We established in another post that it’s not usually poor sales training that leads to poor business performance but lack of sales team leadership. That remains true, but you need to also focus on sales teamwork.
You may not have a huge sales team or even a sales department, and your reps may have to fulfil several roles sometimes.
But they can still work together under your leadership – instead of competing with each other to achieve individual performance goals.
Individual targets worked well at one time – but in today’s economic climate, team targets help you move forward more effectively.
However, the most effective result is if sales teamwork works across your business, with everyone playing their part. A bit like a symphony orchestra! Each instrument perfectly tuned but conducted (by you as leader) to make the right collective sound – or in this case, a cohesive strategy that benefits your business!
Sales Teamwork: the Benefits
Let’s listen in to an imaginary sales leader describing the value of sales teamwork to encourage their reps:
“When we collaborate and share our ideas and strategies, we come up with more creative and effective solutions to our clients’ needs, and ultimately close more deals. There’s research that proves that if we approach this as a ‘team sport,’ the likelihood of closing our deals increases by a stunning 258%. Let’s go for teamwork!”
Or, this imagined leader might emphasize that building stronger trust and supporting each other to achieve the common goal will benefit everyone – not just the top performers – and produces a fully functional team.
And when less experienced sales reps learn on the job, you get better talent retention. It’s a win-win situation.
But the most compelling benefit our leader might mention is this:
As purchasing journeys evolve and become more networked – resulting in more options, channels, and decisions – a single rep likely cannot undertake and close the sale by themselves. It demands company-wide buy-in, a unified metrics system, and the inclusion of some element of sales in everyone’s job description.
Let’s make this practical.
Examples of Teamwork in Sales
1 Let’s say your team is selling a complex consulting service to a client.
By working together as a team, each member can contribute their own expertise and experience to create a more comprehensive and effective solution for the client.
One team member might be a subject matter expert (SME) in the technical aspects of the service. Another might be skilled in project management and client communication. And another might have the financial expertise to help cost and price the solution. They are all part of the sales team!
By collaborating and pooling their knowledge, your team creates a more persuasive proposal and delivers better results for your prospect.
2 Another example could be when your team is selling a physical product, such as a software solution.
By working together, your team can divide the workload more efficiently and effectively. One team member might focus on lead generation and outreach. Another might specialize in product demonstrations and customer support.
By sharing the workload and expertise, your team covers more ground and provides a better customer experience overall.
3 Finally, sales teamwork benefits the sales process itself.
By collaborating and sharing best practices, your team can develop better sales techniques and strategies.
For example, they might work together to refine their sales pitch or a presentation.
By leveraging everyone’s strengths and experiences across your business, the team can become better at closing deals and driving your revenue up.
What Can Go Wrong With Sales Teamwork?
In a bid to discourage a solely individualistic approach to sales, our imaginary sales leader above might have organized their sales reps into a team. But they’re still not impressed with results.
What’s gone wrong?
The likely mistake is to think that by bringing together your salespeople (even highly talented ones) and telling them to work as a team, you’ll have good results. You’ll have a team, sure, but that doesn’t guarantee effective sales teamwork!
So – what makes a sales team successful as a team? Here are five points against which to check your sales team’s teamworking:
- A good sales team doesn’t necessarily comprise the best sales talents. Instead, they acknowledge, utilize, and enhance individual strengths while supporting unique weaknesses.
- Good sales teams prioritize collaboration over individual preferences. The collective goal is usually placed ahead of personal interests.
- Good sales teamwork doesn’t stifle competition but channels the competitive energy to motivate and achieve teamwork sales quotas. Each person looks out for the success of the others.
- Good sales teams don’t hoard information about leads or best practices. Instead, they share methods and successful tactics among the group.
- Leading a good sales team means you focus on rewarding team performance over individual performance, however small your team. This doesn’t of course imply that individual performance is not important!
The Role of Leadership in Building Sales Teamwork
A lot depends on your leadership because it starts with you!
You have to identify, nurture, and promote the development of the above qualities among your sales team to facilitate business success.
You’ll also have to consciously model sales teamwork at the highest level. You’ll be, in effect, a culture pacesetter. That’s because any discrepancy in practice affects team buy-in. And make sure to introduce compensation goals based on team performance as well as individual ones.
Communication is also important. You must communicate your vision of team-selling in clear terms. Do it consistently with timely information and insights into the expected benefits and actual results of team selling – like our imaginary leader did up top. Celebrate team accomplishments, not just individual ones.
You should also revisit your talent recruitment. You need a recruiting process that spots any individual – however talented – who is more inclined to operate as a lone wolf! You want team workers. And especially ones who perfectly fill a team gap.
360 Consulting and Sales Teamwork – We Can Help
Are you looking for strategies to foster a great sales teamwork culture but unsure where to begin or what to do?
At 360 Consulting, our only objective and passion is to assist leaders like you to grow your business and exceed your sales goals. Your best system won’t work if your team’s not engaged – and being engaged with each other in teamwork across your business is the greatest motivator!
We can assess where you’re at, tailor your sales and business development, and help you build a great sales team to drive your sales process with our 360 Sales Engine!
Ready to surpass your sales targets with effective teamwork? Let’s talk today!