There would be little need for Service Sales Reps. if all products and systems were sold directly to end users. Typically the sale is made to an installer, contractor, purchasing department, or government agency. In many cases the actual end user, that will make the decision regarding the service agreement, was not involved with the purchase. When it comes to older systems the end user may be many years removed from the initial sale. Often a firm’s internal records regarding the sale don’t help in locating the current decision maker. The project may be listed under the name of the installer or contractor, or just the address of the facility. When it comes time to pursue a service agreement challenges arise. Who do you contact? What interactions with the client have taken place? A firm’s internal politics may come into play. The person who sold the project thinks they are entitled to the service agreement sale without investing the time and effort needed. It’s not unfair to say their time gets taken up with selling more projects, leaving little time for service agreement sales.
The need for a dedicated Service Sales Rep. becomes even more apparent when a firm is pursuing sales in a competitive marketplace or going back to sell clients that didn’t purchase an agreement post installation. Identifying and tracking down information is challenging. Even when that effort is successful getting a meeting or scheduling a phone call can be daunting. It requires both energy and skill. Rarely do those who sell products or systems have the time or the necessary skills to sell end users. Their success is usually the result of technical skills and not prospecting skills. Individuals dealing with the sales and installation process are in a dynamic environment where project management is critical, and stressful. Asking them to shift to a more finessed end user environment usually doesn’t work out well. The day in day out interaction that a Service Sales person has with end users requires an expertise that’s difficult to master on a part time basis. Success is more attributable to communication skills than technical ability.