In today’s business world, more and more sales professionals have to manage through multiple channels to be effective in their daily work. These professionals are the face of their products. Underneath this glamorous front, however, are many others that contribute to the overall success of the organization. The work of a sales professional in the field has evolved from expectations of independent performance to an expectation of team performance. Team performance requires cutting across multiple channels internally to provide a complete product with which to service the clients. Today’s sales people must align themselves with various departments, all of which come with their own vertical silos, reporting structures, work flows, responsibilities and geography.
Not only do these folks need to manage through these complex corporate structures, they also need to present themselves as a unified front to their customers. This involves working closely with other divisions within the company. Since each department has its own, individual responsibilities and organizational structures, this can create extra work and unnecessary challenges for all involved. Without each of these moving parts working together, however, success can never be reached. The product or service your organization is trying to deliver will be doomed to fail. Don’t be doomed to fail.
We live in a fast paced world and we deal with customers every day that want quick, efficient products and services. To do that we must coordinate and collaborate with the many channels required to help us put it all together each day. Think of it like a 3-legged stool. The seat represents the support of your product. That individual seat is supported by three legs that are the nuts and bolts of the people that put it all together. You take one of the legs away and the seat falls over. Without the support of all three legs pushing and working together to hold up that seat, there is no success.
So, what do we do from here? How do we get everyone on the same page so that, when we face our customer, all facets of our internal teams are working together as the legs toward a common goal?
Here are some suggestions:
Build Trust and Rapport:
This is very important. If your teams don’t trust you, they will not support you. Get to know who the movers and shakers are of each channel and educate yourself on what is important to them and the challenges they face every day. Be a resource, support their goals and objectives, shine light on their achievements and help them when the pressure is on. Be willing to understand their frustrations and consent to elevate them as best you can. Talk is cheap. Acts of being genuinely interested in someone else’s success will speak louder than words.
Let Your Partners Play a Role in Your Activity:
Do your internal partners have a customer-facing role? If they do not have a customer-facing role, are you including them in your activity to maintain customer-facing value? Ask them how they might handle a situation, a problem, or a task that is customer-facing. Gather ideas from those that may be hiding in the wings. Having structural mechanisms in place that allow your internal partners to improve on the customer’s experience will greatly improve customer service. You do this by keeping an open line of communication with all involved. Start with sharing your calendar and communicating through weekly collaboration meetings to share ideas on improving the quality of your service. Remember, these meetings are not top down meetings, they are growth meetings and a place where your team can contribute.
Remember, teams that collaborate with one another will always be more productive than teams that do not. Don’t break the stool.