Aligning Your Sales and Customer Service Team For Results Through Teamwork

Today’s customers are more service savvy than ever. If you don’t excel in every aspect of their experience customers will head straight over to your competitor. Sales and customer service staff must work together as highly effective teams – all working toward the same goal – increasing sales and developing a reputation for superior customer service. What is required is true teamwork.

The challenge with teamwork is that it does not necessarily come naturally; teamwork requires training. Here’s why: Most individuals have been programmed from childhood to excel as individuals and not as team players. Unless a person has participated in a teamwork training program, or has had experience on a sports team under the direction of that rare dynamic coach, he or she does not know how to apply teamwork. In spite of this obstacle there are seven actions to take that will help you to align your sales and customer service teams for results.

1.) Sales and customer service managers should instruct sales and service teams to create a list of things they think each team does exceptionally well.  This is the first step in teamwork.

2)  Hold a meeting and appoint someone to facilitate. Set ground rules for the meeting on how you will practice teamwork at the meeting.  ”We will all participate.” “We will speak openly.” Will will be solutions-focused.” “No finger-pointing, blaming, etc.”

3)  Share what’s on your list – what you do exceptionally well. Congratulate each other.

4)  Discuss key elements of teamwork

–          Common goal
–          Open Communication
–          Sense of camaraderie
–          Trust — that each will do their part

5)  Determine ways teamwork, communication and customer service can be improved.  Examples:

–     Service staff should keep the sales person informed.

–    Customer service should recognize, they, too, are “in sales,” and it is not the responsibility of a salesperson to build relationships, it’s the service staff as well.

–  Brief Monday morning meetings with sales and service managers to discuss hits, runs, and misses of the previous week. One service person and one sales person should attend as well. Teamwork should be applied at these meetings.

–    Sales teams should share what they hear in the field. Open communication is a key element of teamwork.

–   Both teams should understand each others’ pressures.

–   Both teams must recognize they must serve each other well in order to serve customers well.

–  Identify service flaws and how to eliminate them. Again, we are applying the essential elements of teamwork.

–  Identify ways to “WOW” customers Example: The sales person brings in flowers from the customer service staff. Sales and service managers visit customers together to inquire on how they can help the customer and better serve them.

6)  Have a discussion on what can hold back teamwork – territorialism, fear of conflict, “us” versus “them” mentality, blaming, business silos, negativity, lack of respect, competitiveness, egos, finger-pointing, “it’s not my job attitudes,” and anything else you can think of. Address what needs to happen to break down barriers between departments managers, and teams.

7) For issues that rely on the team consensus and commitment, involve the whole team in the decision making process. That way, each team member will feel his or her ownership in the final decision, solution, or idea. The more he or she feels this way, the more likely he or she is to agree with and commit to the decided line of action.

There is a great deal more involved in aligning sales and customer service for results through teamwork. Consider teamwork training and make sure it’s fun. For now, these seven steps will get you started.

(Need teamwork training? Call (847-581-9968)

For another great article on Teamwork –

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About Christine Corelli

Christine Corelli is a motivational, keynote, business, leadership, sales, and customer service speaker, sales trainer, and author of six business books. As a keynote speaker, she is known for her high energy and interactive speaking style.

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