Team Selling Sounds Good But Is Not Easy to Implement

Posted on 07/20/2018 in Team Selling

Many sales organizations are moving toward Team Selling but aren't implementing it well. For example, consider these three common pitfalls: 1) You cannot simply put together a group of people and call them a sales team, but need instead to invest the effort and skill to build a successful team; 2) Compensation is not aligned with a team approach, which means that you get what you pay for, not what you expect; and, 3) Many salespeople are used to operating as a "lone wolf" and don't naturally work well on teams.

How to Avoid Common Pitfalls

You can address the above three pitfalls, and others, by purposely addressing these considerations:

  1. For which accounts should team selling be used? Team selling requires that a lot of resources - people, time, communication, and so on - be utilized.  Not every account justifies the use of a sales team. Make sure that the expected ROI  for an account makes it worthwhile.
  2. Who should be on the sales team? After you've decided which accounts should be serviced by a sales team, next you need to consider the expertise and qualifications of the team members.  This sounds obvious but it varies for each account and your objectives. For example, are you trying to protect business at a key account? Or win new prospective accounts? Or negotiate a large contract?  Different skill sets are required for each of these examples.
  3. Who should lead the sales team?  For client interaction, such as in-person meetings, phone calls, and email and other written communication, the salesperson should usually be positioned as the leader.  Otherwise, you diminish the salesperson's value from the customer's perspective.  However, for internal communication - such as strategy and planning sessions - you may wish to assign someone else to lead the internal meetings.
  4. Are the goals and roles of the sales team clear to everyone? If you are leading the team, don't assume that everyone is aligned on the goals and their respective roles.  This needs to be discussed and agreed to when the sales team is formed. 

Other Resources

If you're interested in learning more tips about Team Selling, read one of our other blogs titled "Key Questions to Consider When Implementing Team Selling" or click on Team Selling workshop.