Breaking the silos between service and sales

by admin on January 18, 2016

I’m often surprised how the service and sales parts of businesses don’t talk to each other. We’re very excited the be running a joint program between the two for a customer this quarter.  Bringing service and sales together and harness the power of both teams, and it’s certainly a case of 1+1 equals a lot more than 2!

A couple of years ago we did some research for a customer in the tech sector, looking at the skills, capabilities and gaps of the sales teams. One of the themes that came out of it was that consistently they wished the implementation / service guys would get more involved in the deal pursuit. And guess what? When we spoke to those same service guys, they said they wished the salesmen would involve them earlier in the process – not after the deal had been signed!

Sounds familiar?

Companies that break the silos between the teams tend to do better, sometimes dramatically so. Steve Jobs of Apple was heavily critical of Sony Corporation for not inventing iTunes or something similar.

Jobs was amazed that a company like Sony could have a strong track record in IT, was a market leader in sound and music systems, had a large customer base and even owned 30% of all music contracts through Sony Music and  yet it couldn’t get its act in gear and revolutionise the music industry in the way iTunes did. Jobs managed it by smashing his departments together. His perception of Sony was that they were silo’d.

At very least, companies should ensure that service and sales should co-operate better. We all know that customers tend to trust the engineers more. And that involving engineers in the sales process, putting them in front of the customer will probably lead to a better solution, and a better perception of the business. If companies can get alignment and collaboration between sales and service, then great things are possible.

Which is why we are working this week with our customer’s service teams, running a Gazing Mindset Service program, having launched the Mindset Sales program earlier in the month – sharing a common approach to the customer, a common language and looking for opportunities to bring even more value to the customer. Very exciting, and the sky really is the limit.

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