What is Team Selling? How & When to Use Team Selling to Close Better Deals

Teamwork makes the deal work. (Or does it?)

Team selling—according to this study—improves your closing odds by 258 percent.

That number can even be broken down by who is involved. Bringing in sales leadership increases win rates by 119 percent, and a CxO around 204 percent. Big numbers, right?

Sales is often thought of as an individual sport, but using the resources of the whole team can help individual reps close bigger, better deals. Add to that a collab-friendly CRM that offers easy access to in-motion deals, and you’re winning sales, right?


Sometimes, team selling is not right—not for your team and not for your customers.

How will you know? Learn what team selling is (and what it’s not) and discover whether you can (and should) set up a winning team selling strategy. 👇

What is Team Selling & When Should You Use It?

Team selling is a collaborative approach to sales, bringing together your best sales reps, leaders, and other team members to seal complex, enterprise-level deals.

It’s all about leveraging everyone’s unique skills and expertise to not only meet customer needs but to give them an exceptional experience. It’s teamwork, but with a hefty dose of strategy and flair.

Team selling can extend beyond the close to involve lead generation, prospecting, qualifying, and more. Really, it can permeate the entire sales process.

Simplified, it may look like:

  • Your sales development rep finds a lead on LinkedIn and, based on research, decides to invite your sales engineer to the discovery call.
  • An account executive joins the SDR on the demo and tries to close the deal.
  • Your CEO joins the email thread to add weight and convince the decision-makers.
  • Once closed, the deal is handed to Customer Success for help with onboarding and implementation.

So, team selling sidelines the traditional one-to-customer or one-to-account sales approach. 

But before you get all gung-ho about it, remember: this isn’t always a good thing.

At Close, we don’t do much team selling. It’s simply not necessary for small or medium-sized businesses—and just complicates your sales approach. 

That’s why we only have Account Executives (AEs) or Senior Account Executives on our team. They can do it all, answering questions, influencing deal progress, and maybe looping in additional support before the close if it’s really necessary. 

And then, we have our support and success teams—for after the close. 💪

But we aren’t everyone (obviously). And maybe team selling is key to your success.

So, when should you use team selling?

  • When you already have 3+ reps
  • When your customers are enterprise or large-scale
  • When doing target-account selling
  • When you have a dedicated sales development team that can work alongside your AEs
  • When you have a dedicated success team (to pass deals to after)

Team selling can enhance buyer confidence, expand reach, and close more deals—when these conditions are right, and your team is set for success.

5 Different Types of Team Selling to Consider

Maybe you’ll design a comprehensive sales assembly line, passing the baton from SDR/BDR to AE to sales engineer, or some variation. Or, you’ll just give your sales reps access to the right people (whether support, engineering, or success) who can help handle complex deals.

The short of it is, there are different types of team selling. Here are a few examples:

  • Cross-functional team selling: When different departments (marketing, product, etc.) collaborate on the sale.
  • Partner team selling: Includes relevant partners (suppliers, consultants, etc.) who help sell your product to their customers.
  • Virtual team selling: Throw in some ✨remote ✨ to your team selling—which requires additional digital tools for effective collaboration and communication.
  • Highly structured team selling: This follows a repeatable assembly line, including relevant participants.
  • Less-structured team selling: When collaboration is based on access between sales reps and other team members, perhaps without an X-Y-Z structure. 

There are many variants of team selling. What you need to do is find what works for you.

How to Set Up a Team Selling Strategy for Your Team

So, team selling’s calling your name? Great! Now it’s time to cook up a strategy that works for your team and incorporates the best collaboration tools on the market.

Create a Team Structure that Fosters Collaboration

Your team structure defines how you’ll segment your sales roles—and how they’ll interact. Team selling requires a team structure that allows—and promotes—efficient collaboration.

There are several options.

The assembly line structure breaks down your sales force into three or four groups. 

It includes your: lead generation team (developing leads), sales development representatives (prospecting and qualifying leads), account executives (closing deals), and customer success (onboarding and account management). 

This structure allows your team to specialize and collaborate in a well-planned-out manner, but can create friction in the hand-offs. And it demands a lot of manpower.

The pod team structure creates tight-knit groups of team members, each with a different role. Each pod might involve 1(+) SDR, 1(+) AE, 1(+) CS rep—and so on—to build modular and flexible problem-solving powerhouses. 

However, there’s less specialization with this structure and less motivation for individual growth.

What about Close? Our team is structured on trust

We have the right amount of salespeople to cover our leads, assigning new leads fairly across the team (so nobody feels short-changed). And we empower them for the entire sales process. 

This has worked for us for years, and it breeds a healthy culture built on trust and teamwork.

But whatever team structure you implement, the point is to make sure it fosters collaboration. Trust is a vital part of that—whatever the blueprint.

Set Up Clear Criteria for Sales Discovery and Qualification

At the core, what’s the goal of sales discovery and qualification?

To know prospects (discovery) and efficiently invest in great-fit folks (qualification).

