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. 

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. 


Marc has many years’ sales experience. But it’s still often difficult to make contact with the right decision-makers in prospective customers’ companies. He’s been trying to get his foot in the door of an international technology company for several weeks, but he keeps being sent from one contact person to the next. Marc therefore doesn’t appear to be making any progress, and is gradually becoming more and more frustrated.

Analyse problem situations as a team

In the next sales meeting, he decides to present the problem to his colleagues in a intervision exercise. Marc is the client, the other salespeople act as consultants, and their manager moderates and keeps an eye on the time. Marc outlines the scenario and the consultants ask factual, open questions. This is because it’s important to first have a clear picture of the situation before you can come up with any solutions. For example:

  • Who are you talking to?
  • Who is your most important contact?
  • Why are there so many contact persons?
  • Which questions should you ask?
    Etc.

Collective intelligence

Marc answers the consultants’ questions one by one, and then clearly explains what he expects from the participants: “I’ve got lost in the customer organisation. I’m looking for specific advice to structure my approach better, find the right angle, get my foot in the door and develop this opportunity – without wasting any more time on conversations with the wrong people.” Thanks to this clear question, the other participants can now give advice and offer solutions.

Marc in turn provides feedback about the advice and presents his action plan. He remains in control of the scenario and retains the solutions he finds interesting to get out of the impasse.

Finally, the consultants are given the chance to offer their opinion about Marc’s action plan, and the sales manager asks what lessons the team can learn from the collaborative exercise.

Everybody learns from a joint effort to find solutions

The strict procedures in Marc’s example force all participants to ask relevant questions and form a clear picture of the situation. There’s no competition between the salespeople – about who comes up with the best proposal – because Marc remains the master of his case. The consultants are forced to actively listen, and aren’t allowed to interact with each other. Marc gradually develops the exercise to find a solution for his impasse, using the advice that he deems useful. The group then helps him to consider his solution in detail.

This technique is called Intervision or Co-development and relies on Collective Intelligence. The solution is created through collaboration and collective efforts focusing on one and the same person: the customer.

Benefits of Collective Intelligence

This technique has a number of interesting benefits:

  • Strong sense of collaboration: everyone is prepared to help Marc and trusts the other participants, so any doubts and concerns are easily shared
  • Efficiency: Marc moves off the beaten track and tries to have faith in the new solutions suggested by his team, so he can integrate them in his action plan
  • Strong commitment to each other and the company: Marc’s case is taken from the daily reality – it’s the type of situation that all the salespeople in the team could come across. They now feel more connected to each other

Read more about the INTERVISION AND SALES TEAM COACHING open training, see if the next session fits into your schedule, and book your seat straight away:

INTERVISION AND SALES TEAM COACHING Open training

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