Marketing and sales notoriously clash when it comes to aligning service before the sale. Why? Because management often does a poor job at setting best practices and expectations for each team and isn’t actively working to repair broken processes and communications.
Rick Lepsinger of Business 2 Community warns: “When customers see a disjointed approach, companies lose credibility and potentially lose business.”
For instance, if marketing hands over to sales leads that have been properly nurtured and feel connected to the brand, don’t let your reps drop the ball by treating them like just another prospect. Your sales team must live up to the expectations and best practices marketing sets, or customers will leave during this critical handoff.
Armour of serVelocity writes about the importance of aligning your sales and service teams: “With customer expectations increasing and their success more important than ever to sustained revenue growth, best-in-class companies recognize the importance of building the bridges necessary to deliver solutions and drive results.”
And this can’t be accomplished if sales and service aren’t on the same page. If your sales team promises something to customers during a sale that a service rep can’t actually carry out, yes, your rep gets to count the sale as a win, but the service has to clean up the mess. If the service team can’t deliver on what sales promised, you can bet that customers won’t be referring any new clients and most definitely won’t be coming back for future business. Count this as an opportunity lost.
Internal Bridges to Facilitate Best Practices
It’s clear that sales leaders must work to solve disconnects on the inside to win big with customers in the long run. That means to take sales revenue to new heights, leaders must be the internal bridges to facilitate collaboration, and in turn, growth and profit.
Lepsinger of Business 2 Community writes: “To deliver the best possible experience, aligning sales and marketing and your customer service departments is crucial.”
He gives the following 3 tips on aligning your internal teams:
#1 Assess your current process.
Your company can’t clearly define where you want to go before you understand where your customer experience currently stands. Begin by taking a holistic assessment of your current sales process and the customer experience at each of those steps. Then, match your process up against marketing and service processes to discover gaps that you can work to fill in.
#2 Build a culture of collaboration.
Take steps to make sure the members of each of your company’s various teams — sales, marketing, customer service, product innovation — are in regular communication and working together to close process and communication gaps. Reinforce the fact that everyone is on the same team and you’re all working towards the same goals, namely delivering an excellent customer experience and best practices to drive up company revenue in the future. Better results for each team means better results for the company, and that can’t be accomplished without working together.
#3 Establish service level agreements to measure goals.
Speaking of goals, you’ll need an effective way to track your progress towards them. Lepsinger suggests crafting a service level agreement for each of your departments, in which members set monthly or quarterly team and personal goals that contribute to the wider goals of the company. Keeping each employee accountable to and responsible for attaining your overall company goals will go a long way in fostering a community of collaboration and communication.
Boost Internal Morale & Best Practices
Not only is aligning your departments and developing best practices a great way to improve your customer service, but it’s also a fantastic means to boost your internal morale.
Armour of serVelocity writes: “The best services people like to solve problems and make a visible impact. They thrive on it! When they feel they’re providing value, they’re more likely to stay and your organization is more likely to retain these top performers.”
When your sales, service and marketing teams are allies, you improve your customer experience, your company revenue and your employee camaraderie — which is definitely a company-wide win.