When you’re part of a small business sales team, you often rely on colleagues to maintain their own customer relationships and required processes to get their jobs done. At the same time, it’s easy for the multitude of tasks to overlap, fall through the cracks and create bottlenecks if individuals are siloed or working remotely.
With teams working toward a common goal, collaborating on defined objectives and processes can increase productivity and ultimately business outcomes. For example, according to consulting firm McKinsey & Company, “The average interaction worker spends an estimated 28 percent of the workweek managing email and nearly 20 percent looking for internal information or tracking down colleagues who can help with specific tasks.” But when companies use a tool, like an internal social network, to collaborate, the time employees spend searching for company information can be reduced by as much as 35 percent. Productivity enhancements such as this can lead to greater efficiency and collaboration amongst colleagues.
To increase your team’s productivity, which will ultimately enhance customer relationships and internal processes, improving collaborating must be the first step.
Here are three ways to get your team collaborating more now and in the near future:
1. Hold Stand-Up Meetings
Stand-up meetings are effective ways for dynamic teams to start the day. While it may seem out of the ordinary for you and your colleagues to stand while discussing important business topics, stand-up meetings can lead to greater productivity and collaboration because they’re quick (usually around 15 minutes) and “to the point.” This permits your team to focus on a few key objectives or takeaways, as opposed to a laundry list of agenda items.
These quick opportunities to touch base with your team also allow for organic collaboration to take place. Concentrated moments of discussion on a specific topic or challenge can produce a unique blend of ideas or solutions in a shorter period of time than a series of scheduled meetings for discussion.
2. Sync Your Team’s Calendars and Contacts
Staying organized is critical to ensure valuable sales opportunities don’t slip away. Storing all client and meeting information in one location can give you a clearer picture of the activity status with each contact and what your colleagues are up to. Synchronizing calendars makes it easy to track your meetings as well as the events for everyone on your team. This information allows you to have better insight into what colleagues are experiencing, giving you an opportunity to collaborate and support each other on a daily basis.
3. Track Team Activities and Tasks in One Location
If your team is currently managing tasks through individual Excel and Outlook programs, you may find your team is struggling to keep everything organized. Having to cross reference information from one program to another, as well as from one colleague to another, can turn into a complex process that leads to more inefficiencies and headaches.
Task tracking can offer a simple solution for managing team activities and contacts. With visibility into the activities and completed to-dos of your colleagues, you can have a better understanding of how each individual is managing group tasks and responsibilities—leading to a more collaborative and organized sales force.
Every team is different, so it’s important to try different tactics to determine what works best for your team’s style and personality. Regardless of which tactics you implement, focusing on more streamlined internal communication is the key to success.