Benchmark Business Group

Transitioning Sales to Service

April 17, 2018

How much energy and momentum is in your transition from sales to service? The client transition from sales to service should be a seamless experience for your client, and an energizing one for your team. If the transition isn't well designed, clients can feel lost in the shuffle and your team will likely be inefficient.
A technique from the 2018 winter Olympic Games - the speed skating relays "push off" - is a great blueprint to design your sales to service handoff. In many relays, team members pass a baton to the next racer, but in speed skating relays the push off is a unique feature in which a team member literally pushes their teammate forward.
This push off is a well-designed process in which one propels their team member by transferring the momentum they've gained on the ice to their team member. Without the transferring of momentum, their team member would struggle to pick up speed in such a short race.
Imagine if your handoff from sales to service had that same push off energy! When designed well, as with speed skating relays, the "push off" or transfer from sales to service will also be a seamless, well-timed process.
There are three key elements for a seamless transition from sales to service:
Set Your Clients' Expectations
Clients establish a strong relationship with your sales team in the sales process. It can leave them with the impression that their sales person is the most important person or the go to for questions. If a client is still going back to the sales team with questions or worse they don't know where to seek help, the momentum will be lost. Set your clients' expectations early by promoting your team, and ensure clients know there are other skilled and qualified team members that will be available to support them. You need your clients to understand they have the best team available, ready to meet their needs!
Insight: Provide your clients with a flier highlighting each team member, detailing how they work with clients and be intentional about introducing team members to the client during the sales process.
Communication Through the Process
There needs to be a "push off" process to ensure your service team has all the momentum gained from the sales team. Your process should ensure the information gathered through the sales process is recorded and accessible for service to work effectively with the client. Any out-of-the-ordinary needs or requests should be communicated. All personal and family details about the client gathered in the sales process should be available to the service team.
Insight: Use a Client Relationship Management (CRM) system where all client notes and information are documented and shared. This prevents the client from being asked the same questions repeatedly and ensures that key information is propelled forward from sales to service.
Team Trust
Sales includes making promises that others will fulfill through service. Sales invests a good deal of time and energy into establishing strong relationships with new clients. They want these relationships to stay in good standing and even deepen over time, which can make it difficult to trust others to nurture and grow these relationships. Establishing a culture where client relationships are owned by the team, and having open, transparent conversations about what is working, or what needs to be improved will build trust and improve the process.
Insight: Have sales and service teams meet regularly to collaborate on the transition from sales to service, and the experience you provide your clients. Make sure to have a copy of your processes available and collaborate on ideas for improving your client experience.
When the transition from sales to service is well designed, the business benefits from higher retention rates, more referrals, and increased cross-selling opportunities.
The action we want you to take this week is to review your "push off" process from sales to service. Is it a well-timed relay that adds momentum to your team members?

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