Team Selling – An Unconventional Way to Get Big Deals Unstuck:
Do your B2B deals take forever? Read this 👇🏽
This looks like exactly the product that we need. All the features are spot on. Can you take a meeting with our procurement department and then maybe one with our sales head if needed?
That’s what any typical B2B looks like.
B2B sales are tough. You can convince one person that you have the perfect solution for their problems. But you still won’t have the sale. You’ll have to then convince multiple stakeholders.
Each stakeholder has different concerns about your product or service.
This is where the team selling approach, comes in handy!
This is where you use all the necessary members and resources of your sales team to strategically convince all the stakeholders and quickly get big deals unstuck.
You turn it into sort of a death match between all the stakeholders in your sales team and the stakeholders in the prospect’s company to complete the sale.
What is Team Selling?
Team selling is a collaborative approach where two or more people work together on a sales pitch. Sometimes you need more than one person to give stakeholders the guarantee they need to make up their minds.
For example, when the team size is bigger then in order to convince the prospective company to try out TeleCRM, we have to talk to multiple stakeholders like the CEO/Sales head, senior managers, sales managers, and some star salesmen. And it’s only when all of them are convinced that it’s the right platform for them, then they can make the choice to move ahead with full confidence.
Before trying collaborative selling, you should consider the stakeholder’s biggest priority. How can your product or service make their life easier and take care of their priorities?
For example, when we talk to different stakeholders, we don’t describe the same exact thing to everyone. Instead, we talk in terms that are important to them.
- CEO: Here’s how TeleCRM will get your sales department unstuck
- Senior managers: Here’s how TeleCRM makes sure that the right person has the right information at the right time needed to close the sale faster
- Manager: Here’s how TeleCRM helps you to manage your entire team from a single screen
- Sales executives: Here’s how TeleCRM helps you to perform at peak potential by taking care of all your manual work, and data entry, and giving you timely follow-up reminders.
Once you get that right, the next important question is –
Who is the right person to talk to a particular stakeholder?
If the stakeholders are more easily influenced by someone with similar background and struggles. Then you should consider moving forward with a team effort.
For example, it might be easier to convince the CEO about his sales team being stuck and how to get them unstuck when our CMO describes how we had the same issue and how we tackled it at TeleCRM…
When does the team selling approach work?
While team selling is a solid approach for closing big deals, you should know that it is not for every situation. If you don’t understand this you will unnecessarily engage seven people when one person can easily close the deal much faster.
Here are four situations where team swelling works well:
1. It’s complicated
Just like relationships, some sales deals can be complicated. If a sales deal is multi-faceted, it will be better handled by a strategically put-together team. Because by definition and expertise one person cannot handle all the facets of a complicated multifaceted deal.
2. It’s a big sale
Team selling works best for targeting big accounts. The more someone is paying you, the more questions they will have. Here it’s best to involve the entire team to figure out the best way to close the deal successfully. Some companies create a ‘competitive environment’ among salespeople. They think it pushes each salesperson to do their best. But this approach is often shortsighted. It festers rivalry between members of the sales team. And instead of working with each other, they worked against each other.
In such a scenario when someone is struggling with a big account he won’t ask for help because it’s like a war for hogging credit.
Understand that the sales team’s job is to work together to close the sale period. Any internal competition is only meant to help that and if it hurts instead of helping then that’s where it stops.
3. When you have stopped making progress!
If you have stopped making progress with a prospect, you need help from other colleagues. Your colleagues may have an insight that can open up the opportunity for you again.
4. You want to close the sale quickly
Team selling works best for closing sales quickly without putting too much pressure on the prospect. For example, if the prospect has a concern in a certain area, you can bring in a colleague or a subject matter expert. For example: if the prospect has security concerns, invite an IT expert to the sales meeting, have him address the concerns and move forward. Even the most reluctant prospects will want to sign the deal and move forward when they see a united team with great expertise. Because that really rare!
