In the traditional selling world, the lone wolf is the most common sales person and the “lone wolf” basically works alone. This lone wolf sales person controls their customer list, seldom invites others to join on a sales call and MUST be in attendance when technical people are necessary.
The new model of team selling is gaining momentum in the world of sales and for good reason. Today, complexity is everywhere impacting the ability of a lone wolf sales person to do everything necessary to make successful sales. Thus, the role of team selling is gaining speed and acceptance. In fact, some industries are looking for more team capable sales people to join their ranks.
The team selling sales person is more of a coordinator of people and meetings – of like minded people – in order to solve the complexity of systems, technology, product requirements, etc. The progressive customers are looking for sales teams who practice team selling.
So what are the advantages of team selling? Here is a list of key advantages…
Advantages of Team Selling
- Concerns and Needs are Met – Due to having more people involved in the sales process, questions and concerns are addressed faster with more credible resources – like tech people working with tech people talking geek stuff! Credibility carries more weight with certain decision makers or key influences to the buying decision.
- Obtain a “Bigger Picture” of Offerings – Many times sales people only see a short term sale rather than a total (and larger) solution. When others are involved, particularly executives interacting with other executives higher level points of view spring into the picture. Now these actions may increase the size of the complexity, yet, the flip side is an substantial increase in dollar size of the project. Remember, your time is the same rather the sale is small or large – go for the larger reward.
- Different Departments Working Together – Here is a bigger relative to collaboration between cross functional groups or departments. When you spend more time with other people in your own organization you have a greater opportunity of building rapport and bonds with key people who can help you be more successful – now and in the future. Build those internal relationships, then watch how fast things get done.
- Obtain Specific Recommendations – Now we are looking at specialty groups who can advise the sales person on better ways to get things done. Which systems match the customer’s systems, or technical issues needing to be resolved for a smooth and quiet transition to your services or products.
- Better Agreements on Price, Deliverable’s and Terms & Conditions – The more people or departments involved in a sales process, the more they have in the game – the more willing they are to commit and agree to non-standard situations. I have found this to be very true when involving certain vendors in my larger sales projects – pricing becomes more flexible (not cheaper here – flexible) and thus doable for the client as well as the vendor – everybody wins!
- Better Exchange of Vital Technical and Business Information – This one area is critical to the success of a collaborative partnership or relationship. Critical information is usually necessary for complex situations to run smoothly. When clients who are involved in Inventory Management as a method of selling their products, usually need important production forecasts and other information to make the system work properly. This is achieved in various ways – from open lines of communication to actually placing an operations person on the customer’s manufacturing floor to monitor the needs and availability of parts.
There you have the Key Advantages to Team Selling. I have seen companies set up “sales teams” for major accounts using a “cradle to grave” approach of handling major customers. The team is responsible and accountable for everything with their assigned customer. The team members are trained in decision making and all necessary skills for handling their major account.
Over the next couple of weeks, I will add more information to the team selling concept. Remember, the larger and more complex your sales are becoming, the more a team selling approach may be needed.