In many organizations, sellers are vilified because they come across as entitled and unwilling to cooperate with other departments.
This scenario, of course, compromises overall productivity and ultimately hurts sales. Additionally, support team members, partners, resource departments and cross functional managers lose respect for the sales department and feel minimized in their own work.
There are three types of sellers who fuel these perceptions: The lone wolf who prefers to do all the work alone, refusing help from others; The needy seller who doesn't do his or her fair share, relying overly much on everyone else to do the work; and the last minute seller who is happy to accept help and even appreciative of it, but waits until there is barely enough time to even do the work, let alone do it well.
People in other departments come to resent all three of these types. Here's how you can check your own behaviors and make sure you are not taking advantage of partner departments.
1. First, eliminate the stereotypes of entitled sellers. Get to know the people behind the scenes in your organization and actively show your appreciation for them. Don't act as if your work is done once the sale has closed. Instead, follow the trail and make sure the work you have handed off is clear, clean and easy for others to manage.
2. Store up some favors before you ask for more than your fair share. Check in with the people you rely on for order fulfillment, for example. Ask about their pet peeves and how you can make their jobs easier. Be proactive and do whatever you can to help them out. Then, when you really do need to call in a favor, others will be happy to help.
3. Do not procrastinate on handouts. If you need assistance from marketing on a proposal, for instance, give them that information immediately while it is still fresh in your mind and when they have the maximum time possible to produce quality work for you. Your procrastinated work should not be presented as urgent simply because you let it sit on your desk and collect dust.
4. Go ahead and follow the established SOPs. They may seem laborious or meaningless to you. But if you were doing the recipients work, you might feel differently. If you truly do not understand why the work must be done in a certain way, ask about it. Get to know as much as you can about how and why your support departments do their jobs. Enter into their world instead of expecting them to always come into yours.
5. Ennoble others by respecting their opinions, enlisting their expertise and asking for their advice. Sometimes, the very best input you can get is from someone who is one step removed and has a fresh perspective. Additionally, you are surrounded by people with different skill sets and viewpoints. There's no need for you to go it alone, and when you do it may appear you are dismissive or condescending towards others.
If you think about your work as getting the right results for the customer in the easiest way possible, you will choose different ways of doing business. You will understand that the work doesn't stop when you hand it off. Making less work for yourself but more work for others erodes/ profit and reduces your ability to be seen as a leader. This can be extremely limiting if you hope to step into a next level role at some point in your career.
Ultimately, working with others in your organization will save you time. It will eliminate rework and create opportunities for you to have a smoother and easier time of it when the real needs arise for special consideration.