Out of the myriad priorities businesses need to juggle in today’s inflation-ridden economy, improving the customer experience(CX) now ranks above changes to pricing or products. Fueled by the pandemic, this newfound focus on the customer has made organizations of all sizes rethink how they do business today.
While CX was considered an afterthought by most businesses just a decade ago, customer expectations greatly shifted during the pandemic, placing CX in the spotlight. Today, 9 out of 10 businesses see customer experience as their primary grounds for competition. But the companies that see the most success in this arena do one thing differently than all the rest: they integrate their CX and sales teams’ data and processes rather than silo the two specializations.
Of course, most organizations still haven’t quite mastered the balance, regardless of how aligned they may be around customer needs. The benefits of a more streamlined approach are many-fold. According to findings from PWC, the majority of customers will pay more for a great customer experience and half will even make impulse purchases beyond the product or service they were planning to buy. Given that success in one field relies so heavily on the other, why is it that so many CX and sales teams remain separate from their colleagues?
Consumer expectations have drastically shifted the value organizations place on CX. What was once the duty of a sales team has now become an entirely unique field of specialization that many business leaders are still wrapping their heads around. This has led to many focusing on empowering CX teams with customer-focused tools like chatbots, real-time insights, consumer-sentiment models, and more. While these investments are necessary, one key ingredient to success is often forgotten, or worse, kept under lock and key in an entirely different department. To empower CX teams without alienating an organization’s equally important sales personnel, customer spending data rarely gets integrated with the wealth of information CX teams take in from the other tools at their disposal. This oversight might seem small, but the opportunity cost is immense.
Of the organizations that have integrated their sales and CX teams, almost all say that it’s been a game changer in 2022. By combining insights around customer spending habits with past support data, CX experts are more likely to identify sales opportunities during general customer interactions. And when it comes to their most loyal customers (where the data may be even more robust), CX teams are 6 times more likely to identify new sales opportunities. In other words, CX teams should no longer be viewed as “support staff” for sales teams. With the right tools and increased synergy, CX teams can function as an entire profit center, delivering abundant cross-sell and upsell potential.
Organizations hoping to compete in today’s customer-driven marketplace need to reimagine their CX teams as an extension of their sales machine. Consider these three action items to level up your CX strategy for sales growth:
Train your CX teams on sales, including key messaging, pricing, and methods to close deals;
Align your CX and sales teams around a single, integrated process. This will make it easier for CX staff to connect customers with sales reps; and
Integrate CX and sales data to generate real-time insights. This will provide CX teams with the knowledge needed to identify sales opportunities effectively.
In 2022 alone, the organizations that integrated their sales and CX teams have continued to see annualized increases in customer spending. As more and more companies see the value in combining these teams, those that continue to maintain silos will fall behind. Don’t miss out on the benefits this shift in operations can bring. Empower your CX teams to drive sales, and the boost in revenue will soon follow.