Miller Heiman Blog » The Currency of Collaboration

The Currency of Collaboration

The very best ballet companies, theater groups and concert orchestras have one thing in common. They achieve greatness because of the collective brilliance and collaboration between the individual dancers, actors and musicians and their choreographers, directors and conductors. Greatness is rarely achieved alone. It takes the combined experiences, efforts and talents from a variety of disciplines bringing their collective expertise to focus on a common goal, be that the synchronizing  of movement for dance, coordination of actors on stage or the syncopation of rhythms in music.

Collaboration is a defining attribute of World-Class Sales Organizations. They distinguish themselves from their competitors with their ability to quickly deploy and focus resources on a customer. They utilize common structures, frameworks, language and terminology when they strategize about the customer. They are able to leverage common messaging and value statements to align capabilities with the customer’s concept when they engage, and they rely on a shared knowledge base to bring insight to the customer’s needs.
The day of the individual, stand-alone lone wolf salesperson has given way to a complex, team-selling environment where the collective capabilities and knowledge of the team are required to carry the day. We’ve all experienced the 10-legged sales call where five disconnected individuals meet for the first time in the customer’s lobby and pretend to be a team when in front of the customer. Meanwhile behind the scenes it’s a chaotic series of emails, voicemails and ineffective meetings while they scramble to get their act together.
Collaboration is the currency of highly-successful sales organizations. As social technologies begin to permeate the enterprise, internal chat, discussion forums and subject matter expert pages are beginning to gain traction. The social sales community is beginning to form, building a shared knowledge network for all to leverage and contribute to. A collaborative culture captures and shares customer experiences, competitive intelligence and market insight with its community. Collaboration is more than being a team player; it requires active participation in a “give to get” social sales community.
The results of the 2013 Miller Heiman Sales Best Practices Study identified having a collaborative culture as one of the three dominate attributes of World-Class Sales Organizations. The other top attributes are having the customer at the core of everything they do and being calibrated for success. To learn about the behaviors, attributes and performance of World-Class Sales Organizations, I invite you to download the Executive Summary.
Posted: 4/30/2013 6:00:00 AM by Joe Galvin | with 4 comments

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Joe Galvin
Thanks for the comment Nicole. It's clear that those organizations that take a conscious approach to collaboration will have an advantage over those that make it up as they go. The demand for collaboration will increase, as we will experience increasing complexity in customer requirements will demand increased access to knowledge and resources
5/9/2013 1:08:28 PM

Joe Galvin
Thanks for the comment Todd, It's clear that in the ever increasing complexity of BtoB sales that sales people will need access to the knowledge experts and specialists resources to address the customers concept. Collaboration must be more than word, it has to become woven into the fabric of the organization
5/9/2013 1:07:35 PM

Todd Landry
The difference between "symphony" and "cacophony"! Spot on Joe - I see the 10-legged ones all the time and collaboration/social tools must address this in the teams and workflows to be of value.
5/6/2013 7:14:58 PM

Nicole Denison
This have never rang so true. Silos are breaking down and we are seeing increased productivity by tapping into tools and resources around driving communication and collaboration.
4/30/2013 1:03:03 PM