If you’ve ever asked for an easier way to make your customers and employees happier whilst still growing revenue, you’re in luck. It’s as simple as executing a seamless sales-to-service channel partner handoff.
Strong communication between your sales and the service channel partner sets the tone and keeps customers coming back, you can create a to do list in excel to make the process easier. Consider developing a framework for your sales-to-service channel partner handoff to streamline the process.
Are you currently working from home? Don’t let that stop you. With free VoIP providers, test tracking software, and project management tools at your disposal, you’re halfway towards executing seamless handoffs.
This article will tell you exactly what you need to do to implement this process in your business.
But before that, let’s go over why you need to streamline your sales-to-service channel partner handoff process.
Why You Need A Seamless Sales-to-Service Channel Partner Handoff Process
Your business is built on the partner relationships you have formed since day one. Your employees, suppliers, and business partners are ticking along nicely thanks to those relationships.
A streamlined sales-to-service channel partner handoff on top of an amazing customer onboarding template help you to nurture the relationships you are building with your customers. In a market where 86% of people are willing to pay more for a better customer experience, relationship management should be your priority.
Initially, your customers will speak to your sales management team. They’ll hear all about your business. Everything will be going great. Eventually, they’ll sign the deal and the job will be handed over to the service channel partner. Amazing.
At this point, you have a chance to cement that relationship and build a loyal customer which is good for your customer case management. It all comes down to the sales-to-service channel partner handoff, which is why you should take advantage of VoIP in business.
A poor sales-to-service partner handoff could ruin the customer’s enthusiasm for their new product. Or, it could send them away altogether. Learning how to communicate effectively (both internally and externally) is essential to delivering fantastic customer service.
A seamless sales-to-service channel partner handoff helps you (and your customers) by:
- Minimizing their time to see a return-on-investment
- Setting the tone for future business
- Improving customer service
The Most Important Aspect of Customer Service
You already know that most people will pay more for a better customer experience. But how do you create this? And what has it got to do with the sales-to-service channel partner handoff?
Well, almost a third of customers state “resolving the issue in a single transaction” as the most important aspect of customer service. Over a fifth said that they didn’t want to repeat themselves.
A good handoff can prevent situations like this from occurring. If your sales team has followed the sales playbook and mapped all the details out in their chosen project management software, your service channel partner will easily be able to track communication and resolve issues in a single transaction.
Furthermore, your customers will never have to repeat themselves. The conversations that they’ve had with your sales team will have been communicated to their service team. Everyone, including the sales team, service channel partner, and customer, is on the same page. This is the dream scenario in a customer-centric business culture.
The Effects of Poor Sales-to-Service Channel Communication
Good customer service leads to stronger relationships and an army of loyal, returning customers. In turn, this will increase your revenue as loyal customers mention your brand to their friends.
Bad customer service has the opposite effect. Over a quarter of individuals listed ineffective customer service as their top frustration. You know that 21% of customers don’t want to repeat themselves. Make sure they don’t have to by implementing a seamless sales-to-service channel partner handoff process.
The most important thing to remember is that a third of people would consider leaving a company after just one bad experience. There has never been a better time to streamline your sales-to-service channel partner handoffs.
Let’s find out how to do it.
5 Steps to Seamless Sales-to-Service Channel Partner Handoffs
As discussed, the secret to perfecting your sales-to-service communication is to implement a step-by-step process. This five-step process might not work for every business, but it’s a great place to start. Make your own tweaks if you feel your brand identity suits a different structure.
Before anyone signs anything, your sales team needs to be talking to your service channel partner. Nothing serious, just a five-minute chat over coffee. Believe it or not, this will help you close the deal.
Your service channel partner understands your customers. They know their biggest concerns based on recurring problems.
Imagine if the service team received calls every day asking how to find out their virtual phone number after signing up for your VoIP solution. This problem could be eradicated at the sales stage before any deal has been signed.
The service team has a chance to intervene before the sales team makes impossible promises. 77% of B2B customers said their last purchase was very complicated. It’s not unusual for sales representatives to get carried away with themselves.
