In our last article, we looked at the ongoing drive to break the divide between collaboration and productivity solutions.
Let us now look at another divide: sales as collaboration between experts working in separate silos in a company. It is kind of like the other side of the coin – one with an exceptionally high value.
Productivity wrecks collaboration, collaboration wrecks productivity
We see this happening day to day especially in bigger B2B companies: salespeople run the sales but need help from other experts in other teams: product management, legal, delivery, customer success and so forth.
These professionals tend to work in their own physically dispersed silos. Some of them are external, some even working in customer organizations. The silos are often deepened, not lowered, by the office technology we use. Why deepened?
Because each silo has its own productivity platform: ERP for business management, CLM for legal, CRM for sales and so forth. These platforms hardly interconnect. Neither do they connect with our many communication and collaboration tools: email, messaging, word processing, video conferencing, you name it.
What we get is a fragmented work process that requires each individual to jump between windows, uploading files, copying multiple data points when reaching out to their fellows to collaborate on a single task.
Not fun, not productive.
The bad, good silos
What to do with that broken process? For one thing, we have our silos because we need the diverse skills and knowledge of specialized professionals, who need their dedicated data and processing platforms.
We cannot break these silos. But why not try to connect them? We have our collaboration tools: Slack, Zoom, Outlook and so forth. Why not embed them into the productivity platforms: ERPs, CLMs, and for sales, the CRM? This way, a CRM could reach out to the back office and open up as a collaboration hub to ALL internal experts participating in the sales process, driven by the sales team. With its intelligence, the CRM could take care of running much of the process.
Then we could share the contact information, data, tasks, reminders, dashboards, even documents related to a project right from different applications we use to collaborate with our colleagues. In fact, it is happening already.
Reach out to the back office and out of office
Did I say documents? In sales, documents make one missing link we are most concerned about at Documill. Collaboration on them tends to happen completely outside CRM.
We are collaborating on fixing it already with platform providers like Salesforce. What’s more, we already have solutions like Documill Leap that take the pain out collaborative creation of sales documents. Right now.