The B2B Revenue Executive Experience
The B2B Revenue Executive Experience

Episode · 4 years ago

Cindy Kennedy on 3 Key Components of Customer Service in Sales

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

“The most important and most valuable service you can provide is an excellent experience.” - Cindy Kennedy, District Manager for Corus360

Customer service is a critical component to driving revenue and account expansion. In this episode, Cindy Kennedy tells us why listening, trust, and responsiveness are inseparable from sales success.

Find a breakdown of this episode here.

Are you concerned about hitting yourrevenue targets this month quarter or year? Your answer is value, primesolutions, a sales, training and marketing optimization companyleveraging the valueselling framework visit wwwdot value, Prime Solutionscom,and start accelerating your results. You Ere listening to the BTB revenueexecutive experience, a podcast, dedicated helpin executives, traintheir sales and marketing teems to optimize growth, whether you're lookingfor techniques and strategies were tools and resources. You come to theright place. Let's accelerate your growth in three to one: welcomeeveryone to the B to b Revenue Executive Experience, I'm your hostShad Sanderson for those are you that don't have time to listen the entireepisode. Please check us out at BTB, REV, execcom or, of course, itunes,where any of your reviews are greatly appreciated. Today we have with USSindy Kennedy, district manager, for course, threand sixty technologyservices company and are playing is the focus on customer service as part ofthe sales process, and now it's a critical component of driving revenue,account expansion and exactly what that means to Cindy. Has she manages herteam so siny? First. Thank you very much for taking the time to be with ustoday, absolutely tad. Thank you for having me I'm a huge fan of value,prime solutions. After attending one of your sessions a few years ago where Iwas able to be a guest with one of our pe parter. Thank you for having me Ohexcellent, so we like to try and frontload the value some people fom arelisteners, jump on just to just to hear this question, but we like to start outwith understanding a little bit more about a defining moment in your career.was there something that happened, the kind of changed the course or change aperspective on something and it? So what was it and what did you take awayfrom it? Yeah we, you know my first job in high school. A long time ago was attarget and target went had actually contracted with pen and teller andPenan teller would release the news get probably once a week or every couple ofweeks and whenever they would come out, we would have to attend these sessionsin order to ask or training for that week or thatmonth, and then they would play those sessions in the breakroom you know overand over and over again, but target with big ONA customer service, so theirwhole thing and what they incranged in us was that there was nothing morevaluable than h service that you can provide, and they stil think this. Tothat day, you know I go to Tarket, because I like the way that it feelsand I like the way that they treat their customer. So you know what Ilearned from the very beginning of my career, and it was ingrained in me, isthe most important and most valuable service you can provide is an excellentexperience, and that has followed me throughout my entire career and I'veging to believe hat the basis for how you can build a felt career. ExcellentD, so that plays really well into kind of our focus for the day, a D and a'mpurious. You know if you could give me one or two quick examples of how you,personally, on a daily basis, try to stay focused on that that buyingexperience o that Customer Experience d love to know what those are well. Itstarts with how we treat each other internally right when we're in theoffice and we're working, whether we're working with another group or withinour group. You know if we're treating people with respect and we're doing thethings that we preach. We need to be doing with our customers. I think itjust becomes tha behavior and it becomes repetitive versus it beingsomething that you have to work at something that you become. You knowfolks, onauthentic and purposeful, with right, sometof tha, it's just part ofday today, excellent okay, we were emailing back and forth on setting thisup. You mentioned three key components...

