Jun 29, 2021 9:28 AM - edited Aug 12, 2021 11:19 AM
It’s a tale as old as time (well, since the 1990’s) - the IT team and the sales team not communicating effectively. But when they do get on, the combination can really light a fire under the growth of the business. How have you overcome (or seen people overcome) the traditional barriers to communication between these two teams?
*To learn more about this, check out the Evaluating Sales Enablement Technology lesson via HubSpot Academy.
I worked in an organization where we trained young hospitality school students the operational and commercial sides of hospitality industry and thus we had one goal in mind: to show them the ins and outs of a real hospitality business with innovation and sustainability at the core of the business. Indeed, IT and SM are always intertwined as most of our marketing and sales efforts are automated, yet it has been quite a challenge to create a seamless communication and processes between the departments. I am proud however that the IT team is actually working on centralizing the whole organization's processes, whether it be sales/revenue, marketing, to front office and housekeeping in one cloud. They will also provide trainings for each team member to properly utilize the available tools and I do believe that centralizing our database, or one source of truth as the videos referred it to, would make this classic issue slowly disappearing.
4 weeks ago
Not quite agree on this 😉 As an developer and head of IT, I do sales engagements every week. The key is very close work with both sales and marketing, and the follow up from sales and both new and excisting customers should be done by all. I do a lot of post-sale follow ups.
Jan 10, 2022 9:54 AM
In my experience, for any departmental relationship to work & collaborate, it needs a over arching promotion and approval of the CEO or MD.
In my last role, we had real problems in the relationship between IT & Sales. WHY? Because the IT dept was reporting to the MD directly. And the MD was calling the shots and prioritising the projects and work for IT to do on a daily basis.
None of the work they were doing was there to serve sales or make the process or technology to ease the sales teams work. Infact, a huge amount of time & money was spent in automating the fullfilment elements of the business and not the inbound sales strategy or flow.
There was a dysfunctional view of sales as a thorn in the side of IT which caused a huge amount of problems when it came to manage expectation starting at the board level and tricking down to ground zero!!
Not a good experience, but learnt alot from it on how NOT to do things!!
Dec 29, 2021 1:08 AM - edited Dec 29, 2021 1:12 AM
Sales vs IT... Godzilla vs KingKong...even top management is in a tough referee spot to resolve matters if at the core there is disagreement. So, it really comes down to Fundamentals of Culture Infusion that brings about a Unity of "Everyone is here for the same Goal"...its not about I or my department...its about the Growth and Brand and most of all about the Customer.
Frequent team meets outside of the meeting room where they get to know each other and blossom the comardery helps a ton....HR needs to be mindful of bringing about this Unity.
Sales Engineering (Pre-Sales) actually do a great Job in day to day IT and Sales smooth functioning as they are the critical bridge to this Unity ensuring communication and agreement in on the same plane...this is worth corporate level recognition.
Nov 16, 2021 9:22 AM - edited Nov 16, 2021 9:24 AM
It is only possible through the installation of a robust sales enablement function sponsored by the CEO/Chairman of the organization. When there is executive buy in and the project has high visibility, it becomes easy to rally the important stakeholders towards the goal. The sales enablement head is entrusted with the responsibility to educate IT about their very important role to help the reps sell better. This understanding enables them to take a design thinking approach in hammering out effective solutions for the sales organization and eventually improve sales effectiveness.
Nov 19, 2021 9:53 AM
Nov 19, 2021 11:32 AM - edited Nov 19, 2021 11:50 AM
Thanks a lot for the question, Jon! Sincerely appreciate it.
My personal experience says that the sales operations and strategy teams in business verticals should be partnered with (the below pointers are from an IT services organization perspective).
The sales operations heads tagged to business units should be made the single point of contact as far as basic KPI reporting is concerned (to start with) in the sales enablement journey.
The reasons are:
1. their easy accessibility to their sales and business unit heads and their high visibility in the vertical they represent.
2. their ability to influence decision making in their individual business units and their available bandwidth to influence the basic sales enablement KPIs; like, number of sales folks being assessed (psychometric assessment if any), number of sales folks being trained (on methodologies, processes, tools and messaging), number of sales coaching sessions organized, number of talent coaching sessions completed and so on.
The meeting cadence should be crafted in such a way that the enablement team is able to capture quick wins as well voice of customers and report out in a story or video format. This activity performed consistently over a period of about 5 weeks usually will build the needed momentum and create the much needed stickiness.
Slowly, the other stakeholders like, finance, enterprise strategy, PMO (CEO's office), Global HR will buy in to the weekly meeting provided quick wins are messaged well (evincing interest in that community which is otherwise mired in transactions and a lot of orgnizational noise is a prerequisite).
Hope this makes sense! 🙂
Nov 19, 2021 12:26 PM
"hope this makes sense"??? IT'S GOLD! Really useful answer which will no doubt help lots of the community here. Thanks! Hope that we see you at one of the Office Hours meet ups we'll be starting in December (no official announcement yet, but watch this space). Sounds like you might have plenty to contribute to the conversation 👍
Aug 9, 2021 1:06 AM
It seems like more IT team members are now taking over sales and marketing roles.
For instance, observing what current sales/marketing folks are doing - keystroke logging, CCTV, archive retrieval etc...then replace them with existing IT staff.
An interesting way to get total buy-in.
Jun 30, 2021 11:01 AM
Us sales people often go into meetings with the senior IT team with a list of demands, sorry requests. While the IT team often enter the meeting thinking about their non negotiables around security, resilience, reliability.
And before you know it - we’re not cooperating much.
The odd thing is, as sales leaders in these discussions we often forget to use our soft sales skills - rapport building, asking open questions and negotiating a mutually beneficial solution.
What always works for me is to get them involved early, empathise and build rapport: “I know you don’t need yet another set of dumb ideas about how this new shiny thing is absolutely essential… but I think we may be on to something with this Sales Enablement stuff and I want to get your thoughts early on, see if it’s even worth considering… when would be a good time for me to pick your brains for 15 minutes?”
Much better than calling a meeting for an hour or even several meetings! It’s often the case that IT have been looking at similar solutions. And, worst case, if it’s something that for strategic reasons they can’t consider for 6-12 months, you’ve not wasted their time, or yours.
After that - lay out what you believe to be the benefits and why you’re considering this sort of tech. Then, you really need their advice, before you get their buy in. So ask - “what do you think?”, “where do you think there might be problems?” and if it’s going OK “how do you think we might progress this and, what are the timescales I should pencil in?”
I think as RevOps becomes a more popular role, these sorts of discussions might not be so commonplace but I think they’ll be around for a few years yet.
Anybody had to do formal presentations for this sort of thing - or even bypass it completely, and what were your results?