“Setting the proper expectations throughout the sales process in order to ensure that great customer experience. ” – Jack Wilson & Andy DeAngelis in today’s Tip 336
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Scott Ingram: You’re listening to the Daily Sales Tips podcast and I’m your host, Scott Ingram bringing you some questionable audio in hopefully just this one last tip and unfortunately it’s going to get just a little bit worse before it gets better. The really iffy audio you’re about to hear gets better after about 30 seconds if you can just be a little bit patient, and Jack is self introducing today so I’m just going to let him take it away.
Jack Wilson: What’s going on? Sales Tips Community, my name is Jack Wilson with CinchIT. Today we’ve got a really cool team tip collabo. I’m here with Andy DeAngelis, the COO from VotaCall and the reason we’re taking this really cool approach is because Andy and I talk a lot about customer experience and when you think about it, great customer experience really starts with sales. So today our tip is really about setting the proper expectations throughout the sales process in order to ensure that great customer experience. So, Andy, I’m sure from your experience coming from the ops side of the world, you’ve definitely seen the impacts of expectations and experience.
Andy DeAngelis: Absolutely. So the first half to say is customer experience for year ignored by salespeople, right? It was always that marketing terminology in the background and for us, that was always our differentiator. The problem always was how do you collect the curtain that’s one a potential customer prospect know what customer experience means. Different things to different people. How do you let them know it’s not just marketing fodder, right? How do you display to them that this is a true differentiator and advantage of going within this case protocol? So that’s always a challenge and the way that you meet that challenge as you get your sales team completely bought in on customer experience on it being your differentiator on processes. The only way to do that is there has to be documentation. You have to constantly talk about it and it has to be a top-down message throughout the organization. Once you do that, you will slowly see that your sales reps will be positioning customer experience above all else before features, before price. Cause look in, in my business, we sell phone systems, we sell cloud phone systems. Many people believe a phone system, a phone system. I always respond, yes, absolutely. The difference is yes, everybody can supply the same type of features, deliver the same type of features, but not everyone can deliver the same type of experience that human to human connection and interaction. That’s where we differentiate ourselves. So we have sales reps leading with, we’re not selling a product for us. We’re selling an experience first. And once you get your sales to convert to that model, a lot of changes.
Jack Wilson: And there’s a big impact when they do it right as well. And that’s really where the tip comes in today is setting the right expectation. So I think a lot of times what sales professionals do is a customer will say, “Hey, what is the onboarding process look like? Or what are my next steps?” And a sales rep tends to say, “You know what, it’s no big deal. It’s a, it’s an easy piece of cake.” But then once the client gets engaged with that onboarding process and they realize there is some work, they do have to do some lifting or they have to participate. Now all of a sudden their first experiences, well that’s not how it was portrayed to me. So as sales reps, the tip we have for you today is honest about what those next steps are. So for example, if there’s going to be a little work involved on the client’s behalf, let them know about it. There should never be anything such as a negative surprise when it comes to your client. So you know for me in IT Space, we’ve got some feedback that we onboard somebody and then they get a ton of calls. So now upfront we started saying, “Hey look, over the next 30 days we’re going to be doing a lot of work to really enhance your environment. We’re going to call you a ton.” I actually joke around with them and I say “It’s kind of like dating. Like, look, if we call too much, maybe just let us know”, “Hey, it’s a little much, can you back off a little bit?” But as long as we’re setting that expectation, they don’t go into that mindset of post-purchase dissonance. And then that experience ends up being happy because we’ve set the proper expectation. So do you find having a system where you’re talking about the experience that you’re able to live up to that, that your reps are setting the proper expectations most of the time?
Andy DeAngelis: So, for me, I came from the sales side and now I handle a lot of operations. So I’m a sales guy that loves the process. It’s kind of it’s an anomaly in many respects, especially in telecom. But, so I love to process everything out. And customer experience can be a challenge to process out a customer experience because it’s very human. True customer experience is about the human being. And to your point, people, their expectations are different. Their needs are different, their wants are different. So some people in your, in your field, they may love the constant phone calls from CinchIT, right? They may love that other people are like, “Whoa, Whoa, I got other stuff to do. I don’t need the constant phone calls.” So it’s about measuring and finding out what the individual needs. That’s certainly important, right? So in our business, onboarding is everything, right? You want to get someone on-boarded properly, they feel good and confident about the solution, the team around them, and they should always know what’s next. They should never go into a black hole of who am I dealing with next or what happens next? And I don’t know the next step in this process, it just feels like it’s been going forever. So for us, we put together a document for onboarding. It’s called our cloud hop document. There’s seven cloud hops, right? That takes everyone through post signature to complete fulfillment and support hand up. And our sales reps actually position that with prospects. And so this is how we onboard people, soup to nuts, everything that we do and we’ve won business simply because customers have looked at it and compared it to what they went through before and said, “You guys really do all this” and yet, and we responded “Of course because it’s on paper because it’s on our website. We deliver and honestly if we didn’t, we’d hear about it because we talk about all the time we’d be called out if we didn’t deliver on it.” We’re always going to be tweaking it of course, but it’s super important. It gets someone onboarded and so they can become an evangelist. Someone who’s speaking about your company with such high regard.
Specifically now to answer your question right, what instance really raises the experience with the customer and sort of managing expectations to certainly to do any implementation, right? I’m not delivering just some widget in a box. I’m delivering a cloud phone system. I’m designing a solution, implementing it. I want to have a big customer and that requires at least minimal interaction with the customer. There’s certain things I need to do that. Now when I say “I, I’m stupid, I’m just the dumb guy. We have technical people who do that, the smart guys.” But in any event, I need certain things from a customer to fulfill that order. So upfront in our, in our cloud hop doc and on our website it says this is what we require when we require it to move installs a lot. So before we actually implemented this process and put it on a piece of paper and on the website, all of the information we need is from a customer come in piece mail over days and weeks installs were dragging, customers were calling wondering what’s going on. You have different contacts at different companies, not talking to each other about where, where are we in this process. Since we implemented this, it really man is a customer’s expectations of what we needed and we decreased the implementation times by about 30% just because we manage the customer’s expectations of what we need to get the job done.
Jack Wilson: I love that. And the sales pros, it starts with you. So to really wrap it all up and kind of put a bow on it, set the proper expectations, specifically outline the next steps for your prospect and your future customer. And if you don’t have a process for it now, because obviously we’re talking to two people from a wide swath of different companies, from startups to enterprise selling. If you don’t have a system, get a system in place. That way you’re a message about the expectations is delivered with consistency and allows everyone on your team to live up to that.
So Andy, awesome. Thank you for sharing those experiences and we’ll be back, I hope in the future for some more tips and keep an eye out for us. Thanks again, Andy
Scott Ingram: For links to connect with Jack Wilson and Andy DeAngelis, just click over to DailySales.Tips/336 and we’ll have those for you. Thanks for listening through this and be sure to come back tomorrow for another great sales tip with much better audio quality!