In an era of always-available information, B2B buyers are looking to interact with more than just the seller. They expect to talk with subject-matter experts and project teams, increasing the need for businesses to consider a team selling strategy.
Yet, according to the Richardson Selling Challenges research, many of these team members are not trained in either selling or effective customer interactions, which can create a disconnected and confusing buying and selling process.
In the third and final part of this series we’re going to explore how to build an effective selling team. Whether you’re going after a major account, a complex product or service, speeding up a slow-moving deal, or reaching out to buying committees, the difficulty of the task increases as sellers need to fully understand the stakeholders decision making process, their value lenses, how they influence one another, and quickly identify where their strengths and weaknesses lie.
So, where does that leave your salespeople?
By assembling a team of subject matter experts (technical, financial, service and support experts) to collaborate along your salespeople, questions and concerns are addressed faster with more credible resources (i.e. tech people working with tech people), there’s a better exchange of vital technical and business expertise, you can get a “bigger picture” of the offering (particularly when high execs interact between each other), and it ensures a thorough understanding of customer expectations.
How to team sell effectively?
Selling like a team requires a different mentality and process. In order for it to work, you need to follow these five stages:
Creating your team: Select the team members that will deliver the value and message most effectively and in a way that accelerates your relationship with your prospect.
Organizing the work: Assign clear roles for each individual member based on the goal of the sale and the expectations set by your prospect. At the same time, ensure the team is held jointly accountable of the account performance.
Practicing your pitch: When meeting multiple stakeholders, make sure to outline the goal of the meeting and the agenda. Brief your team members on the personalities involved, the stage where the sale is currently at, and any topics to stress or avoid.
Executing when it counts: The leader of the team is responsible for ensuring the agenda and the “game plan” is executed and adapted as the deal move forward.
Regrouping afterwards to execute and grow: Take some time to debrief with your team members, and discuss what went well and what could have been done better. Take advantage of the diverse perspectives you have access to formulate next steps together.
Buyer expectations and technology have made a significant impact on sales. But it has also open new opportunities for salespeople to leverage the tools and information at their disposal to connect better with customers, understand their needs, align their sales process to their buyer’s decision making process, and learn how to add value, not just to their offering, but to the entire buying experience.