Guess what? Team collaboration helps you sell more!
Almost no one gets it when I say, “the CFS Sales PlayBook is not a book.” And that’s because the name “PlayBook” is misleading. People think that it was a “book” created by an expert who imparts wisdom to the rest of the team.
A PlayBook that is instead created by several people enables team collaboration. People rediscover what works when constructing a sales process from scratch in a group setting. And this in turn helps them sell more.
So let's explore.
Team Collaboration Helps You Sell More
Team collaboration begins when salespeople ask questions. There should be four primary questions that should be addressed:
- What are the best questions for us to ask our prospects and clients?
- And what are the common problems that we solve?
- What are the features and benefits of our solutions?
- What are the best stories we can tell to prove that we solved these problems in the past?
How “Top Performers” Can Help
Include the best performers in all your sales process development exercises for optimal team collaboration. Rather than asking “what’s in it for me?” top-performing salespeople should be encouraged to share their secret sauce. Because the more they share, the more room they make for new sauce to share. This allows them to continually learn, which is a key activity of a top performer.
How Meetings Can Help
Staff meetings should be all about team collaboration.
This is a great place to share best practices from the Sales PlayBook. It’s not a place to soak up the majority of the meeting with a pipeline review. (Everyone knows what I’m talking about!). You know, where the sales manager marches down a list of deals for all the people in the room? Most tune this stuff out—unless they’re talking about one of our deals, of course!
Two of my favorite best practices to discuss at sales staff meetings completely embrace team collaboration. These are sharing success stories and 30-second introductions.
By practicing out loud in a team setting, people get comfortable with story telling. Hearing other people’s stories allows you to reference it at the right time. As a result, they can use these stories with clients and prospects.
The same is true with 30-second introductions. So make these exercises interactive for even more team collaboration! People will give each other great feedback and coaching.
Team Collaboration Exercise
My favorite team collaboration exercise involves all the people in your organization that are directly involved in or actively support selling.
This exercise requires brainstorming that identifies marketing and selling activity for the upcoming quarter for two key relationship types. And all the organizations we work with, across most industries have these.
The two types of relationships are Partner and Advocate. So let me describe each one below:
- Partner. This is your most valuable relationship because they give you the lion’s share of your business and because you are very important to them. In fact, it would be highly disruptive to their business if the relationship was severed in some way.
- Advocate. This relationship is defined by how much a person is willing to go to bat for you and your organization. They will advocate for you by providing testimonials, or acting as references to your prospects. They are referenced in case studies and success stories.
You, your sales team, and anyone else with a vested interest in effective marketing and selling in your company should develop highly valuable content and consultative selling activity.
These are then executed with your Partners and Advocates during a given time period. So we recommend three months, or a calendar quarter.
An example of a marketing activity for a Partner is to conduct an event that showcases their success by using your product and service. This might be done at a trade show. In addition, selling to a Partner might include developing a joint sales plan to supply solutions that support their own business plan.
Selling to an Advocate might involve asking them to introduce you to other buyers in the same organization. Also, marketing to an Advocate might include asking for input to a case study your organization plans to publish on them and their business.
Follow these recommendations and you’ll foster amazing team collaboration!