In pest control there is a division between companies with “universal pest control technicians” and those with the belief that service people are service people and salespeople are salespeople. There are good reasons to separate the sales and service function. One would be that you can devote full time to one or the other. Another is the belief that fundamentally these personality types are so different that you need separate functionality to put in place the best sales team and the best service team.
A question that I have for companies that make the separation is this: If service people can not sell, can they even identify?
Licenses differ from state to state. Here in California, you must advance from an applicator to a field representative to identify and sell a service. If service people remain applicators, the answer is self-explanatory. The applicator can only service and the company cannot expect him or her to identify anything going on at the property, at least legally. BTW, employing applicators is cheaper, but runs completely counter to the notion that one should identify before treating. (On this issue I believe California pest control licensing is very odd. While the state supports IPM and the need to identify before treatment, it allows people to start as applicators that can’t identify. Somehow that seems a bit backward to me).
But even if the pest control technician is a field representative, will a pest control service technician that does not sell have the motivation to identify anything new or unusual? Probably not. As they don’t stand to gain from the sale of a service, will they bother to identify or will these skills never develop, become dormant, in which case the company will never understand what potential was lost, without the separate intervention of a salesman?
For this reason, companies that separate the function focus on phone sales, door-to-door sales and defined inspections, whereas companies with universal pest control technicians focus on continous inspection with each service, as well as defined inspections and need not rely as heavily on phone and door-to-door sales.
If I were developing structural code today, my solution would be to require that those entering the field start with a knowledge of identification (along with safety), progress to application (alongside knowledge of risk) and finally bundle it into professional sales practice. When we allow pest control technicians to applicate and continue down that path alone for years on end, we have created a workforce that is largely ignorant of the tools necessary to guide good pest control professional practices, identification becomes very secondary to the job of the technician, resulting in the phenomenon of the “spray jockey.”