Through the decades of business, keeping lines of communication open has always been essential. Everything from fast runners, to fast riders, to powered vehicles, to wired telegraph to wireless and now a myriad of communication methodologies is creating new issues. I texted, I emailed, I left a message, I posted in chatter, etc. We really need to make sure questions and observations in the sales process are clear concise, and are easily related in context to the subject at hand.
How often at quarterly business reviews do you hear discussions on lost business where problems were identified but poorly communicated. Questions like, I know Fred over there, did you talk to him? I posted that I knew him well. He could have been a significant influencer.
It is the delays in even what may seem at the time mundane information that can be the difference between a closed won and a closed lost.
So how do we fix this. I seems it should be easy to fix in this day of instant communications, but reality is quite difficult as too often needed information is not sent or lost in the noise.
Companies usually develop an overall communication strategy/plan that includes methods of communication within the organization, voicing outside and suppliers and customers. In this little blog we are most concerned with the communication within the company as a effort to provide more effective sales process including coaching for underperforming employees.
So how can you improve your internal communications? There have been many different articles and blogs, but it really boils down to 10 key factors or steps.
- Make sharing a cultural norm. Good communication needs to flow both ways and giving positive feedback can be more important than a correction. Standardize on a communication model that is easily shared across the company.
- Set a good example from the top. Management needs to initiate the communications, show interest and open.
- Make sure the employees are fully on board, and not by edict. Each year millions of dollars are wasted and business lost due to poor communications. Make sure the team releases value in the new communication process.
- Incorporate communication of goals and objectives within the same tool or technology.
- Leverage all the tools at hand to keep employees close to the work at all times. Use online meetings, incorporate coaching into your business/sales tracking, and make sure these updates are team associated and in context.
- Make sure your communication is dependable and routine. Make sure employees can depend on a morning update as well as management seeing comments to clarify activities.
- Make sure everyone knows how to be understood. Notes in communication are for the team, not personal notes for the writer. It is important to be clear, and yes make sure to always be in context to the effort.
- Make sure the tools you choose allow for communicating while mobile. Getting updates and responses in real time are less likely to generate later terse or off topic messages. If your tools are not conducive to real time mobile, investigate a change.
- Incorporate the reviews of your methods of communication as part of your regular business reviews. Make sure to in less formal sessions get honest feedback from the staff. Discuss over a cup of coffee or lunch.
- And in every case of these suggestions, listen. If you are not open to observation of input, then you will see communication dry up.
So where to go from here? If you are using Salesforce as your CRM and tracking sales in their Opportunities, then you have tools built in that can be effective in establishing team communications. Investigate Chatter, how you can incorporate chatter in a team and use it to keep communications in context to the opportunities. And while you are at it, check our SFVision DealVelocity and our new Coaching that leverages the Chatter technology,
Start using SFVision DV today.