Fix it fast. Fix it right. Fix it the first time.
That used to be the mantra for a successful field service team.
But these days, a new requirement has been added: while you’re servicing it – sell!
That’s because as many products become increasing commoditized and sales channels more virtual, the service experience offers companies an opportunity differentiate themselves through their service and support offerings. Plus revenue-challenged CFOs are demanding that the service function transform from a cost center to a profit center and produce revenue from service contracts, upsells and add-on recommendations.
That means field and customer service people now must become sales people. And many are not comfortable with that role.
“The thing is, it’s not that tough for service people to develop sales skills,” said Dennis Neitz, founder of SalesFitness Tribe, a Twin Cities-based sales training and coaching firm. “When you think about it, the technical support person already has a relationship with the customer. They may see the customer more than the sales person does and the customer trusts them. They just need to understand the sales process and be comfortable asking for the sale because closing is not that difficult.”
Neitz understands the importance of practice in developing sales skills. He created SalesFitness Tribe to combine his 20+ years of sales and sales training experience with the team building, role play and accountability features offered by the SkillFitness platform.
Participants attend a one or two day seminar and then receive eight weeks of follow-up coaching using the SkillFitness platform. Neitz said service people value the follow-up sessions to learn how to apply sales skills to their specific situations plus the anytime, anywhere access offered by the SkillFitness platform lets them squeeze training into their already busy schedules.
Neitz said service and support people especially like the ability to share their videos and feedback with each other, working as a team to learn how to improve their selling abilities.
“Service people are used to working as a team,” Neitz said. “They are trained to turn to each other for support when they run into a service issue where they don’t have all the knowledge. They want to support each other so the team learning and communications aspects of SkillFitness have been a huge plus for them."
The SkillFitness training has been especially effective for Millennial generation service people, Neitz said.
“Millennials are good learners and great at solving problems,” Neitz said. “But they often aren’t good at communicating face-to-face and lack personal selling skills. We use SkillFitness to help them practice and to coach them on those skills.”
But despite the appeal of SkillFitness and social learning to Millennials, Neitz said some of his best trainees have been older service and support specialists.
“At my last session I had two service people who were 55 and 60 years old and they were the best students,” Neitz said. “That’s because they had spent their careers developing the attitude that they were going to be the best at whatever it took to service their customers. This was something they needed to learn, so they were going to learn it. It’s easy for anyone to learn to use SkillFitness, they proved you just need to have your purpose for learning the material figured out and then show up and do the work.”
To learn more about SalesFitness Tribe and how they use SkillFitness to teach service and support people how to sell, click here to visit their website.
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