8 Paths to Better Team Selling

31 Dec


Organizations simply aren’t team selling often enough. Here’s what I mean by team selling…

  1. Include Everyone Involved on the Prospect Side: This includes the buyer whom you start with and initially pitch, the people whose problem you are fixing with your product or service, the influencers and the people who control the budget. If anyone on their end says “no”, “maybe” or “I’m not sure”, you will likely lose the sale.
  2. Also, Include Everyone that can Aid the Sale from Your Organization: In bigger deals, always include a manager or higher exec (the owner if privately held), the technical experts and those involved in servicing future customers. They are included in all stages of the sale.
  3. Introduce Yourself to the CEO Early: You need to respect their buying process and avoid “stepping on toes” in selling to the C-Suite, but MOST OF THE TIME you don’t lose a sale because you call the CEO once and introduce yourself. If actually lose it, you’d hate that client anyway! Let the initial buyer lead the sales process, but never give your final presentation if he/she doesn’t own the budget. One way to stay above board, is emailing your contact that you will be calling the CEO (or Exec) in the same hour that you are making the phone call.
  4. Keep Your Team Informed: As you include everyone from your organization on the big deals, over-communicate with everyone via meetings, strategy discussions, CRM documentation and via email. If you have a strong project management software, this is a great communique for keeping all informed.
  5. Ask your Executive to be Involved in the Final Pitch: Major presentations should always include management, a technical expert (regardless of your product or service) and someone from the servicing team. A team approach of four or more presenters also achieves several benefits: (a) the prospect is impressed that you are taking them seriously (2) all of their questions can be answered (3) if you are smaller organization, a quality presentation with multiple people involved makes you look robust and qualified to handle their needs (d) multiple presenters makes it a lot easier to focus on everyone you are selling to in the room.
  6. Emails: I have a very particular way of selling in a team environment – over-communicate until you are told otherwise by the prospect (again, you rarely lose a sales when keeping the top brass informed). Once it is determined that the prospect is interested and they are a fairly large target, you need to determine all the individuals involved in the sale. Yes, sometimes it may only be two people, but you need to understand their buying process. After a one-on-one introduction to each of these people, keep them CC’d on the major steps moving forward (demos, target dates, information and movement towards a final presentation date). Also, CC everyone on your team that is involved. It’s not ridiculous to send an email to one person and CC seven or more people when you are making a $50,000 sale!
  7. Daily or Weekly Action: How can you not have a next step every week if you have four people selling to four or more decision makers? Action steps create movement. Sales is all about staying in front of them until they say yes or no. You are the ring-leader in the sale, so lead and don’t let it slow down!
  8. Focus on the Ultimate Decision Maker: If he or she doesn’t feel confident in you and your company, they ain’t buying. At the final presentation, focus the presentation on getting all of his/her questions answered first. You have others in the room with you, so your job is to focus your efforts on that one person (and make sure your executive has a similar focus). Understand the budget earlier (I’ll be blogging about this in an upcoming January post), and make sure the money isn’t the reason if the sale doesn’t close.

This isn’t that complicated. Hopefully, you are already doing most of the above – if not, rethink your team sales process. Have a safe, healthy, blessed, lucky and successful 2014!

Happy New Year!




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