Knock down the data silos: How multichannel sales software can help your company work smarter

Customers are hopping sales channels more than ever before, but their expectations are also rising when it comes to getting a consistent experience across all those channels — whether that’s a brick-and-mortar shop, website, app, social media interaction or call to a contact centre.

Despite the fact that customers expect a seamless experience, most companies are a long way off delivering it. According to a NICE/BCG study, 97% of customers use multiple channels to interact with brands, but in doing so 76% are met with a poor and disjointed, experience. Naturally, this has major implications for brand reputation, customer loyalty and missed sales opportunities.

Companies need to focus on creating an entire customer journey that has no cracks and utilises automation where possible. And a simple place to start is with a platform that bridges the gaps between sales channels, sales reps and onboarding teams.


The trouble with legacy systems

To break down silos and implement an effective multichannel sales strategy, it’s not enough to launch an L&D programme or gather employees for a town hall style event. If you’re going to see behavioural change across your organisation, you need systems that support it, incentivise it, and make it effortless. That’s where multichannel sales software comes in.

Companies might find themselves in the position of having different software for each sales channel. One legacy system might have been great in the past for telesales, but completely unusable for field sales teams, so different sales software might have been a necessary outlay at that time.

But disjointed software, or worse, no software at all, results in an inconsistent and silo-based experience for customers, as well as for employees. If telesales and field sales teams have no consistent platform, it can lead to customers being targeted in an uncoordinated way from both sides, increasing the chance of a broken sale


Collaboration between teams

Sales teams are traditionally harder to unify than most. Part of this is due to a well-intentioned but perhaps outdated approach, where organisations would encourage sales team members to compete with one another, rather than collaborate.
Even for the wide range of organisations striving to do something different, the old competitive approach is reinforced by a legacy reward scheme – in which sales reps receive commissions on an individual basis, based purely on the sales they close.
It’s a reward system that’s impossible to change properly without new technology. But when field sales and telesales teams use the same multichannel sales software, they can be incentivised to collaborate easily.

If a field sales rep knocks on the door of someone who’s interested, but not quite ready, a call back can be requested at a time that suits the customer. Using multichannel sales software, the telesales agent who makes the call gets that warm lead, and if a sale is closed, both agents can share the commission on the sale.
The software captures who has spoken to the potential customer and when, so the joint effort of the sale can be rewarded. And that reward is certainly justified, since their collaboration provides customers with a more a seamless experience that inspires more trust in the brand and a greater chance of retention.


Real time data reporting

The right multichannel sales platform will support better data collection and reporting – which is the lifeblood of non-siloed teams.
Using multichannel sales software, webforms update the system immediately. Automation means there is no waiting for data to be collected from emails or paperwork and uploaded manually to a system.

Extracting sales data from a single platform rather than waiting for it to be collated from multiple sources helps teams to be more agile, reacting fast to areas that are underperforming. It can provide a single view of all sales leads, including history of contact with a customer, and it can be used to view any outstanding actions, e.g., if a customer has requested a call back, and if so, when they’d like it and through what channel.

This can remove duplication between sales teams and allows them to focus on potential customers that are more likely to convert on a given day. If someone has recently completed a web form for instance, your teams could spot that they registered interest in an upcoming product such as 5G or full fibre, and they can knock on their door already knowing who they are and what they care about.

That means no customer has to tell you who they are twice, no customer has to explain their situation twice, and no customer has to turn reps away twice. If there’s a second conversation, it’s more likely to be a welcome one, and it’s far more likely to become a conversion to decrease customer churn.


A seamless customer experience

By unifying sales teams onto a single multichannel sales software platform, siloed working can be consigned to history. Teams are incentivised to work together, customers receive a more seamless experience, and the rewards are seen at a bottom line level.

UNICEF Ireland uses PSI’s software to bring unity to all their interactions with potential and current donors. Justin Killeen, Pledge Manager, had this to say about their donors’ experience:

“When there’s a sign up, it’s immediately in the PSI system… whereas other systems can take up to a week for the data to be accessible.

“With charities, brand is really important and you have to be so careful. With the PSI tools, you can see where your teams are going, who they’re talking to, their routes and the info they’re capturing.

“If a potential donor calls to check something, we can very quickly click on the system and see the info captured and confirm questions to customers straight away.”

To learn more about the tools you need to knock down silos, check out our thoughts on whether you should build or buy multichannel sales software.