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Information should be shared, used


Sales drive organizational profits. And the most competitively agile organizations know they benefit from replicating the best practices of their top sales professionals, throughout the organization.

Successful sales professionals intuitively build relationships at every opportunity considering each potential source of information may lead to a new sale, a bigger sale, a repeat sale, or a future sale. It’s the way they see how the world fits together.

They do not categorize who they will or won’t interact with by title or department; they communicate actively with everyone. They know gathering lots of information then discerning which elements are vital today, will be useful in the future, should be acted on immediately, or which should be treated as proprietary insight is immeasurably valuable.

Using the excellent communication techniques of their sales professionals, competitively spry organizations strengthen their entire organization’s ability to sell and support sales, by creating a culture where valuable information is shared freely and swiftly within the organization in order to improve quality while speeding up productivity, and generating increased sales and profitability.

Innovative, competitive organizations do this by purposely removing barriers to communications within the organization in as many ways as possible and providing the motivation to share information freely.

Cultural Communication Training: From initial interviews, through orientation and post-hire training, the importance of open communication and its critical role in the success of the business helps everyone remember why it is done and how to do it well. Residual training that creates a strong culture of communication can be as short as brief spotlight sessions in staff meetings.

Matrix project teams: Internal project teams comprised of several department representatives-if done well (read: plan carefully and build in time for front-loaded team building training) can instill a heightened sense of significance for what other departments do, allow team members to see the organization from a bigger-picture view, and open up familiarity between traditionally walled off departments who have unique inside-the-company information.

Expanded committees: Instead of standing committees structured only along reporting line hierarchies, include roles for non-supervisory staff, administrative support staff, customer service, operational, and facilities staff who rotate in and out of various committees over time. Their hands-on view of the work as it is done provides early feedback on new policies as they are considered and can offer error prevention early in processes.

Job rotation: Allow employees to express interest in learning more about the departments that interact with theirs and build in opportunities for them to spend time working there. Both departments win.

Showcase Communication Excellence: Purposely demonstrate why it is important. When sales awards are given, design ways to research and highlight situations where unfettered communication of helpful information between departments and team members supported positive sales outcomes-show that everyone succeeds when everyone shares information. And don’t just reward one person but also those in the chain of communication who assisted in locating, sharing and acting on the information.
Informal Communication Settings: You cannot force people to talk to each other. But you can provide appropriate environments conducive to conversation. Is your cafeteria dingy, cramped, and dreary? Nothing exciting will occur there. Create coffee shop like nooks where a few people can gather for impromptu chats. Make sure natural lighting is available by a few chairs where people can take a break and think outside their daily tasks. Offer special program lunch days with a brief inspirational or non-work related speaker-or use these as round robin opportunities for employees to demonstrate their expressive arts or hobbies to allow non-work related conversations to occur.

When people talk about common interests future work-related communications occur more naturally.

Information can be the source of a competitive advantage and agility—but only if it is accessed and used in a timely manner. The entire organization needs to share information and build networks of communication just as actively as the best sales professionals do. Everyone drives sales with their inside information.


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