...from your perspective of CustomerServices in sales, listening trust and loyalty and Responsi Thit, I'd like totalk a little bit about each one in more detail. So obviously Le's, let'sstart with listening right, seems fairly obvious, of course, but you andI both know, there's a hell of a lot of sales people out there that have whatwe call happy years. So I'm cur is how you work with your teams to increasethat active listening acumen, and you are absolutely right. It is often easyto only hear what we want to hear and Yeth. So often when the customers aretalking, we are not hearing what theyare actually saying you know. This is one of those things where again,if we're practicing it internally on a daily basis- and we hear somebodysaying something and then we repeat what they are saying, then that becomespart of your regular rroutine. But some of the things that we do on a religiousbasis is typically ourselves teams ourselves. Raps are going into meetingswith someone else. They have an engineer or another member of the teamwith them. So it's really important w after the meeting is over for everyoneto compare note. And what did you share? What were your keytakeaways and then, following that up with an email to the customer, and Ilike to keep email as simple and concise as possible, so that thecustomer has the time to read it, and I also like to keep it bulleted and it'spretty easy a Pewpl t done. This is what I've heard. These are action,items and fesher or next step, so we're validating with the customer and theycan either confirm or say, Hey. Look I think we, you know this is what I mostthey can correct for you kN W we can, they can say greate were good to go.Yes, this is exactly what I'm looking for and not Awa did I respond to emails,but at least its there right, it's Enen La pl, it's a refrence point exactlyand and also F, to keep everybody on the same everybody that's included inthe same style formap. Then you can keep consistencind. Customers know whatto expect from you and then latly when we go back for the next meeting,starting off that meeting by recouting the last meeting right, getting morevalidation and acknowledging the customer that you've heard what they'vesaid and if it's not what they said, then they can, and you know they canclarify, but you've got to acknowledge. Acknowledging is the first keytolisting,okay, excellent excellenty. We I'm a big fan of you, know sales reps,confirming what they've heard right you and I've talked about this. Weinterviewed a less track Ma not too long ago, and he was very probably overthe top passionate about that, making sure that you are playing back. Whatyou've heard giving the customer the opportunity to comment, then, of course,you know collaborating with them, I'm with the next step SAR excellent. Sothe next thing the list was trust and loyalty right. This is one where youand I again are definitely on the same same page, the end of the day,regardless of technologies that people want to hide behind people buy frompeople right and it's a challenge. Sometimes I think for people to providereps with a consistent repeatable way to engender trust. So I'm curious fromyou perspective. How do you work with your teams on that trust and loyal tey?What does that mean? As as you're managing them yeah? I mean Buk at theend of the day D, nobody wants to be sold to not een me night, tat wholethat whole Saldman thing mentality. I mean people get prepared to go to thecardularships right. Everybody can't stand those people, so the first thingthat we have to do is stop selling right. Nobody wants to be fold to whatwe need to be doing is helping our customer fix the problem or improvesomething right, because people are...

...fine, just to buy they're trying toaccomplish something, and that's really the key to building trust is to stopselling. If you can do these things that you know starting off withproviding the excellent customer service by listing and understandingand providing your customers with something you need to solve a problem,then that's going to bilt trust when you are providing them with somethingthat' solving their problem. On a consistent basis and that's going toFil boyalty right and loyalty equals custor of satisfaction, yeah was out adoubt and it's interesting how many refs just want to run in and say: Heylook at this, you know cool solution or product or whatever. I have and don'ttake the time to really understand what solution theer, what problem ere tryingto Soll and I ithap all the time you know- and it maybe something that the customer means, but if they have an articulated theirproblem, then how can we be so sure o something that they need right withouta doubt? It's funny to see you can tell you know it's unfortunate that peopledon't like sales people. I mean, I guess, because that's what you and I dofor living. I guess the positive thing is at least we're not as negativelyrated as politicians these days, but for those you know, for those that areyou know, altra performers yea consistently see them really work andgo and cover what is the problem in the custoers mind and how to connect theirsolution uniquely to it, but it takes some diligence. It definitely does sothird point that you had on your list was responsiveness or do what you sayright and then and stick to it. I understand how this can impact trustthem loyalty, but I love to year how you know why this is one of the topthree things for you and customer service yeah. It is something that alot of people drop the ball on, and it's one of those things where you knowwhen you look at providing customer service and building those partnershipsin that trust, it's about what you do and not about what you say. I see oftentimes sell trupwill gointo meeting no talkabout, how they're going to buildtheir trust and how they're going to do this and how they're going to providevalue right, but at the end of the day it about what you're doing and whatyou're providing. So it's something you demonstrate, not something you talkabout. Responsiveness is one of those things that you can do to show yourcustomer that you're going to be there for them. You know it's not one ofthose things that easy to manage. You know I'm not a micro manager and, ifyou're a selldress that needs to be my permaage and you're, probably not putout orfill, I tried it is tillthe important of notjust being responsive, bat being proastive sells up, wo, don't take aproactive level working with confect and customers will be measured based onthe amount of business that they get howtowors tare going to buy very muchfrom somebody who's standing there with their hands out. They need someonewho's going to be proactive. WHO's, Gon, no learn their business, who will beattentivive to their need, their timelines and goals up and beyond andproviding the extra value. We always, I think, all of us have that were valueadded partners right, but unless you're actually providing something thatnobody else is proactively, then there's no extra value there right,customers, tysically, don't shot someone who is providing them witheverything that they need being proactive without being annoying Rihe,there's a different and then saying on top of things andproviding them with the with the additional valuable services. So a lotof our customers are just bob down. They work. Fifty sixty hours a week andthey can't get everything done bright. So if there's something that we can do,that can make their life easier and...

