Successful executive chefs surround themselves with experts. If they didn’t, they’d disappoint customers. When that happens customers disappear and their “favorite” restaurant goes belly-up.

Collaboration is a key ingredient. Executive gourmets hire great sous-chefs, friendly hosts, and superb waiters.

So it is with today’s salespeople. The best ones surround themselves with experts. Top salespeople rely on collaborative teams, as well. They surround themselves with people who can answer complex questions about the products and services they sell.

Today’s salespeople are specialists. The modern marketplace makes it difficult for one person to know everything about a given profession, platform, or product line.

Collaboration is a key sales tool. A recent CSO Insights survey reaffirms the importance of teamwork in the sales environment. “Expecting a few resources to accomplish a wide range of challenging objectives is unrealistic,” the survey concludes.

When asked whether their companies use cross-functional collaboration to foster sales, nearly three-fourths of respondents said ad hoc or no collaboration systems were in place. But those in organizations with formal collaboration efforts reported a significant impact on the “effectiveness of sales initiatives.”

Click to access the full infographic.

Bringing a team of experts across the country — or flying them to another continent — for a sales call is impractical and expensive. Cisco Spark and WebEx take the worries out of setting up sales meetings with prospects and scheduling follow-up conferences. For example, with the right tools sales teams can:

  • Bring people together, no matter where they’re based
  • Reduce email and in-person meetings with shared workspaces
  • Connect instantly via messaging, voice, or video
  • Share customer and account information across teams

Video empowers salespeople

A Forbes article refers to task-automation as empowering. Today’s decision-makers are stingy about allocating time for meetings with salespeople. Knowing the best times to call or email prospects frees sales teams up for more meaningful client interactions.

As the author points out “technology is reinventing the way we sell.” Savvy salespeople are taking advantage of technologies like video conferencing to connect.

Whether you’re selling asparagus or smartphone adapters, your clients are busy. They make fast decisions. Like gourmet chefs who use super-fresh ingredients to wow diners, sales teams must provide super-fast responses to customer questions.

Video opens virtual doors

In-person sales calls are still important for building relationships. But well-timed video conferences allow you to connect with customers more frequently. If you’ve ever planned travel for a customer meeting, only to have it canceled the day before your flight, you understand the value of video conferencing.

Researchers found that salespeople are giving demos at the wrong time and focusing on the wrong selling points.

Today’s buyers “dictate the sales process,” according to recent research from Hubspot. Researchers found that salespeople are giving demos at the wrong time and focusing on the wrong selling points. Buyers want more information about product features and they want it now — not next week. Specifically:

  • 19% want to connect with a salesperson when they’re learning about the product.
  • 60% want to reconnect with a salesperson after they’ve researched their options.
  • 20% want to connect with a salesperson after they’ve made a purchase decision.

Sales teams can no longer go it alone. Collaboration across departments improves sales and ensures continued support of customers. In its “Second Annual State of Sales Report, in responses from salespeople, Salesforce discovered that:

  • 73% say collaborating across departments is critical or very important to the sales process
  • 60% say collaborative selling increases productivity by more than 25%
  • 52% report collaborative selling increases pipeline activity by more than 25%

Like executive chefs who move from the kitchen to the front of the restaurant to talk with diners, today’s salespeople interact more frequently. Video conferencing makes it easier to meet with customers and others within their own organizations.

It all adds up to more sales.

Discover how Cisco Spark and WebEx can improve collaboration for sales teams.


Eric Gill

No Longer with Cisco