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Do Salespeople Need To Be Team Players?

Many have the perspective of salespeople that they’re highly competitive and willing to crush all competition both internally and externally in order to be the best.

With that being said, it begs the question of whether high-performers are intentional about their efforts to be effective as a part of a team or instead retain a maniacal focus on being the best lone wolf.

My short answer to this question is, yes, effective salespeople do need to be strong team players and here’s why;

When I think through any transformative deal I have ever done, it has never been done alone. I have always had enormous amounts of support and real-time assistance from many supporting functions including legal, operations and finance.

Many of these teams feel equally connected to the success of the deal as I am, often through a desire to want to see me successful and / or the company.

Effective salespeople are able to mobilise internal teams to create a connected experience where everyone feels invested in the same goal. With this, as an individual contributor, you’re able to have a better balance over your workload along with allowing specialist functions to thrive where they have expertise.

With that said, the point around being a team further extends to whether there is a need to operate in a similar fashion within your own direct sales team where ultimately, everyone is vying for the top-spot.

Even in this scenario, I maintain the fact that there is undeniable value in prioritising an ability to have a team-first mentality.

With this, you’re able to collaborate with others on deals, share ideas and best practices along with creating a healthy competitive environment opposed to a hostile one.

Some may argue that you don’t need to be a team player in order to be successful in sales and I have seen examples of successful salespeople who have operated as ‘lone-islands’ as opposed to prioritising collaboration within their immediate team.

As much as this type of salesperson typically operates in isolation, they typically have an ability to partner effectively enough with supporting teams in order to fulfill their own agenda.

In summary, being a team player will only ever be beneficial over time, especially in an era where network and reputation rule all. Impressions last and being known as a person that is able to bring others together through a collaborative approach will only contribute to a sustainable and successful career.


If you would like to scale your own sales results, don't hesitate to contact me directly via my website for an initial discussion.

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Disclaimer: All views expressed in this article are my own and do not represent the opinions or views of my current employer or any entity whatsoever with which I have been, am now, or will be affiliated. This post is for informational purposes only and any advice should be followed at the reader's own discretion.

©2020 by Alex Alleyne

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