A way to eliminate this is by creating goals that are codependent on the successes of both teams. Management must identify areas where both teams overlap with their work. Those include:
- Customer retention and loss
- Usage of product and frequency
- Account cross-sells and upsells
Sales reps are predominantly responsible for engaging customers before a contract expires. The same customer must also be contacting by CSRs to ensure a quick and accurate service to minimise customer churn. With customers being lost as they are not fully aware of how to utilise the products available, it is important that the burden of retention is shared. With both teams working together on cross-selling, upselling and keeping clients retained, sales will continue.
Train CSRs with basic sales skills
CSRs will interact with customers as much as the sales team do. To be a good CSR, a rep needs to be attentive, empathetic, patient and persuading. This means they are the perfect candidates for sales training. With this training, sales reps could be a powerful tool in gaining new customers and growing the accounts of those already tied to the business.
To engage customers strategically and drive sales, CSRs should be able to:
- Research the customer and keep a close eye on higher-budget accounts.
- Identify the needs of the customer.
- Inform the customer of the value of features or products you offer, and show them how they can positively apply their services to their business.
- Learn upsell which will generate additional revenue.
- Avoid over-promising things to customers so expectations can align with realistic outcomes.
Use a CRM system
As emphasised throughout, customer service and sales needs to be on the same page.. With CRM (Customer Relationship Management) software, this can ensure all teams have everything they need to help a business gain profits. Software such as Salesforce puts everything in one place: sales, service and collaboration.
With all the important customer data in one place, sales and customer services reps will know which new and existing customers need attention, and those who could benefit from upselling a product. With this data live and saved to the cloud, whether a rep is in the office or at a meeting, they can sell faster and smarter.
A CRM puts all the vital customer service tools your teams need within one lightning service console. With each case available at the click of a button, teams can resolve issues as well as view all information related to each case as and when it is needed. You can also track the purchases of a client within your business, which can help sales and customer service understand what products they could upsell for future profits.
A cloud based software gives teams the opportunity to be able to create, edit, discuss and organise work between them. With documents synced to the cloud, more than one user can access it at once, leading to effective collaboration. This way teams can share their knowledge with each other in a quick and efficient way.
Salesforce Solutions with Purus
From Salesforce development to suit your business, to implementation, training and integration, Purus can help your business make the most of the innovative Salesforce Cloud. As a Salesforce consultancy, we can help show you how a CRM can really benefit not only your business, but the experiences of your customers. Get in touch with us today to see if we can find a solution for you.