I know it isn’t fall yet, but this heat is starting to wear on people I have spoken with lately (not me, I say bring it on) but I thought this picture of the gorge with the water down the middle was quite fitting. I do not believe that sales and service are divided but I do know that they are different. Having worked my entire career in sales until this past year I have been thinking quite a bit about the differences in sales vs service. Just year ago, I designed and wrote a sales training manual for my former company and would have told you that there were minimal differences between the two. With my most recent company I was the Service Director that partnered with a well tenured sales person and I did notice some differences.
Some of the differences I noticed may have been due in part to my issue of having to control and know what I am selling and services from start to finish. It took me a while to understand that the sales person (we had quite a few wonderful similarities) also had the same need and desire for control. It came down to trust, could she trust me to deliver what she was out selling and could I trust her not to over sell or over commit to our customers on what we could deliver and on time with great value. All this while working together and as a team because in some ways I used to think that the role of service was to deliver and follow-up on what sales was negotiating. Looking back this way of thinking isn’t healthy for any company.
I am sure that there are differences depending on the structure of your organization but I want to attempt to see the differences in black and white. I am not sure why, I guess I am still trying to define what blend of sales and service works best for the customer while igniting passion in the staff and I am a bit on the fence.
- Prospecting future customers
- Identifying existing or previous customers who are not yet capitalized
- Soliciting via phone, email, social media, marketing campaigns
- Creating or working in part to create these campaigns
- Networking both in the profit and not for profit sectors to gain connections and industry knowledge
- Most often has met the customer in person or spent a great deal of phone/face time
- Designs packages of the product or service that fit the customers needs and budget
- Brought in to handle major problems/issues with customer
- Is typically responsible for renewals/re-orders
- Working on a commissioned basis typically
- Has a quota to meet
- Has a specific sector of customers to service and is an expert in the sector or with that product
- Has a schedule of when and how to follow-up with the customer
- Handles issues and problems with product or service
- Can take future orders of existing customers
- Not usually responsible or equipped for up selling or cross selling
- Has not met the customer and many times the contact the service person has differs from the sales person
- Networking is not a typically activity or expectation of this person
- Responsible for showing performance results to sales and executive team that will be brought to customer
- Typically paid hourly/salary
- Judged by service score cards, renewals, satisfaction