Best Practices for Team Selling and Making Joint Sales Calls

September 13, 2022

By David Gordon, President, Channel Marketing Group

Joint sales calls can be an effective partnering between a “manufacturer” and a distributor to generate demand from specifiers, end-users, and contractors. I put quotes around “manufacturer” as, most frequently, this is the local rep.

But mention to a distributor about doing a joint sales call with a rep and many distributors / distributor salespeople cringe. The first thing they remember is the rep who did them wrong, talked about a line the distributor doesn’t represent or “took” the order to another distributor.

At the same time, reps can be reticent as the distributor may “value engineer” the opportunity to a different line for pricing reasons (or another reason.)

But, the reality, is that joint sales calls, with the right partners, can be very effective. And there are times where technology can be leveraged to bring manufacturer technical / engineering personnel into a call via Teams (or the old fashion way … by plane!)

And yes, sometimes the manufacturer’s regional manager may be on the joint sales call.

A very effective joint sales call can leverage the relationship that a distributor, or rep, inside salesperson may have with a customer (end-user / contractor or distributor) as these “hidden assets” can be gold in a sales call.

Further, another definition is when the distributor brings in one of their in-house specialists. Perhaps a lighting controls specialist, an automation specialist, perhaps even the credit manager (or, perhaps the salesperson’s manager!)

But there is an art to teaming up on a customer.

Recently I saw a webinar conducted by Greg Nanigian on team selling and thought it could be beneficial to many. Greg’s company, GNA Training, also conducts sales training for manufacturers, distributors, and agencies. Greg offered to hold a free session for ElectricalTrends readers.

Here’s Greg’s approach. I’d encourage you / your team to sign up for the webinar.

How many times have you cringed when you sat back, helplessly listening as your partner destroyed the months of hard work you spent cultivating an account? The success of a joint call is in direct proportion to the amount of time spent on planning and rehearsing.

We suggest you conduct a “Coffee Shop Meeting” prior to the call. Run through the “Pre-Call Checklist” with your partner, discussing the bonding information you already know about the prospect.

If you don’t have one, at the workshop I’ll be facilitating, mentioned below, I’ll give you one.

Here’s the basics:

  • Review the agreement that you have with the customer as to the purpose, agenda, length of the appointment and potential pre-agreed outcomes.
  • Review the pain points and all relevant history about the customer/prospect. How many calls? If not, a legacy account where did the lead come from?
  • What are the most pressing issues for the customer/prospect at this point in the cycle?
  • Why is your partner invited to this meeting?

Then,

  • Rehearse with your partner how he or she will present the information to the prospect.
  • Review the rules of joint selling clearly, things like the Psychological Eye Baton and Team Captain principles – I’ll cover these at the workshop mentioned below.
  • Lastly, rehearse the first three questions the partner will be asking the prospect.

There’s so much need for training in this area that David Gordon and I agreed a lot of people would benefit from a workshop team selling and marking effective joint sales calls. So, we’re going to have one and you’re invited!

On October 12th, from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. ET, I’ll be facilitating a no charge workshop for friends of Channel Marketing Group and ElectricalTrends. You’re invited to participate and discover cutting edge but proven best practices for Team Selling and Making Effective Joint Sales Calls. Click here to register or read more below.

At the workshop, you’ll learn that the Joint Call is broken into 3 subsets:

  1. Pre-Call Activity
  2. the Call, and
  3. Post-Call Debrief.

You’ll learn how to be a Team Captain and how to pass the baton between you and your partner. You’ll learn the first rule for joint calls: Only One Person at a Time Can Speak During a Joint Sales Call: the Team Captain decides who speaks and when. And you’ll learn how to prevent the prospect from taking control of the call.

You’ll also learn about “Rescuing” and how to coach your partner on the

Dummy Curve so they won’t get confused and try to “help you out”, when really, you’re doing just fine.

If you want to learn more about Best Practices for Team Selling and Making Joint Sales Calls participate in the workshop on October 12th from 11:30 a.m. ET to 12:30 p.m. ET and click here to register. Advance registration is required.

To contact Greg, call 617-338-0993 or e-mail at greg@gnatraining.com or use  book a zoom call https://calendly.com/book-a-zoom-call-with-a-trainer.

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