Examples of team selling
When it comes to selling, team isn’t only the coulleagues. It means anyone who you can work with who can help you close the deal. This means bringing an external experts and the people from other departments. Basically anyone who can help you and getting the deal unstuck.
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1. Solving customer’s problems with other account executives
To close the deal you have to address the prospect’s concerns. But you don’t have to do it alone. For example when a prospect start comparing TeleCRM with its competitors, our sales people bring in experienced account executives into the sales meeting and let them steer the conversation back to productive grounds again.
- If someone is joining in late in the sales process brief him about the progress get him up to date and get his ideas before the meeting. That’s the only way to present a united front in the meeting
- In teams selling it can be difficult to decide incentives because it’s hard to pinpoint who contributed how much. Hence it’s best to structure it in a way that when a deal is closed the entire team gets rewarded. Plus you can have some additional recognition and rewards for great individual contributions.
2. Using your C-level executives to initiate a deal
Sure the client will feel like a star if the CEO joins the sales meeting and shares insights, but it’s hard to expect CEOs to have the time for such interactions. But they can always send an email to prospect company’s CEO and get the deal initiated.
Hey Name I just noticed that you guys got funded. Congrats! Scaling up your sales efforts after getting funded can get crazy! Do you think you will need help with managing your sales operation on a different level altogether? Connecting you with Abhinav our sales-head, just in case you wanna explore options. Once again congratulations. Welcome on board to the funded startups ship! Rahul CMO - TeleCRM
This also helps the sales team start with a bang. And this works especially well if your C-suite executive in question has a brand presents or is kind of a celebrity.
Pro Hacks: C-level executives should keep track of the prospect’s company. Whenever any event provides a sales opportunity, the c-level executives should contact the company’s top-level management. For example, your company’s CEO can contact their CEO
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3. Making progress with a prospect with the help of sales leadership
If you are in a situation where only senior leaders from the other company make decisions regarding purchase; you can make things even by involving your sales leaders in the sales process.
For example: if a prospect is skeptical when you say: “this feature is under development and it will be delivered within six weeks”, an email from your sales head can immediately get the deal unstock
Pro Hacks: If you want to train your account executives to sell like pros while simultaneously closing a sale. You can include sales leadership in the sales process.
4. Customer Success Manager can make the prospect believe in you
The prospect is really interested but he has concerns about your product’s learning curve and how his team can get support? Instead of spending hours discussing something that’s not your forte, just bring the customer success manager into the meeting.
Within 10 minutes, you will have the prospect ready to sign or at least move onto the next concern.
Pro Hacks: Sometimes prospects are just afraid! Just show the stats and testimonials that sing praises about your customer success teams effectiveness, and you can simply avoid made up objections about “how will we get support“
5. Create new opportunities with the help of your marketing team
- Brand partnerships: the marketing team can help you collaborate with other related brands, giving additional exposure to both brands in question. Generally brand partnerships are out of scope for sales team and especially individual sales people, this is where collaborating with the marketing team can help you find which brandss to target, what to pitch for, and how to approach and close partnerships.
- Drip and retargetting campaigns: the biggest untapped potential in any sales funnel is people who are still ‘considering’, and the best way to reach them without actively following up with every single Prospect is through a drip marketing campaign. For a sales person this can be a big term but if you just work with someone in the marketing team can get set up and going within an hour… The best part is sales people naturally know what content to send, and marketing team knows how to send it on automation. Working together means, the sales team can have an additional channel by old supposedly dead leads reach out to you, when they are ready to move ahead.
- Collaborative selling strategies: what does your final look like? Is the role of marketing team limited to getting leads? Or is it a conjoined effort where marketing and sales team work together until the deal is closed. Drip Marketing is one such example. Other ways for collaborative selling between marketing and sales teams are: having newsletters for middle of the funel leads, sending WhatsApp newsletters, running retargeting ad campaigns for leads at several stages of the sales pipeline etc.
