I have heard a few sales leaders complain that they have too much collaboration within their organization. After asking some additional questions, it turns out that collaboration isn’t the real problem. What they are really trying to say is:
- There are too many meetings. A glut of meetings is often caused by the fact that people don’t know who to ask when they have a problem or question. All too often, when someone needs something, they call a meeting of a half dozen people and hope someone in the group can provide the right information. All of us have been in meetings that could have been resolved with an effective communication to the right parties. Meetings are deadly for sales people who need to spend as much time as possible in front of customers and prospects.
- There are too many expensive, “four-legged sales calls.” Sometimes an inexperienced sales rep can be greatly helped by having a more experienced team member join them on a sales call. But too often, it just results in an expensive and inefficient process that could be greatly improved by proper collaboration and training up front.
- Salespeople are so busy helping each other, they aren’t getting their own work done. We all know salespeople that are so generous with their time that they neglect their own calls and clients to help others. This is not a problem of over collaboration, it’s a problem of prioritization and discipline. It is possible to be a useful resource to new colleagues while also maintaining a growing book of business.
Intentional collaboration means leveraging the collective experience and knowledge within your team to make everyone successful as quickly and efficiently as possible.
After all, according to research by CSO Insights, in sales teams with a formal, intentional approach to collaboration, 76% of sales people make their quota compared to 55% of sales people in an ad hoc collaboration environment and 59% in an environment of informal collaboration. In other words, intentional collaboration approaches lead to a 21% increase in quota attainment.
So yes, there can be too many meetings, too many four-legged sales calls, and too much “helping,” but there can never be too much intentional collaboration, which is by definition efficient and productive.
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