Shifting your focus from service to sales through customer service

20th June 2022

Many contact centres are shifting their focus from service centres to service and sales.

While the trend towards sales through service makes good practical sense, some contact centre advisors may not see themselves as salespeople.

Unfortunately, if a contact centre is purely driven by service metrics, getting the team to switch their focus to selling can be a problem and met with resistance. After all, being a salesperson isn’t the job that they signed up for.

Here’s how you can make your customer service team more sales-orientated, while not disrupting the team dynamic or spirit.

First off by introducing a sales focus, while many think it wouldn’t be a huge change, a service-based contact centre is breaking the team’s current expectations of the role. And doing so can break the psychological contract an advisor has with the organisation.

There is a reason why it is hard to change human behaviour in a contact centre environment, and it is because of something called a “psychological contract”. This is something that is absolutely in all of us, you have a psychological contract with your employer, and it was formed during the recruitment phase, through your induction and so on.

“It is a set of expectations, which are unwritten, but are clear in your head.”

If someone was to sign up for the role of “Customer Service Advisor” and was then inducted into a training programme that was created to get them to cross-sell or up-sell and offer more products, is it their job to do that? Why would they want to do that?

When we try to break the psychological contract, it can cause attrition and absenteeism, as moving the team out of their comfort zone is unlikely to be met with enthusiasm. This highlights the importance of building a culture where the team are open in terms of job flexibility.

However, it is easier said than done to create a culture in which advisors have a more open mindset.

To manage this culture change on the contact centre floor, remember these four key points:

  1. Consider the legacy of your organisation’s culture – What is your business doing currently to make sure they have a lasting culture. This is not a one and done piece, this is something that needs to be embedded into the business values.
  2. Acknowledge the good points, as well as the bad – What is the benefits of this shift compared to what your people do now? There’s no point hiding the negative side of sales, equip your people with the tools to manage this.
  3. Manage the change transformation – Going through transformation, as smoothly as possible will help the culture shift land better for all involved. Make sure this is treated as a project and goes through all the steps needed. Skipping steps to save time never ends well.
  4. Develop effective communication – Really think and consider all the areas this shift to selling may affect. Sharing information and always including the “why” so people can understand how this affects them and why they’re having to change.

Looking at all these points where do you think your business currently operates? Do you have challenges when trying to implement change that focuses more on sales? This may be something that starts with your peoples phycological contracts.


If you’re looking for tailored learning experiences that helps you manage culture change and shift your workforce from a service-oriented to a sales-oriented mindset, please get in touch with me below or with the wider consulting team at

Sarah Porritt
Learning Experiences Consultant

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