This post comes from Stacy Shrader, an intern with the collaboration marketing team and a rising senior at Virginia Tech with a dual degree in business management and public relations.

What’s one thing that drives business? Revenue. That means a sales department is one of your most important business units. Essentially, if your sales team isn’t performing at – or exceeding — quota, then the whole business is affected. No money means no budget, and low budget may put your job in jeopardy.

But what if simple communication problems are the reason your sales department isn’t reaching all-star status?

Improving communication and collaboration may be the ticket to the anticipated “yes” you’ve been waiting for from a specific client. Customers will always remain the priority for sales and adapting to their needs is a necessity. Collaboration technology can both improve the way sales teams collaborate internally, as well as evolve customer contact from phone calls to a collaborative experience. When customers are engaged and feel connected, they are more likely to buy into what you’re selling.

Save Time and Effort

Nearly every sales representative survives by quota goals. Whether they struggle to meet goals or regularly exceed them, it rarely becomes easier. Collaboration solutions like video conferencing can enable sales reps to reach their goals quicker. You can create more personal connections with customers through video, audio, and content sharing. And, it means you can meet face-to-face with customers around the globe without the travel time or cost.

Collaboration solutions can also result in shorter sales cycles, which makes both clients and account teams even happier. Happy clients mean higher sales. It’s a win, win.

Aberdeen Group reports that 45% of sales executives indicate that they plan to increase the use of virtual online technology. This means video conferencing becomes more of a must-have technology enabler for sellers. Real-time video can maximize efforts across revenue generating departments and become a staple in sales. A company can now feed its customers personalized messaging with little effort and time. It’s difficult to avoid a face-to-face meeting, but you won’t think twice to ignore that incoming phone call.

ING Bank is located in Italy and provides its members with clear and easy banking. It struggled to make its services accessible anytime and anywhere. ING Bank implemented Cisco Unified Contact Center Express to break down geographic barriers when it comes to tailoring investments, loans, and mortgages for its members. The result? Shorter sales cycles and improved training for employees. This works together to train their employees more efficiently and create better sales representatives for the business.

“We now have the high-touch personal interaction needed to sell investment products and it’s more convenient for customers. It’s helping drive top-line growth with a 15% increase in sales already.”
—Mario Carrara, Head of Sales and Product, ING Bank


Build a Flawless Experience

Bechtle simplifies communications with collaboration technology.

Quotas are important and pay the bills. But there’s more to the customer relationship than making the sale. Sales departments should reach beyond quotas to reach great customer relationships. A great sales department turns customers into repeat buyers, advocates, and partners. The main route to this ultimate goal is relationship building.

Solutions like Cisco Spark Care can help sales departments support their customer relationships and maintain communication more efficiently. The journey doesn’t end at a purchase but remains ongoing to ensure the strength of the customer relationship.

Bechtle, located in Germany, is a leading IT e-commerce provider that struggled with connecting with partners and their other locations around Europe. With Cisco’s WebEx, Bechtle was able to reach each location quicker and increase better-informed decisions from each sales representative.

“We meet on WebEx daily. Experts from different companies and functions work on a single platform. It’s a very successful way to get the job done,” says Harald Weickert, CIO of Bechtle. In fact, Bechtle now holds up to 8,750 Cisco WebEx meetings every month.

Harvard Business Review found that connecting with a prospect now takes 18 or more phone calls. Callback rates are below 1% and only 24% of outbound sales emails are ever opened. These numbers support that without a strong customer relationship, sales reps have a small chance of making impressions on potential buyers.

I’m certainly guilty of hitting the spam button when a telemarketer reaches out to me. For me to respond, I question if a company cares about me or my wallet. I value the sales reps who work on building a customer relationship as much as meeting their sales goals. It’s easy to understand why sales departments struggle to reach quotas if they aren’t applying experience-building technology to their structure.

Learn more about how companies are increasing sales with collaboration technology.


Kim Austin

No Longer with Cisco