7 Tips for Communicating with Sales Teams:
- Know your audience
- Repeat communications via multiple channels
- Ensure communication channels are accessible to remote salespeople
- Use visual communication tools
- Use channels with high cut-through for important updates
- Use two-way communication
- Allow salespeople to collaborate
Effective sales team communication is not just about pushing out product updates and pricing information to salespeople. It is also a way to keep your sales team motivated, engaged and aligned to company values.
Salespeople are notoriously busy and have short attention spans, so a creative approach to sales team communication is important. Here are some tips for communicating effectively with sales teams:
Tip 1 - Know Your Audience
Be clear and concise, and use visuals wherever possible
Salespeople typically live in the moment and have high workloads. They tend to ignore information that is not relevant to their needs at that point in time. They typically don’t enjoy slow, laborious marketing presentations (they will probably be checking their email on their mobile device anyway). So be clear and concise, and use visuals to communicate wherever possible.
Use short summaries or teasers
Salespeople tend to scan information, not read it in detail. They rarely visit the company’s internal intranet just to see what’s new, and they don’t read mass email updates. You will need to be creative with your communications to get their attention. Use short summaries or teasers to get the main messages across and embed hyperlinks to further in-depth information.
Consider using communication channels such as interactive screensaver messages, scrolling headlines or desktop alerts on the salesperson’s desktop. Put short summaries or “tweets” into an internal newsletter and provide links to further information.
Communicate Short Summaries on Desktop Scrolling News Feeds
Tip 2: Repeat Communications Via Multiple Channels
For salespeople, this is especially true.
To ensure that messages are heard by sales teams, you need to reinforce these communications through multiple channels. Thus, if a salesperson misses a message in one place, he or she will see it in another.
Monitor readership and repeat messages until they are read
Recurrence options for unread messages via desktop alerts and scrolling news headlines can help ensure that messages are eventually read.
Ensure Message Cut-Through with Desktop News Feeds
Salespeople have the opportunity to use SnapComms content if they are busy or out of the office presenting a proposal or giving a demonstration; therefore, messages will eventually reach everyone.
Tip 3 - Ensure Communication Channels are Accessible to Remote Salespeople
Consider using secure communication channels that do not require access via a VPN.
Salespeople often work remotely, and remote network access may not always be easy or fast. In addition, they may be using workarounds to avoid logging onto the network often, which means they may miss important communications on the intranet.
Software as a service or cloud communication solutions can help.
For example, SnapComms messages can be delivered wherever Internet access is available. The SnapComms software polls a data center and checks for new information for the salesperson. Messages are then downloaded and displayed as defined by the administrator. These messages are secure and can only be viewed by employees who have been targeted with specific message view rights for communication through a unique software applet.
Deliver messages to mobile devices - SnapComms messages can be delivered to a wide range of mobile devices and the message marked as read by the SnapComms platform regardless of where it has been read.
Tip 4 - Use Visual Communication Tools
Visual representations of information work really well for sales teams. Consider using Infographics to tell stories through a series of screensaver messages.
Communicate Company Vision with Screensaver Messaging
Examples of information suited to screensaver messaging:
Where appropriate, use the screensaver message for teasers that can be clicked for further information.
Tip 5: Use Channels with High Cut-Through for Important Updates
Some types of messages need to reach sales people fast. In these cases, use channels that deliver fast and effective message cut-through.
Information appropriate for desktop messaging (e.g., alerts and tickers):
Desktop Alerts for Important Updates
- Deadline reminders
- Competitor activity updates
- Product launch countdowns and updates
- New features and resources
- Status updates on systems outages
- Warnings (e.g., fraud alerts, security breaches)
Tip 6: Use Two-Way Communication
Understand what is important to both sales teams and customers
Desktop polls/surveys and online forums are effective tools for gathering this type of information.
Traditional product training is usually not enough
Reinforce key messages on screensavers and use desktop surveys and quizzes (with recurrence options to drive participation) to reinforce and measure important product and process knowledge.
Tip 7: Allow Salespeople to Collaborate
Remember that salespeople tend to want information only when they absolutely need it.
Provide secure social media to allow salespeople to share best practices and success stories. Create an ever-evolving, searchable FAQ for key products and processes.
Examples of SnapComms ROI when Communicating with Sales Teams
Tangible examples of how the SnapComms solution can impact on the bottom line are detailed below:
Message: “Outage Communication - Payment Gateway Down”
- Reduce calls to the IT help desk (cost saving through freeing up call centre staff)
- Inform staff as soon as the situation is resolved (faster recovery time to selling)
- Provide an alternative ‘gateway’ during the outage (reduce the impact of lost sales and salespeople downtime)
Message: “Crisis Communication - Product Recall Due To Safety Issues”
- Immediately inform staff of the recall situation (avoid market confusion, keep customers safe, provide on-going PR updates)
Message “Product Out Of Stock / Alternative Product Available”
- Reduce and/or avoid customer dissatisfaction (minimize loss of sales)
- Enable salespeople to keep selling (maintain productivity)
Message “Product Upsell / Special Offer”
- Keep salespeople informed of the latest upsell opportunities / special offers (increases likelihood of increased sales)
Message “Illegal Credit Card Use Alert”
- Immediately inform salespeople of fraudulent credit card use (avoids financial loss)
Message “ Product Knowledge Training”
- Use of the SnapComms quiz tool to train and motivate sales staff (increases sales and employee engagement)