Businesses strive to keep lines of communication open between all of their departments. In particular, organizations aim to keep the sales team in conversation with the rest of the business. The sales team’s gathered information is a goldmine of opportunity for every department, from marketing to finance.
Companies that keep the conversations and discussions happening see numerous benefits. From improving sales processes to aiding project management, teams that implement effective communication channels can continue to grow their sales opportunities.
Why Communication is Important
Sales teams spend an enormous amount of time gathering information about a prospective client during the sales process. Even after a client has signed a contract, sales team members hold valuable information and notes from client discussions, all of which are valuable insights for other departments in the company.
By sharing this information, sales teams can lead the company to a successful relationship with a client. Material collected by either sales or other departments benefits everyone in the company. Sharing this information or organizing it in one location through project management helps everyone use it. Sales teams that take the time to discuss when projects need to be completed and what information they’ve gathered on a client aid in the continued success with a client.
Suggestions for Improving Communication
How do businesses bridge the transmission of information from sales to the rest of the company? Try some of the following suggestions to open the lines of communication between the sales team and other departments.
Encourage face-to-face meetings
Businesses can help build conversations between departments by setting aside time for face-to-face discussions. In the digital age, companies can fall prey to doing everything via email. Sitting down for a meeting can help clear up any confusion or reduce the time spent going back and forth with team members.
These sit-down meetings are also an opportunity to discuss goals for each department. Companies can either review individual department goals or cross-department collaborations. Individuals who understand client goals are less likely to spend time doing irrelevant tasks.
The sharing of information during these meetings has benefits for everyone. For the sales department, information swapping helps them gain insights into what options they can offer to prospective clients. For the marketing team, they’ll learn what problems new clients had in the past and what solutions they’ve used.
Find a way to share client data with various departments
Companies need a system to share the sales team’s client information with the rest of the team. This information should include all the relevant data from calls, emails, and in-person visits with a client during the sales process. When the sales team shares this profile with everyone else, other departments have a clearer picture of their client.
Businesses can purchase software systems or platforms for storing and sharing data. Once companies implement this technology, they should do their best to establish a procedure and stick to it. Right now, businesses are using multiple platforms or singular platforms for data collection or predictive analysis.
Project management components of an enterprise resource planning system can help transition new clients from sales to delivery departments. Through planning tools and collaboration abilities, an ERP system keeps data in one place. An additional benefit of this system is businesses can use this data for creating future financial predictions for clients.
Include more cross-departmental roles
In many companies, only sales team members sit in during sales calls. Companies could do better by offering members outside of the sales team the opportunity to attend these calls. By including these people on the call, individuals gain insights from not only what sales does, but what the prospective client wants from the company. This gives non-sales team members a head start on fulfilling client needs after the deal is closed.
Businesses should also offer the opportunity for sales team members to visit other departments. By bringing sales into other business areas, organizations build cross-functional collaboration opportunities and individual understanding of what other people do for a client.
Another way for companies to shift their communications is by creating a place for individuals to share their process- or product-improvement ideas. Requests from individuals can range from different ways of completing a task, to a new product for completing a job. Businesses need to sift through these ideas in order to find the best solution for helping communications or improving processes. By listening to their employees, organizations can increase employee morale and productivity.
Companies benefit from encouraging dialogue between departments. This improved communication can help better define client goals, share knowledge for better product delivery, and create new opportunities for productivity gains.
To encourage dialogue, organizations can hold more face-to-face discussions, create procedures for individuals to follow, and expand opportunities for employee inclusion. Companies that carry out any of these practices can help their whole team and their own bottom line.