Several of my clients have implemented a team selling approach to their business development efforts. The results have been less than stellar. They want to know why their high performing sales team efforts are missing the mark.
I’ve been asked to come in to help them decide if it’s the economy or their approach to team selling that’s causing their poor results. Have you ever considered why your high performing sales team may not be giving you the extraordinary results you were looking for?
If it’s the economy, several of these clients may have to cut back on their teams. If the economy is so soft though, why are other organizations having record years?
If it’s their team selling approach, we’ll work together with their teams to get them back on track. Either way, it will be a challenging next several months for my clients.
For many of the organizations I work with, team selling is a large part of their success in establishing themselves as market leaders. Because I work in many different emerging technology markets, from startups to large global sales organizations, I’ve discovered several characteristics they all share.
You should consider if your sales team excels in these key qualities.
The first quality of a high performing sales team is simplicity. This is the most crucial part of creating a winning sales team. It’s easy to say, hard to do. There must be a clearly acknowledged leader of the team. The functions of the leader can change throughout the team’s life, but the leader’s role of holding people on the team accountable for results never changes.
The leader of the selling team must be able to limit the number of objectives, have a strong understanding of the client organizations, and be willing to innovate in how they structure their team. The team must understand both the short and long term objectives for each client. They must clearly understand what their roles are and what is expected of them.
The second quality of a high performing sales team is a specific purpose. This purpose must be set at the time of the team’s creation. The purpose must be clear to everyone on the team. The purpose should be shared with everyone on the team and every person who joins the team during the life of the projects. Purpose can evolve, but individuals need to understand what their roles are and how they support the key purpose of the team.
The third quality of a high performing sales team is they are well trained. High performing teams are trained on their roles and responsibilities. They schedule time for training and development. They also meet on a regular basis to make sure that the team knows what is going on in their areas of responsibilities.
They share information so that everyone on the team knows what is happening in the account. Because of the varied roles of the team members, these regular meetings allow everyone on the team to know what’s happening with the client, your organization, and their fellow team members.
The fourth quality of a high performing sales team is speed. Speed is how fast you can achieve your sales objective. For a complex sale, you may have several key objectives to reach before the sale is completed. Without having the first three qualities, speed and agility are hard to achieve. If the first three qualities are in place, speed becomes a differentiator in your business.
To make speed work, an organization needs to put informal communication networks in place so information flows to the right people. If your consultants are perfectionists or your sales people unresponsive, bad communications, or even worse, no communication, can doom your selling teams to failure. I have found that educating team members to your expectations and the reasons why make communications faster and easier.
The sales professional needs to serve as the activator to get things done quickly. To make speed work, senior level executives must be onboard. If not, team selling will not work. But in today’s quickly changing business environment, this approach to team selling still helps clients achieve their goals.
I was sharing my concerns with several senior level clients. We all felt something more had changed. We all agreed that the qualities I’ve just shared worked in the past. But none of these qualities include a more educated client and the next generation of organizational leadership. I’m doing some new research for our next advisory team meeting. Next week, I’ll share what I find.
Come back Friday and see how Tricia Braden plans to help you reach your health and fitness goals to find the freedom to live life on your own terms. See you then.