- Collaborative selling cannot happen without a common share database with the entire history of every prospect. This is where a tool like TeleCRM can help you big time by automatically tracking and collecting all the information about every interaction of every prospect from all the marketing campaigns into a single shared timeline: including ad clicks, page views, form fills, call history & recordings, website revisits, SMS/email/WhatsApp communication, and social media interaction!
- The marketing team is the face of the company. Most prospects talk to them before they can talk to an account executive. Most marketers notice something about the prospect but do not pass that information on to the sales team. You should ask your marketing team to to add a small brief about the prospect into the CRM. Any details that can help you win the deal!
6. Let the product team talk about the benefits of the product
Remember how Jonny Ive used to come on the gain screen to talk about the amazing and obsessive design work of Apple’s great products!
Why him instead of Tim Cook the CEO? Or someone else for that matter!
because when it comes to design he is the one person who is supposed to know everything inside and out and hence he’s the best person to communicate the design aspects.
Similarly the sales team doesn’t have to work alone when it comes to talking about the benefits of the product. You can bring in the product team and have them describe the benefits of the product. Who better than them? Because they have been with Products since it’s conception.
Pro Hacks: Your organization can make a small video of the product team explaining how the products are made. This way, you already have a standard pitch from the product team.
7. Work with customers to evoke trust in prospects
Prospects are more likely to trust customers than sales executives.
This is because positive reviews or testimonials are so important.
And if you have a good relationship with your customers you can directly use happy customers to influence prospects. Here’s a simple step-by-step process for that
- Find customers who have been happy with your company for a long time.
- Reach out to those customers and ask if they would like to share their experience with someone else.
- After that, all you have to do is introduce the prospect to the customer.
You will see incredibly positive results from this effort.
Pro Hacks: Use LinkedIn to find connections between your customers and prospects. Ask the customers to introduce you to the prospect if you find any mutual connections.
8. Your company investors can help you with their network
Your investor’s primary role is to help you finance the company, but their network can also help you in getting big deals unstuck. Here’s how:
- First, learn about the stakeholders of the prospect’s organization.
- If you have mutual investors, then the job is easy. All you have to do is ask your investor to introduce you to the prospect.
- However, if your investor has an acquaintance in the company, you should try to form a good relationship with that acquaintance and then ask them to introduce you.
Pro Hacks: You should keep a close eye on the progress of your prospect if they frequently work with investors, partners, consultants, etc. Maybe one of their new partners can be your investor’s acquaintance.
9. Working with partners
Do you and the prospect work with the same partners?
Does the prospect use any products that are from your partnering company?
If the answer to any questions is yes, you must use your partner network to begin the sales process or get it unstuck.
Pro Hacks: Check out the tech stack your prospect uses using tools like builtwith. If they use any tools from your partnering company, ask your internal head of partnerships to introduce you to the POC at the partnering company. Then, you can ask the POC to introduce you to the prospect. Always keep track of what products or services your prospect uses. Who knows, maybe you are connected with that business?
10. Impress your prospects by being an active member of their community
Your prospects have a business to run. So they must get their advice from an active communities like a podcast, blog, journal, events, etc. If you can win the hearts of the community leaders, you can also win the prospects’ hearts.
You should get close to community leaders by engaging with them.
Other than that, you can also reach out to them and show your admiration for their projects. Once you have built a rapport with the community leaders, ask them to introduce you to the prospects.
Pro Hacks: Most community leaders are also content creators. You can impress them by creating impressive and relevant content. Perhaps, if they are impressed by you, they will mention you, and the prospect will see you as an authority figure in the field.
B2B sales are about building a network and getting the prospect to trust you. If sales executives took this task as a private burden just to get a big incentive, they would fail. However, if everyone from your organization puts in a collaborative effort, the whole organization wins!
In fact, when selling B2B team selling approach is not just recommended, but a team selling approach is required for closing big deals and growing fast.