...proauptively do that for them, insteadof just waiting for them to ask something about right, being awarebeing aware of the entirety of the situation, it's not just about therelationship with Ou, they have other jobs, other things ar get in awaybusiness issues change all the time problems crop up requires that you know.I think, honestly. I think it's a great insight, because it's key to becomingthat that trusted adviser right somebody that you can rely on that. Youknow if there's not a problem. Hey can solve right now that t they're notgoing to try and Shov something down your throat be aware. What's going onexcellent, so when you, when you put all of this together- and you startlooking at you know, it's always a challenge to manage sales refts. Havingdone that myself, how do you focus on the activity levels of the reps makesure they stay true to those tenants, ofe customer service right, especiallyOw? It's creats a crowded landscape, especially for yo w resellers and thethings that you guys are doing kind of curious how you combine all of that toeither drive track or inspire activity levels yeah. Well, it's a differentbace. I mean customer service starts once to get in the door. In my opinion,if you were doing those three things than the result will be getting thebusiness and therefore the activity littl will be high as far asprospecting and getting in the doors, that's an entirely different beastsence customer Servicos, something that, like I said, you demonstrate over timeright. You can't really do that when you're in prospecting mode t getting inthe door is tough and I that requires consistent activity. This is whereprobably our rep struggle the most because passpecting and rejection fohands in hand. So how do you sik back I and keep that activity high andconsistence when you're constantly getting rejected? You know we work hardto celebrate our successes, so you know you're constantly out there. You knowjust grining it day after day, whether it be making phone calls and ding emailgetting outside. You know when you do have those wins Ounw, let's celebratethem and let's go a lot o affort behind it, so that you kind of get thatmomentum. The keep going thing after day, yeah the rejection part of it. Imean I, when I teach classes or or work with clients. I always ask students,you know who, in here love sales and a lot of hands, go up at whonnere, lovesprospecting in a lot of hands. Go Down it's the wit. I the grind portion ofthe component without a doubt, have you guys found a consistent way of it, andI asked his. I don't know that there's ever I haven't come across like theperfect dance, where alwas curious how people are trying to track theeffectiveness of that stuff like what's working and what is it? People talkabout tack or the some people use breadshes, I'm just kind of curious.How how you keep the pulse on that and measure it. I really believe that it,each individual wrap it's different for each individual wrap. So couple ofthings that we do is try to break it down right. So you're not justconsistently doing the same activity. Eight hours the day, im Dasegot tobreak it up a little bit and break up the type of activity and different wrethave success with different types of activity, and sometimes it's based onwhat they're comfortable with and sometimes it s fased on. You know justhow they're being effected a at doing that certain activity and measuringthat can be tough, but ultimately, at the end of the day, you know we're asales organization were the prof Isin the PAC, but you know you can managespreadsheet. You can manage crm. You can manage all of these differentthings, but your paycheck actually manages you TA. Yes, it does is the ultimate motivator? Okay, so Farr Ondis, just you guys,know Sinny, like many of the people that we have talked to was a ultra highperformer as an individual contributor before she made the the move to thedark side of of sales management, and...

...she still, of course, has accounts andstuff, and you would have talked about the difference between man as written,carrying a bag and I'm just kind of curious. You know with that experienceof being that ultra hi performer and now moving into management. How is itaffected? How you evaluate potential team members or sales reps for the teamcharacteristics expensor looking for things like that? Well, I think there'sO we have talked about this. I think there's a lot of different factors thatgo into. I know when you- and I spoke previously- We talked about you knowand in what order of a child were you, you know how many sifflings do you havebecause of difere iven suspect? You know I found that I will say that thereare some people that have some wraps that have really surprised me both goodin back where I thought they would be. You know really into sales and reallygood at sales, and then you kind of learn that that's not therthing, and so,as far as one charcteristic, I can't really say that I found the magic there.I would love it if somebody has an would share it. What I would say is that I believe thatabout ten percent of self people are born and ninety percent learn it rightand it's hard to know exactly who has that DNA who's born as a sale personhas that natural DNA. But when you find that person, then you can be guaranteedthat they are going to crush it. You know throughout their entire career,excellent yeah. It's a, I think, one of the latest tats. I saw some of even thebest hiring managers, not just in sales, but in general bout about five hundred,so I gat fit fifty shot that you know somebody's going to get through theinterview process. thit shouldn't have yeah. When you look at Your BusinessToday. Right we've talked about you guys, your folks on customer serviceand th. You know what you're looking for in your refts when you look atcores's business today, Wou know: What's the top business priority foryou and your team, you know, I mean we think that at Corus you know we're apretty good company right and we provide some pretty cool things and wehave really good team of resources and we can really help cultumer, and so ourtop priority is getting that message out there and getting in front ofenough customer so that we can continue to be Effectiv a the services that weare providing and falling inline. With that you know wee hir, our presidenthas a strong belief that everybody deserves an opportunity, and so hehires people young in their career, and he provides them with that foundationto go out there and build their career. So what we really look to focus on asour people and giving them the opportunity to build and grow and a lotof those people started. Some of them start out from an engineering set posedof them start out from and we bring them into Oursillesorganization and we develop them. Our goal is to develop them or toppriorities, develop them into senior selltraps and through Ou our history.We have had a lot of buccess being able to do that to bring them in young teachthem. The Corse way give them an opportunity and the foundation to besuccessful, and then let him rip and roar into the marketplace. Yeph.Absolutely excellent. Excellent. So when you look at, you know wanting toget that message out. Of course, new customer acquisition things like that.What would you say the top three challenges, you're struggling with O morestlessansis from in wrestling with today, would be and they all Bein afame, getting aoyeah yeah with OT AD definitey CANSO WSO getting more atbats right. So that goes back to that PU o getting more advanced at fat, andthen you know differentiarating...

