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5 Ways to Align Sales and Customer Service Teams for Success

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The way customers perceive your sales and servicing features will determine how they advocate for your brand going forward. Creating a cohesive, seamless customer experience (CX) for new and existing customers is very important.

According to published reports, 73% of customers said CX is essential in their purchase decisions, with 43% ready to pay more for a better customer experience. The best way to achieve that is by aligning your sales and customer service teams to provide better services throughout the customer’s journey. Let’s take a look at several ways to do that, as well as the perks of sales/customer service alignment for your business’s long-term success.

Benefits of Aligning Sales and Customer Service Teams

You affect your customers’ CX with every change you make to your customer’s journey mapping. Whether you integrate a new platform for your team or redesign a store, the customer’s perception of your brand will change.

Based on statistical data, businesses that focus on CX improvement experience up to an 80% increase in revenue, with revenue doubling in the following 36 months. Beyond that, your brand image, word of mouth, and B2B reputation improves if customers are satisfied.

Selling products and addressing support tickets are equally important operations. If both teams align and cooperate closely, the overall CX value of your business will grow exponentially. Here are the perks of aligning both teams for success, both in terms of customer servicing and cross-department collaboration:

  • Longer customer loyalty and advocacy lifecycle
  • Reduced time to convert cold leads into customers
  • More concrete and meaningful customer engagement
  • Reduced employee turnover and higher productivity
  • Minimized staff conflicts and improved communication
  1. Clearly Define Each Stage of your Customer’s Journey

Customer journey mapping is an important element of successful customer acquisition and retention. Creating a clear map of your customer’s journey, makes it easier for sales and customer service teams to collaborate.

Each team would know exactly which stage of the journey is under their jurisdiction and so allow them to make improvements as they deem best. The customer’s journey stages you should define depending on the type of business you have and the products/services you sell are:

  • Awareness – the customer is becoming aware of your brand and product portfolio
  • Consideration – the customer is considering whether or not to purchase the product
  • Acquisition – the customer has made a purchase and is using your product/service
  • Service – the customer requires servicing, support, or other help in using the product
  • Loyalty – the customer is considering whether to advocate for your brand and purchase again
  1. Make Good Use of Collaboration Platforms

Remote collaboration platforms can considerably affect the way your sales and customer service teams collaborate. By utilizing such platforms, you will enable your teams to communicate more quickly, address pressing customer issues, and nurture leads with ease and precision.

There is a wide range of platforms you can make use of and they come with their own feature sets and pricing models. Choose a platform depending on your business’ size, the industry you operate in, and whether you sell products or SaaS.

Onboard both teams to effectively use the remote collaboration or project management platform as a standard from there on out. The results will manifest in higher customer satisfaction, better team morale, and improved brand image for your business.

  1. Schedule Regular Cross-Department Meetings

One of the most efficient ways for your teams to collaborate is by meeting regularly and discussing cross-department strategies. Both sales and customer support can become better if the other team is aware of how the other is handling customer queries and tickets.

Customers will also often follow up their experiences with your business with customer reviews, making their proper servicing a priority for both teams. A common case where customer reviews are important is when working with students who are looking for help with their academic assignments.

Students who think “I need help to write my research paper better” will seek out writing experts online and want to speak to customer support. Whether you work with students, millennials, or the elderly, organizing department meetings between sales and customer service teams can lead to mutual success for both departments.

  1. Create Training Opportunities for Both Teams

Constant learning and development are important if you want to provide your customers with the latest in customer experience solutions. Likewise, your staff is motivated to renew their contracts and stay loyal to your company if provided with professional development opportunities. Training seminars, trips, and courses can be organized for sales and customer service teams.

You can create specialized training opportunities for each team or organize cross-department team building and skill development seminars. These should focus on hard skills and soft skills in equal measure to enable your staff to do their jobs better than before.

You can create polls and surveys for your staff to fill out to determine which types of training would suit their professional needs the most. The culmination of facilitating your staff’s professional development will lead to in-house and CX success shortly.

  1. Take Customer Feedback into Consideration when Developing the Teams

Lastly, the best indicators of how well-organized your sales and customer service teams are customer testimonials. How satisfied are your customers with the customer’s experience provided by your staff? What can you do to improve their collaboration even further?

The customer comments, reviews, and testimonials collected should be taken into consideration when mapping out your teams’ development. Customers might complain about wanting more language options in your customer support system or more payment options on the storefront.

Every incremental improvement you make to your business will slightly improve how customers perceive your business. In turn, they will promote your products/services to their social circles or buy more goods from your brand.

Obstacles of Aligning Sales and Customer Service Teams

 Wanting your teams to collaborate, might come off as micromanagement or distrust from your teams. Finding common ground between two different teams of people can be difficult even in the best of circumstances. What are some of the common problems and challenges teams come across when cross-department alignment is brought to the table?

  • Aspirations of one team to rule over the other – a common ground must be found
  • Lack of trust in the others’ abilities – meetings and team building are essential
  • Conflicts between individuals which lead to dips in performance – urgent team meetings are required
  • Improper and fragmented communication – official communication channels must be established
  • Poor alignment of team goals– both teams should strive to higher customer satisfaction first and foremost

Collaborating for Mutual Success (Conclusion)

The collaboration between sales and customer service teams can lead to mutual team success. Both teams can benefit greatly by being familiar with what the other is doing and how they treat customers.

Team alignment leads them to learning new skills from one another, handling customer support tickets more, and improving your brand’s image. Enable the two teams to collaborate effectively and your business will benefit from the initiative long-term.

About the author

 Jessica Fender is a copywriter and blogger with a background in marketing and sales. She enjoys sharing her experience with like-minded professionals who aim to provide customers with high-quality services.