Companies leave millions of easy dollars on the sales table each year because their sales teams in different divisions are reluctant to cross-sell company products and services. CEOs and sales managers often try to solve this problem by designing compensation plans that incentivize the sales team to introduce their counterparts to their clients. The plan is good, there is commission to be made and yet, the sales teams continue to operate in different silos. Why?
You’re working on the wrong end of the problem.
Lack of compensation isn’t the root cause for salespeople not introducing their counterparts to clients. It’s lack of trust -- and who wants to admit that to a member of their team? It’s the proverbial elephant in the room.
This lack of trust happens for a variety of reasons. Often, it’s simply because the sales teams haven’t bothered to get to know one another. And are you really comfortable taking a stranger to your best client? Others may have had a bad experience in the past, i.e., their counterpart sold their product or service to the client and then had trouble on the fulfillment side.
Work on the right end of the problem.
Sales managers: Set a key performance metric for members of your sales team to connect with salespeople from other divisions. Yes, it’s sad but true: You just may have to set a metric for building relationships within your own company.
Teach your team members how to be assertive and clear on their expectations when bringing a partner rep into a meeting. Such expectations can include:
- Each person’s role in the meeting and how to conduct a team call. Who’s on first works great in baseball, not sales.
- The value propositions that will open a consultative dialogue with the client. No product dumping allowed.
- Communication – how you expect your partner to keep you in the loop. Overcommunication is best.
- Share the level of service you give your client and make sure your partner division is committed to delivering the same.
- If there is a problem, discuss your expectations for taking care of issues. Do it by phone or in person, not via email, which can be misinterpreted.
Take advantage of an easy way to grow revenue by embracing cross selling. Set up both you and your partner for success by building trust and setting clear expectations.