In the age of communication, thinking that the sales teams of companies can work in isolation, leaving aside the rest of the departments, is an idea that has become obsolete. The concept also does not match the place occupied by customers thanks to new technologies, now they sit behind the wheel, and they are the ones who dictate the rules on the type of experience they want to receive from companies and thus influence, empowered, and connected their success or failure.
Therefore, only organizations capable of designing advanced purchasing and customer interaction processes based on the synergies created between the different corporate areas will be able to satisfy the demands of users. In order to provide them with a personalized, fast and uninterrupted experience, one of the most popular models within companies is that of collaborative sales.
In this cooperation-based scheme, sales teams work closely with other departments such as finance, pre-sales engineers, legal, marketing, or customer service.
The truth is that, although technology has served as an engine to accelerate its implementation, the concept of collaborative sales is not new. Behind the scenes, the teams in charge of managing the purchasing processes have always relied on other professionals to respond to requests for proposals from suppliers, get approval for a special pricing policy or even close an agreement.
The difference is that today, the resources used in the sales process are increasingly customer-oriented and require a multidisciplinary effort that involves the participation of different areas from pre-sales engineers to communication technology experts. As the adjective collaborative indicates that it is a model focused on making decisions together on concrete actions.
Just any strategy to increase sales is no longer valid according to a Salesforce report, 79% of customers in the professional field consider it extremely important to interact with a person who acts as a trusted advisor who brings added value to their business.
That's why sales teams should embrace this guiding role, directing the two parties involved in the transaction to a point of agreement that benefits them mutually. Listening to and attending to the needs of customers and offering them solutions, even if they do not always revert to the company, allows you to create strong relationships that make users feel valuable, beyond their money.
About a decade ago, the appearance of profound changes in consumer expectations contributed to increasing the complexity of the purchase process, which currently requires the joint work of a good number of professionals. From IT experts to the procurement team, it might seem that almost any corporate area is involved in some way in the buying process of companies.
Precisely because buyers gather more knowledge and have more control over transactions, they expect their sales team to be prepared as well. Another study from Salesforce Research indicates that 83% of professional customers say that interacting with a sales manager who knows their company's products or services well is vital. Consequently, collaborative sales teams must become true experts in detecting and understanding the objectives and needs of consumers.
But for these professionals to be prepared to meet their expectations they need the help of a whole team that supports them. Having subject matter experts with whom they can collaborate and exchange information quickly will allow sales teams to demonstrate that they have more in-depth knowledge and a more comprehensive help and advice system than other competing firms.
In addition, another benefit of collaborative sales teams is that they increase the recognition a company receives from customers and partners.
For example, without a potential buyer asking a question in a group composed of different professionals could receive the answer of the different experts in the same conversation, thus creating a feeling of community and establishing a connection at the beginning of the purchase process that can extend during later stages. This collaboration also improves the experience of customers and partners by strengthening the sales process and building trust.
In this way, this type of coordinated work schemes accelerates the pace and volume of users who resort to the conversion funnel to move from being users to customers and buyers.
Although many companies already implement some type of collaborative strategy in their sales department, there are several keys in which they can look to take full advantage of this model and ensure a good customer experience. This ensures that employees have an ecosystem that allows them to work in a coordinated manner and share information and ensure that sales, marketing and customer service teams are connected and handle the same metrics and data.
However, the basic pillar on which the entire structure is based is technology. Having the right tools is essential for collaborative sales professionals to work in a coordinated manner. In this sense, new CRMs, such as the one offered by Salesforce, allow you to manage the company's processes vertically and horizontally thanks to an integrated management of workflows.
Thus, CRMs facilitate the task of carrying out strategic customer management, placing it at the center of the business and allowing sales departments to better manage the sales funnel from the moment a lead is generated until it closes. These platforms allow the needs of different customers to be reflected in accessible common systems and interactions are also collected in interrelated files and databases.
The only way to achieve a complete customer orientation is to integrate all the processes that enable a collaborative environment to manage them in a coordinated manner, avoiding the repetition of tasks and the disconnection between departments and data. Only in this way is it possible to provide users with the personalized experience they demand.
In conclusion, the concept of collaborative sales is becoming increasingly important in the age of communication, where customers dictate the rules of the experience they want to receive from companies. Collaborative sales teams bring together different departments, such as finance, pre-sales engineers, legal, marketing, and customer service, to provide customers with a personalized and uninterrupted experience.
A Salesforce report highlights that 79% of professional customers consider it extremely important to interact with a trusted advisor who brings added value to their business. Therefore, collaborative sales teams must become experts in detecting and understanding the objectives and needs of customers. This type of coordinated work scheme not only increases the recognition a company receives from customers and partners, but also accelerates the pace and volume of users who resort to the conversion funnel.
Technology, such as CRMs offered by Salesforce, plays a crucial role in facilitating the task of carrying out strategic customer management and integrating all the processes that enable a collaborative environment. By integrating all the processes, companies can provide users with the personalized experience they demand.