Salespeople must add business collaboration to their skill set

Sales reps - business collaboration

Sales reps – business collaboration

Across industries, we’re witnessing B2B sales becoming increasingly complex – involving more decision makers, buying committees, longer sales cycles, vendor consolidation initiatives, and cost reduction programs.

With these changes to the customers’ buying process, sales reps often must shift from being a lone wolf to a captain of a team. The sales team could consist of internal technical specialists from a variety of areas to external alliance partners.  This requires adding an additional skill to a salesperson’s repertoire – business collaboration.

Two points about business collaboration:

  • First, business collaboration isn’t about bringing people into a room, asking what they think and then doing what you were going to do in the first place.  It’s about opening up the conversation and being able and willing to analyze and create new ideas for moving forward. The larger the team the more difficult it is making the necessary tradeoffs and building a better path forward. And that’s exactly the challenge many salespeople face when managing a sales team involved in today’s markets.

And in response to the naysayers who say that collaboration takes too long in today’s fast-paced environment or that it is an easy skill set to master so no big deal or that the trends in the buying process are short-term and soon things will return to “normal” – just pause and review the winners and losers that have emerged historically when industries have gone through a transformation change.

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©2014 Sales Momentum, LLC


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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2 Responses to Salespeople must add business collaboration to their skill set

  1. Great article Janet – thanks for sharing!

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