Shows-toppers . . . we have all encountered them some time. A specific technical detail, a question about a competitor’s feature, or a presentation hiccup that stops a deal dead in its tracks. Having experienced such and been there we all hope to avoid them at all costs. I for one can almost assure you that there are reliable methods and ways to minimise these show-stoppers from coming up ever again? (Please note, minimise not disappear).
World of sales has become complex with buying committees, long security processes and competitors who all look and sound the same, being an individual or solo seller has become a lot more challenging.
Introducing specific people with different skills and expertise from your company into your sales cycle undoubtedly might be the next best solution for maintaining momentum in the ever growing complexity in today’s sales cycles termed team selling.
Team Selling: Is a sales strategy that involves two-plus members of an organisation working together to win business such as marketing and sales collaborating to close a major account by offering support. Team selling is a fundamental aspect of account based sales and in this article we implement it and its benefits.
Why try team selling
- Sell to a committee with a team: There is strength in numbers, like wise in sales. The number of people involved in B2B purchases over the decade has risen tremendously. When pitching as a team, the odds of nailing the presentation are higher than a one-man band.
Each person on a buying committee comes with their own expertise and set of unique experiences. Because each person is viewing the sale from a different perspective, they’re likely evaluating your solution on how it impacts their day-to-day. It’s important that you relate your product to their area of expertise.
For example, if you’re meeting with highly technical prospects, they’ll likely want to dive into your products’ architecture and how it will relate to their own infrastructure. A situation like this is the perfect opportunity to introduce someone from your team with a technical background.
- Problem solving is team effort: The core nature of sales is problem solving. As a sales rep, your job isn’t to solve every problem yourself, but rather to get the problems you encounter solved.
Selling software or services is more complicated than ever before. You’re working in a climate where products are complex — there is a tonne of information available to prospects, and your offering likely competes or needs to integrate with a variety of other third party technologies.
If you’re selling in the marketing technology space, you know that the problem you’re solving might also include one of 10 000 plus vendors in the industry. It’s critical to have a specific person around from your company whose experience integrates to offer the whole solution.
Team selling allows for your organisation to let loose institutional knowledge which in turn makes for a better buying experience, solves problems more quickly, and leads to higher win rates.
- Self-Assessment versus team-assessment: One of the most upsetting experiences as a sales representative is when you are given a “NO” response yet you would have walked out of the meeting feeling like you did everything right. You sat down at your keyboard filled with excitement while you fire off a follow-up, only to see a reply from your prospect that reads: “Thank you for your presentation today. Unfortunately, this just isn’t the right time for us. Can you follow-up with us in six months?”
The challenge with riding solo on your sales calls is there’s only one person from your team reading the room, thinking on the fly, and looking things up as new information enters the conversation.
Having a teammate in your meeting gives you the opportunity to observe while they speak or vice versa. They can look up information on a specific feature or question while you clarify the reason behind an ask.
Over time you will attest to the notion that when in meetings where no one on the team knows the answer offhand, however, one person from the team offering the product or service can quickly jump on Slack and ask the larger organisation while the other teammate is actively participating. The phrase “two is better than one” isn’t new, but for a lot of sales organisations it’s ignored.
The last and most important part of having a teammate in the room, is immediate feedback. Once the meeting is over, your teammates can give you direct feedback on your performance, key insights you might have missed, or reactions from people around the room. This information is critical for self-improvement, nailing the follow up and creating an overall better experience for your prospective customers.
See you next week in the follow-up article as we close the topic on team selling.
The views given herein are solely for information purposes; they are guidelines and suggestions and are not guaranteed to work in any particular way.
Robert Gonye is a Business Growth Expert and Influencer. He writes in his personal capacity. Comments and views: [email protected]