Finally, early details are easily forgotten. It’s not anyone’s fault. Small things like remembering to use the best bluetooth headsets or remembering how a client takes their coffee can enhance the customer experience.
2. Internal Handoff
The internal handoff is arguably the most important step in the whole process. This is when your sales rep will hand over every bit of information they have about the customer.
To do this, they’ll need to arrange a good time to sit down and have a thorough meeting. An online booking system can help your sales team find a time slot that fits with the service channel partner’s schedule.
If any information is missed during the internal handover, the customer won’t receive the service or product that they expected. You are off to a bad start and all you can do is try and salvage the relationship.
This costs you time. Your sales team has spent time nurturing this relationship. If the customer doesn’t get what they expected, that time has been wasted.
Furthermore, it costs you money. Delivering a great customer experience encourages people to spend more money with you. A bad experience encourages them to look elsewhere.
So far all of this seems pretty straightforward. You might be surprised to find out that the average salesperson spends less time in internal meetings than they do taking breaks. To implement a seamless sales-to-service channel partner handoff process, this has to change.
3. External Handoff
This step in the process can be as easy as an introduction. The salesperson who has started nurturing the relationship should introduce the customer to their service representative.
To put it simply, this is the polite thing to do. Rather than getting a signature and disappearing, your sales team should mention their account manager and arrange a good time to introduce the two.
This shows a level of synergy in your business. If everyone is working together on each project, things are more likely to run smoothly.
It also instills the customer with confidence. Their salesperson shows that they have a relationship with their client services provider. If anything does go wrong, the customer can reach out to both parties.
Onboarding is the most important step in the process from a customer perspective. Onboarding is what the service team must do after the deal is closed.
To get the ball rolling, your service channel partner should send an email or run a webinar to the new customer that:
- Explains the product
- Answers FAQs
- Introduces key product features
- Provides contact and support information
This gives your new customer somewhere to go if they are experiencing an issue and is the easiest way to begin asynchronous collaboration between all three parties. Again, the service representative has the opportunity to bring the salesperson back into the discussion. Your customer sees synergy between the two teams.
If you offer high-tech products or complicated services, your customers may prefer a product demonstration or one-to-one training. Your service channel partner will be responsible for this, so must know the product inside out. The important thing is you keep communication open and keep building that customer relationship.
Finally, it is time to sign everything off. Up until this point, it may have felt like the sales team was getting all the blame for poor communication. This step requires your service partner to notify your team that the handoff was successful. It is rarely carried out effectively.
The sales-to-service channel partner handoff relies on a feedback-driven process. The service team communicates with your sales team to improve their pitching, then the sales team communicates with the service channel provider to improve their customer relationship management.
Once everything is signed off and the customer is happy, it is crucial that the conversation between your sales team and the service channel partner remains open. In doing so, both [arties can improve their performance by identifying each other’s strengths and weaknesses.
Recognition is important to boost employee engagement and motivation. However, two-thirds of staff claim to have received no workplace recognition in the last year.
At this step, both parties should agree on renewal date. Or, the best time to get back in touch with the customer for feedback. This way, you can guarantee your team is delivering good customer service. And, they’re happier having worked alongside your service channel partner to achieve new business.
It’s Time to Execute Your Sales-to-Service Channel Partner Handoff Process
Now you know how to implement a seamless sales-to-service channel partner handoff by following five steps:
- Internal handover
- External handover
All of these steps are easy to implement and will instantly improve your team’s customer service skills. Think about how other people run their sales-to-service channel handoffs. Next time you’re looking for a software with real time data sources or a new VoIP provider, take note of the small details that have been shared about you. Does this make you feel more like a valued customer?
The most important thing is communication. At every step of the process, both teams need to be talking together. Nobody is too busy to improve their customer service skills.
Finally, remember that an effective sales-to-service channel handoff will lead to:
- Happier employees
- Happier customers
- More revenue
So what are you waiting for? Let’s go.