How to close more deals with team selling (in 3 steps)
What would you do if I told you there was a sales strategy to make every opportunity in your sales funnel 258% more likely to end in a new customer?
No, I'm not trying to sell you anything. It's not a scam or a growth hack.
All it takes is a little teamwork.
A couple of years ago, Gong analyzed over 21,000 sales opportunities to see what would happen if sales reps teamed up on calls and meetings to close the deal. The results were overwhelming: teaming up instead of going solo increased the likelihood of signing a new customer two-fold:
Replicating these results isn't easy, as sales reps have been told they're on their own.
But team selling doesn't mean chucking out your winning playbooks and starting from scratch.
Tweaking your current sales processes and making some changes to your sales team’s approach is all it takes to improve sales performance—and I’m going to show you how 👇
What is team selling?
Team selling is when individual sales reps collaborate on demos, sales calls and meetings to close complex deals.
Unlike a traditional sales approach, where individual sales reps handle deals on their own, team selling requires reps to work together and involve each other in different deal stages.
The team selling approach isn’t just about collaborating in meetings. Sometimes it starts in the funnel, where reps work together on lead generation, prospecting, and qualifying so their pipeline is filled with high-quality leads.
Then comes the sale.
Team selling may involve two reps jumping on a call or phoning in a specialist, like a developer or an account manager. If a prospect has questions about how a feature will integrate with their current tech stack or concerns about the product scaling with their business, the experts on the call can handle them.
This approach to team selling looks like this:
- A sales development rep finds a lead on LinkedIn and reaches out to see if they’re up for a discovery call to better understand their objectives, needs, and pain points.
- Through research, the rep knows the prospect employs 100+ people and the company has a complicated tech stack. So, a full-stack engineer can jump on the call to help answer any questions about integrations and features.
- The sales rep schedules a demo of the product. An account executive will join on this call to help close the deal.
- If the decision-makers still aren't ready to buy, creatively looping in your CEO or a senior member of your company to follow up can help nudge them towards a buying decision.
- The deal is handed off to a customer support rep to set up onboarding and payments
- Once onboarding is over, the sales rep and a technical support rep jump on a call with the new client to see how they’re doing and iron out any teething issues
All up, 5+ people are involved. The big difference is how much technical and upfront support the prospect gets to shut down any doubt they have around your product and company. You're essentially simplifying the buying process for the prospect.
The end result is a shorter sales cycle—and more closed deals.
Here’s how to get started with team selling in 3 steps 👇
How to build a winning team selling structure in 3 steps
Providing your team members with the tools, know-how, and processes they need to work together effectively will help every member of your team sell better. Mapping all of this out and setting it up can seem like a daunting task: if you're just starting out, there's so much you just don't know yet. And if you've ever tried to introduce change into a larger sales organization, you know that it's not an easy feat either.
That's where sales documentation can help—simply use our templates, scripts, and checklists for sales leaders to bring your team to the next level.
1. Pick a team selling structure that works for you
Salespeople are used to set structures.
Funnels. Deal flows. Pipelines.
Team selling is no different. You must pick a structure that makes sense for deals (and prospects) your sales team handles.
The typical structure for team selling is the assembly line. Each deal follows a similar process, and a lead is essentially passed down the assembly line to the right person. Once an SDR is done prospecting and finding qualified leads, they're passed onto AEs to close the deal. As soon as the ink is dry, customer success managers take over and onboard the new customer.
This team selling setup suits companies with departments in place to handle every step of the sales cycle and operates like a well-oiled machine.
If this structure isn’t suitable and you want something more collaborative, take a look at the sales pod.
This type of team selling is more cross-functional and requires sales reps, account managers and other departments to work together in real-time to win over customers. Sales pods work in specific areas and are used in high-traffic areas (e.g. targeting clients in the Los Angeles area) or for certain industries (e.g. selling to SaaS companies with <100 employees with ARR of $2m+).
Pods and assembly lines still do a lot of the same tasks: both models still generate and qualify leads and negotiate deals with prospects. But with sales pods, everyone is working together on deals instead of waiting for them to come down the assembly line to get started.
