Question: Has your Sales Organisation formally defined the systematised delivery of a 5-star service experience in every customer interaction, pre- and post-sale – and ensured that sales executives deliver a 5-star service experience in every customer interaction, pre- and post-sale?
According to our research at ThinkSales Global, only 28.7% of Sales Organisations have formally defined the systematised the delivery of a 5-star service experience in every customer interaction, pre- and post-sale.
In addition, 27% of companies rate their confidence as Outstanding that their sales executives deliver a 5-star service experience in every customer interaction, pre- and post-sale.
The ‘customer service’ problem
All Sales Organisations agree that customer service has an undeniable impact on revenue. Officially, customer service is also every organisation’s priority. The problem is that there is often a chasm between what a Sales Organisation thinks their customers feel and what they actually feel.
Consider the finding of the famous customer experience delivery-gap study published by Bain&Co:
- 80% of the companies who responded to the study believed they provided superior service
- Only 8% of those companies had customers who agreed with that assertion.
Here’s the challenge: While so many businesses are completely off the mark when it comes to how satisfied their customers are, customer service (and lack thereof) does play a big role in B2B buying.
Dimensional Research conducted independent market research with 1 046 individuals who had experienced the customer service levels of mid-sized companies.
Here’s what they found:
- 62% of B2B customers purchased more after a good customer service experience
- 66% of B2B customers stopped buying after a bad customer service interaction.
Unless routines for superior customer service are embedded within a Sales Organisation’s pre- and post-sale engagements, customer experience is left to chance – and your business cannot afford that.
Shape your customer success journey
Sales Organisations that are able to consistently exceed industry service standards are able to differentiate, build value and win trust with clients. The great news is that this is actually a relatively easy and inexpensive quick win.
Consider this: As the sales arm of your organisation, you are making your customer certain promises around what your solution can do for them and their company’s success.
The problem is that too often once a sale is made, implementation is handled by other divisions. Because the sales team doesn’t have direct control over the delivery of the solution, they abdicate their responsibility.
But, the responsibility of repeat sales and upselling that customer remains with you as the sales leader, which is why it’s vital that you remain involved in the entire process as much as possible. You need to ensure that your customers receive the results you promised. This is the heart of customer success.
In order to identify and resolve common bottlenecks and issues that occur in the sales cycle, consider these strategies at each point of the sales cycle:
- Pre-sale: Help your clients to correctly identify their needs, inform them of common blind spots, risks, etc
- Sales negotiation: Streamline anything your customers might need, from requests for information to supplier forms etc. Even better – anticipate what they’ll need before they ask for it
- Post-sale: How are you assisting your customers with implementation?
With this in mind, how do you ensure that customer success is achieved? There are six mindset shifts that need to happen within your organisation, and you need to drive the change.
1. Proactive vs. Reactive
- A customer-service team tends to belong to a reactive organisation that looks for solutions once problems have already arisen
- Proactive organisations on the other hand are made up of customer-success teams who identify and address problems before they occur
- Their primary focus is to identify areas that could prevent their customers from realising their goals
- They do this by creating real-time visibility into core issues and co-ordinating internal and customer resources to help their clients overcome challenges.
2. Goal achievement vs. Issue resolution
- Customer service teams care about the speed with which they can resolve customer-specific issues
- Customer success teams are focused on overall customer goal achievement
- This means they care about the process i.e. bottlenecks and inefficiencies that could jeopardise the overall success of the customer’s organisation.
3. Customer value vs. Service
- The goal of the customer success organisation is to help its customers achieve their goals through their solution, thereby maximising their overall value
- This means that customer success is measured against customer outcomes, not merely customer satisfaction.
4. Long-term vs. Short-term perspective
- Service organisations are only concerned with the areas of the customer’s business that make use of their solution
- They want to be able to resolve issues quickly and efficiently, but their scope does not extend to the entire customer’s organisation
- Customer success organisations on the other hand work to resolve universal adoption issues and other common problems that prevent customers from achieving their goals.
5. Revenue generating vs. Cost centre
- Customer success organisations aren’t just focused on customer retention – they want to drive internal expansion through up-selling, cross-selling, and new business referrals
- One key way to achieve this is to be instrumental in helping their customers to grow their own organisations
- Customer service organisations on the other hand focus strictly on driving customer satisfaction to ensure customer retention.
6. Company-wide initiative vs. Single functional initiative
- Fully integrated, cross-functional team collaborations ensure that the solution is viewed holistically within the customer’s organisation, driving overall customer success.
Assess the health of your sales organisation
Defining and delivering a 5-star service experience in every customer interaction, pre- and post-sale are two of 322 measures of a world-class Sales Organisation.
How does your Sales Organisation stack up? Find out by taking the ThinkSales 5 Pillar Strategic Sales Assessment™.
This first-of-its-kind 360-degree gap analysis report enables your Sales Leadership team to assess its strengths and detect weaknesses and impediments to revenue growth across the five pillars of a high performing sales organisation:
- Competitive Strategy
- Customer Engagement
- Sales Talent
- Sales Management
- Sales Enablement
Click here for more information on the ThinkSales 5 Pillar Strategic Sales Assessment™.