Leaders want to deliver exceptional experiences. We all want to deliver for our customers, starting with a sales experience that builds trust between our organization and our buyers. After all, sales sets the stage for the entire customer journey.
Sales is where current challenges are discussed and in turn, promises are made. Those promises may be made with the best of intentions, but if your sales team doesn’t have a full understanding of the entire customer journey, it’s difficult to avoid over-promising.
Learning strategies around sales often focus on finding prospects and then moving them from the lead to buyer categories. If we only focus on these early-journey phases, then we are probably teaching our sales leaders some poor customer experience habits. Do any of these sound familiar to you?
- Our top sales person has “his own way” of doing things, so we let him go outside of the normal processes like using our CRM system.
- Our product teams and sales teams are always blaming the other team for putting them in a bad spot with a customer. Sales thinks product doesn’t deliver. Product thinks sales makes promises they can’t keep.
- Our customer data isn’t as rich as it could be in the sales phase. We are so concerned about our own processes, we don’t really understand where the customer is in their own journey.
Bad CX habits have a way of spreading in an organization. And these bad habits add up to bad experiences for everyone. According to Forrester Research, 77% of executive buyers claim salespeople don’t understand their issues and where they can help, and 78% claim salespeople do not have relevant examples or case studies to share with them. If sales teams don’t truly understand their customer’s experience, how can they help their customers?
It’s time to set up your sales team with great Customer Experience habits, through both learning strategies that embrace the connections between sales and CX and building bridges between the first part of your customer journey and the rest!
Start Sales with Learning
- Learning platforms like SAP Litmos make the job of teaching that much easier. But the content needs to thoughtfully include what happens after the sale – what does the customer do if he or she has issues? How does this compare to the rest of the products and tools they use? What if they feel like they have buyer’s remorse? Thinking through these hard questions helps proactively prepare for a customer’s realistic outcomes.
- Sales people should understand not just where they fit within an org chart. They need to understand their role with the customer journey. Sales is where trust is established and expectations are set. If the sales process is sloppy or non-responsive, that sends a message to the customer about the rest of their experience. Customers will expect the rest of the journey to reflect how they were treated at the start of their relationship.
- Process is important, but let’s flip the script. Why is the process of entering customer data into the CRM system important to the customer? Help your sales team connect the dots between the internal experiences to the external ones.
X + O
- Getting your Experiential Data (X) combined with your Operational Data (O) is the answer, as we heard at SAP CX Live earlier this year. There is nothing more important to a true picture of your customer’s experience than understanding this formula.
- This means we can’t let our superstars off the hook. We have to enforce the rules around capturing that data for the benefit of the entire organization.
- More importantly, we have to get that right for the benefit of our customers. They deserve to feel known and recognized and receive the right, personalized offers because of that. That only works if we all work together.
Face the Feedback
- The best organizations create a cycle of feedback internally and externally. That product team and sales team constantly at odds need productive and empowering ways to communicate to one another about what’s realistic and what’s not. It’s also important to consider how to weave in the customer feedback beyond just the sales team or tech support. What are we hearing from customers, and what can we all do about it?
Getting your sales leaders on board with seeing themselves as customer experience leaders will help empower your organization to make the right promises to your customers.