Collective intelligence makes your sales team smarter. Empower your entire team to help one salesperson solve a problem by using intervision techniques to leverage collective intelligence.
Put simply: ‘two heads are better than one’. Intervision techniques therefore help you harness every member of a team’s own thoughts and ideas to promote group intelligence – investing in each member and increasing the potential of overcoming one salesperson’s specific challenge.
Intervision techniques call on collective intelligence
Intervision, also known as ‘group coaching’, ‘peer coaching’ or ‘co-development’, refers to an activity with a small group of professionals who have a professional context in common. It emphasizes the multilateral contribution between colleagues – as opposed to supervision – because collective intelligence is a kind of wisdom and knowledge that grows out of a group.
The intervision technique provides sales managers with a different way to interact with their team and team members. Similar to group coaching, it relies on questioning and active listening, but also employs brainstorming techniques and makes it possible to tackle both technical and conceptual problems. The main difference, however, is that intervision covers topics that will benefit the entire sales team and make it more effective, whereas individual coaching aims to solve a problem specific to the salesperson.
What sales problems can intervision techniques help to resolve?
Team meetings are too often laborious and ineffective, and this is where collective intelligence can help. Intervision techniques relate to sales team coaching. They develop sales efficiency, strengthen team spirit, and increase corporate identity. They can be used to generate new ideas, discover new ways to analyze situations, and find new possible solutions.
There are a couple of conditions for its effective use, however: the presented case must be real, and it must relate to a real blocked sales opportunity, for example in a situation where a salesperson experiences repetitive failure or a persistent communication issue.
The exposed situation very often reveals a common problem – something that sounds familiar to all salespeople, which they might have been exposed to in the past or are still facing today. This is why the intervision session can benefit the whole team.
How to moderate an intervision session
The session can be done with or without a facilitator, but it’s always crucial to stick to the allocated time for the exercise to be effective and stop the group from dwelling on details. It is recommended to spend 45-90 minutes on each issue as a group, depending on the group size and complexity of the topic.
- During an intervision session, a participant raises one issue, which could be a new challenge or a problem that they have encountered. It’s essential that it’s an ongoing issue.
- The other participants then act as consultants and commit to share ideas, collaborate, and help the salesperson who wants to overcome a difficult situation. Group members ask questions to find out more about the topic and clarify particular points. It’s important not to start discussing solutions at this stage, but simply to focus on clarifying the issue.
- The next stage is for the group to start brainstorming possible ways of approaching the problem and suggesting possible solutions. The issue owner is invited to listen and to take in the proposals without joining the discussion.
- Following the brainstorming session, the group makes a number of recommendations and suggestions to the issue owner, who can then provide feedback on what he/she has heard from the group: how it helps or not, what they can take away from the exercise, etc.
Selling in uncertain times
This technique is particularly relevant in today’s market – with fierce competition and rapid change. Sales organizations need collective intelligence to be more agile and adaptive without burning talent. Visit our ‘Selling in uncertain times’ resource center, talk to our experts, and check out our open ‘Intervision and sales team coaching’ training to find out more.