Jason Cutter is primarily a salesperson, not a support person! But he brings his deep cross-functional expertise to help me kick off a week of leaders talking about Support’s relationship to Sales. He has a simple theory about working to the same measures of success.
I’d love your thoughts on this episode! Comment below, and like/love/share/support if you found this inspiring, thought-provoking, or useful!
Charlotte Ward 0:12
Hello, and welcome to Episode 131 of the customer support leaders podcast. I’m Charlotte Ward. This week we’re talking about supports relationship to sales. So stay tuned for five leaders talking about that very topic. I’d like to welcome to the podcast this week, Jason cutter. Jason, would you like to introduce yourself?
Jason Cutter 0:39
Yes, thanks for having me. So I am a long time sales professional now turned consultant. I’ve worked in inside sales, telephone sales operations, even managed the whole sales cycle and the service side. And so now I consult with companies to help them improve their selling effectiveness.
Charlotte Ward 1:01
Awesome. Thanks, Jason. So you’re coming on the customer support leaders podcast to talk about supports relationship to sales this week. And thank you so much for joining me, I’m really interested to hear this from a sales person’s perspective. Because I know that almost every person I’ve ever met in support has almost the same view of sales as a function in a business. So I would love to, I would love to hear your side of the story.
Jason Cutter 1:30
Yeah, and I know that my presence here is a rarity in the sales world and for sales professionals, because sales people see support as the antithesis of them, the ones who are always trying to kill their deals or upset their clients or, or cost them money. And so it’s, you know, they see their role is just selling, get them in the boat, and then let somebody else deal with the ramifications of it so that the salesperson get paid. And I’m pretty rare in the fact that I see the customer experience, not just from when they contact service, or they start their, you know, fulfilment or their whatever it is that they just bought, I see that starting from marketing, going to sales and moving forward. So I see that whole thing as the customer journey. And in fact, several times in my career, I have actually led companies where I’ve been the VP of sales, marketing and operations with one title, which is very wordy, but literally running all of it to manage the whole process. And
Charlotte Ward 2:29
that’s actually really unusual to have those all under one leader like that. And all they’re all effectively there for, I guess, working to the same vision of what the experience should be from end to end, right and, and all work into the same set of goals.
Jason Cutter 2:48
And I think what’s interesting is when you do that, and you have leadership at the top of organisations, whether it’s one or it’s multiple, and they’re working together, looking at the whole customer journey, and the company, as a whole as the goal and the customer satisfaction and experience as the goal, then what you see is that on the service side, there are times where there’s customers who are just kind of crazy, and they have issues and it’s not sales is fault. And then there’s times where it is the way that sales is run, and they’re not being compliant or not setting the right expectations. And then there’s ways to improve both sides and manage all of that effectively. And I think that’s really the key is to bring those pieces together, listen to both sides, and then make changes as needed. But then sometimes, there’s things you just can’t change. Mm hmm.
Charlotte Ward 3:37
Please don’t tell me that I am an idealist. I hope we can fix this relationship over the course of this week. I guess that’s an interesting place to be in some ways, you could say that you have this overarching customer view. And yet also there must surely be some conflicts that are more difficult to manage the kind of conflict of interests when you have two very different parts of the organisation with very different measures of measures of success and reporting into you. And both wanting bits of your time are both wanting your favour in a way. Right. And I guess what I’m interested in is you’ve clearly made it work. What would be the thing that you would say, aside from just the fact that you have this single leader with that overarching customer view? What do you think is the thing that is the biggest thing that eases the relationship between support and sales? Is it thinking about it? Is it just having that view? Or is there more to it is there more operationally or holistic, like in terms of process or anything there that we can take away from this in the last couple of minutes?
Jason Cutter 4:50
I think the biggest key is that everybody needs to be in alignment to what the goals are. And then and this is where organisations usually struggle with especially on the sales side. Is that the compensation plans, the job descriptions and the focus and rewards and consequences need to match that alignment. So generally what happens is sales teams have the goal of getting people sold, and then moving on, if they cancel, if they complain, their net promoter score is low, there’s no ramifications, right. And same thing for customer service. Sometimes there’s no real incentive or requirements for retention. And so they’re letting people cancel like crazy. And then that upsets the boat as well. And so the key is everyone needs to be rowing the same direction and have the same compensation plans. And when you do, then sales isn’t saying, Hey, you know, service your, you know, causing my deals to cancel and services and saying, hey, you’re sending over crappy deals that we have to cancel. Everybody is working for the same solution. And then the leadership, even if it’s not under one umbrella, I can, you know, put all that together.
Charlotte Ward 5:55
I really like that actually incentivizing for the same end result ultimately, which is which is we sell the right things in a responsible way, in a manner that the service organisation can maintain. But also the service organisation is incentivized to perform that maintenance in such a way that it benefits the success of the customer, and therefore we retain that customer. And actually, those are not two very different stories, are they?
Jason Cutter 6:25
Nope, no, they’re not. And if everyone’s looking at the same way instead of it’s not my problem, that’s somebody else’s problem, then you know, it works well when everyone’s together.
Charlotte Ward 6:37
That’s it for today. Go to customersupportleaders.com/131 for the show notes, and I’ll see you next time.
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