...yourself, so everybody goes in with anelevator pitch or their value. Powposition really got peoplehorth. Allof that. So you have to really demonstrate and demonstrate your howyou work different from you know your competition, it's difficult to yeah itSOS I like to say: Salles is a contact sport. It's definitely not for the forthe meek of week of heart right. It takes forsure lot of focus excellent.So let's change th direction a little bit here. We ask all of our guess kindof two standard questions towards the anoveth interview. The first one issimply as a revenue executive yourself. It also puts you n the position ofbeing someone that other sales professionals are going to try and getin front of, or try and get your ttention that you mentioned earlier.You don't like to be sold to so I'm really kind of curious. What is thebest way to capture your attention and build credibility? If someone weretrying to bring a solution to a problem that you know they were aware, you hadewell good question, because I often look for people who are effectivelydoing that right because we are being sold to all the time. We are a resellerof technology and services, and so people come to us to have usprovidingtheir products and technology to our customer. So you know it takesconsistence. You know touchpoints right so once once you start hearing fromsomebody consistently and I'm not talking about this stamn mill, but youknow reaching out be phone and trying different ways to connect and maybereaching out to somebody that you know and come er that I would know in comingin a kind of a reference. You know that goes a long way, because I can usuallyrely on that person. That is being that, with reference to say, okay, you knowwhat this is. Somebody that I should talk to. You know. I don't think yourfriends out there are just going to be sending tellow marketers your wife, so yeah. I think that that's prettyeffective and that's one of the things that we try to do. Is You know what areyour connections out there? Who? Who Do you know and who can refer you in thedoor? excellenly is so the networking aspect. In fact, I think that's how youand I got connected was through the was someone that I knew Ik said herfamiliar story. Mark Shnink from KPMG said very much the same thing. In fact,he he at least was right. UPFROND said like I'm not going to return youremails or your phone calls. If you want to get in front of me, you got to havesomebody bring you to me. That was much more Directyeah ot. Hisyeah has probably not as polished as you are excellent, lright. So Lat's question.We ask everybody for an acceleration insight. So if you think about sales,marketing professional and you had the opportunity to give them, you know oneor two pieces of advice that you really thought were going to help them. Youknow beat their targets. What would that be m? Why understand tour business and I'm going to go back to listen soin the technology industry there are a lot of sell drep who rely the way ontheir engineers or other companies, and I would say, thehoustomers want to Bi from people that they know understand what they need,and it goes back to customer service and listening right. So, as a sialesperson, if you don't understand the industry that you're in and you don'tunderstand what it is the customers looking for, then how are you able togive them a solid recommendation and it's very common in Thi Industry forSell Rup? You know not to want to get o too technicl on that somone tounderstand, and I think that that is shortsigted and then the other thing isyou know I just I can't go back to listening enough. You know listening isthe main reason why communication breaks down and we have that throughoutour lifes, not just in our career, but...

...we have it at home. You know.Communication has to be effective. The the brain here about the first twentyseconds of everything Youday. So it's your customers not actively engaged ina conversation with you and you're, not listening to them and they're, notduring what you're saying either. So that's probably the two things that Iwould say now your business and practice communication and act oflistening yeah. Those are both excellent, excellent insights. Thankyou for those so perfect. So everybody thank you for listening. That couldhave does it for this episode, please check out BTB revezeccom share theepisode with friends, Family Coworkers and please do not hesitate to write areview on itub sidy. I can't thank you enough of the time they s been anabsolute pleasure to have you on the show. Absolutely thank you cat allright, everybody again thanks for listening and we look forward to seenyou next time, you've been listening to the btobrevenue executive experience to ensure that you never miss an episodesubscribe to the show, an itunes or your favorite podcast player. Thank youso much for listening, Ntil Mext Time.

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