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Is ‘Sales Collaboration’ An Oxymoron?


Organizations vary widely in how they manage sales incentives. Highly individualized incentives, for example, tend to create a “lone wolf” mentality. When salespeople see their coworkers as just competition for the quota, the idea of “sales collaboration” may sound like an oxymoron. But when they see colleagues as able to offer help, knowledge and resources, it benefits everyone on the sales team

Creating this collaborative environment is a two-step process. 

  1. Building the incentive for sales collaboration: Generally speaking, incentives reward good performance, and you perform better when you understand what works and what doesn’t work in your sales cycle. That’s why it’s in everyone’s best interest to collect and share best practices with the rest of your team. 

  2. Implementing the mechanics for sharing sales best practices: Even when your sales team has an incentive to work together, you still need processes and tools that facilitate sales collaboration. A good collaboration platform offers a secure environment in which to share sales best practices with your fellow sellers. The goal is to develop a streamlined method for building collections of tactics and sales assets that are working, and share them on an ad-hoc basis. 

Strengthening the team’s sales collaboration skills benefits the individual sellers. For example, let’s say a salesperson is having difficulty working with a certain prospect due to personality differences. Others on the sales team may have tips that help the salesperson to work well with the prospect, increasing the likelihood of a successful sale. 

Instead of seeing each other as competitors, try to develop your expertise in a particular area — an aspect of your product or type of negotiation, for instance — and offer that expertise to your colleagues. By hanging out your shingle and saying, “I’m available to help you in this particular niche,” you become your sales team’s internal go-to person for that topic. 

The Tellwise Nutshell (TTN): “Sales collaboration” doesn’t need to be an oxymoron at your organization. From a performance perspective, developing a collaborative team culture is in your best interest. Your fellow salespeople are knowledgeable in areas you’re not and vice versa. Remember: You get what you give. If you’re willing to share your experience and sales best practices internally, you’re likely to get something valuable in return from your fellow salespeople. 

Learn more about how to support sales collaboration with the help of the Tellwise experience.

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