As the team is working so closely together, if a prospect gets cold feet or a demo doesn't end in a deal, everyone in the pod will know about it. Messaging can be adjusted quickly, and reps can figure out a game plan to win back the prospect together instead of sitting on a stalled deal.
Once you’ve picked a suitable structure, it’s time to get your collaboration sorted.
2. Make the pre-meeting hustle a ritual
The pods and assembly lines won't matter if your sales reps aren't talking to each other.
Every single time they step into a demo or discovery call, they need to know what they’re in for. Before picking up the phone, each team member should know:
- Who they’re meeting. Include information about the company they work for and their role. Account mapping can help the entire team to stay on top of this.
- As much information as possible. How far along in the sales pipeline is the prospect? Have they talked about what problems they're having? Why have they chosen your product/service, and how do you expect them to use it? This is a big part of any pre-meeting hustle. Close’s Custom Fields can put this step on autopilot by tracking engagement, and saving prospect social profiles. And with native integrations for scheduling tools, it's easy to book demos on the spot.
- What the goal is. Is the call to dig a little deeper into the prospect's needs or close a deal? Make sure everyone on the call knows what the ideal outcome is.
- What you need them for. Are you pulling in a team member to help onboard a new client or answer technical questions about software APIs? Let them know what you need them for so they can prepare.
Don't make this harder than it needs to be. Use your data to gather important information for the call so everyone is in the loop. Close CRM allows sales professionals to pull up lead data and get the complete interaction history the prospect had with your company, like emails, call notes, and recordings, that can be sent out to teams before a prospect meeting to get them up to speed.
3. Be smart—and let your tech do the heavy lifting
I want to get away from the mentality that's crept up in the sales world: if you can't sell, the right software tool will save you and do it for you.
Team selling only works if you’ve got a winning sales team structure in place and your reps are constantly talking about how every deal is progressing. However, sales tools can help teams juggle multiple deals and keep the moving parts in one place.
If you’re on a call with a prospect and need to get some information quickly from another team member, transfer them across to clear up any questions. Or, if you have a difficult sales call on your calendar and need a little help, ask a sales manager to jump on and coach you through it.
With Close's built-in call coaching features, sales managers can join calls and:
- Listen. Managers can listen to the sales rep and prospect, but can’t talk
- Whisper. Managers can talk to the sales rep and coach them through tough parts of the negotiation and give them tips without the prospect hearing
- Barge. Managers can jump in on the call and talk to the sales rep and the prospect
Outside of these tactics, reps can improve their team selling strategy by:
👩💻 Using engineers as their secret weapon. Prospects can have questions beyond a sales rep’s knowledge. But negotiations can also hinge on tweaking a product and adding some code to suit the prospect’s needs or assist with making technical adjustments in their own stack. Inviting a sales engineer onto a call allows a prospect to discuss exactly what they need and get a quick yes or no answer—and a yes or no to the entire deal.
💸 Avoiding price drops in the first negotiation call. If prospects put the price as their red line, transfer the call to a Manager or VP. Better yet, add a senior member of the team in to listen and ask them to whisper what you can (and can't) offer the prospect (e.g. 20% off the first three months) if the negotiation stalls.
Sales tools aren’t a replacement for a solid selling strategy—but they can 100% help move the needle. Want to see how Close can help your team improve sales productivity? Start a free trial or sign up for a demo.
Are you ready for team selling?
Team selling isn’t talked about nearly as much as it should be because we’ve made selling an individual sport.
But individuals don’t build businesses—teams do.
When you bring all of your best people together in a team, it's a no-brainer that you will get better results and increase win rates. Start by picking a team selling structure that your reps are comfortable with, encourage relationship building between different members of your own team, and invest in a couple of tools that'll make it easier for them to work together.
My final piece of advice? Keep your team talking to each other—because that’s where the magic happens. For more advice on how to build, structure, and grow a high-performing sales team, claim your free copy of our Sales Hiring Playbook!