What is the significance of a transparent business culture? Why is it important to establish transparency?
Transparency is more than just a business buzz word. It’s a catalyst for communication and accountability throughout an organization. Transparency is the key to 360 degree views of what’s happening, collaboration between all departments, and a real understanding of what’s going on throughout the sales cycle. So how can you improve sales team transparency? Here are three ways:
1. Incremental Checkpoints Over Annual Performance
Instead of putting all the focus on the long-term, create incremental checkpoints for monthly or quarterly progress and share that data with the entire sales team. If your focus is on monthly progress, set checkpoint meetings to occur weekly. If your focus is on quarterly progress, set checkpoint meetings to occur bi-monthly. At first, your sales team may feel micro-managed, so its beneficial to explain your reasoning. Incremental checkpoints help managers understand where Sales is excelling, and where it may be floundering. A sales manager can use insights on successful processes as a map for others to adopt, or throw out the life preserver by coaching those who are struggling.
Sharing the progress of these checkpoints can boost the motivation and self-esteem of reps who would otherwise not be recognized until their annual review. Most importantly, it can inspire friendly competition among coworkers. It’s a tactic that works especially well with the results-driven personalities of sales professionals.
2. Fill Your CRM Transparency Gaps
Think of your CRM like Batman. Batman works beautifully on his own, but his gadgets enhance his natural abilities — he couldn’t fly over those rooftops without his line launcher, right? A CRM add-on product can enhance sales team transparency in the same way. For example, the Viabl add-on (for Salesforce and SugarCRM) is a relationship automation tool that depicts the progress of an account via buttons that look like little traffic lights. These little indicators provide a quick reference for teams and managers to scan the data and know the status instantly. Red indicates a Rep is overdue to reach out to a customer, yellow is the “danger zone”, and green is in the clear. Viabl also allows one-click call, email, and meeting logs to save salespeople time and show managers how things are developing. Use specialized tools to fill your transparency gaps and you may see your team of Batmans become a team of Bat-Legends.
3. Accountability for Everyone
Sales teams aren’t the only ones who benefit from transparency. Incorporate the same openness across all departments, senior management included. Let Marketing and Customer Service know the targets you expect of them and hold them to the same standards. Have senior management share the inputs and outputs of board meetings, progress reports for each department, and the monthly tasks they’re focusing on to meet company goals.Mandating the accountability for everyone establishes the value and significance of a transparent culture.
These three suggestions are starting points for building a transparent sales team, and in turn, a transparent company model. Continue building your internal transparency by adding your own ideas to this list. For example, consider an anonymous suggestion box.
Keep in mind though, if you respond to the feedback with anything less than serious consideration, the attempt at transparency will fail. Show employees their happiness and productivity is important by acting on some of the suggestions and addressing the ones you can’t change. Your Sales, Marketing, Service, IT, and Accounting departments will all thank you for it.