Inside Sales Best Practices – Fixing Communication Breakdown

We had a meeting this morning that may as well have been entitled, “50 Ways For Communication to Break Down When Implementing a New Client.”

At XANT, we go out of our way to try and have specific, workable processes in place to make sure that we’re not letting stuff fall through the cracks (and you quickly learn that there’s cracks you didn’t even know existed for stuff to fall through). In that regard I think we’re doing pretty well—in fact, in some cases we may try and “over-process” our work flow, but that’s another story.

In any case, as our implementation team walked us through a workshop this morning, they outlined approximately five stages that a closed sale goes through before a client is considered “street ready” with our product. And at each point in the process, the discussion invariably turned to the needs of:

  1. What had already been communicated in the previous step,
  2. What needed to be communicated at the moment,
  3. And what needed to be communicated in the future to complete the next step of the process.

That, in essence, was the crux of the meeting. Getting the right info to the right people.

Here we are, one of the leading sales and marketing software vendors, who specialize in high velocity, deep impact data management—and we still had gaps in our process that our employees had to bridge.

Now that’s not to say that our Lead Response Management tools don’t work, or that every business on the planet can’t make a significant impact on their success with them. Without the tools, we’d be dead; we’d have no hope at all of successfully managing our business and sales. But it reminded me that even with some of the best data management tools on the market, unless our own processes are robust and flexible, and our people are committed to providing a top-tier customer experience, we’re not going to continue to have success.

The people inside our process have to leverage the tools, or else it ends up wasting time.

And if you’re my company, 80+ percent of the issues we face in keeping our clients happy and productive with our products hinges on critical communications.

It’s an interesting challenge to think about.

Author: Ken Krogue |
Summary of Ken Krogue’s Forbes articles

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