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Mastering sales force automation and customer service software integration

By Bryce Baer

Published December 12, 2019
Last updated June 4, 2020

Gone are the days of the clichéd three-martini sales lunch. While a boozy meal and a handshake were once the highwater mark for salesmanship in decades past, modern companies must navigate complex sales cycles spanning multiple channels with engagement from cross-functional teams. The stakes are high for companies that want to give customers a seamless and satisfying experience across the channels that are most important to them.

In today’s omnichannel world, sales and support have never been more closely intertwined. Leads can come from just about anywhere, and no two customer journeys are exactly the same. A customer’s first engagement with a company may be from an online review, social media post, live chat, email, or a phone call, and could lead to online research in a message board, multiple visits to a web site, or browsing self-service FAQs. All told, a potential customer may interact with a company a dozen times over the course of several weeks before a salesperson ever gets involved.

Benefits of integrating sales and support

The challenge for companies is to create a holistic experience for customers where sales, support, and other parts of the organization have a complete picture of a customer’s experience, no matter how complex their history. This is even more important as customers have come to expect that every agent can help them solve all their problems without being shuffled between departments, no matter what channel they’re using.

Companies that can create harmony across this omnichannel landscape enjoy deep, personal relationships with its customers, provide fast, efficient support, and can make informed data-driven decisions. When relationships are managed properly, companies of all sizes can anticipate customer needs and effortlessly collaborate across internal teams to turn every engagement into a change to delight customers and drive revenue. This integrated approach to managing the customer journey also gives leadership deep insights into their sales pipeline, with actionable analytics about what is moving the needle for the business.

Avoid hitting sour notes

Those who struggle to keep up with the demands of an omnichannel world risk alienating customers with poor service, missing opportunities by failing to connect the dots with customer data, and wasting time wrestling with internal tools rather than nurturing meaningful customer relationships. When internal systems don’t interoperate, or only present a narrow view of a customer’s history, it’s hard for teams to collaborate, find new opportunities, or delight customers.

One of the most powerful ways that companies of all sizes can bridge this gap across their internal teams is connecting sales force automation and customer support solutions.

Sales force automation tools like Zendesk Sell enhance productivity, processes and pipeline visibility for everyone across a sales organization. Customer service solutions are often built around help desk software like Zendesk Support that gives service teams everything they need to provide fast, personal omnichannel support by tracking, prioritizing, and solving customer support tickets in one place.

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While sales force automation and help desk software are both powerful additions to any company’s sales and support teams, they become even more effective when they’re used together. For example, this approach allows support agents to quickly share leads with the sales team and allows business development teams to quickly dive deep into their customers' support history. It also allows leadership to understand the business with holistic dashboards that span a customer’s entire history. By creating one source of truth for a customer’s history, all parts of an organization are also better able to collaborate seamlessly without shuffling a customer between teams.

Companies that are looking for integrated solutions for managing their customer’s experience often look to products like Zendesk Duet, which includes both Zendesk Sell and Zendesk Support. By deploying an integrated solution, companies are able to create customized workflows for their business at every stage of their customer’s lifecycle.