January 21, 2020
January 21, 2020
Nothing kills productivity more than some good old-fashioned inter-department rivalry. While some may consider it the norm, smart business owners understand that companies run better when everyone can work cohesively. Don't mistake trouble for tradition, these simple tips can help you end the hostility between your sales and finance teams, and get them working together to create a stronger sense of company unity.
Those of your who have ever worked in Finance know that the stereotype of the "cocky" salesman isn't as far fetched as you might think. However, those of you who have ever worked in Sales could also argue that working with Finance is no walk in the park either. The truth is, both departments often are unwilling to take the time to understand each other's intentions, and engage in erroneous practices that ultimately lead to lack of communication and collaboration.
As a manager, supervisor, or CEO of a company; it is your responsibility to hold both departments accountable for their actions, and specify their duties in the business transaction process so that there's no room for confusion. Send out a clear set of instructions to both new hires current employees in both departments, detailing exactly what you expect from everyone, and the consequences if these expectations aren't met. These responsibilities should include checking in with one another often, to ensure financial and customer services needs are always being met; and should also clarify that taking responsibility upon oneself to criticize members of the other department is unacceptable. Specify that all complaints and concerns should be handled in a professional rather than personal manner, or taken up with management.
Requiring each department to send out a weekly email to each other outlining any concerns, and highlighting any important applicable information or goals, is a great way to ensure that both parties know exactly what's going on, and will encourage a greater degree of corroboration on business practices. For an example; if Finance is having an issue with any orders or accounts, giving the Sales department insight on these concerns could give them the opportunity to let Finance know of any inside information on the customer, or what might help resolve that issue. The same goes for Sales, if customers are continuously complaining or refuting sales pitches due to pricing or billing issues; letting Finance know about these issues, and then giving them a chance to either fix the problems, or explain why they are occurring, could help increase positive customer relationships as well as help the Sales team deal with the issues more efficiently the next time similar ones arise. Allowing the departments to blame one another for dysfunction will only cause a decrease in productivity, while this method will help solve most problems before they arise.
Many companies will even go as far as to separate the departments into different floors or sections of the building to avoid issues, but this will only worsen the strain on employee relations. Instituting a series of employee bonding events or holiday parties could help humanize the faces behind the department names. Having a friendly face to go to when they have a problem can go a long way in terms of turning frustrating situations- into approachable issues that they can solve as a team. Most people feel less comfortable being accusatory or hostile towards people they socialize with, and these events will make them rethink how they behave next time they need to collaborate.
Most important of all, make them understand that all of these people are here for the same reason, and that's to help run a business. Remind them that they are a team, and that their individual success contributes to each other's success as well. Make sure that you have the ability to give them the tools they need to share information with each other. If that means investing in software that allows information about sales practices and financial records to be easily accessible for everyone, then invest in that type of software. Check out programs like Armatic, which combines sales, finances, analytics, and many more processes to help keep things running as smoothly as possible. Free trials and round-the-clock outstanding customer service is available for any concerns or questions you might have.
BY Alyssa LeBlanc
BY Max Golovnia
BY Alyssa LeBlanc
Alyssa is handling content development and content planning for Armatic and works closely with our product and development team.