Competition is often tight between sales reps. As a result, many work with a lone wolf mentality rather than embracing sales with a pack mindset. However, when team members work together, the entire organization benefits.

Want to learn how to get your sales team working together by sharing best practices? Mitch Ditkoff, the co-founder and president of Idea Champions, says you might be limiting them in 10 ways. We share Ditkoff’s thoughts on why more people aren’t sharing their best practices in this issue of Promotional Consultant Today.

1. Command and control. Ditkoff says that most leaders aren’t really committed to people sharing their ideas with each other. It sounds strange, but freely shared ideas often end up rocking the boat. Old ways of doing things get challenged. The status quo gets confronted. More emails abound. More opinions. More disagreements. More meetings. Cranky-inducing stuff.

2. No clear, compelling vision of success. Without a clear, compelling vision to motivate employees beyond the call of duty, many end up just going through the motions, says Ditkoff. Rote takes precedence. Old habits rule. Mediocrity prevails.

3. No sense of interdependence. According to Ditkoff, people will not take the time to share their insights, ideas and best practices with each other if there is no recognition of the need to collaborate. If teamwork is not a clearly articulated (and reinforced) organizational value, there will be very little chance that the people doing the work are going to make the effort to connect with each other.

4. Lack of trust and appreciation. People may recognize the need to collaborate with each other, but they may not like or trust each other, notes Ditkoff. Without trust and a genuine appreciation for the perspective of others, best practices will rarely, if ever, be shared.

5. No clarity about what a best practice is. If you ask people to bring a tuna fish sandwich to a meeting, they can do that. But if you ask them to bring a “best practice,” who knows what you’ll get. If you want best practices to be shared in your organization, be very clear about what you are asking people to communicate, says Ditkoff.

6. No intention. No agreement. No buy-in. It’s fine to generically request people to share their best practices, but unless your request is understood, honored and owned, it won’t amount to anything.

7. Fear of judgment. Ditkoff notes that some people have a truckload of best practices to share, but they worry what others will think. The result? They clam up and keep things to themselves.

8. The perception of lack of time. Face it. If a person thinks they have no time, there is very little chance they are going to agree to share best practices.

9. Lame listening. The sharing of best practices requires two things: someone to speak and someone to listen. Most of us, of course, would rather speak than listen, says Ditkoff. If you and your team are committed to sharing what you are learning with each other, make sure that listening is baked into the process.

10. No platform. Sharing best practices with other people requires some kind of communication method or platform. If your team does not have a reliable way to share what they are learning, it’s doubtful they will share anything.

Your sales reps might be sitting on a gold mine of best practices. Encourage them to share what they know by creating a culture that welcomes collaboration.

Source: Mitch Ditkoff is the co-founder and president of Idea Champions, a management consulting and training company. Ditkoff specializes in helping forward-thinking organizations go beyond business as usual, originate breakthrough products and services and establish dynamic, sustainable cultures of innovation.

Compiled by Audrey Sellers