In most organizations, sales and customer experience teams work largely independently—they have their own processes, workflows, supporting apps and platforms and success metrics.
But as customers increasingly look for a holistic brand experience and companies explore ways to create a customer-first culture, aligning sales and customer experience is becoming a top-priority.
Looking to bridge the gap between your sales and customer experience teams? Here are six steps to help guide the process:
Map Out Customer Touchpoints and Journeys
First, you want to gather key stakeholders from both sales and customer experience in a room and map out individual customer touchpoints and the wider customer journeys.While understanding customer touchpoints is critical, paying attention to the more holistic customer journeys is more important. As McKinsey writes about a media company struggling with retention and churn, “Most customers weren’t fed up with any one phone call, field visit, or other individual service interaction—in fact, most customers didn’t much care about those singular touchpoint events. What was driving them out the door was something the company wasn’t examining or managing—the customers’ cumulative experience across multiple touchpoints, multiple channels, and over time.”To maximize productivity, be sure to include employees who work in the trenches on both the sales and customer experience teams as well as executives. They’ll have the best handle on the nuances and issues that exist within the current journeys.
Identify Current Workflows
Next, make a list of all the workflows that currently exist. What has sales traditionally been responsible for? What has customer experience been responsible for? Where is there overlap? Where are there gaps?
Create a Customer-First Culture
Now that both teams have a strong understanding of the current sales to customer experience landscape and who has traditionally been responsible for what, go back to the drawing board.If you were to shift your approach to creating a customer-first culture, what would that look like? How would these journeys and your corresponding workflows change? What would sales be responsible for? What would customer experience be responsible for? Where are there opportunities to better align the teams?To help guide the discussion, be sure to look at everything through the eyes of your customers. What are they looking for and expecting within each of the journeys you’ve mapped out? How can you can build cross-functional workflows to support those experiences?
Your next step is to assign employees to specific touchpoints within each journey. Where there’s overlap between the teams, think strategically about who is best suited to manage the interaction.Once those stakeholders have been identified, bring the wider sales and customer experience teams together to outline your new approach, introduce roles and iron out any final customer journey details.
Find a Single Platform for Sales and Customer Service Collaboration
One of the biggest pain points for sales and customer experience collaboration is the lack of a unifying platform. Setting up cross-functional workflows is nice in theory, but if those workflows involve jumping in and out of disparate apps and platforms, no one is going to follow through with them.Here’s the good news: With SalesWon, you’re able to create a single quote to cash to customer service process all on the NOW Platform®. In addition to collaborating across the same platform, sales and customer experience can track, manage and access customer data all in one place.
Build a Cross-Functional Messaging Infrastructure
In order to complete the customer-first experience, sales and customer experiences team need to align their messaging. You can create seamless cross-functional customer journeys, but if customers are receiving different messages from different stakeholders throughout the process, the experience won’t be a good one.Whether you tack on a separate messaging session or tackle it within your customer journey conversation, it’s critical that both teams start working off the same script. To help streamline the process, create a central document repository where employees from both teams can access internal messaging scripts and external sales enablement and support documents.