Does your company suffer from department silos? If you didn’t know, a department silo is a department or a team that works on its own. It is isolated from the rest of the organization, even though it should be working with everyone else to achieve the same goals.
While cross-department collaboration can be difficult to achieve, especially in a time when remote work has become the norm, it is one of the most important pillars of small business success. Unfortunately, this is a common occurrence nowadays, and it’s important to note that sales and customer support must work together.
If your goal is to boost customer acquisition and retention and also to maximize the lifetime value of every customer, then you need to bring your sales and customer support experts together. They not only need to exchange knowledge to generate fresh ideas, but they also need to use the right tools and exchange important data.
Let’s put all of that into perspective and take a look at the ten hacks you can use to align your customer support and sales teams and achieve better results.
1. Qualified Lead Generation Through Customer Support
Customer support agents are invaluable in separating the leads into their categories, but they are also instrumental in generating qualified leads for your sales department. In order to generate sales leads effectively, you need to maximize the potential of the customer support touchpoint. The key here is to educate these experts on how to guide the customers on their journey.
To do this, your sales and customer support experts need to work together. This might also be the answer to the question “why I’m not making any sales” as potential customers might be coming through your customer support department. Once they get in touch, they might be falling off because your agents are not using the right lead generation techniques.
In reality, customer support is your most powerful lead generation tool. Make sure that your support experts are:
- Engaging the customer in meaningful conversation.
- Identifying their problems and pain points.
- Identifying cross-sell and up-sell opportunities.
- Leveraging the knowledge of your sales experts.
- Forwarding qualified leads directly to your sales staff.
This brings us to the next crucial point.
2. Ensure Customer Success With the Help of Sales Experts
Sales teams have a tendency to work on their own as independent units. This should come as no surprise, as these teams usually have the right tools, methods, and expertise to generate their own data and sales strategies. However, if you truly want to boost sales and transition from customer support to customer success, you need to leverage their expertise in other departments.
This goes for customer support as well as marketing. What’s more, you can leverage sales expertise to unlock the power of customer success in B2B as well as B2C. The key is to leverage the insights generated by the sales team as well as their methodologies.
Your customer service agents don’t need to become sales experts, but they should understand the customer’s journey, the customer’s intent, the buyer persona, and other sales tools that can help boost conversion. Next, use your sales experts to educate your support staff on the proper conversational and soft skills necessary to move them further down the sales pipeline.
3. Elevate Ecommerce Success with the Right CX Apps
Ecommerce in particular is an industry in which sales experts and support agents need to work together and learn from one another in order to generate leads and boost sales. So many potential customers reach out to the customer support department first, so your support agents need to be able to either close the deal or forward them to your sales reps.
To elevate Ecommerce success with customer support, you need to focus on customer experience. You can boost CX by using the right Shopify apps for customer support that will also allow the two departments to collaborate seamlessly on leads and sales opportunities. With the right CX tools, you can quickly generate customer data and use the insights to empower your sales and support staff.
4. Manage Email Communication Between Sales and Customer Support
When trying to eliminate department silos and align your sales and customer support, you need to unify your communications and leverage a collaboration platform. Aim to use a single unified communication system that will integrate all your communication tools, including live chat, video chat, email, and more.
Focus primarily on communication efficiency and email security, especially when these departments are exchanging valuable information. Your support and sales experts should be aware of all cybersecurity risks and how to prevent data leaks when sending and receiving sensitive data.
You should invest in communications and email monitoring that will identify security threats early. Elevated security will improve communication efficiency and allow your sales and support teams to collaborate with ease, but don’t forget to prioritize data storage security as well. When these teams are using the same data stores, like a Google Drive storage space, you have to make sure that the data is safe through password management, two-factor authentication, and monitoring.
5. Merge Sales and Customer Support Email Strategies
Speaking of email and communication in general, it’s also important for your sales and support teams to merge their email strategies. Both of these departments have their own email strategies and methodologies, used to nurture leads, capture up-sell opportunities, or inspire people to come back for another purchase.
