Create a Team Sales Culture with Salesforce Opportunity Teams

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Salespeople often view themselves as “lone wolves” that have all needed skills, experience and motivation to close deals on their own. Still, sometimes the efforts of one person are not enough to effect a sale. This is where team selling comes into play. When used properly, team selling can become a powerful tool to increase the number of successfully closed deals. Let’s see when companies should opt for team selling and how this concept is represented in Salesforce.

When to sell as a team

Generally, companies can use team selling to close any deal, but it’s especially helpful in the following cases:

– The deal is complex.

– The deal is stuck.

– The company is trying to close a big deal, and the primary sales representative isn’t an expert on the product.

Benefits of team selling

1. Team selling helps establish deeper and more customer-oriented relationships.

Since all sales opportunities and customer relationships are different, each particular case requires a personal approach. As a result, it may be very challenging for a single sales rep to lead all deals through the whole pipeline. In the case of team selling, a company can assign the most suitable and experienced person to play the key role in each opportunity and distribute other team roles among other sales reps according to their strengths.

2. Team selling means bringing more experience and expertise to a particular sales opportunity.

Collaboration creates more options to achieve a positive outcome because it involves multiple people to review the sales process, understand the current situation, and work together on the same opportunity.

3. Team selling accelerates a company’s sales process.

A team has more capabilities to solve a customer’s issues and answer most emerging questions on the spot. It means that a company can eliminate time lags, such as “I’ll get back to you as soon as I get all the data,” thereby significantly increasing the effectiveness of customer communications.

Sales team collaboration in Salesforce

It doesn’t matter if you already use team selling or you are just thinking about this option, Salesforce Opportunity Teams can be beneficial for you. Companies can use it to allow multiple people work on an opportunity, set their roles and grant individual access rights to each team member. By enabling Salesforce Opportunity Teams, companies can clearly define responsibilities for each sales rep as well as eliminate duplicate opportunity records.

Opportunity team VS account team

Some companies doubt the necessity of Opportunity Teams because they already use Account Team functionality in Salesforce. Though they may seem similar at first sight, there’re a few differences in their main characteristics.  In Salesforce, adding an Account Team helps team members collaborate on a single account and track its progress to establish long-term relationships with a particular customer. On the other hand, an Opportunity Team is often a temporary group that is used to complete Salesforce opportunity stages and collaborates on a particular deal.

Now, let’s explore what Salesforce offers you to manage team selling in your company.

Salesforce Opportunity Team fields

Opportunity Team data is stored in the following standard fields:

Opportunity access – The level of access that a team member has to the opportunity (read/write or read-only).

Team role – The role that a team member plays in the opportunity, such as Account Sales Representative

User – The user who’s listed as a team member.

Apart from these standard fields, a company may want to add some custom fields. For example, if a company’s Opportunities include multiple products, it may be reasonable to add a “Product” field to display which product each team member is responsible for.

Besides, by creating validation rules in Salesforce, you can assign specific roles only to certain users. For example, you can specify that only employees from the Legal department can be assigned the “Contract Approver” role in an Opportunity Team.

Note: Validation rules won’t work if you add a Default Opportunity Team to one of your Opportunities.

3 things to help you increase collaboration and motivation in Salesforce Opportunity Team

1. Chatter

When a company has numerous people with different roles involved in an Opportunity, each team member will have their own ideas, updates, files and other materials they would like to share within a team. Instead of sending countless emails, team members can use Salesforce Chatter, which allows sharing project-related files and information. All you need is to create a group for your Opportunity Team and start following any documents or activities associated with the opportunity.

2. Notifications

Though all team members should be involved in the sales process, it doesn’t mean all of them should also receive all the updates on a deal. For example, a Vice President of Sales probably doesn’t need to track all updates regarding product design, but the same person will be a key player in pricing meetings. Thus, giving the right people the right updates is a must for effective teamwork. Salesforce consulting specialists advise using the following personalized notifications:

Big Deal Alert. Companies can use Big Deal Alert to notify selected team members when an opportunity hits a defined target (amount or probability threshold). This feature has the most value in the case a company uses Salesforce Professional Edition because it’s the only available option to notify managers and team members about large deals in a company.

After Trigger. It used to be impossible to target email alerts to team members based on their role in the team. However, with Salesforce updates, the process has become much easier. Now, companies can use After Trigger to create email alerts and select which team roles should receive an email.

Workflows and Process Builder. These features allow creating more flexible notifications for team members. In particular, using custom workflow rules, companies can set up custom variables that will trigger email notifications. Meanwhile, Process Builder allows a company to automatically create a post in a Chatter group available only for opportunity team members thereby reducing the number of emails.

3. Opportunity Splits

Once a company decided to use Salesforce Opportunity Teams, it can increase team effectiveness and motivate team members to complete the deal with the Opportunity Splits feature. Using either revenue or overlay Opportunity Splits, a team owner can decide how to divide the Opportunity within the sales team as well as assign corresponding responsibility and credit for each member.

How to achieve success with Salesforce Opportunity Teams

Using Salesforce Opportunity Team doesn’t guarantee that a company will be able to build a team sales culture. A company may need to bring in Salesforce consulting experience to effectively use advantages brought by a team. For example, some Salesforce consultants offer to replace the concept of “owner” inside the Opportunity Team with words like “primary” or “lead”. Though this update will require very little Salesforce customization, it may increase your team’s enthusiasm and their willingness to provide input into an Opportunity.

There’s no doubt that team selling works. However, it works only when you not only carefully create your teams, but also take your time to build a solid team sales culture.


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