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“A new guy eagerly meeting prospects only to find out most of them are owned by his senior colleague who has been in a company/industry long enough to have known most of leads in the market.”

“A sales person managed to closed a deal after a few engagements but another sales person has been working hard on the same deal for many months without result.

Multiple sales persons within the company competing for the same deal from the same customer are quiet common and cannot be avoid. It can be a good sign : good market coverage or sales are aggressive in delivering the revenue. But there are potential negative effects if the conflict is not managed well :-

  1. Perceived favoritism
  2. Negative motivation and team work
  3. Giving away too much to get the sale – drop price, undesired practice
  4.  Negative impact on company reputation, brand and product
  5. Customer confused and reluctant to make decision


How to Avoid Competing On Same Customer

Tips 1 : Grace period

The first sales person who come to contact with the customer are allow a grace period (say 6 months) to engage with the deal. The grace period can be measured from first entry into the sales pipeline or last active sales activities with the same customer. Any other sale person who happen to meet the customers and assist in closing the deal within the grace period can share a portion of the commission but sales revenue goes to the first sales person (in measuring his performance). The manager is at liberty to assign the customers to other sales person who may be more suitable to serve the type of customers. This may avoid ownership over inactive leads and accounts.

Tips 2 : Shared same customer with different product needs

Each of sales persons deal with special products line they are strong at and jointly manage and nurturing the same customer. Each can cross refer the product needs of the customers and share some reward (referral fees).

Tips 3 : Size or type of customers

Sales persons have different strength. Some may be better at dealing with larger company/enterprise customers the involve multiple decision makers, long sales cycles and require more experience in sales and products. The junior sales who encounter ‘big’ customers can leverage the senior’s experience by joint sales. Reward from the deal can be shared according to the agreed policies.

Tips 4 : Work as Team

Sales process involve different stages. No all sales persons are good at each stage. A sales person may start with the initial approach, open the sales opportunity and another person can follow up product demo and close the deal. A good collaboration between team member may increase the sales closing ratio and shorten the sales cycle.
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