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Markus Lehto Jan 2019 3 min read

Tear down silos and start winning together!

What are silos in businesses? 

Usually, the case is that sales reps complain about how marketing has no idea what goes on in sales meetings. Marketing people, on the other hand, say that the sales reps simply cannot sell their products or services properly. And lastly, customers expect a brilliantly smooth and high-quality customer experience, whatever that may be.

This is an example of silos. Most organizations–whether they like it or not, eventually begin to create silos. Specialists working within an industry or business area or with certain customers work together and focus on developing their own area of responsibility. Marketing and sales are good examples of functions that operate within the confines of their own silos. Other silos may include product development, manufacturing, and one of the worst, the “corner room”.

Little by little the walls around the silos become thicker and eventually, the teams that really should be working together start working against each other (Patrick Lencioni: Silos, Politics and Turf Wars). After all, it’s quite human that the ROI and performance of your own area of responsibility are more interesting than those of your neighbor.

You cannot expect new results with old methods


5 tips for bringing down silos

Bringing down silos requires changes. You cannot expect new results using old methods. If you want to bring down silos and hope for teams within an organization to support each other better, changes must take place both in the organization's culture and in terms of concrete action.

1. Common goals

You can start breaking down silos by setting common objectives for the entire organization. Team-specific objectives must be in line with common objectives. This means that any team’s success will take the entire organization in the right direction.

2. Common tools

One easy and concrete way to break silos is to start using tools that cross-team boundaries. This increases the transparency about the operation of various teams, and feedback moves fluently back and forth between practice and planning. Provided the tools are such that people will actually use them.

3. Working together

It is not irrelevant in what kind of premises or conditions people work. Employers should actively seek opportunities to bring different teams together in their daily work. Often the best ideas spring from random meetings somewhere other than at your own workstation or your team conference room. Cozy coffee rooms, regular joint lunches, sports events, or why not even trips abroad are investments that can turn individuals into a community.

4. Working in another team

Walls between silos can also be broken down by having individual employees change over into another team for a while. This is an efficient way to gain experience and understand other people’s work better. This way challenges also become joint ones in a concrete way, providing a different angle to your daily work.

5. Joint rewards

Employees should be rewarded whenever possible. And whenever there is something that is worth rewarding, this should be extended to as many people as possible. In team sports, whenever an individual is successful, the entire team wins. And remember that there are also other rewards other than money.

When you build bridges instead of silos, you will convey to the customer a more high-quality, consistent and brilliant experience.


Showell helps you to build bridges, not silos

Showell is a good example of a tool that will help dismantle silos and prevent them from forming in the first place. It is a tool that combines sales, marketing, and business management. Marketing can ensure that the material and presentations they have produced are available to everyone in one place. Showell will make it easy for sales reps to find the best presentations for each customer. The company management will be able to see how marketing and the sales reps work.

When you build bridges instead of silos, you will convey to the customer a more high-quality, consistent, and brilliant experience when meeting them. You will rise above your competitors, and this will also be shown on the bottom line.