It’s easy to play the blame game when something goes wrong. But what does that really accomplish? Not much, other than creating a negative environment and damaging morale.
When problems arise in a sales culture, it’s important to take a step back and look at the bigger picture. Often, issues are not isolated to just one department or team; instead, they indicate larger organisational challenges.
A recent study showed that only 14% of B2B organisations have an aligned planning process across sales, marketing and product. This number is abysmal, and it’s no wonder that so many sales teams are struggling.
When you don’t have a properly aligned planning process, it can lead to miscommunication and a lack of clarity on objectives. This can create tension between departments and ultimately result in a blame culture.
To avoid this, it’s crucial to take a step back and look at the bigger picture. Try to identify any organisational issues that may be causing problems for the sales team. Once these issues are addressed, you’ll be well on your way to creating a more aligned and cohesive sales culture.
This article will explore what a blame culture is, why it’s harmful, and how to avoid it.
Why Alignment Between Teams Is Crucial to Your Overall Success
The customer journey doesn’t start and end with the sale. To provide a seamless experience, it’s essential for all departments to be aligned. This includes product, marketing, sales and customer success. Here are some key points to keep in mind:
- A properly aligned planning process will improve communication and collaboration between departments.
- Each department has a unique perspective that can contribute to the success of the customer journey.
- When departments are not aligned, it can lead to tension and a blame culture.
Let’s discuss further why each department’s alignment is crucial to the success of the customer journey.
The product team is responsible for developing and launching new products. They also work closely with the engineering team to ensure that the product meets all customer requirements.
For the product to be successful, the team must clearly understand the customer journey. They need to know what problems the customer is trying to solve and what type of experience they are looking for.
The product team should also communicate closely with the sales and marketing teams. This way, they can ensure that the product is positioned correctly and that any new features are properly communicated to potential customers.
The marketing team is responsible for generating awareness and demand for the product. They do this through various channels, such as paid advertising, social media, content marketing and public relations.
To be successful, the marketing team needs a deep understanding of both the product and the customer journey. They need to know what messaging will resonate with potential customers and what content will help them make a purchase decision.
It’s also essential for the marketing team to be in close communication with the sales team. This way, they can ensure that leads are properly qualified and that customers have all the information they need to make a purchase.
The customer success team is responsible for ensuring that customers are happy and successful with the product. They work closely with customers to help them get the most out of the product and achieve their desired outcomes.
For customer success to function well, the team must clearly understand the product and the customer journey. They need to know how to use the product and what type of support customers need to be successful.
It’s also important for the customer success team to communicate closely with the sales and marketing teams. This way, they can provide feedback on what’s working well and what needs to be improved.
Tips on How to Avoid a Blame Culture
A blame culture is one where finger-pointing and passing the buck are common. This type of environment can be toxic and cause people to become defensive. It’s essential to avoid this at all costs.
Here are some tips on how you can avoid a blame culture:
1. Know the customer across the whole organisation
When selling to a customer, you need to understand their needs and wants. This isn’t just the responsibility of the sales team but the entire organisation. Everyone from customer success to product development should know who the customer is and what they’re looking for.
A buyer’s journey should be mapped out, and everyone should be on the same page. This is to ensure a cohesive and consistent experience for the customer.
2. Define roles and responsibilities
It’s essential that everyone knows their role in the organisation. This way, there are no surprises when problems arise. When everyone is clear on their responsibilities, it’s easier to identify where the problem lies. If someone isn’t meeting their obligations, it’s easier to take corrective action.
3. Know your value proposition and consistently execute across teams
The sales team isn’t the only one responsible for delivering on the company’s value proposition. Everyone from marketing to customer success needs to know what the company promises and do their part to uphold that. There should be a clear and consistent message being delivered across all teams.
4. Strong handover
There should be a structured and concise handover process between departments. This way, everyone is on the same page, and there are no surprises. For example, if the sales team makes a promise to a customer, the customer success team needs to be aware of this so they can deliver on it.
5. Understand each other’s measures of success
Everyone must understand how each department measures success. This way, there is no confusion or finger-pointing when things go wrong. Each team should be aware of the KPIs and objectives of other teams. This way, everyone is working towards the same goal.
6. Create visibility across the organisation
There should be a clear and concise way to track results across the organisation. This way, everyone can see how their department is performing. This visibility creates accountability and encourages people to work harder.
7. Communicate, communicate, communicate
This point cannot be stressed enough. There needs to be open communication between departments to avoid a blame culture. If something goes wrong, it should be brought to the attention of other teams so that it can be fixed quickly.
When a workplace develops a blame culture, people adapt by becoming defensive. Both morale and productivity suffer.
To avoid a blame culture, you need to clearly understand the customer, define roles and responsibilities, know your value proposition and execute it consistently across teams. There should also be a robust handover process between departments, and everyone should understand each other’s measures of success.
Lastly, there needs to be visibility of results across the organisation and open communication between departments.
How effectively are your organisation’s teams working together? Have you managed to remove silos and stop the blame game?
If you need help to take your business to new heights, contact us today and let us show you what we can do.