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Collaborate Across Lines of Business

A well, laid out plan is set to fail if not executed correctly.

Imagine Joe, a sales rep who has done his due diligence to understand the customer's business challenge, present the solution and successfully convince the customer that his solution is the one the customer wants. The customer asks for a quotation from the sales person. But days and weeks go by and the customer still hasn't received the quotation from Joe.

50% of sales are awarded to the person who gets the proposal to the customer first. Why couldn't the sales person respond faster? He was waiting for Meg in sales operations to create the quote, who needed input from Sam in engineering to provide all the product line items and corresponding product configurations. Meanwhile, they needed someone from legal to create the contract terms to include with the sales quote. Behind the doors, it takes a army to make a sales deal happen, and the sales person needs to know who in all the different departments he needs to befriend to expedite each step of the process so he can seal the deal faster. Collaboration across lines of business is the last of this three-part blog series on tactics to get bigger, more profitable deals. (Check out the first two posts in the series about how to make more rainmakers and how to be an advisor, not a sales person.)

Sales people are hired for their sales skills, but only one-third of a sales person's time is spent selling. What do they do with the other two-thirds of their time? They are researching data on the internet, navigating different departments within their own organization and spending valuable time on administrative and operational tasks. Streamline the lead to quote to cash process with systems that communicate and share data across users from marketing to sales to legal to order entry. This minimizes finger pointing within an organization and removes delays in completing the sale with the customer.

  • Make it seamless for sales teams to pull content from marketing collateral that is easily accessible to attach to emails or sales proposals.
  • Have legal create standard contract terms and conditions that can be included in proposal templates.
  • Validate quote lines at the point of entry so order processing clerks don't need to re-key the data and verify configurations with an engineer to fulfill the order.

Collaboration across the organization shortens both sales and quote cycle times, which means sales reps will close more deals faster and customers will be happier.

With more rainmakers, who are trusted advisors, and connected sales processes and systems that facilitate smooth sales operations, your deal velocity will increase and so will your deal size. Additionally, when you leverage deal analytics and dashboards with real-time insights into individual deal profitability and projected commissions, rogue and ad-hoc discounting is minimized and margins are protected. It's a win-win for the rep and the company.

Rest well, Mr. Sales VP. It's about to start raining!

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