Does your team have a collaborative selling culture? Do they work together to share best practices, brainstorm solutions to sales challenges, and sell as a team?
I hope the answer is yes!
But if your team has some room for improvement, read on for 5 tips to creating a collaborative selling culture.
1. Create spaces for collaboration.
This might seem basic, but it’s an important consideration. Make sure you create spaces – both physical workspaces and communication channels – to nurture collaboration.
In your physical office, conference rooms and shared workspaces with whiteboards can create space for collaboration. People will need quiet, private spaces to share ideas and brainstorm. In an open-plan office, it’s especially important to set aside spaces for collaboration.
If you have remote workers, or if physical meetings are difficult for other reasons, it’s importance to create virtual spaces for collaboration. Technology such as videoconferencing platforms, chat platforms, and forums can help drive collaboration.
2. Identify sales growth projects for the team.
Get your sales team involved in working together on sales growth projects that will benefit the entire team.
This could involve upgrading your CRM system or developing and improving sales processes. Ideally, they should work together with other teams such as marketing, product development, or operations/delivery.
Your sales team will make valuable contributions to these projects and provide an important perspective. They’ll also likely be bought in to the eventual result of the project, setting them up to be champions within the sales team.
3. Set time aside for collaboration during sales team meetings.
Your sales team meetings are a great time to nurture a collaborative selling culture!
Rather than spending a lot of time going through your whole pipeline row-by-row, ask each sales rep to come to the meeting with a challenge to brainstorm with their peers. This could be a prospect that’s gone radio silent, a target they can’t engage, or an objection they don’t know how to answer.
Then have the team work together to share ideas and best practices. You’ll be amazed at the great ideas they come up with!
4. Build out core sales tools with your team.
In a similar vein, get your sales team involved in building out core sales tools, such as your Problem/Opportunity Matrix.
Rather than having marketing or sales management develop these tools, get the whole team involved. Your sales team generally has the closest connection to prospects and customers, and they know what your audience cares about.
One fun and valuable tool to build with your team is a list of common objections and responses. What are the most common objections they hear in the field? How do different team members respond? If you can identify 2-3 best-practice responses for each objection, you’ll give the entire team a valuable tool.
5. Implement a Sales PlayBook.
If you don't have a Sales PlayBook, you’re missing out on a powerful tool for driving a collaborative selling culture.
While a Sales PlayBook is a collection of best practices, policies, and processes, it should also be a place for your team to collaborate.
Rather than building out a Sales PlayBook as a one-time project, invite the team to contribute their own stories, best practices, and ideas on an ongoing basis. Solicit specific contributions from the team, such as when someone implements a new idea or learns a lesson.
Using a wiki platform to build your PlayBook will make it easy for sales reps to contribute and collaborate easily, without having to work with IT. And enabling comments and chat/forum functions will create spaces for simple feedback and collaboration.
What are your ideas for creating a collaborative selling culture?
I hope you find these tips valuable, and I’d love to read your own ideas in the comments! Let us know what works for you.