One of my favorite local restaurants offers seating at what they call the Chef’s Table: a bar area that allows you to watch everything that’s happening in the kitchen. It’s a great opportunity to see synergy in action: a dozen people carrying out multiple roles, but all united in working toward a common purpose.
Synergy is defined as “the interaction or cooperation of two or more organizations, substances, or other agents to produce a combined effect greater than the sum of their separate effects.” When it comes to growing your business, what could be a greater recipe for success than this kind of collaboration?
What is Sales Synergy?
In case you were wondering, I didn’t just make up the word. It’s a term that is sometimes used in conjunction with sales and marketing alignment. What I mean when I refer to sales synergy is a close knit, cooperative relationship between everyone who is responsible for the growth of your business: mainly your marketing, sales, and leadership teams.
When you think about a successful restaurant kitchen, it’s made up of teams of people devoted to different roles: making sauces, plating appetizers, creating main dishes, and building desserts. These teams all share a goal of creating a meal that delights and satisfies the customer. This is the kind of synergy I'm talking about in your business: different parts working together towards a common goal and purpose - namely, growing your business.
How Do You Evaluate Your Team’s Synergy?
Probably the easiest way to determine if you have any synergy between your teams is to just ask. If you ask someone from marketing about their working relationship with sales (or vice versa), what kind of reaction do you get? A blank look? A disgruntled face? If you ask members of your leadership how often they work with sales and marketing, can they give you a straight answer? Or just a sheepish grin?
You can also evaluate your sales synergy by asking yourself the following the questions:
- Is your sales team receiving qualified leads? When marketing and sales are working in harmony, it’s evident in the quality of leads that reach your sales team.
- Do sales and marketing work together to create content offers and resources? The working relationship among your teams is another good indicator of your team’s synergy. Not only are the quality of offers higher, the production of them is often more efficient because two teams are contributing instead of just one.
- How often do your teams meet? While regular meetings aren’t a guarantee that your teams have synergy, it’s a step in the right direction. Your teams need to be meeting at least once a week to review goals and strategies, discuss obstacles, and share successes.
How Do You Achieve This Synergy?
Achieving this kind of synergy does not happen overnight. It will take time, effort, and collaboration to make it happen. But, there are some things you can do today to begin implementing the kind of synergy and cooperation you want to see.
- Establish leadership: Every kitchen has a head chef, and your teams are most likely to align and unite under a common leader. This will look different for each business. You might find you still want leaders over each of your departments (sales and marketing), or you might want one person to lead both teams.
- Expect regular communication: You’ll find that the most successful and efficient restaurant kitchens are often the most talkative. Without regular communication, dishes aren’t cooked properly, people run into one another, and ingredients might be missed. Your marketing, sales, and leadership teams need to be communicating with one another constantly to establish strong teamwork.
- Create a common set of goals and a plan of action: While marketing, sales, and leadership will all have goals they are working toward (a certain number of calls, a certain number of leads, etc), they all need to be united under a common set of goals - most likely revenue. Once you have the goals in place you need to decide how your teams will achieve them. What systems and processes do you need to have in place to make it happen? Get a weekly meeting on everyone’s calendar, create the space and time for marketing and sales to generate content offers, and make sure leadership is involved in the work being done to grow your business.
- Measure data as a whole group: It’s impossible to overstate the importance of using analytics to evaluate and shape your team’s work. While each of these groups we’ve mentioned (marketing, sales, and leadership) will look at the analytics of their own efforts, these groups also need to be looking at this data collectively.
- Own success and failure together: Along the lines of viewing data as a whole instead of just separately, it’s important that your teams realize failures and successes are shared. If a deal is closed, sales can’t take all the credit. If a prospect doesn’t pan out, both marketing and sales need to own responsibility. The more you create a mentality of shared achievement, the greater synergy your teams will have.
Streamline Success with Sales Synergy
For the sake of avoiding extremes, let’s be clear here: it is possible for your business to grow without this kind of synergy. Businesses acquire new customers every day, and not all of them experience the kind of sales and marketing alignment I'm advocating here. But, the effort is often clunky and sporadic, not nearly as streamlined as it could be. I believe that a collaborative approach to your marketing, sales, and leadership offers a much more efficient and effective way to grow your business.
If you’re interested in establishing this kind of synergy for your business, but aren’t sure where to start, I’d love to help you get started. Set up a time to meet with me by clicking the image below!