February 4, 2015
The relationship between a quarterback and receiver is synonymous with a salesperson and their developer. If the quarterback doesn’t throw the ball, the receiver can’t make the touchdown. Similarly, a salesperson can’t close a deal if he or she doesn’t a product developed for the customer. As a wide receiver during college, I was always in sync with my quarterback when running routes – this was all due to constant communication; when deciding to schedule calls or meetings with our development team at least five times a week, I started seeing the similarly successful results. Here are 3 reasons why sales and development teams need to communicate:
1. To Improve Your Product
Even though your development team is going to be the one building the product, they don’t have any face time with that product’s end-user. In his book The Lean Startup, Eric Ries mentions that more startups fail from a lack of customers than from a failure of product development. It’s imperative that your sales team relays any comments and feedback from prospects and clients. Without providing developers with what the sales team has learned from customer discovery, it will be difficult for you to build value for the end user.
2. More-Educated Salespeople
Many salespeople rely on their natural sales skills or on techniques that they have learned from books. Unfortunately, those two things won’t help you answer a question that a prospect may have, such as “Can your software integrate with our current database?” or “How long will it take to customize additional features?” These are all questions that are mentioned during my sales meetings. I was tired of using the response “I will have to check with our dev team & get back to you,” and that’s why I started communicating with our dev team all the time. It’s important to ask questions about the tech side of the business and how the product was built. Being able to answer those questions right away builds trust within your prospects to allow you to close the deal.
3. Motivates the Dev Team
Nothing gets a team more pumped up than a when a big play is made or when someone closes a big sale. You should make sure to tell your dev team these kinds of exciting updates; even if you don’t close a deal, you keep them updated on the progress anyway. This is a great way to motivate your developers and to encourage them that what they do on a day-to-day basis makes a significant impact in the sales process.
A common saying is “You’re only as strong as your weakest link.” Great communication develops unity within your team, so there isn’t a weak link to point blame. Mattie Stepanek once said,” Unity is strength…when there are teamwork and collaboration, wonderful things can be achieved”.
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