Reducing Silos Between Pre and Post-Sales
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When building and maintaining relationships, it is important to do more than just make a good first impression; one must continue to put effort in and show they care through consistency.
The same can be said for sales organizations and their endeavors to build positive customer relationships. As today’s buyers demand exceptional customer experiences, it has become a key responsibility for enablement to create a smooth and seamless handoff between teams. However, many pre and post-sales teams do not have a cohesive handoff process which leads to many challenges for customers. This not only damages the organization’s credibility, it also creates general confusion and frustration for customers along various touchpoints.
To avoid disjointed transitions and inefficiencies, enablement professionals must keep everyone aligned throughout the entire customer journey to ensure that customers are consistently supported from start to finish.
Here are three ways to reduce silos during the handoff between pre and post-sales to enhance the customer experience.
Establish Transparency Across Teams
To ensure that everyone in the sales organization shares the same experience, it is important for enablement to highlight transparency as a core value that shapes the dialogue between teams.
The most important step in building a transparent process is to clearly define the roles and responsibilities of each member. In doing so, everyone in the sales organization will know who is responsible for what and further reduce any confusion or redundancies.
Just as everyone in the sales organization needs to be aware of these role dynamics, it is beneficial to have customers also be in the loop. Whether someone is responsible for renewals and another person is the point of contact for upsells, customers need to know who specifically they can rely on for their varying needs.
Furthermore, it’s crucial to understand how both internal and external teams are compensated for their work. The purpose of doing this is not to share the dollar amount that people make, but rather to build trust among teams and understand how different teams are motivated.
“The more transparency you have there, those tensions will start to dissipate internally and the customer will benefit from that,” said Sarah Stephenson, director of global sales enablement at Tealium.
By establishing transparency as a foundational standard for all sales organizations, enablement can help eliminate points of repetition and miscommunication to ultimately enhance the overall customer experience.
Foster Unity Through Collaboration and Shared Goals
To break down barriers between pre- and post-sales teams, enablement can coordinate with various teams and stakeholders throughout the sales process. While each function has their own duties and responsibilities within the customer journey, purposeful means of integration can help reduce barriers to build a culture of camaraderie.
First and foremost, ensure that a clear sales methodology is set in place to foster team alignment and ensure smooth customer experiences. From customer-facing reps to senior managers and executives, it’s beneficial to have everyone in the sales organization speak the same language of mutual understanding.
Next, find authentic ways to loop in post-sales teams and customer success managers into the pre-sales cycle and vice-versa. By introducing these different teams periodically where it makes sense, it allows customers to become comfortable with familiar faces. This also ensures that everyone is involved and working in tandem throughout the entire customer journey, and learning from each other’s expertise.
“We’re looking at sales as a relationship,” said Lara Martini, sales enablement lead at Salesforce. “As much as there is a handoff from sales into success or into services, there should also be a return so sellers can actually learn a lot from their counterparts.”
It is also a crucial part of enablement’s job to document success metrics and share it with internal partners to provide continuity across all teams. Specifically, enablement can work with leaders and managers to develop key shared metrics to better unify everyone’s goals. This encourages the entire sales organization to focus on achieving collective successes, rather than making individual wins. By partnering with key leaders in this process, enablement can ensure that reps are being actionable and are held accountable at the end of the day.
“Losing an opportunity alone is deadly,” said Paul Butterfield, global revenue and enablement lead at Instructure. “Don’t climb out on that branch alone. You’ve got an account team and an executive team, so bring them in at the right times and make it a team score.”
Maintain Proactive and Consistent Communications
To mitigate the common challenges that customers and employees face during the handoff between pre- and post-sales processes, enablement can play a key role in encouraging proactive communication across the revenue organization.
Having surprises in the post-sales world is not ideal as customers are always expecting a smooth and steady experience. Knowing this, it is crucial that sales leaders and reps are proactive, not reactive toward situations that arise.
Be sure to train managers and reps to anticipate questions by building success plans directly with customers and continuously enhancing goals and metrics to drive better results. Customer needs and goals can change over time, so it is necessary for reps to stay in front of customers to regularly communicate and implement feedback. Enablement can further advise reps to hold regular meetings with customers to update them on changes or new members coming on board so they are never left wondering or confused on their own.
“Make sure that you are a trusted advisor,” said Stephenson. “That’s not simply a pre-sales role, that is everybody’s role to maintain that advisory position.”
Enablement can also emphasize the importance of timely communication and ensure that sales communication channels and tools are optimized for quick and efficient information exchange. By keeping everyone on their toes instead of their heels, it creates a standard for everyone in the sales organization to keep each other aware and accountable during every point of the customer journey. Enablement teams can be proactive themselves by initiating regular check-ins throughout the process to provide more opportunity for a natural flow of up-to-date communication.
There is an added benefit of maintaining consistent communication between pre- and post-sales teams that ultimately fosters good working relationships and an unbeatable culture.
For sales enablement to enhance the experience for customers and internal members of the sales organization, understanding how to reduce silos between pre- and post-sales teams is key. It is ultimately enablement’s duty to break down the barriers between teams to create synergy and goal alignment. Knowing this, it is essential to prioritize transparency across teams, allow opportunities for collaboration, and encourage proactive efforts. In doing so, both customers and reps can benefit by experiencing a smoother handoff transition along the customer journey.