How To Turn Salespeople Into Team Players

Team playersThe competitive nature of many salespeople is part of the reason that they are able to succeed in the rough and tumble world of sales. These representatives will treat each opportunity like a challenge and this type of mentality will likely generate excellent numbers.

A sales management team may want to harness this competitiveness, as it can be used for a lot of good within the industry. However, while this attitude can bring success, it could also work against the company due to infighting and competition between salespeople.

Sharing leads and information about clients is a necessity for some organizations, but it may prove to be harmful to a company if it is not approached in the right way. It comes down to how the company is structured, and the type of sales that are being practiced, according to Barrett Riddleberger, the chief executive officer (CEO) of Resolution Systems, Inc., a sales training and consulting firm.

“If you’re talking about other sales reps within the organization, is there a lot of territorializism and protectionism, or is there an openness and a benefit to sharing information?,” noted the executive.

An inside sales division may operate much differently than a group that is focused on outside sales. Competition in this regard may actually be negative for the overall company, said Riddleberger.

“If it’s an adversarial relationship, then inside sales and outside sales will be competing when the inside sales bumps into their ceiling and outside sales bumps into their floor,” the executive noted. “If that’s not policed well it can be a problem.”

A management team may want to try and develop a relationship between these two groups in an effort to bridge the gap and control the situation. By working together, these two divisions may be able to pass work back and forth, according to Riddleberger.

If a lead is too big for the inside sales team, they might be willing to throw it in the direction of the outside sales division. The opposite can also occur, and once this process begins to happen, managers know that their resources are being effectively utilized, noted the executive.

“You have to set up rules for that and be careful that you’re not violating company policy because it should be the sales manager’s responsibility to manage that type of swap,” said Riddleberger. “But if the people are mature and responsible enough to manage it themselves, then great.”

The exchange of data is something that can promote an open atmosphere in the workplace, and can strengthen the unity of a company through the individual relationships that are created, reported.

This is something that a sales manager needs to control and possibly leverage in future situations that may arise. One cannot teach maturity, it has to be something that is developed through effective management, according to Riddleberger.

Adversarial relationships may arise, but a manager needs to explain to representatives that effective teamwork can help both individuals. Sharing knowledge is extremely important in the modern business climate, noted the executive.

This can be especially true of representatives that are excelling in one area of sales, while struggling with another. A manager may want to switch the two and get the salespeople together to help each other with the transition.

“If either wants to switch, they should get together and share what they know about verticals, about trends, about the way they use the products and services, about value propositions,” Riddleberger said. “They both feed off of each other, become learning curves, move the sales process along, and not have to reinvent the wheel.”