The criteria you set for sales discovery and qualification will help you know which deals actually require more than one team member—and which can be taken on by a solo rep.

So, prepare your criteria. Some of the points you might touch on for team selling, specifically, are:

  • Size of the target company. Team selling makes the most sense with large enterprises.
  • Complexity of their needs. The more complex, the more people you might involve.
  • Sales cycle expectations. Team selling can shorten lengthy sales cycles.
  • Value potential to your company. Of course, all your customers are valuable. But if overall revenue potential is low and they don’t match other criteria, there’s no need to rally the troops—it’ll just waste time.

Pro Tip: Use Custom Activities in Close to streamline your qualification process.


Think strategically, ask good questions, and build criteria that effectively funnel leads toward—or away from—your team selling approach.

Build a Commission Structure that Rewards Collaboration

One of the best ways to wreck your team selling strategy? Reward collaboration unfairly—or not at all.

Instead, pick a sales commission structure that guarantees fair rewards for everyone involved in a deal. And be transparent about it. Nothing kills trust like a complicated commission structure. 🤯

Here are two ideas to help get you started:

  • Set commission or bonus payouts based on the timing of when each team member is involved. When the customer signs, the sales rep gets paid. When the customer renews, the CS rep gets paid. (And so on.)
  • Set commission payouts based on the overall sales team goals. When the whole team reaches the target, everybody gets paid.

Consider that your commission and compensation plans are central to your top talent acquisition—and retention—efforts. 

Have regular conversations with your team, and examine contributions to maintain fair and transparent commission structures. Remember group projects in high school? The ones where somebody did all the work, but everyone got the A?

Don’t let that happen here.

Leverage the Right Tools for Transparent Communication

What tools do you need? And what should they accomplish?

The right collaboration tool will give everyone a transparent view of a lead’s communication history and current status. It’ll also offer ways to tag teammates and comment on lead activities, right from the lead page.

And when it comes to communication, the right tool should include call routing and multi-user calling features, so your teammates can listen to a call—or get added to the action.

Here’s the best part: Close CRM does all that—and more.

Lead visibility gives every user the same visibility on what’s happening with a lead.

Our new commenting and mentioning features facilitate in-lead-profile conversations so you can chat about lead activities—all inside Close. No need for Slack or another communication system to keep your collab running strong. ✌️

Call routing and IVR get incoming calls routed to the right person or group—based on the settings you input. And the call coaching features (a classic favorite) empower leadership to listen, whisper, or barge—depending on the deal at hand.

Plus we have the all-new Conversations page. This helpful tab supplies quick call histories for any lead in the CRM. Search for transcripts, playback recordings, and filter for key words or phrases to target your enquiry. You can even see live calls and shadow along.

Pro Tip: Skip the chit-chat and try out these features today with a 14-day free trial of Close—no credit card required.

We can help, but so can others—and we know you need the right CRM for your team. (Even if that’s not us.) 

The right tool will empower your success, but it can’t save you from poorly planned sales strategies. Implement smart team selling, then let the right tool (one that cares about collaboration) do the heavy lifting. 💪

Create a Process for Involving Other Teammates in Deals

Team selling is not a free-for-all. Whatever team structure you choose, you’ll need to create a documented process to include other teammates in the deal—or pass those prospects forward.

For example, if you opted for the assembly line structure, once your SDR has finished the discovery call, they need to know how and who to pass the deal to.

One clear element is establishing effective communication and channels that are designated for that communication—specifically. Features like tagging or Workflows (in Close) might be part of that.

Tagging draws specific teammates into certain deals, and Workflows function like a drip campaign—but for sales activities and outreach.

You’ll also want to make sure that every time your reps (or leaders, or engineers, or XYZ roles) step into a demo or sales call, they know what’s going on.

They should know:

  • Who they’re meeting. This data should be centralized in your CRM.
  • What you need from them. Why are you pulling in this teammate, anyway?
  • Sufficient background information. Where is the prospect in the sales pipeline? What problems are they facing?
  • What the goal is. Close the deal? Gain information? Streamline implementation?

Whether your organization is large or small, complex or straightforward, you need a documented process to involve teammates in team selling, and keep the hand-offs from falling through the cracks. 

Again, the right tools are golden here—but you need to use them within a defined structure.

The initial legwork will pay dividends. Guaranteed.

Use Team Selling Wisely to Shorten Sales Cycles

One good way to shorten a sales cycle? Create a sales process based on repeatability and efficiency. It’s not about skipping steps—it’s about making them more efficient.

And when the right criteria are met, team selling might be the best way for you to do that.

Bringing in diverse expertise, with unique knowledge and skill sets, can tackle objections quickly—and push prospects toward the close. It can absolutely save you time.

Or, it can waste it—if your structure isn’t up to snuff and communication gets sloppy.

And so, before rallying the troops, sign up for a free trial of Close. With robust features and streamlining tools, we know we’re a great partner to support your collaboration and team selling efforts.

You’ve got this! 👊

Table of Contents
Share this article