Growing business through partners can be tough or it can be simple. Many companies make it tough because they don’t set themselves up to win at this.Good partnerships bring collaboration, leverage and enhanced visibility. With the advent of mobile, social, cloud and data technologies there are many ways to gain positive results with partners.
Recently at the Sales Leadership Exchange put on by Sirius Decisions, Laz Gonzales, Service Director, Channel Management Strategies at Sirius and his co-presenter, Stephanie Sissler, Research Director at Sirius talked about two things that really resonated:
Focus on the customer, not on partners – think about how your customer buys and what their preferences are. After that you can look for partners who match that criteria
Create an Ideal Partner Profile with the data you have accumulated about your buyers and about potential partners – they talked about the “six C’s” for selecting the right partner to work with:
Working with MSPs over the years we have run into partners, vendors, and customers who don’t support this special ecosystem of visibility, leverage and collaboration. They have problems because somehow they are not putting themselves in the shoes of their constituents. We recommend meeting in person as possible or at a minimum creating a 2-way video conference call that you have regularly to go over perceived issues, current focus, and help to be offered or received on potential opportunities.
True Story: How A Company Forgot the Importance of Communication – and Lost
A Managed Services Provider (MSP) on the East Coast had team members who were not good at communicating. Rather than dig deep and determine what the cause of consistent lack of good messaging issues was, they said it was because they get extremely busy working on potential deals and helping existing customers. Although they had a lot of enthusiasm and expertise in helping potential buyers, unfortunately they had a poor process to track conversations and commitments. What happened recently is that they lost a multi-million dollar deal simply by not following up – not once but three times. A potential referral – the very best kind of business to be introduced to - became a botched missed opportunity.
Not only did this cost their organization a very large big deal, it cost much more than that. The true cost was hours of time invested, and the low morale throughout a team in the company once they learned of the missed potential deal. You can’t put a price on that.
Learn from other’s mistakes – put a system in place, meet with all of your constituents, plan, act, and refine. If you do that consistently, you will work together to win the kind of opportunities that partnering produces.
This post was brought to you by IBM for MSPs and opinions are my own. To read more on this topic, visit IBM’s PivotPoint. Dedicated to providing valuable insight from industry thought leaders, PivotPoint offers expertise to help you develop, differentiate and scale your business.
Lori Richardson is recognized as one of "50 Most Influential in Sales Leads Management" and on Forbes as one of the "Top 30 Social Sales Influencers" worldwide. Lori speaks, writes, trains, and consults with inside sales teams in mid-sized companies. Subscribe to the award-winning blog and the “Sales Ideas In A Minute” newsletter for sales strategies, tactics, and tips. Increase Opportunities. Expand Your Pipeline. Close More Deals.