Today’s thriving businesses have one big thing in common. They collaborate. But, 39% of surveyed employees believe that people in their own organization don’t collaborate enough. It’s easy to continue to work the “way it’s always been done,” but in order to grow, adopting collaboration as a core tenant is essential.
In order to create a cohesive message across your company and its outreach efforts, collaboration is a must. None of this is new news. About 75% of employers rate teamwork and collaboration as “very important,” yet only 18% of employees get communication evaluations at their performance reviews. (Source)
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A lot of businesses are built like this: They’ve got their marketing. They’ve got their sales team. They’ve got service teams. And these teams are independent. They work in their own little spheres, in their own little silos. They’re doing the work and they’re doing the best to make sure that their job is getting done and getting done well.
Now this happens a lot in companies where they’re working in groups. The problem is, this often leads to miscommunication or no transfer of information between departments. I see this a lot when we come in with a little bit more mature businesses, where they’ve got a marketing team, and even in this marketing team, they’ve got division. First silo; web guys. And then here’s our more traditional marketing. And then over here is our content team. And the content team really needs to work with both traditional marketing and the web department, but they’re also doing their own little thing here. And then we have these we generation or demand generation teams.
And really, all these teams are working independently of one another, all for the same goal of marketing, which the goal of marketing is to send leads to sales. They go for sales to close those leads so that we can now service the client, provide the product, do customer service.
The problem with this traditional model and the way this is set up is there’s no transfer of information, as I said before. Marketing is learning a lot about the customers, about what they’re doing. But sales teams know a lot about customers because they’re interacting with customers each and every day. They understand the questions that they’re asking and the pain points they’re asking. Being able to share information between sales and marketing can be critical to making sure that the right leads are coming through and the right questions and pain points are being asked.
In the other way, sales can also help inform service because they can begin to uncover some of the things that are needed in the product that might not be there for and vice versa. Service can be saying, hey, this is something that our customers really love and they don’t know they’re going to love. Maybe this is something we can help educate them about.
Again, that can go back to marketing, and then sales and service can be connected. And what you end up doing is really creating the circle of synergy and connecting this is where each department is able to sit down and share what’s going on. When content and web and traditional and all the marketing units are working together, they’re going to have much more of a cohesive brand and a much more cohesive language in the way that they’re talking and presenting themselves both online or offline.
When they’re able to share some information from sales and sales is able to share stuff with marketing they’ll be able to work together. Now they can really target the pain points that the customers are having and be able to tell the story more completely. And when you bring in the service team, now you can begin to understand what’s happening on a customer level. Make sure that those customers are staying and that the marketing is beginning to generate stuff that’s going to delight the customers (if they’re nurturing customers all ready to stay longer).
Now this isn’t something that can just happen overnight. It’s a shift in culture. It’s really a shift in the way of doing your business. Instead of building like this, a more solid approach would be if we took the areas and made it more like a Venn diagram. Because you’re going to have independent things that you do. You’re going to have marketing over here, and they’re going to have stuff that they do. You’re going to have sales over here and you’re going to have service here.
But there’s going to be those places where there’s overlap between these different departments, and it’s the job of the business owners, the job of the entrepreneur if you’re setting up a new business, to define where these points of intersection are, and find new ways to build some collaboration between the teams. When you build collaboration between the teams, that’s when you’re going to be able to serve your customers better and provide really good content, make sure that people are going along the journey with you, beginning to love your brand, love your business, and be able to really build those deep interpersonal connections, which is why people stay around for the long haul.
If currently, you’re working in silos, I would challenge you to look closely. Map out where you overlap and begin to put a plan in place where you can help bring your teams together, increase collaboration, and overall increase the growth and health of your business. Until next time, Happy Marketing.