Why there is a nearly unlimited budget available for pampering salespeople, while the customer service department suffers budget cuts and downsizing at the first signs of a business slowdown or recession?
There is a simple, brutal and realistic answer to this question.
Salespeople are more valuable to their companies than customer service personnel.
As President of Customersatisfaction.com, a company that provides service and sales training, aren't I foolish to say this?
Perhaps, but I'm right.
Sellers are valued more, for five reasons:
(1) Everything sellers achieve is calculated based on results that are denominated in dollars, and measured in profits. Service people pat themselves on the back for answering the phones in a timely way. Salespeople cheer when they take a call, or make one that achieves a "yes," a tangible result. Big difference! One unit lauds activities, while the other lives and dies based on outcomes.
(2) Sellers have much better internal P.R. Their victories are conspicuous, and they are touted in internal newsletters, outside trade publications, and at quarterly and annual meetings often located in glamorous and glitzy resort settings.
(3) It's more likely the company President cut his teeth in selling and not in operations, so he or she has a natural inclination to identify more with those that are seen as doing the "heavy lifting."
(4) Selling is perceived as more difficult and challenging.
(5) "Respect goes where the money flows." (Yes, you can quote me!) Sellers earn much more dough than mere servants.
Customer service professionals can gripe and moan about what I've said, or actually DO something about it.
Specifically, when they start to monitor, measure, and manage their units for RESULTS, and denominate those outcomes in dollars and cents, while introducing a rational merit pay system into their ranks, their fortunes will definitely improve.
And I'll be first in line to cheer them on!
Best-selling author of 12 books and more than 850 articles, Dr. Gary S. Goodman is considered "The Gold Standard"--the foremost expert in sales development, customer service, and telephone effectiveness. Top-rated as a speaker, seminar leader, and consultant, his clients extend across the globe and the organizational spectrum, from the Fortune 1000 to small businesses. He can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org.