Seems the idea and practice of team selling in b2b sales is growing fast these days. And, due to this increase in interest for team selling and especially how to improve the results of team selling.
Thus, the need to discuss the critical element for successful b2b team selling. No, it has nothing to do with “rocket science,” yet, the solution is treated with difficulty for many.
So, what is this critical element I’m referencing? It is…Collaboration.
Here is the Wikipedia definition of Collaboration:
Collaboration is working together to achieve a goal. It is a recursive process where two or more people or organizations work together to realize shared goals, (this is more than the intersection of common goals seen in co-operative ventures, but a deep, collective, determination to reach an identical objective) — for example, an intruiging endeavor that is creative in nature—by sharing knowledge, learning and building consensus.
Most collaboration requires leadership, although the form of leadership can be social within a decentralized group. In particular, teams that work collaboratively can obtain greater resources, recognition and reward when facing competition for finite resources.
Structured methods of collaboration encourage introspection of behavior and communication. These methods specifically aim to increase the success of teams as they engage in collaborative problem solving. Forms, charts and graphs are useful in these situations to objectively document personal traits with the goal of improving performance in current and future projects.
There are several key points made in this definition of collaboration – most of which are directed at the outcomes of using collaboration. Understanding how to apply these key points will allow you to become more successful in your b2b selling actions.
These key points include…
- Working Together
Another way of thinking about this is helping each other become more successful. Most sales people act like it is a war and the customer must be defeated. Working together is all about a win-win solution rather than the traditional win-lose.
- Shared Goals
One of the most important factors for successful collaboration – sharing a common goal. Now, the reality is the common goal should be 100% focused upon the customer’s issues and success rather than you making a sale. In fact, solve the customer’s critical issues and watch how many more sales you will make.
- Sharing Knowledge
Ever thought about how hard it would be to discover knowledge over and over and over again? If you had to work in a knowledge vacuum, how difficult would it be to do your job correctly? Building trust and credibility with your customers is the starting point to gaining a sharing status with your customers. When a customer trusts you – then they willingness to share Vidal information with increases.
- Competition for Finite Resources
Let’s face the facts, customers have many ways to deploy their limited resources. Your goal using collaboration is to get real information you can use to show return on investment (ROI) to assist in the decision making. Also, using collaboration allows for the customer to do more self-discovery for the urgency an issue has developed. Faster decisions are made due to the realization of a sense of urgency to change.
Coupled with innovation, this is the one skill that separates you from any other solution. Providing creativity and innovation keeps you in the game even during difficult times. This is one quality even technology can not take from us as b2b sales people. Develop your creativity. If you are not sure how to improve your natural inborn creativity, introduce yourself to the twenty idea method to develop your inborn creativity.
- Problem Solving
Another key method to separate yourself from the thundering herd of average sales people. The ability to solve a customer’s problem will create a lasting bond between you and the customer. When you assist in the correction of a troublesome issue for the customer, you have helped them become less stressed and more focused. This focus is usually directed toward you and what else can we solve together to improve my position. This is the home of the b2b sales superstars.
- Improving Performance in Current AND Future Projects
Now we are getting the ultimate reason for collaboration – improving current and future projects or opportunities. When you partner with your customers (both internal and external) suddenly the solutions and offerings are more focused for the customer and implementation is smooth and effective. Leading to more opportunities in the future. Oh, yes, did I mention your b2b sales success will improve dramatically?
Reread the definition provided above for collaboration. It is a game changing method for winning. The days of the old “lone wolf” sales person is gone. You will be expected to be a team player – both within your organization and with the customer’s organization. So start thinking about how you can collaborate (good starting point is to use the twenty idea method), and what else do you need to learn in order to master this critical attribute for improving your b2b sales success.