Let's talk about hunters vs. farmers for a moment since it's important not to "design out" appropriately obtaining new customers. Hunters are those people who are responsible for bringing in brand new, green-field business. Farmers are those people who sell into existing accounts (your customer service function is a great example of this). The disposition of a hunter is radically different from that of a farmer, and we find that individuals tend to favor one function or the other. It's less common to find someone who is equally as good at (or as happy with) both functions. Organizations that proactively solicit new customers will have a hunting function whether it's explicitly stated as such or not. And technology that recommends cross-sells/up-sells based on customer profiling will not replace someone going out and finding new customers.
So back to your question -- will customer service call centers subsume sales? Well, hunters can certainly operate via the telephone. They may even sit in a customer service center. And farmers can certainly sell into existing accounts during the course of an inbound customer service interaction (as evidenced by your success). But hunters are fundamentally not farmers, and thus I believe that while the call center infrastructure may enable a sales rep to pick up the phone and use it, the customer service function will not replace sales.
Dig Deeper on Oracle CRM
Related Q&A from Liz Roche
One reader asks, "Can you offer some suggestions on effective sales incentive programs for call center agents?" Read Liz Roche's advice on providing ... Continue Reading
Before you evaluate sales force automation (SFA) software, be sure to have good business requirements in place, Liz Roche cautions in this expert tip. Continue Reading
Lack of salesforce automation software adoption is the number one reason that SFA implementations don't meet expectations, says Liz Roche in this ... Continue Reading
Have a question for an expert?
Please add a title for your question
Get answers from a TechTarget expert on whatever's puzzling you.