Make Your Internal Clients Your Biggest Fans!

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Here is a common question I hear in the market: “How do I make sure that my sales producers are bringing on good business?” This is an incredibly important question to answer. The key is to bring on the right type of business and collaborate internally. How often do you hear about the great divide between the Sales organization and the Service/Operations organization in a business? Far too often, if you ask me.

The Service Team’s Point of View

Service’s impression of the Sales team is that they are self-centered and don’t even consider how tough it is to set up a new client, much less service them on an ongoing basis. All Sales cares about, according to them, is getting paid their commission. When a client complains, Sales is the first to throw the Service team under the bus for messing it up when they should be pointing the finger at themselves for over-promising to the client and the setting the Service team up for failure.

The Sales Team’s Point of View

On the other side of the equation, Sales feels that Service just doesn’t get them. As a matter of fact, they feel Service is inflexible and unwilling to do what it takes to make a client happy. According to the Sales team, the Service organization does not understand how hard it is to go out there day after day, get the door slammed in your face 100 times until you finally find a new client. Then, once they sell the deal and turn it over to Service, all they do is complain about it and not install it properly.

Who is Right?

Sound familiar? Much to the chagrin of the Sales team, I generally side with the Service side of the house. Why? Because I feel it is the Sales Organization’s obligation to do everything they can to set the Service team up for success. I don’t feel this way to be hard on the Sales team. As a matter of fact, the only reason I do this is because I understand if the Sales Professionals set the Service team up for success, they have set themselves up for success now and in the future. By doing everything we can to ensure a smooth on-boarding, implementation or transition to our product or service, we create happy internal and external clients. When you have happy internal clients, they want to help you bring on more business. Instead of rolling their eyes whenever you bring them a deal, they ask you what they can do to help you bring it on. If you do this consistently, then when you have one of those “special” deals that requires extra hand-holding, chances are you will have a much more willing Service team that is willing to step up and help.

Ways to Solve This Problem

  1. Collaborate on your Sales process. Engage the Service team in understanding your Sales Process. Ask their advice on how you can better execute it to set them up for success. Find your critical points where you bring them into the discussion. This will limit the surprises at the end and help ensure a smooth transition.
  2. Do a thorough Discovery. Don’t wing it when it comes to customer requirements. Be sure to address and document as necessary all client requirements. Then review as appropriate with a Service team member what you have found. See if there are any questions or challenges that arise from it and problem solve together so when it comes time to present the solution to the client, you know that you have the full support of your Service team.
  3. Have a transition meeting. Sounds logical right? How many times has your transition meeting consisted of an email that asks them to “let me know if you have any questions”? Review all set up or order information with the right person on the Service side to ensure understanding. Make yourself available for questions and support should they run into any challenges.

As easy as these seem, we often skip a step because we are too lazy. Sometimes you can get away with it, but more often than not it comes back to bite us in the end and further strains our relationship with the very people we are dependent upon for our success.

If you decide not to approach it this way – what happens? We create unhappy clients who won’t refer us new business. This creates a bad reputation for ourselves personally as well as for the company which may not ever be able to be full repaired. Internally we have a Service team that doesn’t want to help us out, further exaggerating any problem with your clients.

So don’t be a Sales Schmo and accept the stereotype of a lazy Sales person. Elevate your approach and take the time to sell right and flip the paradigm so you have internal folks who want to help you, and externally raving fans who want to refer you more business. That’s how a Sales Pro does it.

Jack Kelly
Jack Kelly
Jack founded the Corlea Group in early 2009 with his first client coming on board in January of that year. Jack loves to coach. He coaches his clients and he helps coach his kid’s teams – it’s his passion and has been for over 25 years as a professional, father and volunteer. Why? Because he likes to help a team succeed.
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