Break the Silos How to Collaborate Effectively to Make Change


The Gist

  • Break silos. Eliminate departmental barriers to create a unified customer-centric organization.
  • Empathize with customers. Understand their goals and struggles to build genuine, ongoing partnerships.
  • Drive change. Take the lead as a marketer to implement new systems, align goals and measure success around revenue.

Over the last five parts of this six-part series on how to empower marketers to understand their role as change agents and customer experience champions, my colleague Eric Hollebone and I have covered the purpose of marketing, its contribution to revenue, building a blueprint for growth and putting it into action, and using data and tools to create the ideal customer experience. 

In this final installment, we share how to take that same sense of closeness we seek with our customers and prospects and apply it within an organization. 

Sideline the Silos

Communicating beyond your own department can feel like a radical change. Most organizations still think and operate in silos. Unfortunately, there’s a certain amount of “It’s always been done this way” or “This department does this and not that.” This line of thinking needs to vanish. 

When an organization works together to put the customer at the center of everything they do, silos have a way of crumbling. 

Let’s see what this might look like — before team collaboration and then after — and determine who needs to lead the way. 

Related Article: Your Silos Are Showing in Your Customer Experience

Silos: The ‘Before’

Here’s a snapshot of what a “before” might look like, both internally and externally.

Internally: Misaligned goals and metrics drive departments. Sales gets frustrated with marketing, playing the blame game. Customer success feels exasperated with sales and marketing for overpromising and leaving them to cope with disillusioned customers. Product produces irrelevant research. IT focuses only on organizational security and compliance. Finance is tired of writing checks without seeing tangible returns. 

Externally: Companies can’t hide misalignment and disorganization from their customers. Customers face roadblocks, confusing detours and businesses that don’t seem to know much about them. 

The good news: You can fix this. 

The first step is to bring representatives of every business function together to discuss their needs, wants and concerns when it comes to customer engagement. 

And the best lead for this task is marketing leadership because marketing has the longest-lasting relationship with the customer, and the CMO has the relationships at the executive level to help bridge the divide. 


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