Why a Business Systems-Level Approach Is Essential for Your Sales Force
Benefit Your Sales Reps and Your Customers with Business Systems Interconnectivity
When you improve the experience for prospects, providing them with genuine value and insight, you maximize your opportunity to create not only a new customer but a lifelong advocate. Improving the experience of your customers—potential, new, and existing—improves the success of your sales professionals, which, in turn, improves the organization overall. One of the most effective techniques to accomplish this is by shifting to an interconnected business systems-level view of your organization.
What Is a Systems-Level Approach?
A systems-level approach to selling is a way to build interconnectivity within your organization. It focuses on aligning your people, processes, sales technology, and information (or content).
(For a more in-depth discussion of this topic, check out our webinar, Innovating Your Sales System by Integrating People, Processes, and Sales Technology.)
Essentially, it’s a way of viewing your organization at a more holistic level. It’s a constantly evolving process that understands no single element within a business operates in a vacuum.
Understanding and harnessing this interconnectivity is vital to creating sustainable success, but it remains one of the biggest challenges for many organizations.
8 Key Facts about Organizational Interconnectivity
1. Most Organizations Are Siloed
No matter how many organizations fervently deny being guilty of it, organizational siloes remain a pervasive problem. When there are defined walls between departments, communication suffers, and you’re not able to fully utilize the collective knowledge and insight of everybody within the company to make informed, successful, positive change.
Removing siloes is a huge step toward helping ensure your sales professionals are as effective, efficient, and productive as possible. When that happens, your potential customers are much more likely to receive the experience that makes them want to engage, to buy, and then to buy again.
2. Alignment Doesn’t Happen Overnight
One psychological hurdle many businesses must overcome is the desire to boil the ocean. When they know there’s an end goal, they want to immediately accomplish everything that will get them to that finish line.
This approach can actually cause stagnation. Keep in mind that companies, especially enterprise or other large entities, can certainly get their teams more aligned and in sync, but it doesn’t happen overnight. Focus on attainable goals, and your small wins will start to accumulate and to generate productive momentum.
3. Your Processes and Systems Must Evolve
A significant piece of interconnectivity is implementing feedback loops. What you’re building is essentially an ecosystem, and as such, it must be constantly evolving, growing, and scaling. Those changes should come directly from the feedback of the system members.
Business today is not only changing, but it’s doing it at a faster rate than ever seen before. Your goal shouldn’t be to create one-off processes that address the current sales landscape; your goal should be to create an overarching system that’s designed to adapt to anything. This is how you achieve sustainability.
4. Value Should Be in the Forefront…Always
One of the most significant changes in the recent sales landscape is the shift to a value mind-set. Prospects today don’t respond to product pitches. They don’t want to hear about product features and benefits at the early stages of the sales cycle. They want genuine insight. They want tools, resources, and information that will help them overcome their specific challenges. They want value.
When you build an interconnected system, you’re able to provide your sales professionals with content that has the information they need. It’s easy to find, easy to use, and effective with the specific prospect. Providing value to your customer increases the success of your sales professionals, which directly provides value to the organization as a whole.
5. Know Your Customers (and Then Know Them Better)
So many organizations claim to know their customers. Even more promote themselves as putting the customer first. Far too many companies, though, fall short of their aspirations here. They either don’t understand their customers deeply enough (categorizing them superficially based on a few key demographics), or they outright misunderstand the people who use their product or service.
This is an invaluable place to utilize the collective knowledge and insight of your sales professionals. Nobody understands your customers better than them. Lean on them when creating any kind of client-centric sales approach.
6. Sales Isn’t a Linear Process
This is one of the biggest and most pervasive misconceptions about sales. When people see the buyer’s journey going from awareness to consideration to decision, there’s an understandable idea that sales is linear. It’s not. A successful organization has to be able to pivot quickly based on any given client’s evolving needs, challenges, and reactions. You must be able to meet them where they are—quickly and successfully providing the value they need most in that given moment. To be able to have that kind of agility, your entire organization must be highly interconnected and working from the same set of principles, deliverables, and goals.
7. Tailored Content Is Key
In sales, there is no coverall solution. To be effective, every approach, piece of content, and messaging must be specific to the individual buyer.
If you’re attempting to sell to an enterprise company, for example, appreciate how many more stakeholders you’re going to be encountering in that deal versus a midmarket company. You’ll be navigating multiple viewpoints and biases, and the content, information, tone, messaging, branding, and story lines you bring to those interactions must suit the individual, that person’s role within the company, and at what point that person is within the buying journey.
It’s an incredibly complex landscape, and getting it right requires every department to be aligned and to provide the insight and expertise to create processes that actually close deals.
8. The Right Sales Technology Is Critical
Sales technology can revolutionize how your company operates. It can save you incredible amounts of time. It can provide invaluable data and metrics. It can facilitate onboarding and just-in-time learning. With an always-expanding landscape of sales technology solutions, the options are essentially limitless.
Many companies, however, don’t get the most out of their sales technology selection, adoption, and integration. They see a sales technology tool as a one-to-one solution. (They have a specific problem; this tool will fix it.) For better success, think about your company as a whole. Identify your biggest priorities by auditing your stakeholders, and then create a strategic approach that solves business challenges and maximizes the benefits of any potential sales technology solution.
Want a step-by-step breakdown of how to approach this ecosystem view of sales technology? Check out the five essential components here.
What’s Your Next Step?
Looking to implement a more holistic, business systems-level approach within your organization? Not sure where to start? Feel free to reach out with any questions. We developed our consulting business to help midmarket and enterprise businesses solve their biggest sales technology challenges, and we’re happy to provide whatever insight, guidance, or information we can about overcoming your company’s hurdles.