Businesses—especially the larger, more traditional ones—are known to operate in silos.
While historically this might have made sense, today’s highly competitive landscape calls for a much different approach to business operations.
In today’s world, cross-functional team collaboration has become a key component to delivering the best customer experience.
What is a cross-functional team?
Inc. Magazine defines a cross-functional team as a group that is made up of people from different functional areas within a company—marketing, engineering, sales and customer service, for example.
Imagine for a moment that each department had visibility into one another. If marketing had insight into what sales is doing, they may be better able to use real-world scenarios to develop more impactful marketing campaigns. If engineering had insight into customer service, they might be able to make product improvements that would benefit the end user. These are basic, high-level examples but I think you get the idea.
Wait, what’s this all have to do with CRM?
You’re probably thinking to yourself, “But aren’t you guys [Nutshell] just the makers of an awesome CRM? How is that related to cross-functional team collaboration?” Well, you’re absolutely right—we are makers of an awesome CRM; but beyond building a great product, we believe that CRM is the perfect place for teams to collaborate. Why? Well, because businesses exist to serve a customer, and your CRM is, in essence, the voice of your customers—current, former, and prospective.
So, if your CRM is the voice of the customer, and your business exists to serve the customer, wouldn’t that then make your CRM the obvious choice for collaborating with other teams within your organization on how to better serve your customers? This might result in product enhancements, better sales processes, more effective marketing campaigns, and a better overall customer experience.
How can CRM be used to promote cross-functional team collaboration?
Let me illustrate by using an example of how we, at Nutshell, use our product to collaborate across all functional teams to deliver a better customer experience.
For those who don’t know, Nutshell integrates with Zendesk, a popular cloud-based customer service platform. Our integration gives us visibility into customer support tickets, all from within Nutshell. While we have pretty amazing customer support and product specialists here (I’m talking about you Sally and Nicole!), there are times when a customer’s question might be better directed at an engineer. Just last week, one of our more tech-savvy users asked some pretty technical questions that were better suited for one of our engineers.
Rather than sending an email to one of our engineers, our support team simply @mentioned the engineering team right from within Nutshell. The engineers immediately received a notification, letting them know that they’ve been mentioned on a note. This sparked a brief discussion among our great, albeit opinionated, engineering team as they commented back and forth on the original thread. Once there was agreement on what the best answer is, they @mentioned our support team to let them know the verdict which was then communicated back to the customer.
The best part?
This didn’t happen in silos, or in the email inbox of a select few. It all happened within Nutshell and is visible by anyone in our company. If the same question arises for a different customer in the future, anyone can easily refer back to this ticket for guidance.
This is just one example of how cross-functional teams can help your business, and how using CRM to collaborate is both effective and efficient. Let us know about your experiences with cross-functional teams!