Happy workers are 20% more productive than unhappy ones. What’s one major solution that fosters happy workers? Collaboration.
Cross-team collaboration is becoming increasingly important to an organization’s success – especially to the success of sales. The speed of a sale is a strong factor in many buyers’ minds. As a result, speedy internal communication is essential to ensure that all aspects of a sales process is completed quickly and efficiently to close deals. Therefore, companies require a streamlined sales process that enables cross-team collaboration to save time, eliminate bottlenecks, ensure there are no duplicate tasks across teams, and to maintain a competitive advantage.
How can this be accomplished? By creating a collaborative environment that nurtures efficient and ongoing cross-team communications. This benefits sales, but it also improves each team’s performance, customer relations, as well as promotes a collaborative culture by eliminating the divide between departments. In this blog, we share ten tips for improving cross-team collaboration guaranteed to streamline your internal workflows and strengthen employee relationships.
1. Set cross-team objectives and goals
When separate teams are all working towards their own individual goals, a larger sense of camaraderie and teamwork can often dissipate. By setting cross-team objectives and goals, teams can work together to achieve the cohesive goals of the company. Doing so weaves teamwork into the company DNA, , and motivates employees to work together towards a common objective – whether it is closing an upcoming opportunity or approving legal terms. This kind of supportive and collaborative culture can result in faster turnaround time, and boost sales.
2. Drive individual and team-based KPIs
Another way to improve cross-team collaboration is by creating both individual and shared team-based Key Performance Indicators (KPIs). Performance management through KPIs can help you quantify individual, team-based, and organizational performance . This kind of structure helps employees understand and reach their own goals, as well as larger objectives – shared by cross-functional team members. By understanding what is expected of them, they can map their strategy, including other team members who can support them. . This allows better performance evaluation to identify where more collaboration is required to improve cross-functional performance and improve sales-related metrics.
3. Assess the gap – Identify existing obstacles and problems
By setting up methods for employee and team workflow evaluation, you can identify recurring obstacles that slow down your sales process. This allows you to tailor your sales process to utilize practices that work best, and smooth out practices and handoffs that regularly interfere with your employees performance. During this evaluation process, it’s important to consult with your employees and receive feedback on what can improve collaboration and recurring bottlenecks, like discount approvals, or legal terms’ sign-offs. By identifying obstacles and finding collaborative solutions, you can better support your employees while simultaneously promoting cross-team collaboration and underlying workflows.
4. Identify pivotal sales processes, and co-design new procedures to support collaboration
Many employees have difficulty giving up control. When they fully own their tasks, employees know the results they can expect. However, collaborating with others and delegating tasks can streamline the sales process. Your employees will soon realize that collaboration makes the process more efficient, and to closing deals faster. Review your sales processes to see if there are parts of the process that can be improved with cross-team collaboration.
5. Invest in integrated sales tech that improves collaboration
According to research by GoRemotely, 70% of employees find that digital technology improved their collaboration efforts.
As hybrid working is on the rise, sales tech is becoming increasingly important in sales processes. Since sales collaboration encompasses a range of diverse processes, and involves communication between different stakeholders, sales teams must integrate a number of sales tools into their daily collaborations. Since pricing is one of the most complex and important aspects of a sales process, a CPQ solution is a great example of sales tech that enables cross-team collaboration.
A CPQ solution enables collaboration during the quoting process. It creates simple and advanced workflows, discounting and approval processes, and pricing updates. By utilizing CPQ, sales reps don’t need to be slowed down during the quoting process, and can communicate with all relevant stakeholders quickly and efficiently from one platform. It allows all relevant stakeholders access to the specific information relevant for them, in which they can see and modify proposals. By eliminating disjointed communication processes during the quoting phase of a sale, employees can work together effectively to create professional and accurate proposals to close deals faster.
6. Create clear communication standards and procedures policies
When encouraging cross-team collaboration, ensuring that you have clear communication procedures and standards is essential. By setting the standard for your employees, you can alleviate some obstacles they face by having clear guidelines for them to follow throughout the sales process. By including standardized and streamlined communication as a part of this process, you can ensure that cross-team collaboration occurs, boosting both internal workflows and a collaborative culture.
7. Encourage a culture of collaboration
Building a culture of collaboration can be incredibly beneficial for leaders and employees. It helps employees engage with one another, and fosters trust and helps drive organizational goals forward. Employees look to their leaders – so when their managers prioritize teamwork to maximize each employees’ particular skill sets, it’s easier for employees to jump on board. By encouraging transparency, communication, knowledge-sharing, trust, and engagement, you can lead employees from all departments to work collectively towards the same goal.
8. Reward cross-functional collaboration
Cross-functional collaboration can be challenging to implement when it hasn’t been rooted in the company culture from the start. However, it’s not impossible. Having a strong shared vision, leading by example, and rewarding collaboration, can help employees transition to a cross-functional collaborative culture. Providing rewards, especially at the beginning of such a culture shift, can really encourage employees to embrace cross-functional collaboration, as they see the value in collaborating with other departments to achieve the overarching goals of the organization. Some rewards may include a personalized and handwritten note, treating employees to a meal, taking them on an out-of-office fun-day, or even a company celebration.
9. Measure the impact of your new cross-functional collaboration strategy
Companies wishing to succeed need to identify the impact various practices have, especially after their initial integration. Measuring the impact of your new cross-team collaboration strategy is essential to ensure that you are setting your employees up for success, rather than complicating their daily practices. As there are many methods to implement a culture of collaboration, it’s important for leaders to regularly measure the impact of their strategy. In doing so, they can identify what works, what doesn’t, and what else can be done to improve cross-functional collaboration. This allows for a constantly evolving strategy to ensure that you’re creating procedures that work for both the organization and employees within each department.
10. Analyze and optimize
Once you are able to measure the impact of your cross-team collaboration strategy, you’ll be able to analyze and optimize your strategies for boosting collaboration. Remember, this process is dynamic and ever-growing. It’s important to stop and look at the data, consider whether the initial KPIs are the right ones, and get feedback and improvement ideas from employees. Doing so regularly will help you fine-tune the existing process and initiate even better ones. Having a solid process in place is good, but it shouldn’t stop you from making it better.
Cross-team collaboration is not a new concept – salespeople have always relied on others to assist them in closing a deal, whether it be from Legal, Finance, etc. As customer expectations rise, and more resources become available, cross-functional collaboration can be the factor that makes or breaks a deal. It improves internal relationships, allows for more efficient workflows, strengthens customer relationships, provides clarity and transparency within the sales process, improves upselling and cross-selling opportunities, and boosts the company culture and team morale.
However, there is only so much progress that hinges on processes, people, and procedures. Eventually, the right tech is any business’s growth requirement. When it comes to streamlining communication and collaboration throughout the sales process, CPQ offers a solution that streamlines the quoting process and ensures all stakeholders are involved. They can see the right information, at the right time, to help push deals forward to the finish line. Don’t wait for your progress to plateau to invest in the right tools. Leverage sales tech now to take your company to the next level.
Not sure where to start? In our next blog post, we’ll cover the top ten sales tools that boost cross-functional collaboration.