Step Up Your Team-Selling Game

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Sales Tactics : 8 min read

Step Up Your Team-Selling Game

By now, you’ve heard all the hype about team selling (also known as collaborative selling). Like how it’s the sales method that focuses entirely on the customer. Or that it’s been proven to be especially effective in closing deals with large accounts.

Well, we’re here to affirm that all the hype’s definitely got merit.

In fact, you may be 258% more likely to close a deal as a team versus going at it alone.

salespeople sell better in teams

Okay, you’re ready to up your team-selling game. Now what?

Well, this post is a great place to start. Keep reading for tips on creating a team-selling environment in the workplace, how team selling works, and examples on when it works especially well.

First, create a team-selling environment.

To start team selling, you need to make sure you’re creating the right environment to set your team up for success.

Here are four ways to do that.

1. Make team-selling part of hiring + onboarding.

From here on out, team selling needs to be part of your sales onboarding process.

This means teaching new hires everything we’re going to cover in this post.

Before you even get to training however, make sure you’re onboarding salespeople who have the necessary skills to flourish in a team-selling environment:

  • Strong communication skills
  • Experience working collaboratively; proven team player
  • Is a time-management pro and solution-oriented as hell
  • Lives for crushing goals, including helping prospects crush theirs

Pro-tip: Learn more about how to sell as a team with this free guide.

2. Ingrain team-selling in the daily routine.

Repetition becomes habit, so find ways to emphasize the importance of team selling on the daily.

For starters, you could kick the day off with a quick five-minute team huddle to go over your goals and offer some positive words to boost morale (which should in turn, help boost sales).

A separate meeting—held weekly perhaps—could be dedicated to recognizing sales reps that contributed to the team’s sales efforts in a significant way. You could even set up a system where reps thank teammates for helping them close deals by throwing their name in a hat along with a description of how they helped.

At the end of the week, the team leader or sales manager can read the recognitions out loud and even select one at random to win a prize.

The time invested in these meetings will not only keep morale afloat, but inspire your whole team to do their best.

3. Reward team behavior regularly.

We touched on rewards in our previous point, but really it deserves its own section.

Everything’s more fun when there are prizes involved, right?

More fun, and more effective too.

Offering incentives like free lunch, gift cards, or extra vacation days to individuals or teams who demonstrate strong team effort can help enforce a positive team-selling environment.

Remember: team selling might be new to you too, which means you need to be open to tweaking the way you manage. If you’ve always focused on rewarding individual achievements, it can be tough to move away from that shift your focus to teams. Don’t worry though, you’ve got this!

4. Leverage the right technology.

Make sure your team’s got the right tools to sell their best.

To effectively sell, your sales reps need a way to manage both relationships with their teammates and prospects.

We’ll come right out and say it: your CRM is the single most important investment you can make when it comes to sales and relationships.

In fact, our collaborative research with Qualtrics has shown that the larger a company gets, the more relationships are likely to happen through CRM (65.5%) than through phone calls (58.6%) or in-person communication (60.3%).

crm benchmark report findings
Make sure you have a kickass CRM.  

Always have a game plan for your sales calls.

To start, everyone on the team needs to have a clear vision of what the team’s goals are and how—together—you’re going to get there.

This is to make sure everyone’s on the same page and working toward the same thing. It also sets realistic expectations for the team so they’re not surprised or frustrated if things go differently than what they had in mind.

So, before a sales call, sit down together and come up with a game plan on how you’re going to tackle it.

You’re likely already doing this before jumping on calls with prospects. The difference is, this game plan involves multiple players. And each player needs a position.

Here’s what you’ll need to nail down in your sales call agenda:

  • Who is the prospect?
  • Where do they work and what are their business objectives?
  • Who’s going to lead the call?
  • What’s everyone else going to do and say?
  • What’s the goal of the call?
  • How long should the call last?
  • Which topics should be emphasized (and which ones should be avoided)?

One person should take notes and share them with the rest of the team after the meeting, then send them out again at least a day before your scheduled sales call to ensure everyone’s briefed.

