A Component of Linked Execution – A Business Integration Solution
Linked Execution is a methodology that helps businesses clearly evaluate and improve the way a company presents its entire portfolio of products & services more effectively to their customers/clients across all channels of interaction. The model has five main components that can be implemented as a group or independently of one another. We’ll be examining each of the five components here on FinSights during the next few months.
Through previous posts on Sales Enablement, Referral Management, and Performance Measurement, three components of the Linked Execution model, we’ve discussed the importance of bringing the enterprise to bear, to each individual customer, and reporting on the key metrics along the way. This is often difficult with specialized sales teams who often lack insight into other business lines. A small and nimble team of trained integration specialists becomes a key component of sharing and expanding knowledge across the enterprise teams, leading to revenue growth and increased customer satisfaction.
To create this team, each line of business designates an expert representative(s) to help teach customer facing teams and sales support on an enterprise-wide level. The expert’s job is to cross-educate with representatives from other channels who then share that knowledge down to their respective business lines. They can also leverage tools mentioned in the Sales Enablement component, i.e. emerging technologies as well as some level of access to enterprise CRM databases, sales and service materials, and collateral.
In practice, it often works in reverse as well. A salesperson may see an opportunity to expand a client relationship. They can approach an integration specialist to get the information and resources they need to effectively cross-serve the customer. The integration specialists can use internal relationships to make cross-selling simpler for everyone. They can also serve as part of a sales interaction discussion to add expertise in their given area.
The Ideal Integration Specialist
The integration specialist role is often product agnostic, broader in scope, and has a different compensation plan from their other sales counterparts. They would instead focus on referrals and closed pipeline verses more traditional client drivers. They generally carry a greater set of expertise, skillset and expectations than conventional client roles may have. Core responsibilities include:
- Facilitating multi-product, cross-team sales
- Providing learning opportunities
- Assessing end-to-end value
- Communicating and overseeing end-user products
When leveraged correctly, integration specialists foster knowledge sharing and product awareness, increased product expertise at the enterprise level, support for shared services – easing interaction and collaboration, increased market competitiveness, and in the end, an increased value for the end user.