When asked, 95% of sales managers indicate that customer service is an integral part of sales. Most say that selling is ineffective without excellent customer service.
In sales, the goal is always the sale. Failure is when the customer doesn’t purchase the product or service.
It’s rather like a dance slowly moving through the sales process toward a decision. The skilled sales person ensures that the customer is with him at each step and that they are both in agreement before the dance moves to a new step.
In customer service, the goal is always a satisfied customer. Failure is when the customer is unhappy.
It is more like a comforter where the customer explains what they need to feel warm and the sales person attempts to provide the comfort.
While they have many similarities, they are vastly different in both goals and process. Still, they are both critically essential for success in continued revenue growth.
So, how then do we merge the two into an effective sales process? Which one, if either is more important? Can a skilled sales person succeed if customer service is poor? How does an ineffective sales person succeed if customer service is exceptional?
Sales is a subset of marketing; competitive analysis and demographic data collection is the starting point. Once a talented sales person understands the market dynamics, he can begin to prioritize his customers. Identifying where the business exists, where it is currently going and why those choices are being made is the investigate step. Customer service enters here. How are we doing? What programs are working? What does the market think of us? Customer input is essential to determine how to become or remain competitive.
Once in front of the right customer, the sales person must be able to follow a linked process which takes him effectively through a questioning phase, deliver a compelling message that meets the uncovered needs and conclude with a positive decision by the customer. This is the sale.
The merging of the two skills done correctly results is a happy, satisfied customer who has purchased the product or service.
One can conclude that like DNA, they are sculpted together to create a successful customer experience which results in revenue growth.