The Importance of Encouraging Collaboration and Rallying Support
See how social selling and collaboration make it easier to rally support among multiple decision makers.
May 25, 2016
On the surface, it seems self-evident that social selling is all about collaboration: sales reps need to work together with their peers in order to survive in today’s business world. That said, the most successful sales leaders know that collaboration has more than one meaning for contemporary sales teams.
It’s not just about tapping your colleagues to find the right prospects. In many cases, collaboration is really about rallying support and engaging with many different decision makers as part of the process of closing a deal.
Of course, there are other reasons to join forces on LinkedIn beyond any particular deal. Collaborating with team members leads to warmer introductions, and working together with prospects allows you to build and strengthen trusting relationships—not just as a salesperson, but as a leader who can supply insights and, ultimately, solutions.
Fortunately, social selling makes collaboration simple and easy. Let’s take a closer look at the importance of collaboration when it comes to closing deals, as well as how you can make functional teamwork a part of your daily routine.
What It Means to Rally Support
According to social selling strategist Barb Giamanco, working in tandem with your prospects is more important than ever. “CEB (Corporate Executive Board) has said that there are five to seven people involved in any buying decision,” Giamanco says, “which I think might be low. Your ability to rally support with multiple people in multiple departments requires collaboration.”
In other words, a major purchase is very rarely a decision made between one seller and one buyer, and most businesses don’t have one decision maker pulling all the strings. By contrast, buying and selling is a collaborative process that almost always involves rallying support with multiple decision makers across multiple divisions of a business.
In today’s sales world, learning to sell collectively and socially is essential. Gaining the support of multiple decision makers requires connecting with as many prospects as possible on the sales end, but it also requires working with your colleagues to find connections and make warmer introductions possible. Ultimately, the more comfortable you become using social strategies to connect with prospects, the easier this process will become.
Other Reasons to Collaborate
There are many good reasons to collaborate more often in your sales process, and the pillars of social selling provide a handy guide for understanding the potential of collaborative social selling. Sales leaders are always looking to add value to their interactions with customers, and best practices allow you to do that.
Your ultimate goal should be to provide better solutions for your customers, and to do so requires a good deal of teamwork. Crafting an ideal solution means working through the unique challenges that your customers face, connecting with their teams and with your own colleagues to find the right solution. Everything from supplying regular updates and insights to making new and stronger connections on the LinkedIn platform is a kind of collaboration, because these actions encourage conversation and strengthen relationships between sales reps and customers.
LinkedIn Features and Collaboration
It’s possible to collaborate in the working environment without social selling, but adopting social strategies makes everything easier. The more connections you can make between your sales team and a particular business, the easier the next connection will be.
Sharing updates, commenting on posts, and sending messages can help you maintain relationships with prospects and establish yourself as a leader who can be trusted. When your relationship with your customers is social, trusting, and strong, it becomes much easier to foster a collaborative process.
Learn more about leveraging your relationships to win business with our free tipsheet, Proven Strategies to Find, Win and Sustain Business.