A good sales professional / account manager not only finds new win-win opportunities to sell additional products/services to meet the customer’s evolving needs, but also takes personal accountability as the “go to” point of reference for all issues and problems relating to ordering and delivery of the customer’s requirements. Right, huh? Well like many things……….it depends. It depends on the nature of your product/service, the buying cycle set by your customers, your organisation’s physical infrastructure (eg the presence of a dedicated customer service team), whether the Sales Exec is expected to hunt for brand new customers as well as account manage, the degree to which “service” can be handled remotely vs on customer site, the degree to which service can be dissociated from sales………..all right , enough already, I get the picture I hear you say.

Like just about all aspects of a well tailored Sales System, there is no universal answer. Every sales organisation needs to develop its own unique solution. Opportunity cost and the cost-of-sales are too high these days for any company to have its expensive Sales Exec resource spending time on the back foot reacting and responding if there are more cost effective ways to have particular customer requirements handled.

Start by engaging the staff in the Sales and Customer Service functions in the debate. Get them to critically describe and define how the current accountabilities are split and how the various elements of sales and service are apportioned. Click here for a model to assist in the definitions. Get them to quantify their sales and service split on a spectrum. Click here for an example template. Then get them to repeat the exercise against the backdrop of what they believe the split would look like in a realistic “blue sky” better world. Then open up the floodgates to the “how and why” debate. What does the sales and service activity breadth look like when you analyse and debate, using a proactive-reactive-responsive differentiation? Click here for an example template. This will get the hearts and minds moving in the direction of finding a solution to a problem they (or you!!) may not have even thought exists. Click here for an example generic business rules model.

You may have read this bulletin, and wondered how does the organisation set the right breadth of accountabilities for the Sales and Service roles? We’ll be discussing that question, in our bulletin next month… stay tuned…

Visiting The Next Level’s website can help put this discussion in perspective. Or simply send us a message via the Contact Us section and we will gladly answer any questions you may have or organise to come out and have a discussion as to what The Next Level Sales System can do for you and your business.

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