Breaking down intra-office silos. All in a day’s work for CPQ.
Technically defined, a “silo mentality” refers to the attitude some organizations will take on between departments when they do not want to share information or knowledge with others individuals with the rest of the organization. Geesh, that sounds horrible and so pre-meditated. I’d challenge that silo-ing probably takes place at your workplace, but with much less “evil genius” motivating it. It probably happens because everyone is busy. Goals, tasks, appointments, quotas, and key indicators keep everyone’s head down, and meeting those is priority number one.
In an interview with Forbes, experts from Life Science Leader describe that basically no business is exempt from “silo-ing”. Silos can occur at businesses as large as global enterprises (great case study by Harvard Business Review on how GE Healthcare struggled with internal silos) to 15-person start-ups. They can form between departments (i.e. sales and marketing) but also between levels of the organization, such as between front-line employees and managers.
So, silos, unless you’re in the corn-storing business, is bad. Got it. But how can professionals break away from the constant inward focus and start sharing?
Think about saving money. Regardless of which part of the business you operate in, efficiently unites us all. Approaching other parts of your business you feel “silo-ed” from, strapped with efficiency data, will break those walls down and begin a conversation that will ultimately help everyone.
Take the sales team and human resources. Barring any unfortunate incident at the company holiday party, these two groups rarely communicate. But it is the human resource department recruiters that are responsible for finding adequate talent for the sales managers. Managers struggling with the talent pool don’t have data to bring to the table about the type of talent they really want. They make hires, but the new hires don’t last long, making more work for recruiters. (Do you see the silo walls being built here?)
What the sales manager might not know is that there’s a solution, potentially already implemented with their CRM product data? Configure price quote (CPQ) software solutions, like EndeavorCPQ, produce more than just sales forecasting data. By analyzing quote and proposal reports, managers have a window into the strengths and weaknesses of their sales team.
For example, according to data gathered from CPQ, “Jennifer” is very successful at cross-selling widgets, even though she doesn’t have any more years of experience than her counterparts. She rarely has a single widget sale. Her sales manager would like 100 more Jennifers.
Well, maybe the manager can have more “Jennifers”. By taking that information to human resources, Jennifer’s manager learned from the recruiter that, prior to selling widgets, Jennifer worked at a fine dining restaurant and her nightly tips were dependent on her having big final bills. She learned that by convincing her diners to buy multiple drinks, or appetizers, she gave them a better experience and their check was higher at the end of the night, all equating to higher tips. She carried that mindset into widget selling.
Armed with that information, the recruiters now spend more time with candidates with hospitality backgrounds. Previously, the recruiters were focused on candidates’ industry experience, but the CPQ data has shown that having sales experience is more important than industry expertise.
It is estimated that costs from employee turnover can be as much as 1.5 to 2-times the annual salary of the position. By breaking down communication silos between departments, companies using big data from CPQ are saving money in hiring the right talent from better-stocked ponds.
Read more about Kendra and how she solved her turnover troubles in our “Un-Silo with Software: Three Success Stories” eBook.