The image of the lone sales rep trekking across the country, selling products and services, might still come to mind and exist, but more and more, we’re seeing an emphasis on remote sales, synergy and alignment between sales and marketing, and other shifts that involve multiple people working together to close a deal. The latter items are happening because collaboration can help improve sales. Let us count the ways.
- Collaboration can lead to a faster sales process.
Using multiple team members to collaborate on a sale can streamline the process by having resources available to support the customer during all phases of the relationship: pre-, during, and post-implementation.
As an example, being able to loop in an account executive to give a demo on a call at the same time an interested prospect wants to move forward after discovery can give your organization a competitive edge – as opposed to the prospect having to make an appointment to see the demo a few days later. While it’s time and labor intensive, it’s also a way of adding value to the customer experience.
Call collaboration is even more important when, as SalesLoft’s research notes, phone calls make up over 90% of client interactions.
- A team territories model has multiple benefits.
A more recent trend we’ve seen over the last few years is that some companies are shifting from a single rep to a territory model to one where sales teams are assigned to a territory. This frequently translates into increased revenue because not only are team members able to support one another, having more coverage for the territory means that clients have multiple people they can reach out to and connect with, rather than rely on one person’s availability, knowledge, and skillset.
Additionally, let’s say there’s multiple buyer personas in a territory (almost certain to be the case). With a team territory approach, if Reps A and B are better with visionary buyers and Reps C and D connect more easily with skeptical buyers, the team can distribute the right reps to the right personas.
Other benefits apply, too. As an example, when Elsey Enterprises changed to a team territory model, they found their close rate of old leads increased because new reps were coming to the table who could offer a fresh perspective.
- Problem solving becomes easier with collaboration.
In an ideal world, there would be no sales problems to address. But even the top organizations have room to improve. One of the best ways of tackling those problems is to collectively brainstorm ideas and solutions to those difficulties with team-wide collaboration.
Also seek input from your sales reps as to difficulties they’re having – collecting this type of mass data will allow you to see where common issues are cropping up and investigate solutions – whether it’s through a team meeting, internal training or coaching, or bringing in an outside consultant.
- Knowledge sharing accelerates team learning.
In the education profession, teachers often take ideas for best practices and assignments from each other. It translates into improved learning outcomes for students and tools to get the most out of classes.
This same strategy can be applied to sales. If one team member has come up with a great way to write emails, for example, or answer an objection that often comes up in sales conversations, sharing that information with the rest of the team can allow others to adopt those best practices, thereby bettering the sales process for all stakeholders. It has the added bonus of making the contributing team member feel valued – their excellent suggestion has been acknowledged and upheld as a model solution. This enhances employee loyalty and can potentially reduce turnover.
Embracing collaboration in a variety of ways will help foster a true team environment, one in which members lean on and learn from one another. This in turn translates into higher customer satisfaction, which will improve long-term retention rates and more deals closed.
Do you have a great collaboration idea your organization or team uses? Let us know in the comments.