Sales, marketing and customer service - the holy trinity for customer acquisition and retention.
All three are shifting ever closer to each other to the point that as Doug Kessler points out we'll look back and wonder why they were ever silo'd in the first place.
SaaS companies are ahead of the pack in this convergence, they are already forging each operation closer and closer to focus their entire basis for activity around the customer. The ones that get it right see explosive growth and retention.
Ive seen both sides of this convergence first hand - the converged business always wins, and importantly, so do their customers.
A salesperson in a pre-converged world just sells. They’re specialists in grabbing people that the marketing department identified as ripe for picking, getting them to sign something and throwing them over their shoulders for processing. Next! If you’re a prospect and not yet sales-ready, you’re somebody else’s problem. And if you’re already a customer but having a tough time getting value from the product, don’t waste my time. (I’m exaggerating for effect — but not by much). A salesperson in a converged world can respond directly, instantly and intelligently to people wherever they are in the ‘lead-customer-funnel-journey-pipe-cycle’. An early stage prospect? I have a great eBook to send you about the issue you’re worried about. An angry customer with a problem? I can see exactly what happened and how we fixed that for lots of other customers. May I?