Years ago I was selling for an organization that decided that it would be a good idea to team sales people. The market was changing and the technologies were coming together. With two different sales teams (headed in different directions), management decided in order to hit the number, it was necessary to team up sales folks.
WHOA . . . Hold on a minute, Selling isn’t a TEAM Sport!
Having been burned by “team” members in the past, to say I was a little hesitant would be a gross misstatement. I was successful on my own and the thought of doubling my quota and splitting commissions with someone who I didn’t know was a scary proposition.
But the more I thought about it I realized, Team selling is nothing more that using the full resources of the company and aligning the various resources with those of the customer. Besides, I was already utilizing a sales engineer, product experts, and industry specialists in my selling efforts. I was utilizing the marketing group and the collaterals they had created. I was working with our contract managers, and inside sales teams. I was leveraging the strength of our technical service organization and their ability to solve customer issues. I collaborated with my manager on strategies and even solicited input from other members of the sales team.
Time to check the ego at the door and admit it, Selling IS a team sport.
Sales people by their very nature tend to be lone wolves. However, with the new reality of Buyer 2.0 and increasingly more complex selling environments, the days of the “Lone Wolf” are virtually over. Organizations today often involve groups of people all playing different roles in the buying process and as sales cycles become more complex, no one person can have credibility in all areas of the process.
Success in today’s complex sales environment requires the careful coordination of many different resources on both the selling and client side throughout the sales process. In a team selling environment, the role of the sales professional is much like that of a quarterback of a football team. It requires communicating, coordinating, and directing resources. Leveraging the talents, strengths, and value of each member of the team in the effective execution of the sales game plan.
Customer demands and increasingly more complex selling environments are making team selling a critical strategy. Whether it’s selling big ticket items, enterprise wide solutions, or selling to multiple decisions makers, Team Selling offers the most effective approach to consistent success, improved profitability, and delivering extraordinary value to the customer.
Aristole said it best, “the whole is greater than the sum of the parts”. Imagine what can be accomplished when you don’t care who gets the credit.
Do you agree? Is selling a Team Sport?
Please share your thoughts and comments.