service revenue,field service,salesBusinesses that segregate their sales and service teams are leaving a lot of money (and customer goodwill) on the table. According to a recent Aberdeen report, companies have a lot to gain — and nothing to lose — from a close partnership between service technicians and salespeople.

In the report, Aly Pinder Jr., senior research analyst of service management at Aberdeen, describes how closing the sales-service gap brings companies closer to their customers. One strategy is to funnel service technicians’ knowledge of customer concerns and needs to the sales desk. Technicians who aren’t enthusiastic salespeople are still a source of valuable intelligence. Theirs is the boots-on-the-ground intel that big data analytics or expensive CRM technologies can’t match.

The partnership works both ways. Salespeople should sell both products and services. According to Aberdeen, service offerings earn nearly 11 percent higher annual profit margins than products. Salespeople who throw in a free service contract are missing out on a lucrative, recurring sales opportunity.

Read more at Aberdeen (free registration required)

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Securing the Internet of Things

Few technology trends could be as transformative for field service as the Internet of Things. A future of connected devices would arm service divisions with customer data and open up new performance-based business models, for example. The promise is certainly real, but security experts worry about vulnerabilities when billions of devices are connected to the Internet — and to each other.

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Why CMOs Struggle With Customer Service

Sales and service aren’t the only two divisions that should work together. Marketing departments, too, should get cozy with service to better understand the customer. Too often, however, marketing teams don’t even know about the service customers receive, Jordy Leiser, CEO of customer service analytics company StellaService, writes in AdAge.

Read more at AdAge

Transforming the Fan Experience With Big Data

Professional sports teams are combing big data analytics and mobile and social technologies to provide better service to their customers: the fans. At a recent CIO event hosted by Extreme Networks, executives from the four major Boston sports teams discussed how to use big data and connected devices, among other new technologies, to improve the fan experience. The lessons, however, apply to any customer location, whether a sports arena or a hospital.

Read more at BostInno