What would happen if all players in a soccer team would focus on scoring goals by themselves? The chance of winning increases tremendously if sports teams work together. If they play in unity, with a shared game plan. Just like the sports arena, the workplace requires a cohesive strategy and buy-in from the full team. Yet, in practice, organizations often work with a selection of silo plans, resulting in inefficiency or conflicts. Sounds familiar?
Stuck in your silo
In an ideal world all commercial teams work together and align strategies in order to enable the sales process optimally. But, the larger the organization, the more we tend to focus on our own field of expertise. We narrow our vision and look at issues more and more from our own perspective only. And thus get trapped in silos: the structure in which employees are separated, usually according to the department in which they work. This separation complicates company-wide collaboration and communication.
Departments or business units are responsible for their own results and create a specific strategy to optimize those results. Not only can department-specific goals clash with other departments’ interests, we are also affected by spending too much time in our silo ‘bubble’. The result is that we’ll define the market situation, and thus our strategy, by looking at our own set of factors instead of creating a cohesive strategy for all markets.
An example: we often see the sales team creating a plan based on historic sales data, market size and intelligence from their customer contacts. Insights from other channels, like website traffic, may give different signals. Which could lead to a situation in which the marketing team creates campaigns for segments that not necessarily enable the sales team’s activities. Not exactly what you would hope for in the area of commercial synergy!
Breaking the barriers
To break down unwanted silos in your organization, shed light on the bigger picture. What is the company’s unified vision? What is needed to get there? Have departments create a plans that clearly shows how they contribute to this overarching goal. Based on the same reality, so on shared strategic market insights. Think about digitizing the insights collection and analysis process, to avoid having your team spending hours of their valuable time on gathering and analyzing insights that turn out to be incomplete or biased.
For efficient commercial alignment and interdepartmental collaboration you’ll need everybody to understand the company’s strategy and how their activities contribute. So they’ll buy in to the bigger picture, and pull in the same direction, rather than defend their own corner. Transparency and communication are key to ensure a sense of company-wide shared accountability. This means working with company-wide aligned plans, based on common strategic insights.
For more information also read our blog A market analysis can take months, while decisions are often time-bound or plan an introduction call so we can show you how we can help you digitize your insights collection and analysis process in clear, pragmatic steps. Please don’t hesitate to contact us if you want to know more.