It takes a village to make a customer successful. Every department chips in.
- Executive management provides the vision.
- Product and engineering teams make something to sell
- Marketing finds and nurtures the leads
- Sales development qualifies and sets the stage
- Sales consulting gives a great demo
- Account executives negotiate and close the business
- Customer success onboards and trains
- Support fixes problems along the way
- Accounts receivable gets the money
All of these departments touch the prospects and customers in some way.
The premise behind Team Selling is that a customer doesn’t just buy the product or the individual salesperson. They are buying a whole team. They are buying all of the people who will help make them successful.
The key question is “If people want to buy from the whole team, why do we only expose them to so few members of the team?”
I think the answer is the lack of good technology to coordinate and orchestrate the team. Everyone has a job to do and working on a sale could be distracting.
For just a minute, imagine if it wasn’t distracting.
Imagine if you could leverage engineers and designers and support reps as part of the sales process. Imagine if nurturing emails came from various members of the team. How would the customer/prospect react?
My hypothesis is that they would react well. They would appreciate the variety and the human connection. I believe there are some guidelines to pulling it off right.
Vary the types of people
Mix up the demographics with different genders, races, ages and styles. You don’t know who will resonate with the target. Part of the appeal of team selling is having a mix of people on the team.
Vary the tone of the messages
Some people write long, some short, some professional, some colloquial. Let various team members write their own drafts and then clean it up for spelling grammar. There is nothing worse than non-stop sales/marketing speak. Humanize the messages.
Vary your calls to action
You don’t need to ask the same thing over and over again. Maybe they don’t want a demo. Add variety to the CTA. The goal is to move the ball forward. If the first technique doesn’t work, try something different.
Pay attention to the hand-offs
Let’s say a sweet message from an engineer works to engage someone, what should they do? Should they forward it immediately to sales or try to engage in a conversation. Have a plan for how each person should operate and hand-off from one department to another. This is also true after they become a customer. You should have well conceived plans to move a customer through your village so they don’t get stressed or lost.
It’s a nice dream isn’t it? This ability to team sell is compelling. If only someone would make SaaS software to coordinate and orchestrate these kinds of plays.