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Go Major League

Score a success for your business by implementing team-selling tactics.

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This story appears in the April 2003 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

Log a little couch time with Animal Planet, and you will observe that many of nature's superlative hunters opt to seek prey in packs rather than go it alone. Though sales may be a career direction for many a lone wolf, there's much evidence to prove that selling en masse, or team selling, may have great benefits for the salesperson, team and company overall. The method comes to life when a cross-functional group is created to service the diverse needs of prospects and clients. Team composition may be as simple as a sales rep and a support person. Or representatives from sales, customer service, IT, finance, operations and management may all have roles. This all-hands-on-deck approach helps elucidate who's responsible for what and gives clients a soothing sense that all the niggling details have a home.

Companies using team selling reap rewards when several disciplines work collaboratively toward fulfilling common goals: closing the sale, keeping the client, or winning the client back. Ancillary benefits of the approach include a shorter selling cycle, a happier customer, and unity within the company. According to Jill Griffin, author of Customer Loyalty: How to Earn It, How to Keep It (Jossey-Bass), team selling "helps establish multiple relationships and contacts between the account and vendor." Because so many people are nurturing the account, there are fewer chances for the relationship to turn sour.

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