Team Approach to Sales

Team building
A Team Approach to Client Meetings. David Lees/Taxi/Getty Images

Sales, believe it or not, can be a very lonely profession. Consider the traveling sales person, who spends 2 or 3 nights each week in a hotel, hours of time in airports and is behind the wheel for countless miles. Though a sales rep should never go a full day (unless it is a vacation day!) not speaking or visiting with at least one customer, sales can be a lonely way to earn a living.

But more and more sales professionals have learned how to harness the power of their sales teams to not only ward off loneliness, but also (and much more importantly) to deliver better service to their customers, drive greater revenue and simply win more sales.

Fellow Sales Reps

Depending on your sales team, you probably have at least one co-worker that you connect with. Since everyone has a unique set and combination of sales skills, joining forces with a team member you are comfortable with will bring greater insight to your customer engagements.

Since sales reps are busy, you shouldn't expect that a member of your team can join you on sales calls or while designing a solution whenever you'd like them to. Be respectful of their time and also be willing to help them out as well. It is, after all, a sales TEAM you are on. Be a team player.

Specialists

If you work for a company that employs specialists, make sure that you are not only consulting with them when designing a solution for your customer but that you are also asking them to make customer visits with you.

Many customers feel more comfortable doing business with a company when they know more than one person who works for that company.

Bringing in a specialist to meet with your client or with your client's specialist, creates the opportunity for greater rapport, trust and customer-perceived value.

A word of caution: If your specialist lacks people skills, you may want to leave them back in the office or at least make sure you have an upfront conversation with them to clearly spell out your expectation.

The last think you want is to bring in a team mate who ends up costing you the opportunity.

Your Sales Manager or Senior Leader

Often times, a sales manager spends time with one of their sales reps to gage how well the rep is progressing. These "ride days" are great opportunities for a manager to provide on the spot coaching for their reps as well as to see how effective they are when meeting with clients.

As you can imagine, these ride days with a manager are not always a stress-free day for a sales rep. Knowing that their manager is evaluating them, many reps either go overboard with demonstrating their customer and sales skills or get so nervous that their skills evaporate like water vapors.

However, if you were to invite your sales manager, or even a senior leader in your company to accompany you on an important sales call, you can not only earn respect from management but also show your customer just how important they are.

For whatever reason, customers feel important when someone holding an elevated position takes time out of their day to visit with them. Having a management level person from your company meet with your client usually adds to your rapport level and has the very beneficial side effect of getting management more engage at the customer level.

Just like specialists, however, if you feel your manager or senior leader lacks customer facing skills, you're better off asking them to assist in the planning or solution design meetings and not in any customer facing meetings.