Along with the agenda, everyone should also have a link to the prospect’s LinkedIn profile, company website, and CRM record which contains any existing notes on the prospect:

an example of what to include in a team email before a prospect meeting

When it’s time for hop on the call, the person designated to lead the call should begin by introducing themselves and the rest of the team members, and what everyone’s purpose for being on the call is. For example, “Janet is our senior product manager and she’s joining us to help answer any questions you might have on how our software works.”

Additionally, they should provide a quick overview of what you’ll be discussing during the call and how long the call should take in order to set the right expectations for the prospect.

Then, just follow your game plan.

Here are some examples of how to effectively tag-team your sales calls.

Example 1: It’s a major account.

A big account is spending big dollars—which usually means they need big sales effort to close. This is a situation where you definitely want to get a sales or product manager on the call, to show the prospect how much you value their business.

Oftentimes, big accounts will feel more comfortable receiving sales pitches from managers as they feel they’re getting the “best deal” since they’re speaking to the top dog. It’s a trust thing.

Even if your manager isn’t able to join the initial sales prospecting call, ask them to share their experience with similar-sized companies with you. This will give you a clear idea of what this account’s expectations likely are from you, as well as potential reasons for hesitation they may have.

For example, maybe you’re on the phone with Nike and your manager’s got previous experience with a similar account, having closed a deal with Adidas in the past.

Your manager tells you that what won Adidas over was offering to train their staff on how to use your software upon closing the deal. Clearly, software adoption was a concern for them, and maybe it is for Nike too. Try offering Nike the same thing and see where it goes.

Example 2: They just need that extra push.

Sometimes (okay, most of the time) in a sales conversation, your prospect will be almost on board with your product or service, but have just one or two distinct reservations stopping them from pulling the trigger on the purchase.

They’re. So. Close.

What a lot of sales reps do at this point is pull out the discount card. You know, something along the lines of “Hey {prospect name}, I have clearance to slash 10% off the price we originally offered you if you sign on with us today.”

Hey, it might close the deal but it’ll create a dent in your profit margin to get there. Not to mention the reputation damage—offering discounts essentially means you don’t believe your product is worth paying full-price for.

There’s another way, and it’s called team selling.

If the prospect’s got reservations, set them up with a subject-matter expert from your team to address it with razor-sharp accuracy.

For example, maybe a prospect has concerns about scalability. Offer to set them up with the account manager of your fastest-growing client.

Or, another example, they aren’t confident that your product will be customizable enough for their needs. Hook them up with the product manager for a brainstorm meeting where they can get all their questions answered by the person who knows the product best.

Because getting a senior executive to personally address your concerns beats getting a coupon, any day.

Example 3: Your prospect ghosted you.

We’ve all been there.

Things were going so well. Your prospect seemed totally into the deal. You even had talks of a professional future together.

Then all of a sudden, they vanish.

Of course, you should send follow-up emails and try giving them a call. But sometimes, that just isn’t enough.

That’s when it’s time to bring in backup.

Draft up an email, then ask your sales director or even the CEO to send it to them—from their email address.

Here’s an example:

example of an email from a CEO to help your team close the sale

Subject: Hey {prospect name}, let’s chat.

Hi {prospect name},

My name is {CEO name}, I’m the CEO here at {company name}. I understand you were speaking with {Sales rep name} about setting up {product or service} for {prospect’s company name} to help {business problem your product is solving}.

We hadn’t heard back from you in a while so I wanted to touch base and see where you were at with your decision. I’d also like to chat with you about a couple other things I think we could help make this {prospect’s company name}’s most profitable year yet.

Do you have 10 minutes to talk this week? Thursday morning works for me—let me know what your schedule looks like.

Best,

{CEO name}

{company name}

Come on, you’d be impressed too if a company’s CEO reached out to you after you stopped replying to them. You must be really special to them—well your prospect is special, and hopefully this move shows them that and brings them back.

Record your results + adjust your team-selling strategy as needed.

They say teamwork makes the dream work. Well, that and recording everything you do, analyzing it, and implementing the necessary improvements to continuously make said dream work even better.

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Sell together. 🤝

Your CRM is your best resource when it comes to maximizing your team-selling game. Want to learn more? Grab the free Team Selling Strategies ebook.