In case you live under a rock, Taylor Swift has been on a bit of a roll recently. “Bad Blood” won a VMA award for music video of the year. Her album, 1989, just won a Grammy for album of the year. So in the spirit of two of my favorite songs on 1989, let’s take a look at Taylor’s question and answer to departmental alignment: Bad Blood between sales and CS? Shake it Off!
“You know it used to be mad love” – Every software demo starts off well, right? The sales rep knows exactly which features to highlight and which ones to shy away from (if any), but what if the prospect asks THAT question? “No” is a word that not many sales professionals do not know, comprehend, and/or use often. However, the inability to say “no” can cause long term loss of trust. If a sales representative is never asked a question during the discovery process that elicits a response of “no,” the prospect may have a tough time as a customer.
“The haters gonna hate, hate, hate” – Some prospects will “hate” your solution. It is going to happen, but it is far better if a prospect “hates” you within the first five minutes of a demo as compared to 5 months into being a paying customer. During sales demos, I actively seek out an opportunity to say “No” as soon as possible in order to let the prospect know that I am going to be honest and more than a “Yes-salesman” throughout the course of the relationship.
“No, I don’t fear no more” – We talked about the power of, “No,” but another honest and sometimes correct answer during a sales call is, “I don’t know.” This answer is hopefully used sparingly, but if it is an honest answer, it offers a great reason to follow up with, and continue to engage with a prospect. If it is a more technical question, odds are that the sales representative will head to a product or client success team member to find answers.
“Won’t you come on over, baby? We can shake, shake, shake.” – As a sales professional, I understand that I need to shake my way over to client success for answers to more technical questions from time to time. If you can believe it, my client success team genuinely enjoys hearing my prospect questions (for the most part). Coming back to support or solutions teams conveys an amount of consideration for the folks that will actually be building and implementing the solution. If the mental health of the support team is not front and center in a sales representative’s mind, issues will arise.
“Now we’ve got problems…And I don’t think we can solve ‘em.” – A deal has been sold. In most organizations, this means that the new customer is passed to client success, the sales rep collects his/her commission check, and heads for the hills. This can result in the client success team having a burning desire to hunt down said sales rep, and let him/her know full well what a messy deal they have sold. Or is there a better way to transition these deals long-term?
“I never miss a beat…I’m lightning on my feet” – Why should your sales representatives miss a beat when it comes to the deals that they have successfully won? A fantastic strategy that our company has implemented includes quarterly meetings with every client that allows our teams to take a step back out of the weeds. The original sales team member is brought back to focus the meeting on the original pains and opportunities that were discovered long ago, and how we are/are not delivering on these topics and promises.
There does not have to be “Bad Blood” between CS and sales; although, it seems to happen far too often in today’s world. Does your company’s sales training/onboarding process allow sales representatives to learn the service implications of what they are selling and promising? If not, your office could certainly devolve into the fiery, destructive opening scene of Taylor’s VMA winning music video, and no one wants to see that.