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Avoiding Chaos in Team Selling


Avoiding Chaos in Team Selling

In developing an effective Team Selling Process there are three “knows” that need to be addressed. They are:

  1. Knowing when to involve others
  2. Knowing whom to involve
  3. Knowing how to involve others

It is the last one, how to involve others, that generally proves to be the real challenge. So we break the “how to involve others” down into a very manageable 3-step process:

  1. Pre-call
  2. Call
  3. De-brief

Last month we presented the importance of Pre-Call preparation. This month we will take a look at the next two steps.

The “Call” can quickly break down into chaos unless the team leader (TL) maintains control over his team as well as the client’s team. Establishing and maintaining control starts as early as with the “introduction process.”  The TL should first introduce his/her team as agreed upon and practiced during the pre-call rehearsals. By doing so, the power baton is clearly in the TL’s hands. Next, the TL should look at the client participants and ask if they might like to introduce themselves, what they do, and why they are at the meeting. By asking each of them to introduce themselves, they become more comfortable with the meeting and the sales team most likely will gain valuable information directly from the participants.

The next phase is to get the official part of the meeting underway. The TL, making any last minute adjustments based on information gained during the introductions, establishes the Up-Front Contract as practiced with the team during pre-call rehearsal. This ensures that the discussion stays within the agreed time, focuses on client’s objectives, gets our objectives on the table and an intended objective before the meeting. Once agreed upon as presented or amended, the meeting discussion begins.

Maintaining control of the discussion once underway can be challenging as the client wants to engage your team, which is why you brought them to begin with. “Passing the baton” effectively will keep the TL in control and enable the discussion to remain on track. This technique needs to be rehearsed during the pre-call practice so that it occurs effortlessly during the call. The last thing a TL wants to deal with is a 'runaway’ team member talking too much and possibly weakening the sales process.

When bringing the meeting to a conclusion, the TL needs to create a new Up-front Contract for next steps so the process continues towards a No or a Yes. Leaving a meeting without a clear understanding of the future is just not acceptable.

The third part of the 3-step process the Debrief. Debriefing the team as soon as possible after the conclusion of the meeting is imperative. A good practice is to establish debrief arrangements with the team during the pre-call step. A sooner than later debrief ensures that memories are fresh and clear and action steps are put in place before other business concerns capture the attention of the team members.

If you are serious about improving your team selling process, simply give John or me a call at 970-292-8490 or 866-379-6257.

Ed Kerr

Ed Kerr

President - Sandler Training