What you tell your Customers vs. What you tell your Salespeople

The difference between what you tell your prospects/customers vs. what you tell your salespeople, is inversely proportional to customer loyalty.

In other words, your executives may talk a good game when it comes to delivering value for your customers.  But if they are like most organizations, the sales team hears an entirely different story.  Executives will publicly give great lip service to how they care about the customer and how they are super-committed to helping the customer achieve value and ROI.  They talk of how they will support the customer well beyond a transaction by ushering them through an implementation and into value.  But usually that is not the story that the sales team hears which is typically, “close the deal or else…”.  There is usually not even a discussion about what happens after the transaction. (when was the last time you heard a sales manager start a deal review by asking a sales person, “how are you going to help this customer?” — see what I mean?)

Recently, the Sales Executive Council did a study on what part of the engagement process between a vendor and a customer drives customer loyalty.  What they found was that the sales experience was by far the largest component of customer loyalty at 53%–more important than Brand (19%), Product & Service Delivery (19%) and Price (9%).

This means that your Sales Team will determine the loyalty of a customer by what they are focused on.  Are they focused on JUST the transaction?  Or are they focused on helping the customer achieve value beyond the transaction?  The big secret is that you can drive more and bigger transactions by focusing on the customer’s achieved value than you can by focusing on the transaction! But unfortunately, not many sales execs know or believe this.

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One Response to What you tell your Customers vs. What you tell your Salespeople

  1. Mike Bradshaw says:

    Greg, you are absolutely right!

    You can go a stage further: how many salespersons bonus/commission plan includes an element that is based on customer satisfaction?

    Typically that sort of element is used for Tech Support.

    I remember being told by a customer that they did appreciate the amount of work I had done (as a sales person) on delivering value to them until after I left the company. Their loyalty to the company changed shortly after.

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