.When discussing hot topics like customer experience, there is usually some repetition. After all, the core principles stay pretty static, even as the B2B SaaS landscape evolves.

Still, the most refreshing conversations often lean a bit towards controversy. Opinionated industry leaders challenging the status quo. 

At an event a while back, I heard this quote from Donna Peeples:

“Silos are like operational cockroaches and they will outlive us all.”

I sat up a little straighter in my chair. Go Nimbly is a Revenue Operations company and we know one thing above all else. Silos are the main thing standing between SaaS companies and the ability to deliver a seamless customer experience.

The frameworks we help our customers adopt are all about eliminating silos and fixing the gaps they leave behind. So obviously, we believe that silos are breakable.

Still, we understand Donna’s point. Try as though we might, are there are some kinds of silos that will outlive us? 

Why Silos are Bad

Operational silos at a SaaS company (or, really, any company) are bad.
This is going back to basics, but it bears repeating. Siloed go-to-market teams mean that each team only has access to a part of the full picture.  This lack of understanding of the buyer journey leads to clunky handoffs and customer experience that’s full of friction.
The list goes on, but all these things boil down to one big problem: decreased revenue.
That’s why the goal of revenue operations is to get rid of these pains by unifying your go-to-market operations and putting the customer experience front and center. 

Silos are Stubborn

That said, even with #flawless RevOps roll out, the ghosts of silos past might linger. While your GTM teams may operate more efficiently, at the end of the day, Sales will likely still be thinking from a Sales perspective, and the same goes for Marketing and Customer Success. In other words, you can take the person out of the silo, but taking the silo out of the person may not be so easy. 
So, how do you un-haunt the house? Really, the first step is acknowledging the problem. By understanding the gaps that continue to exist due to silo syndrome, you will be able to decide how best to fix it.
Hopefully, the will to be un-siloed is there, and it’s just a matter of a little extra enablement. As Donna said at another point in her session, “You can teach the skill, but not the will.”
Change is difficult and won’t happen all at once. Figure out new ways of working that will disrupt what essentially amounts to operational muscle memory.

Be proactive in helping ease people into new rhythms. For example, implementing a standing meeting between Marketing and Sales, or Sales and Customer Success, and having them participate in collaborative exercises. They’ll love it! Maybe. 

 Businesses are Also Stubborn

What if a business lacks the will to un-silo? There are some that have made the choice to implement certain facets of revenue operations, while still keeping their organizational silos in place. In these cases, the external forces of change have not been enough. Maybe increased LTV gained through revenue operations is not something they believe can happen. Maybe they understand the why without really grasping the how

Any of these things could be true of companies rooted in legacy ops. These companies represent a lifeline for silos–a means of keeping them around even as they dwindle in both practicality and popularity.
So, I guess Donna’s point stems from a kernel of truth. Although there is a way (revenue operations), it is the will that we cannot consult into existence.
Sometimes, all we can do is to force the silos back into the shadows—still alive, but hey, at least they’re scared of us.