Sales Is a Team Sport

Posted by John Livesay in blog0 comments

The #1 Negotiation Tactic
ABC - KATU2: How to Ask for What You Want

The days of the lone salesperson going it alone and taking all the credit are over. Today is requires a team of people and not just people in the sales department to get a new sale.

When I interviewed Tim Sanders, author of Dealstorming, here is what he told me:

Dealstorming. Would you tell us that story of deal making and brainstorming from Yahoo days?

Absolutely. It actually traces all the way back to when I was at Basically, what happened is we got a new sales VP that came in. He had been with a variety of different startups that had gone from zero to a billion dollars. He knew that the problem for most of us is that we’re so underfunded in the startup. We’re just trying to do everything on our own.

He taught me in a meeting, “If you want to be successful, you’ve got to learn how to never go down alone.” That when you get stuck in a situation, say, trying to raise money, trying to make a sale, whatever. He says, “Build a team.”

What he taught me is the difference between a tall team and a wide team. A tall team is a team of people that work in line with each other all the time. In the business world, think of it like sales manager, salesperson, account coordinator. Those three, they work in a vertical line. A lot of times, that’s who’s collaborating to finish the sale.Those teams aren’t as successful as the wide variety of teams. For example, think of the account executive partnering with someone in the marketing department, partnering withsomeone in operations who actually delivers on the signed deal, and then partnering with someone in pricing, in the finance division.

That’s a wide team. Multiple disciplines coming together around an opportunity because they all have a stake in the outcome. The wide teams absolutely beat the tall teams in the market because when you bring together diversity, ideas bump into each other, perspectives collide together. That’s where innovation really happens.

When I went to Yahoo after the acquisition, I specialized in creating wide teams to conquer business development challenges. Whether it was trying to sell something, trying tobuy a company or look into an acquisition, trying to do partnerships.

We worked a lot on rapid problem solving because I believe that the speed in which we solve all those little problems that lead to the done deal is our only competitive advantage. Rapid, rapid, rapid problem solving is how companies stay great and get great.What can you do to build a team with rapid problem solving skills?To read more about selling, click here:

The #1 Negotiation Tactic
ABC - KATU2: How to Ask for What You Want

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