Sales and Service, Frenemies?

I never knew that problems between sales & service was a big thing, until I started working for a big corporate company back in 2012. Before this I had my own company, brought in my own sales and managed a service team without any of the complications some environments deal with today.

I remember, back then, the first time I noticed that there was an intentional divide was when we had one sales Christmas party and a separate one for the service team. Sometimes I wonder if companies are trying to avoid awkward situations at the expense of not seeing the bigger picture!

There is a stigma which would be pretty hard to shake off, that sales people are only interested in the figures regardless of the outcome. I can say first hand that I have witnessed this enough times to know that this perception is there for a reason. Don’t get me wrong, there are times when our job is made harder just to ensure that service don’t encounter any problems along the way. But is this really a bad thing?

My role when visiting customers, is to provide them with solutions to their problems. I make notes of all their current service issues and ensure that when I quote, I am not just providing a price, but a tailored contract which adds value for money for their building. This in turn, ensures that when I complete the hand over to service I know exactly what my customer is looking for moving forward. Service have the reassurance that they don’t have to pick up the pieces of my flakey sale and we have a customer for life! It seems like one of the simplest methods to follow, yet I know this doesn’t happen everywhere.

No matter how hostile the environment has been between Sales & Service, I have always made the maximum effort to consider who is taking over after me. As much as we see ourselves as being different departments with different goals, we are a team! I also know that if I make life hard for service they can make life as equally hard for me. It’s about having respect for your colleagues and working just as hard for them as they would for you!

I am now lucky enough to work for a fantastic company, were we are all free to work together and Christmas party together equally. My colleagues in service help me sell and they help me sell well. Every potential customer I see, I can tell them with complete confidence that the service beyond the quote is exceptional. That is priceless as a sales person and I know how lucky I am.

By Jodi Davidson
Sales Consultant