There are many support and sales goals you can achieve here, but if your ultimate goal is to sell more, then you need to create targeted emails with the combined knowledge of sales and support experts.
Make sure your support staff takes a look at your sales email strategy and vice versa. The goal is not only to learn from one another but to extract valuable information and ensure email communication consistency.
If you want to effectively nurture and convert leads, then your email communication needs to be consistent and impactful. You can only achieve that by making these teams create an email strategy together.
6. Manage a Winning Inside Sales Team
In a world where remote work has become the norm and sales experts have very little physical contact with leads, managing a high-performance inside sales team should be your top priority. An inside sales team is a team that uses remote communication tools. This is to drive sales and repeat business, which is effectively what your support staff can do as well.
While your dedicated sales team is focused on hard-selling, support can be focused on soft sales. In other words, they can use many of the techniques of your sales experts for upselling and cross-selling purposes and also to maximize the sales potential by adopting a cross-channel synergy.
Cross-sales and up-sales are where customer support can really shine. To that end, leverage your inside sales team to train your support experts on the best to upsell and cross-sell techniques via phone, video, live chat, and other communication platforms.
7. Optimize and Improve Your Sales Funnel
It should go without saying that to align these two departments, your support team needs to understand your sales funnel. You cannot expect them to generate leads to capitalize on cross and up-sell opportunities if they don’t understand the sales funnel and the way you attract, nurture, and convert.
This is especially important when you’re optimizing your sales funnel for SaaS and B2B, because people will reach out for more information before deciding to buy. When that happens, your support experts will need to demonstrate their intricate knowledge of the sales funnel and the customer’s journey.
With that in mind, your support staff needs to:
- Understand the buyer persona.
- Know how they spend their time.
- Understand their pain points and goals.
- Separate quality leads from dead-ends.
- Understand the steps a customer must take to convert.
Your sales experts will be instrumental in empowering your support agents to achieve these micro-goals.
8. Optimize Your Pipeline with Customer Support Data
While it’s important for support agents to understand the sales funnel, it’s also important for your sales experts to build their sales pipeline with relevant customer support data. To do this, your sales team needs to have access to support analytics and reports.
Your sales experts can then learn more about your customers and their behavior. And, also which steps to take in order to connect with the individual during the sales process. Customer support data can help your sales team boost personalization and humanize the entire process, and it can give them a better insight into their journey. This will prove invaluable in optimizing the customer journey map.
9. Improve Support, Marketing, and Sales with Social Listening
One of the best ways you can take marketing, sales, and support forward is to invest in social listening. Social listening is a powerful way to gauge the performance of your brand in the online world and assess your reputation and authority on social media and other online platforms.
Needless to say, these three departments need social listening insights in order to align their strategies and maximize your brand’s potential. Consistency is the key here, of course, as social listening will allow you to ensure consistency in your marketing, support, and sales messaging.
10. Use Gamification to Boost Sales and Customer Support Success
Lastly, be sure to start using gamification to empower both departments to generate qualified leads. For example, using a lead generation quiz is a great way to integrate gamification into your sales, support, and marketing efforts, and engage your customers in a meaningful way.
Fortunately, there’s a lot of lead quizzes software out there that can help you optimize the quiz for your support and sales goals. Because these teams have slightly different micro-goals, you will need to frame your quizzes differently. This is in order to capture the right data, generate a lead, and guide a user towards conversion.
Use the right tool to create engaging quizzes your sales and support teams can disseminate effectively among your online audience.
Sales and customer support need to work together to generate qualified leads, boost sales, and help your business achieve numerous long-term goals. That said, it can be difficult for these teams to maximize their productivity and achieve success without the right tools and strategies.
Be sure to empower and inspire them to take your business forward by implementing these tips into your processes, and have your sales and customer support experts take your brand to the next level. Make these tips a part of your 2022 plan and watch as your company continues to grow in the years to come.