As we continue our series on cross-functional team meetings, our focus shifts to the convergence of Sales and Community teams. This partnership stands as a pivotal factor not only in fostering a vibrant community, but also in driving better-qualified sales opportunities drawn from community engagement. In this article, we will delve into sample meeting agendas for when Sales and Community teams come together, highlighting the synergy of discussing community qualified leads (CQLs), expansion opportunities, and ROI from community engagement.
The significance of scheduled meetings
These collaborative meetings serve as a platform to harness the collective wisdom of community insights and sales expertise, facilitating enhanced communication between the team responsible for community engagement and those who drive sales. Regular meetings cultivate a shared sense of purpose, eliminate redundancy, and further nurture innovation through iterative feedback loops.
The structure of meeting agendas evolves as the collaboration between Sales and Community teams progresses. Below are the agenda elements tailored to various stages of collaboration.
Early stage collaboration
During the early phase of collaboration, the focus is on establishing a foundation to educate the purpose of community and establish the roles that each team plays in the prospect journey through the pipeline.
- Introductions: Team members introduce themselves, outlining their roles and responsibilities.
- Community Education: Often, sales people are not super familiar with what the community is, and it’s important for the community team to educate them on why the community exists and how to engage in it. The community is not a place to poach or target leads - allowing sales people to do this will decrease the trust in the community and lead to a negative experience. It’s important that the community team protect the community in this way, while still enabling the sales team to have visibility into the community and engage where appropriate.
- Working Together: Both teams present their objectives, seeking areas of convergence and shared objectives to pursue. This will most likely include how to show relevant community activity for leads the sales team are conversing with, how to pitch the value of community to prospects, and how to loop in the community team when needed.
- Ongoing Relationship Management: Discuss logistics for the future like meeting cadence, ownership of items (a RACI chart could help with this), and best way to communicate across teams between meetings (e.g. Slack, email, other messaging tool). Also, discuss primary points of contact - most likely, the sales team will be quite large, and it may not make sense to have connections with each person on the team, but rather managers or team leads.
Intermediate Stage Collaboration
As collaboration progresses, the meeting agenda evolves to incorporate proactive strategies for facilitating and fostering community engagement into successful sales outcomes and measuring the correlation of community activity to sales pipeline fulfillment.
- Community Insights & Sales Enablement: Delve into community discussions, pinpointing trends, and insights that could inform sales strategies. Explore how the sales team can leverage these insights to enhance their efforts.
- Sales Visibility & Engagement: Share updates on ongoing and upcoming sales initiatives, correlating them with community insights. Discuss ways to optimize sales team participation in community activities.
- Performance Metrics: Evaluate the conversion rates of community interactions to sales opportunities, engagement rates among community members, and overall sales growth due to community engagement. (By the way, Talkbase can help you with this, not only in establishing what metrics are important for your organization, but how to display them in connecting your sales and community platforms.)
Advanced Stage Collaboration
At the pinnacle of collaboration, Sales and Community teams operate synergistically, consistently nurturing communication loops between the two teams. In addition to the items discussed in the intermediate stage, there are several additional aspects the teams can address at this advanced level of collaboration.
- Community Ambassadors: Identify community members who are exceptionally engaged and consider ways to acknowledge their contributions in sales-related activities, like in reference calls or being customer case studies.
- Collaborative Initiatives: Co-create projects such as community-exclusive sales events or joint campaigns.
- Shared Insights: Develop joint dashboards showcasing key data and progress toward collective objectives that can be shared with other leaders at the company.
- Unified Strategy: Outline comprehensive strategies that promote synergy across immediate, medium-term, and long-term timeframes.
Through collaboration, effective communication, transparency, and joint efforts, Sales and Community teams have a golden opportunity to tap into the community's insights and needs, effectively converting them into sales success. The rhythmic cadence of their meetings culminates in a symphony of customer-centric excellence, where ideas flourish, sales blossom, and the community thrives.
September 6, 2023
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