The ability to share expertise and information is a must-have for any successful sales team. Retaining this knowledge within the organization and having information and people with the right experience available on demand so solve important business questions is a transformational element in terms of sales efficiency.
In research conducted by the Aberdeen Group, sales reps that participated in sharing best practices saw sales quota achievement of 82% (compared to 32% among those who did not participate).
In our own experience, organizations that have adopted Starmind as a modern knowledge management platform fostering collaboration based on knowledge and experience have become more efficient, won more business and served customers better.
Why sales team collaboration matters
Collaboration is about sharing best practices and expertise. If salespeople aren’t collaborating – with other sales team members or with subject matter experts across the organization – then they will find it harder to access the information they need to sell products, answer customer queries, and close deals in a timely manner. Best practices sharing is the key to being able to quickly outline custom proposals, while also taking into account past experience and lessons learned across the wider sales team.
We know that information searches are costing today’s sales teams time and money. According to Forbes, the average sales rep spends only 35% of their time on revenue-generating activities and the majority of their time searching for information needed by customers and prospects or doing admin work.
Information searches are also costing company deals, as sales reps lose momentum with potential customers because they don’t have the right information available at the moments that matter. Sales knowledge management and sales team collaboration are therefore key.
Benefits of team collaboration
Organizations that have implemented Starmind have seen marked improvements in sales efficiency, win rates, response time and customer satisfaction. Let’s look in more detail at some of the ways your sales teams could benefit from increased collaboration:
Meet and exceed customer expectations
When teams struggle to share information, it’s the customers who are ultimately affected – because they’re the ones who are left waiting for vital information and who miss out on the support they need. By empowering your customer-facing teams to have instant access to knowledge from the entire organization, you can respond to customer needs quicker than ever and more accurately.
Shorten sales cycles
The more time salespeople spend doing admin work, the less time they spend selling. Freeing them from lengthy information searches gives them more opportunities to engage in sales activity and increase revenue for your business. It’s also easier to close deals when you have the technical information needed to answer customer questions in real-time.
Create a connected work environment
When Dräger implemented Starmind, they gave their workforce quick and easy access to existing knowledge, saving their employees 4.8 hours a week. That’s 4.8 hours each salesperson can spend building relationships and closing deals (something they love doing) rather than hunting for information (something nobody loves doing). Enabling colleagues to help each other solve problems is also beneficial for team spirit. The result is a happier, healthier sales team environment where everybody is more productive and engaged.
Reduce the burden on experts
Having instant access to knowledge doesn’t just benefit people with questions – it also helps people with answers. Without effective knowledge management for sales and marketing, the same subject matter experts are called to repeatedly answer the same questions–which is bad for their wellbeing but a waste of their valuable time. When organizations effectively democratize knowledge, employees have more time to focus on their work.
How to encourage collaboration between sales teams
While sales team collaboration sounds great in theory, achieving it in practice can be a real challenge. Here are a few tips to help you get started.
Foster open communication
Social embarrassment can be a major barrier to effective collaboration. Team members may be reluctant to ask questions because they fear looking silly or incompetent in front of their colleagues or senior team members. They may also be worried about bothering busy colleagues with trivial concerns. Sales leaders need to make it clear that there's no such thing as a stupid question and that it's always better to ask than to assume.
Encourage a collaborative work culture
Sales leaders can encourage team members to communicate, share and learn from each other by modeling collaborative behaviors. Ask your team for updates on projects they're working on or feedback on training you've delivered.
People are more likely to share their expertise if they feel valued for doing so. Do you have a system that recognizes employees and give them kudos for contributing knowledge?
Upgrade your knowledge management solution
Sharing knowledge and expertise in modern organizations can be a real challenge. Useful information is often scattered across many different sources or trapped in knowledge silos. In addition, the subject matter expert your employees need to reach out to maybe working in separate business areas, different offices or even on the other side of the world. That's why it is so essential that you provide your employees with a state-of-the-art knowledge management solution that enables them to connect to the right colleague anywhere in the business, whenever they need.
Starmind uses AI to build a real-time knowledge network, giving teams on-demand access to the answers they need, when they need them. It’s a highly effective way to connect sales teams with subject matter experts across the entire organization and give them access to the internal know-how they need to keep sales momentum up and close deals (if we say so ourselves).
Boost sales collaboration in your organization
Sales may seem like a competitive, individualistic business. In reality, however, sales teams that are highly collaborative are more likely to come out on top.
Using a sales collaboration platform like Starmind allows your team members to access their collective knowledge, when and where they need it. Result? A faster, more efficient sales operation – and more customers and revenue for your business. Learn how you can improve your organization’s agility and create value.