When working for commission, it can be difficult to see the big picture of collaborative based sales.
Salespeople are typically thought to hoard the best accounts, reserve the best resources for themselves, or create drama around end-of-month or end-of-quarter deals. In other words, the size of the company pie is of no interest to salespeople as long as they exceed their individual sales goals – the opposite of collaborative based sales.
This behavior, however, is not created in a vacuum. Management encourages divisive behavior, pitting one salesperson against another. Competitions are created and some firms deliberately create winners and losers. But by anointing winners and losers, it's the firm that is losing.
Collaborative based selling has many benefits and can yield positive results. By sharing leads and information, sales teams can accrue significant advantages for both the salespeople and the company as a whole.
Though this concept is nothing new, but revisiting the possibilities that can come out of collaborative based selling is a great way to empower sales teams everywhere. If you are a sales manager with a stagnant team, this approach could be what gets your team out of the mud.
Possibilities Created Through Collaborative Based Sales:
- Closing more deals. As more of the team is able to participate in the sales effort, more deals will be closed. And a win for the sales team is a win for the whole business.
- More corporate revenue, more referrals. This point builds on the last. It may seem obvious, but with more revenue and more referrals, a world of opportunities opens up for the entire company. Your partnerships could change, new departments can be added, products and launches that were on the back burner can finally get executed.
- Developing greater sales depth. In sharing information, mentoring, and coaching, a collaborative approach will create a more cohesive and educated sales team. As Richard Branson once said, “Train people well enough so they can leave, treat them well enough, so they don’t want to.” Collaboration provides room for creativity, innovation, and streamlined processes.
- Reducing sales turnover. Sales turnover can be very disruptive, and the amount of training and startup time can impact sales revenue. But a happier, more cross-trained sales force is more likely to stick around.
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- Utilizing support resources more effectively. When the star dominates the sales process, there is an inevitable boom and bust cycle with resources being either over or under-utilized. A more balanced sales team can reduce this occurrence. Plus, a strong team can accomplish more together, especially when challenges arise or in times of major uncertainty (say, for example, a pandemic). If everyone is on board, the team will have each other to lean on to ensure success.
- Reducing dependence on individuals and discounting. Since deals will be more prevalent and flow from multiple sources, the quarter end rat race can become less important. With a strong, collaborative team, sales managers will no longer have to rely on the one superstar salesperson. They will have the safety net of the team, and will be able to have trust in the team at large.
As pie grows, so does the enthusiasm of the sales team and the sources of revenue. A team effort can boost morale. Rather than invest in one standout salesperson, get the entire team up and running. Better numbers, higher enthusiasm, and more opportunities business growth and positive change.
With collaborative based sales, the results will speak for themselves.
Sales managers everywhere can start uplifting and encouraging their team to work together by following these steps to establishing a collaborative culture. Support your team, and you will feel their support in return.
As Aristotle once said, “The whole is greater than the sum of its parts.”
What is your experience with collaborative based sales? Do you agree that it can help optimize a sales team's potential? Tell us know in the comments, we love to hear from our readers!
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We are proud to have had a guest contributor for this post, Larry Goldfarb.
Larry Goldfarb is a co-founder of Compliance11, an on-demand software company that provides compliance automation tools for the financial services industry. At Compliance11, he was in charge of sales, compliance expertise, and business strategy. He also played a major role in the marketing process appearing in print, in person, and online.