Team selling – it’s more than two people in the same room

Team Selling

Here’s a typical team selling situation: one sales person has the relationship with the customer and the other person has the subject matter or technical expertise needed for the meeting.

The classic trap in situations like these is not having a team at the meeting. Instead, it’s two people who happen to be in the same room at the same time.  To avoid this trap, there are a couple of useful rules of the road for team calls.

Communicating who’s attending and why. It’s important the customer knows who will be attending the meeting and knows the purpose for the sales person bring other people to the meeting. Surprises are a bad idea when it comes to sales meetings.

Managing the call. The sales person should assume the role of a Call Manager. The Call Manager opens the meeting, manages the agenda, brings other personnel into the conversation and at the end of the meeting summarizes and proposes the next steps.  The more people you bring, the more important call management becomes.

Avoiding the talk time trap. The research indicates that in successful calls the buyer talks more than the seller. When team selling it becomes particularly important to be aware of talk time because individual talk time is being replaced by team talk time. If each member of the team talks as much as they would if they were in the call alone, there will be no time left for the buyer.

To learn about team selling, here are some additional posts:

Selling is not an individual sport – podcast

Ten laws for successful sales teams

Medical device sales teams – a challenge to achieving success

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©2012 Sales Horizons, LLC

About Richard Ruff

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. During his career Dick has authored numerous articles related to sales effectiveness and co-authored "Managing Major Sales", a book about sales management, "Parlez-Vous Business" which helps sales people integrate the language of business into the sales process, and "Getting Partnering Right" – a research based work on the best practices for forming strategic selling alliances. Dr. Ruff received his Ph.D. in Organizational Psychology from the University of Tennessee and a B.S. from Rennsselaer Polytechnic Institute.
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