Why can't you just share nicely?

Companies can be a hotbed of innovation, creativity and moments of individual genius that,
if fully harnessed, could be truly transformational. So why is it that so often what we see coming
out of an organisation in the way of proposals, bid documents and presentations can be so ordinary?

One of the big reasons we believe is that a lot of this creativity is coming from individuals within the sales team, and this is a group (please forgive us if this sounds a bit negative) not best known for their willingness to share best practice, or fully embrace the use of reporting and infrastructure tools like CRM or central document repositories.

Whilst this sounds critical of our beloved salespeople, it is simply a result of the way they are focused, targeted and judged. By making them work to, and ultimately risk potentially being sacked for not hitting, individual targets then they are inevitably going to worry about themselves rather than helping to improve the quality of what others do.

Against this backdrop it is no surprise that the sales team become little islands of information, with their own hard drive of wildly varying content that they dip into as they need to.

Technology can of course have a role to play in helping to solve the problem, but any technical solution will only ever be as good as the level of content management and upkeep put into it. If it contains out of date content, or is hard to use the salespeople will quickly go off piste and you lose control of the content and any shot at brand consistency. So you can't just rely on this as a panacea; you need to look as well to your sales management to ensure they are getting in amongst the team and mining for these nuggets of genius content and then liberally sharing with the rest of the business.

We see far too many companies where the sales managers spend too much time in the office looking at pipelines and forecasts and not enough time out on the road with their team sharing best practice and driving a higher quality through the business.

Your proposals and presentations are as much the face of your company as your salespeople, so you need to ensure that your management team are focused on ensuring that everyone in their team has access to the best content, and crucially understands how to structure and use it well in order to win business.

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