Each hour, customer service employees engage in discussions with customers who have a support, billing, or service issues. Each discussion represents an opportunity to expand the relationship through a cross-sell or upsell discussion. As a result, many organizations are asking their service employees to sell now.
Reasons for adding a sales component to a service interaction include:
- Poor business conditions that have forced organizations to scramble to drive additional revenue. Including a cross-sell or upsell component on a service interaction creates a revenue opportunity that did not previously exist with low revenue acquisition costs.
- Business leaders continue to shift their operations into profit centers instead of cost centers. Tying revenue back to their service teams creates a profit opportunity that benefits the business.
But adding a sales component to a service interaction changes the job. A lot. Let's take a look.
You know that service and sales jobs are very different. However, business leaders can overlook these critical differences in the quest to drive revenue faster. The changes in the job then get ignored during the hiring process resulting in a mismatch between who you've hired and your business objectives. You can kiss that Cadillac El Dorado good-bye.
To understand how the job has changed, compare a customer care job to an inbound sales job to understand the skills, abilities, and behaviors needed to be successful.
Ranked Order Competencies for Customer Care and Inbound Sales
Source: FurstPerson Job Analysis Database
As the chart illustrates, a successful sales representative will possess three core competencies that do not appear in the customer care competency profile. These three missing competencies are sales aptitude, integrity, and self-confidence.
Organizations that add a sales component to the service interaction have now changed the job profile. This means they have hired all of their production agents against an old job profile not calibrated to the new performance targets. This is one of the biggest reasons that adding sales to service interactions can fail.
You can help your organization be more successful by updating the job profile to reflect sales abilities, skills, and behaviors. For new hires coming into the organization, you have the opportunity to evaluate them against the new service and sales profile. For existing employees making the transition into the service and sales role, you can also evaluate how well they match the new profile. Those that match can begin handling service and sales responsibilities. Also, by understanding the talent gap to perform sales within your service team, you will have better understanding of your ability to meet new revenue targets.
Just make sure they have the new leads.