We talk a lot here about team building for sales. We’ve posted lists of sales team building activities and team building quotes, and we’ve often written with the assumption that our readers are invested in team building for sales.
But as we meet with people, we occasionally hear other perspectives. If my sales team is made up of individuals based in their territories, do I really need to worry about team building? And isn’t competition between salespeople a good thing? Team building activities are often so cliché – do they really make an impact?
If you’ve ever wondered why you should bother with team building for sales, here are 3 reasons.
Sales Team Building Enables Best Practice Sharing
This is probably the most obvious benefit of team building for sales, but it’s not immediately apparent to some. Maybe you have an experienced sales team and you don’t think they really have much to learn.
As we speak with salespeople, though, regardless of their level of experience they’re almost always happy to learn best practices from their peers. They may not adopt everything they hear, but top performers are always looking for any edge they can get.
If they don’t know each other well, your sales team is unlikely to speak up and share their best practices. Facilitating team building activities and events can help you to develop a culture of sharing best practices.
Sales Team Building Lets Your Salespeople Leverage Each Other
One of the biggest benefits to a larger sales team is that someone on your team is likely going to be able to connect you to just about any prospect you identify. Have you ever tried this? If each person on the sales team identified 3 of the top people they wanted to meet, then shared them with the team, there’s a good chance at least one or two of those people would be a first or second-degree connection to someone on LinkedIn.
In addition to leveraging their teammates to help get introductions to prospects, salespeople on a high-performing team work together to help each other close deals. Maybe the prospect wants to hear from someone who has worked with a similar client, or wants a little more technical expertise in an area where another team member is proficient. If the team is working well together, they can sell together.
Team Building Helps Your Sales Team Get Along with Other Teams
In many companies, the sales team is a bit of an island. They are often geographically separated from other teams, and they can be separated culturally as well. The in-jokes and memes that are part of the office may be completely outside the sales team’s sphere of knowledge.
Because the sales team is separated, there can often be resentments and disconnects. Maybe the delivery team is frustrated because the sales team sometimes raises customer expectations higher than they’re comfortable with. Or maybe the marketing team is annoyed by last-minute requests.
Team building activities that bring the sales team together with other departments can help break down those barriers. Intentionally forming smaller groups with people who don’t often work together can let people get to know each other in a fun and relaxing setting. And working together for a common goal (even if it’s just as simple as escaping a room together or designing a cardboard boat) can help people get on the same page when they’re back in the real world.
What’s your favorite sales team building activity? I’d love to hear about it in the comments!