Follow below 5 steps and you will be well on your way:
You can’t possibly be effective as a business if you don’t understand your customer. This is especially true when you are trying to integrated team – it never hurts to get everyone on the same page. Marketers often develop persons to describe who they are targeting. Salespeople often have a lot of real world experience with these customers and know them on a different level. IT understands their behavior patterns, and the technology it will take them to serve them effectively.
Now that everyone is on the same page about who they’re trying to reach, it’s time to put some thought into how you want to represent your brand in these conversations. Each department may have a different point of view on what the most important traits of your brand are. Putting your heads together could wield some surprising results. Maybe your IT department feels like innovation is an important aspect of your brand voice, and sales errs more to the side of education. Putting these ideas together will give you a well-rounded brand voice that everyone can get behind.
This is one of the most important aspects of this whole process. Once you’ve identified who your customer is, and what your brand voice is, it’s time to make sure all your assets are in alignment accordingly. This means all branded content; like email campaigns and signature blocks, brochures and sales materials, packaging, phone scripts, and automated phone menus to name a few. It also means your digital presence. Does your website have the right messaging for your audience in the right voice? Are you trying to convey efficiency and simplicity, but your website isn’t user friendly? Make sure that your customers’ experience accurately reflects these principles at every touch point.
Sometimes, it’s easy to overlook the simple things when you have a task this big. So, this is a special reminder: Don’t forget to make sure your sales and marketing materials — like documents, presentations, etc. — are on brand. Make sure everyone has the right versions of everything and easy access to them when needed. Many organisations struggle with managing presentations and keeping materials up to date, but there are tools available today that can ensure sales always has the right information at their fingertips. If your sales force is using mobile or tablets, check out App Data Room.
Once you’ve identified everything that you need in order to create a functional strategy, it’s time to figure out how you’re going to make everything work. If you’ve ever been in the middle of a discussion between sales and marketing, marketing and IT, etc., you know that each department has its own way of handling certain things. And these processes don’t always line up. So first, start with what is going to work for each department, and work backwards. Having a common goal always makes hammering out the details easier.
Once you know how your plan will work, you need to determine roles and responsibilities to keep everything running smoothly in the future.
Once everyone is on the same page, it’s time to bring in the rest of your sales, marketing and IT teams. A well-crafted strategy will leave little room for confusion. Any pain points you discover along the way can easily be solved with the new communication standards that you will have developed. You also should have the option to use a trial version of any new technology or platforms you may be using, so that you can better understand how it will work before you roll it out throughout the organisation.
Once implemented, take time to look back and see what worked and what needs to be improved. Learning from your success and your mistakes is what makes great leaders great. Never stop perfecting and optimising your collaboration strategy, encourage feedback and you’ll have a happy team.