Congratulations! Your sales force just made a sale. You’ve gained a new customer. Now, what happens when that customer begins to interact with the rest of your organization? What happens when the customer comes into contact with functions like technical support or customer service? Are they all on the same page with your salespeople? Do they even speak the same language?

A lot of your company’s employees come into contact with your customers. Some deal with your customers a lot more often than your salespeople do. I refer to those employees, collectively, as Customer Relationship Professionals, or CRPs—not because that’s what most of them are but because it’s what all of them ought to be. So, let me ask my earlier question a bit differently:

How well do your CRPs align with your sales force around the goal of strengthening customer relationships, identifying additional opportunities and generating customers who are stuck like glue to your company?

In the last edition of eCoach, I explained the idea of the sales-culture gap that afflicts most companies, why that gap is widening today, and why it is increasingly critical to close it.

In a nutshell, to avoid falling into the commodity trap, both your sales team and your service teams must know how to add a level of value that the internet cannot. To bind customers to you, your sales and service teams must be able to differentiate your products/services, company and people in the mind of the customer. If you want truly loyal customers, you must add value on all fronts.

You’ll need to train your teams to do this—and to do it consistently. In other words, sales training is no longer enough; you must train your Customer Relationship Professionals, too. Everyone who interacts with your customers—all of your CRPs—must speak the same language. They all must know what “adding value” means in your company, and how to do it…