B2B consumers have higher expectations about the customer experience (CX) that encompasses every aspect of a company’s offerings. Every team contributes to this experience through the quality of customer service, advertising, service features, ease of use, and reliability.
Sales teams are usually the first to contact your prospects, develop initial relationships, and set customer expectations. Your service teams offer customer assistance before and after the purchase, continually delivering value and ensuring delivery on the company’s promises.
The end-to-end customer experience is too valuable for each team to be off on their own with different objectives in mind. The key is to have a shared understanding of the customer journey, master the handoffs and help cultivate customers for life.
The Importance of the Customer Experience (CX)
For customers, a high-definition customer experience means having their expectations met. And there are many. They want to communicate efficiently, expect you to put their needs first, and offer them an intuitive and complete experience, all that in a friendly manner.
Companies that offer best-in-class customer experience are 80% more likely to retain customers, creating stronger loyalty and faster growth. The buyer journey should advance continuously from the moment they read about your product or service, to when they buy it, to the day they upgrade to the next version.
Usually, CX falls short when the delivered value doesn’t match the promised value, which happens when the sales and service team are not aligned.
Making Sales and Service Alignment a Reality
To create a winning formula in providing a compelling customer experience, you must bring sales and service on the same page. Start following these six steps and notice the sales and service teams work better together:
1. Map Out the Customer Journey
A good start is identifying every interaction sales and support stage with a customer and seeing the common touchpoints. Build out the roles of each department to optimize this experience and eliminate existing gaps and friction points between sales and service teams.
2. Align Departmental KPIs
When working on a common platform, achieving customer-oriented goals is a team effort. Aligned departmental KPIs help you create a better balance between customer-focused initiatives and the rest of your business.
3. Design Seamless Handoffs
Sales and service teams must understand each other’s pain points and orchestrate follow-up actions to ease their work. You need a clearly defined handoff process to highlight input requirements and completion criteria.
4. Create a Complete Customer View
Since each team influences customer experience at different levels, they must see and engage in a standard set of customer-centric processes. Sharing a single platform enables sales and service teams to identify when a customer is at risk. Better visibility means knowing when and where customers need support, which improves loyalty and retention.
5. Consolidate on One Common Customer Data Platform
Aggregating data into a single platform provides stakeholders with a more contextual and conversational view to make more informed customer-facing decisions. It also allows you to leverage AI-driven insights and analysis of past, present, and potential future issues and opportunities.
6. Convert Great CX into Revenue
Businesses that improve customer experience can increase their revenue by 80%. Satisfied customers can create word of mouth and turn into your brand ambassadors, which ultimately brings you more customers and revenue.
Customers win when sales and service teams join forces. But aligning them often means you’ll have to embrace an organizational culture change. The right software platforms for sales and service can help orchestrate changes, prioritize collaborative customer-facing activities, and make it easier for sales and service mindsets to evolve.
If you want to learn how to make it easier for sales and service to work together, we highly recommend taking a look at our guide, Crafting the Winning Formula for Sales and Service. In it, we explore how building synergy between sales and service opens up the potential for exponentially better customer experiences.