If you’re a sales leader or sales manager, you’ve got a lot on your plate. From KPIs to prospecting action plans, revenue goals, scheduling, sales training, coaching, accountability. And let’s not forget your biggest job: keeping morale up and negativity down. So when it comes to keeping your team connected, finding innovative ways to keep collaboration flowing is a must.
But don’t fret, this article is here to help! Let’s explore five innovative ways to encourage sales team collaboration to continue promoting a healthy sales culture in your organization.
Creating Context for Innovative Ways to Encourage Sales Team Collaboration
Let’s start by creating a context for this conversation. Sales team collaboration is something that we all like to talk about, but often struggle to actually cultivate.
The wonderful thing about salespeople is that they tend to be great self-starters and know how to get things done all on their own.
The negative? Well, many salespeople are afraid to share their secret sauce. Maybe they’re worried about losing their status as a top performer. Or maybe they’re just comfortable doing what they’ve always done and don’t want to rock the boat.
Whatever the case, if you’ve felt pain in the area of team collaboration—I feel you!
Why Sales Team Collaboration Matters
Now, let’s pivot a little. I’d like to share why team collaboration is important in the first place, then we’ll talk about what you can do as a leader to cultivate a collaborative culture that thrives together.
Last year, I wrote an article called How to Encourage Team Collaboration in Sales. In the article, I shared a few simple tips for encouraging collaboration and talked about how it’s been proven that teams that collaborate are far more successful than teams that don’t.
So let’s talk statistics and data for a moment. According to Forbes, “a Stanford study from a few years ago found that even the mere perception of working collectively on a task can supercharge our performance.”
The article went on to say that, “Participants in the research who were primed to act collaboratively stuck at their task 64% longer than their solitary peers, whilst also reporting higher engagement levels, lower fatigue levels and a higher success rate. What’s more, this impact persisted for several weeks.”
According to the researchers, “The results showed that simply feeling like you’re part of a team of people working on a task makes people more motivated as they take on challenges.”
Now, let’s bring this back to a sales setting. Are your salespeople using LinkedIn to target, prospect, and develop relationships? (I hope so!). What about success stories? Do your salespeople collect success stories and document their most effective scripts and stories? And what about time management and organization—do you have a few salespeople that really thrive in this area?
Imagine how much more successful your team would be if they worked collaboratively in areas like the ones I just mentioned. According to the research, they’d stick to their efforts 64% longer.
The 5 Innovative Ways
Now, let’s get to it. Here are five innovative ways to encourage sales team collaboration.
1. Train Your Sales Team to Collaborate
Collaboration is one of those things that’s easier said than done. I talked about this with a story in the article I mentioned earlier (How to Encourage Team Collaboration in Sales).
It’s really all about re-training mindsets and old habits. You know what they say… “If you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always get what you’ve always gotten!”
So, start by teaching your sales team effective ways to collaborate. Of course, feel free to grab some ideas from the article I keep mentioning!
Need a little help in this area? You might be interested to learn more about how a Sales Growth Program can teach your sales team how to collaborate in ways that lead to more revenue for all.
2. Give Your Sales Team the Right Tools
After you’ve gotten the philosophy out of the way and your team is in a collaborative mindset, it’s critical that you ensure that they have the right tools TO collaborate.
It’s one thing to say: “okay everyone, we’re going to start collaborating more because it will make you better.”
It’s a whole other thing to also pair that with tools to help them be successful.
The first thing you need? A digital Sales PlayBook like Collavia! Collavia is a cloud-based platform that your team can use in the field or in the office. And because it serves as your organizations game-plan, it’s the perfect place to share winning stories, scripts, and more.
You’ll also want to make sure you have other technologies in place for collaborative efforts—like CRM dashboards, inbound marketing and sales workflows, and message, phone, and email systems.
Running a remote sales team? Collaboration is even more critical here! Check out this eBook I wrote recently on The Ultimate Guide to Managing a Remote Sales Team.
3. Let Them Innovate
No one has all the answers. That’s why it’s important to allow your team to also contribute new innovative ways to collaborate with one another.
Let your team take the lead as you work on building a more collaborative culture. Perhaps you might consider assigning teams of three (triads) to work together to innovate or solve a problem that you’re encountering in sales. Or, if one salesperson seems to be struggling, allow others in the team to mentor them.
The key here is allowing team members to empower and encourage one another. A simple, “great job on this account!” or “I really like the way you handled that question,” can go a long way!
4. Track Progress and Improve Process and Innovations
Flexibility in sales is important. No two days are usually alike, because no two prospects are alike.
That’s why it’s important to have a living and breathing digital Sales PlayBook. Having a PlayBook will allow your team to grow and flex quickly.
Maybe you assigned a team to work together and after 3 months discovered that they were struggling. It’s all about the pivot! But if you don’t have a place where you’re capturing progress, you’ll never know when to pull the trigger on change.
So, assign out collaborative efforts. But also have a way to track the progress. That way it’ll be easy for you to shift. Whether it’s a process, what your team is saying in the field, or how they’re working together.
5. Be a Beacon of Light
There is a lot of responsibility that comes with being a leader or a sales manager. The key here is that you are “leading.” But true leaders aren’t dictators. True leaders give their people the right tools, the right support, the right level of encouragement, and then they get out of the way.
So, I’d like to encourage you to be a beacon of light for your team. Remind your team just how proud you are of them and what a great job they’re doing.
When they work together and create breakthroughs, recognize it! Give that team a spotlight during your weekly meeting, send out an email announcement, post about it in your Collavia Sales PlayBook, or plan a special event. Let your team know just how much you appreciate them, and they’ll give more of themselves.
I hope these innovative ways to encourage collaboration were helpful to you. I’d love to hear about how you encourage collaboration within your sales team. Throw me a comment below!
Looking for more ways to drive innovation in your organization? Download a copy of our complimentary eBook, Driving Innovation: How to Foster a Culture of Innovation Within Your Team.