From Handoff to Hand-in-Hand: 5 Key Strategies for Effective Sales & Support Collaboration
- Despite the apparent differences in job descriptions between sales and support teams, a collaborative effort shortens the sales cycle.
- Collaboration between sales and support teams can help consider customer preferences and issues
- Aligning inter-departmental goals and prioritizing information sharing can strengthen the collaborative efforts
‘Success is best when it’s shared.’
One of the most outstanding indicators of business success is growing sustainable revenue.
A business can achieve such growth by optimizing its asset utilization, debt ratios and customer success. However, experts believe that without internal collaboration between the various departments, sustaining such growth rates is impossible.
Sales representatives who had engaged in collaborative efforts with other departments could achieve 82% of their sales quotas.
Stop treating sales as an individual body; keep reading to understand how collaborative efforts can positively affect revenue generation.
Why is Sales-Support Collaboration of Crucial Importance?
Data suggest that companies undergo 250% growth when they share their best practices across different levels. But how are information sharing or collaboration between various channels related to revenue generation?
Collaboration stimulates creativity and increases productivity, yet it remains one of the most underutilized tools.
More than 75% of employers believe that synergy between sales and support teams can boost productivity.
Let us look at why collaboration is an important requisite for business success.
1. Boosting Brand Loyalty
Sales and support collaboration can significantly boost brand loyalty by providing customers with a seamless and positive experience throughout the customer journey.
When sales and support teams work together, they can share valuable information about the customer’s needs, preferences, and history, which can help ensure that each interaction with the brand is consistent and relevant.
This type of collaboration can also help resolve any issues or concerns that the customer may have quickly and effectively, fostering a sense of trust and loyalty.
Additionally, when sales and support teams share common goals and work towards a unified purpose, they can create a strong, cohesive brand experience that resonates with customers and builds lasting relationships.
2. Reduction in Sales Cycles
Shorter sales cycles imply that sales teams must close a deal faster and move quickly through the sales process.
Sales and customer support collaboration can significantly reduce sales cycles by streamlining the process for potential customers.
When sales and customer support teams work together, they can quickly address any questions or concerns that customers may have, allowing them to make informed purchasing decisions more quickly.
This can lead to shorter sales cycles, as customers are less likely to delay or reconsider their decision.
In addition, the combination of sales and customer support expertise can also help identify and resolve any technical or logistical barriers that might be holding up the sales process.
3. Better Customer Experience (CX)
Collaboration between sales and customer support teams can result in a better customer experience in several ways.
First, by sharing information about customer interactions and feedback, both teams can better understand each customer and their needs. This allows them to provide more personalized and relevant support, resulting in a better customer experience.
Secondly, by working together, sales and customer support teams can provide a seamless transition from the sales process to ongoing support, reducing customer frustration and improving the overall experience.
Finally, a culture of collaboration between sales and customer support teams promotes a customer-centric approach, where both teams focus on providing the best possible experience for the customer rather than just achieving their own departmental goals.
This results in a positive, memorable experience for the customer
4. New Avenues for Upselling & Cross Selling
Cooperation between sales and support teams helps businesses understand customer demands and address pain points.
The support team, for example, may have observed that an advanced version of the product/service can resolve a particular customer issue. The sales team can then apply this information with a potential upsell opportunity.
Upselling and cross-selling opportunities can also arrive when sales teams are informed about precise customer demands from support teams.
The 5 Key Strategies for Sales & Support Collaboration
Flexibility, adaptability and a customer-centric approach are three crucial factors on which your profitability primarily depends.
Misalignment between the various departments of an organization can eventually damage your financial performance.
Here are some customized strategies that can help establish clear communication between sales and support teams to ensure a more harmonious working relationship.
1. Symmetry in Communication
Experts believe that symmetry in information between the various departments can help avoid a moral hazard.
When communication is symmetrical, sales and support teams can easily exchange information, ideas and feedback, leading to improved collaboration and problem-solving.
In a symmetrical communication approach, both sales and customer support teams actively listen to and engage with each other, and share information about customer interactions transparently and equitably.
This helps build trust and fosters collaboration between both teams, allowing them to work together more effectively to meet customer needs.
Symmetrical communication also helps eliminate misunderstandings and ensures that both teams are aligned in their approach to serving customers.
Regular check-ins, team meetings, collaboration tools such as shared calendars, project management software, and unrestricted access to information databases help facilitate communication and ensure everyone works together.
2. Synergy in Objectives
When sales and support teams have aligned objectives, they can work together more effectively towards a common goal.
Research shows that 82% of employees from sales or support teams agree that transparency in understanding mutual goals boost productivity. It helps break down inter-departmental silos and helps build better team morale.
Synergy in objectives can be achieved by establishing clear, mutually agreed upon goals and regularly reviewing progress towards those goals. This can help both teams stay aligned and focused on what’s important, and ensure that they are working together to provide the best possible customer experience.
By fostering a culture of collaboration and teamwork, both sales and customer support teams can work together more effectively to achieve their shared objectives, which can result in increased customer satisfaction, sales, and long-term success for the company.
3. Sharing Customer Information
For any business, harnessing and analyzing customer data provides valuable insights. However, data is not meant only for product development or sales teams alone.
Sharing customer data and insights between sales and support teams can help the business make relevant changes in product development, marketing and sales strategies.
Inter-departmental information sharing helps either team to provide a more consistent and personalized customer experience.
The support team can use the information provided by the sales team to understand the customer’s purchase history allowing them to provide more relevant support.
Similarly, by sharing information such as customer preferences, previous interactions, and pain points, the sales team can better understand the customer’s needs and tailor their approach accordingly.
Information sharing also gets rid of duplicated effort and eases the sales process.
4. Joint Training
Joint training can also help to ensure that all team members have a consistent and comprehensive understanding of the company’s products, services, and policies.
As of 2022, US-based companies have spent around $70 billion on sales and support training.
When sales and customer support teams are trained together, they learn about the products and services in the same context, leading to a better understanding of the company’s offerings.
This can result in a more efficient and effective sales process, as sales reps can answer customer questions with more confidence and accuracy, and customer support teams can provide a higher level of service.
Additionally, joint training allows both teams to understand and map the customer journey, including pain points and challenges. This knowledge helps the teams work together to identify and solve customer issues quickly, leading to better customer satisfaction and retention.
By collaborating in training, sales and customer support teams can also build stronger relationships, leading to better communication and a more collaborative working environment. This can result in increased productivity, better goal alignment, and a higher level of teamwork.
5. Celebrate Success Together
Celebrating the success of the sales and support teams can help build a strong sense of team spirit and reinforce the importance of collaboration.
It can help build trust and respect between sales and support teams, as they acknowledge and appreciate each other’s contributions to the organization’s success.
This can improve communication and collaboration, leading to more effective and efficient operations.
Activities that foster collaborative efforts include team-building activities, recognition programs, and the regular celebration of milestones and achievements.
The departmental goals of the sales and support teams in a business are technically dissimilar.
Striking relationships with customers is the principal goal of sales teams while support teams are more concerned with resolving issues.
Despite the fundamental difference between the two departments, effective communication can mend the gaps in customer experience.
A conscious collaboration between sales and support teams implies capturing better sales opportunities and delivering on promises.