I believe the biggest sales trend of 2016 and beyond is team selling. Every executive I talk with asks me what trend has the largest impact on revenue growth for 2016. I share with them that sales has become a team sport. Team selling is going to change the way your organization does business!
I have a Five C framework I use to ensure team selling success. These skills allow your sales teams to become more effective at increasing your organization’s sales and profits. Today, we talk about the five critical skills required to build a high performing sales organization.
The first C in team selling is for change. For most of us selling in the B2B space, we are selling change. The problem is every survey I’ve ever seen has a large majority of the people saying how much they hate change.
So what can you do if you sell a product that requires your customer or client to change? I think the best solution to this challenge is get your team ready to help make change easier. Anyone who deals with a customer must understand they should work hard to reduce the stress of change. Sales leaders today must work hard to make their solutions appear easy.
They should be prepared to walk with the client at the client’s pace. I’m always surprised by the number of great consultants who fail to understand this fact. This means that you should educate your key people to the changes the client might experience. No client wants to feel like they are high maintenance, even if they are. Want to have stronger relationships with clients? Help them deal with change.
The second C in team selling is for collaborate. As team leader, you must help your people understand how to collaborate better. Most collaboration fails because the people involved don’t always collaborate well. Good collaboration takes time. Make sure your performance measures include time to capture key information during each conversation and interaction with the client.
To increase collaboration capabilities, make sure other sales team members understand their roles and opportunities in dealing with clients. Help build a culture where team members collaborate to help the clients win!
The third C in team selling is for create. This means all team members are responsible for creating the sale. It’s easy to forget from the first contact you are creating a relationship with the client. The stronger the foundation created at the early stages, the more successful your team will be at standing out from the competition. Most successful sales teams are very good at moving critical information at the best time to create a great opportunity with the client. Team members need to trust each other to succeed in team selling.
The fourth C in team selling is for connect. This means your team selling efforts must include connecting with other members of your client’s team. Good connection means your team members know where to go when they run into an obstacle. The people on your sales team should also know where and who might be the best resource to provide a solution to the client. They must be able to connect with other people on your sales team.
Another key aspect of connect; make your technical resources feel like they are part of your team selling efforts. Make every member of your team accountable for helping increase revenue. If you do, they will be motivated to succeed.
I would make sure that these technical people understand that we are selling our clients change. This means they should remain positive when dealing with customers and their questions throughout the sales process. Change can be hard. Your sales team should work very hard to make it appear easy.
I also find that my consultants are much better than the sales people at uncovering real objections throughout the sales process. You should invest some time in helping your team members learn how to ask questions in a positive way. Positive questioning is one way to a make your experts stand out from the competition, one that allows the client to feel heard throughout the sales process.
The final C in team selling is for communicate. Your sales team members must be great communicators. If you want to have a great sales team you must help develop their communication capabilities. This means not only are they good at communicating with others face to face. That’s a given.
Today with so many buyers on the client’s side, it’s critical to know the best way to connect with others on the project team quickly, even when other team members are at a distance or in other time zones.
Now that you have key abilities required for team selling success, we can talk about several qualities and roles you’ll need to succeed in team selling. See you next week.