Listening in on this week’s AA-ISP webinar “Creating the Ultimate Collaboration Between Inside Sales and the Field,” one thing jumped out at me right away. Collaboration needs to start at the top!

Sales enablement expert Ledi Imeraj shared a wealth of information in the webinar – and here are a few of the key points covered:

1. Executive involvement is the key building block

Drawing on her extensive sales and sales coaching experience, including years at industry behemoths and Oracle, Ledi emphasized that management must take an active role to strengthen alignment between inside sales and field reps. Inside sales and field sales collaboration starts with executive involvement.

2. Sales technology increases transparency

Sales tools help by delivering insights in sales rep activities and the level of their activities. Leveraging this insight keeps everyone is in sync and lets management quickly see if time is being allocated appropriately by sales reps, and opportunities are being followed and tracked in a timely manner.

 3. Communication delivers a unified front to the customer

Inside sales and field reps should spend time together to talk about their goals and strategies. This strengthens team camaraderie and keeps everyone on the same page, so your sales team presents a unified front to customers.

4. A shoulder-to-shoulder’ approach works best

No inside sales rep should feel like an admin to field sales. If that’s the case, inside sales reps should stand up for themselves and clearly define their role to field sales. Management also needs to be an advocate for the inside sales team – educating the team about their value and investing in tools to increase inside sales productivity.

5. Have a process for the sales handoff

If you’re passing inside sales relationships to the field, customers need to understand how everyone is involved – and how everyone will work together to meet their needs. With a clear definition of roles, inside sales reps and field reps can a ‘shoulder-to-shoulder’ approach in working with customers.

If you’re in inside sales, become an expert to bring more value to the field! With knowledge about customers, products, and markets, inside sales reps can be a great resource. Finally, even if your inside sales team and field team report to a different chain of command, they can still work together successfully given the right support by management. Even healthy competition can strengthen the alignment!

For more great sales tips, check out LiveHive’s Summer Selling Shape Up Kit.

This article was originally posted here.