Bridging the Gap Between Sales and Service

Arguments between Sales and ServiceA few weeks ago, OpFocus clients submitted blog post topics that they wanted to see on our website. Amongst them was a suggestion on writing about bridging the gap between Sales and Service — hat tip to Tiffany F!

Sometimes it seems that Sales and Service are either at war or at least on two different sides of the river. Most companies, despite the wonderful corporate culture, open desk arrangements, and free food, struggle with bridging the gap between Sales and Service. Namely, I have heard the following issues when helping clients:

  1. Sales feels burdened by having to create Cases on their Accounts and Opportunities for the Service Team;
  2. Sales Reps want updates on their Cases and keep bugging the [wrong] people on the Service Team;
    • Doubly, the Service Team declares itself too busy to update the [correct] Sales Rep;
  3. Sales claims that there are a lot of POC installs in backlog but Service claims that they haven’t received any new requests;

Your CRM should be designed to narrow this gap and to encourage cross-department collaboration. There are several tools that we can leverage in Salesforce, some new and some old. I’m going to address each problem and propose a solution in order.

If you have feedback or questions about these proposed solutions, please leave a comment below. Also, don’t hesitate to contact us directly for help!

Problem #1: Sales Reps don’t have an easy way of creating Cases for the Service Team

Salesforce Solution: Use Publisher Actions to give Sales Reps an easy way of creating different kinds of Cases for the Service Team.

It doesn’t need to be overly cumbersome and complicated for Reps to create Cases for the Service Team in Salesforce — just create a couple of these new wiz-bang actions that appear in Chatter for your Sales Team. Take a look below at my Opportunity called “Package Suite” in my Dev Org.

Publisher Actions in Salesforce
Rapid-fire Create Cases on an Opportunity

With this Publisher Action, my Reps can create a POC Case with this little form right from Chatter. I only put three fields on this little form, but meanwhile I’ve already predetermined the Case Record Type, Priority, Origin, and even the Subject of the Case.

This way, when a Service Rep takes a look at this Case, he/she will notice that all of the information they need to service the Case is present in the Record.

Cases and Publisher Actions in Salesforce
Case Created by Rep from the Opportunity

Using object-specific Publisher Actions, a new feature of the Summer 13 release, you can ease troubles between your Reps and your Service folks by creating an easy way for reps to Create Cases in Salesforce with information that the Service side needs to do their jobs.

Problem #2: Sales Reps need to be notified automatically

Salesforce Solution: Write a Workflow Rule to notify the Rep anytime the Case Status changes or whenever a new inbound email comes into the Case.

The frequency of notifications will depend on your Company’s process and the nature of your Cases. If you have Cases that require a third-party’s input via email, you might want to notify your Rep when that party emails back in regarding the Case. For this particular example, I am just going to show how a Rep can be notified when the Case Status changes.

So your Case might look something like this:

Cases in Salesforce
Case as Edited by Jay, the Service Rep

The Service/Support Rep just added a new internal comment for the Sales Rep and just changed the Status to “Waiting on Customer.”

Annah, the Sales Rep, receives the following email:

Workflow and Email Automation in Salesforce
Email Alert to Sales Rep on Updated Case

I believe in using this solution because it keeps communication between parties within Salesforce and out of email. Additionally, it takes some burden off of Service Users to update Sales Reps.

Problem #3: There is this mysterious “backlog” of installs that no one can account for

Salesforce Solution: Report on Open Cases per Opportunity

A great way to solve, nullify, or clarify certain problems is to provide visibility into them. By creating a Custom Report Type and then creating a Report on Open Cases per Opportunity, you are able to really view how many Cases and Installs are in this supposed “backlog.”

Reporting, Cases, and Sales and Service in Salesforce
Report on Cases per Opportunity

This report shows all open Cases by Opportunity Close Date and Sales Rep. Additionally, it groups by Case Record Type and Status. From here, you can see that there are three Cases on Annah’s Opportunities and that they are all of type “POC Cases” and are either “Waiting on Customer” or “Working.” From this report, it’s clear that there aren’t any Installs in backlog and that the two Cases that are there are apparently waiting on the Customer for a response.

Just remember that if it’s not in Salesforce, it’s not real!

Was this post helpful? Let us know what your team is doing in Salesforce to bridge the gap between Sales and Service in the comments below!