Team selling is not an individual sport – podcast

 “The Woodies” – Todd Woodbridge and Mark Woodforde – won six doubles championships at Wimbledon plus wins at the Australian Open, the U.S. Open and an Olympic gold medal. Together, they are most successful men’s doubles player in tennis history. They also ranked in the top 50 as men’s singles players – but unlike other successful men’s doubles teams, like Peter Fleming and John McEnroe, “the Woodies” didn’t win singles events.

While this story makes good cocktail conversation, it’s easy to draw parallels to the world of sales. Increasingly, we are working with companies where the number of sales situations requiring team selling continues to grow. Whether the traditional team – i.e., a sales rep and a sales manager – or other combinations, such as  sales and pre-sales technical support, or sales and clinical support just to name a few – the challenge of executing a successful team sale continues to be a challenge.

In the attached Team Selling podcast we drill down on some techniques for improving the quality of a team sale. As a preview, here are some of the points we talk about.

Before the call– The importance of pre-call planning cannot be understated. Furthermore rehearsing is key – professionals rarely go on stage without rehearsing … the same is true for important team sales calls. And finally, determine who is doing what before the call.

During the call – Everyone should keep tabs on their behavior, remembering that there are several key differences between individual and team calls, including: Be aware of how much time you are speaking because individual airtime is replaced by team airtime, let the conversation play out smoothly – don’t play ping-pong with the others on the call so the customer ends up bombarded by questions that don’t follow a sequence, don’t let your mind wander when a question is being asked that you might not be interested in, and avoid the superstar syndrome – teams win, superstars don’t.

After the call – Debrief immediately following the call when the call’s fresh in everyone’s mind.

Take a listen to the Team Selling podcast and share your experiences on making team selling a success.

Check out the Sales Training Connection to read other posts on sales effectiveness.

©2011 Sales Horizons, LLC

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About Janet Spirer

For more than 30 years Dr. Richard Ruff and Dr. Janet Spirer - the founders of Sales Horizons - have worked with the Fortune 1000 - such as UPS, Canon USA, Smith & Nephew, Boston Scientific, Owens & Minor, Textron - to design and develop sales training programs. Janet has followed two different, yet complimentary paths. First, as a B-School Professor she taught marketing, sales, and business strategy courses. She also managed a consulting practice focusing on sales productivity and marketing – working with a variety of clients ranging from Xerox to IBM. She translated those experiences into a book – “Parlez-Vous Business” – that helps sales people develop the business savvy to sell successfully. Since co-founding Sales Momentum® in 2000 with Richard Dr. Spirer received her Ph.D. from The Ohio State University, an M.P.A. from The University of Texas at Austin, and a B.A. in Economics from Brooklyn College. She holds the appointment of Professor Emeritus at Marymount University.
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