Team selling is more prevalent and more important then every. While it might have been a luxury to be good at it; today it’s a necessity. Why? Companies are demanding suppliers have a comprehensive understanding of their industry as well as a background of the issues facing the company – from the get go. A salesperson, even a good one, cannot have the breath and depth of understanding required – they need help and team selling is one answer.
Working in teams is hard and sales teams are no different. Not only do sales teams consist of people with different skill sets – e.g., sales and technical expertise – or different positions – e.g., sales reps and sales managers, sales teams also are made up on people from different generations. Let’s focus on one generation – Millennials.
When it comes to team selling where Millennials are engaged, one set of challenges stems from the fact that Millennials have grown up communicating with a different technology – whether it be texting, tweeting, Facebook or meetings on Google+ or WebEx. Skills like listening, developing empathy, reading body language and even waiting your turn may not have been developed to the same degree as in times past. On the other hand, the skill of conducting meetings via today’s technology is second nature to Millenials and can be mystifying to generations from a previous age.
What are the implications for sales? We’ve posted a number of blogs about team selling, as well as, several blogs about Millennials. We suggest that meshing these two topics would be useful – it is increasingly important to understand the impact of engaging Millennials on team selling. As we’ve noted team selling is hard, it requires a lot more than just having multiple people in the same meeting at the same time.
Previously we introduced 10 laws for successful sales teams, here is an 11th – Acknowledge differing interpersonal skills stemming from generational differences. Ignoring the differences will lead to unnecessary challenges and tension –acknowledging them allows sales teams to leverage the differences and improve the possibility of sales success.
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