Service Sales Continuum Sales for None Sales People

For many organisations the 'holy grail' of sales effectiveness is value creation at every customer touch point. For most it has proved elusive, a wonderful concept that is impossible to achieve in practice. Often this is because the process for achieving it, making everyone who has contact with customers more 'salesy', is fundamentally flawed. Service people, from maintenance engineers to auditors, share a common profile, they enjoy working with customers but they do not want to be sellers, so trying to turn them into salespeople just won't work, it's too big a step. At Huthwaite we have recognised that service/sales is not a binary state but a continuum, a progression from one to the other. So, by making the steps smaller, we can make your service people more sales aware, without asking them to become sellers and so make them able, and more importantly willing, to create value for all your customers, every time they meet.

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The stages along the service/sales continuum:

Service – The customer gets what the customer has asked for. They get the value they expect and the seller gets the agreed return. Any additional sales value, for example the goodwill generated by a job well done, is intangible.

Outstanding service – Giving the customer something above and beyond their expectations, or 'going the extra mile'. The customer gets more value and the sales value, whilst still intangible, may be higher, for example the customer tells an associate of his good experience. For some this may be enough: give outstanding service and hope you get more sales as a result. Huthwaite feels that's still a bit too passive, we think you can go further.

Sales awareness – At this stage the service person begins to look beyond the immediate service issue and actively seeks to create, or at least capture, potential, tangible sales value, things that can be fed back to the sales department to add to sales intelligence and perhaps to generate a sales lead. The customer gets, at least, the same value as before and, by spotting potential problems or new benefits before they've been recognised by the customer, there's a potential to create new, real customer value too.

Sales through service – Here the service person begins to move to a more explicit sales role, not only looking for and identifying additional customer needs but also offering solutions to them. The key is the additional solution is sold, not simply given free, to the customer. The sales value is tangible and real, an extra sale, and, by fulfiling a previously unrecognised customer need, real additional customer value is also created.

Sales – Finally there is the full-blown role of selling: identifying customer needs, developing and creating real customer value and, in return, creating sales revenue for the seller. This is the realm of the sales force but, by moving service people along the service/sales continuum, it is no longer a dark art in the eyes of service. It also stops being an 'us and them' situation with sales and service, at best, remote from each other and, at worst, openly hostile towards each other. It becomes a collaborative and joined-up effort to create real customer and sales value and, for customers, it becomes a genuinely seamless experience across every customer touch point.

By equipping your service people with the willingness, recognition and capability to create value and move up the service/sales continuum, you can maximise the opportunities presented by the economic downturn to build a seamless organisation, creating real customer and sales value at every customer touch point, every time.

Our solutions for non-sales people that are positioned against the service/sales continuum have to take into account each company’s unique structure, culture and current skills levels.  Therefore we do not offer generic solutions in this area.  Instead we build bespoke designs for each specific client that utilise our established, research-based models and skill-sets within the unique framework of each client’s organisational structure.

To discuss how we might build a programme to meet your specific needs pleasecontact us.