As a sales leader, you can take co-selling from a ‘good idea’ into a game-changing advantage for your organization.
How Do You Strengthen Your Co-selling Partnerships?
7 industry leaders get candid about how they strengthen their co-selling partnerships. Learn their unique & refreshing approach to collaboration.
In today’s business environment, smart sales leaders are actively looking for fresh ways to identify their most valuable partners. Recently CoSell did a survey of CEOs and CROs to determine their top needs, challenges, and priorities.
One of the key questions we asked top leaders, “How do you strengthen your co selling partnerships?” Today, I’d like to share 7 of their candid answers.
Before we jump in, let me explain why I’m focusing on these answers. They are thinking completely differently about collaboration. They are simply not limited by what can be the biggest mental obstacle to co selling: fear of losing out to your competition.
What Is It About Competition?
Competition. I bet you know what I’m talking about.
As salespeople, it’s pretty natural that our early training is steeped in competition. We grow up with it. We practice it. We use it in school.
By the time we’re in sales professionally, we are warriors. We are good at the competition game.
I don’t know if this is true for you. But I often hear concerns about co-selling that seem rooted in primal fear. It goes something like this, “Aren’t we giving away valuable information to the competition?”
Even if you don’t come right out and say it, I bet you know the feeling.
This feeling can take over. Even in the face of completely contradictory evidence.
Even with all the data on how collaboration leads to bigger deal sizes, increased deal velocity, and greater profits.
At the beginning of a conversation about CoSell, I still find myself explaining how co-selling is not about giving all the data to a competitor. You’d think this would be an easy concept. Yet, because competitive spirit seems to be hardwired, let’s give it some attention.
Collaborative selling is not about handing over the profits to your competition. Far from it.
That’s exactly what we are hearing from these 7 sales leaders. It’s why their responses are so inspiring. They aren’t focusing on competition. They are focusing on adding value and growing.
Let’s dive in.
Now, keep in mind, each of these sales visionaries is in a different organization and speaks the language of their world. Here are seven key ideas for strengthening your co selling partnerships.
1. “Find existing or potential integrations. Deliver mutual value to the client.”
—Avi Singer, CEO, showed. me
I love that. Mutual value to the client is the driving force of ‘why it matters.’ This kind of thinking will help you spot integrations that customers are using, seeking, or will love going forward.
2. “Find companies who are selling a complementary product to our audience.”
—Sanjay Goel, CEO/Founder, NachoNacho
This also gets to the heart of the matter. With an obvious overlap in customers, you can strengthen ways to serve your audience. You will spot complimentary products. It’s a win-win for you, your partners, and your customers.
3. “Find partners that work with a market that’s as close as possible to our own, without being competitive.”
—Rajeev Bector, Founder & CEO, OK Roger
The market overlap is a great point to begin finding your most valuable partners. You’re already appealing to the same customers. By working together in a close partnership, you can add more value than before. The key, as we’ve been highlighting, is finding closeness without being competitive.
4. “Find partners who use our product—and intuitively get it.”
—Scott Britton, Co-founder, Troops
When partners use your product, you’ve already got an experiential buy-in. They know, use, and value what you offer. This explains why they are champions of your creativity, product, service, and solution. They are fans and supporters of what you offer.
This is a powerful pull and creates a collaborative environment for creativity.
5. “We see pull from our customers for a type of solution. When we find a high-quality integration already built, and the partner is willing to heavily invest in GTM alongside us.”
—Prakash Gupta, Founding CEO, Turing
This is a reminder of listening to what customers are requesting, but it doesn’t stop there. This leader is looking for other signs and signals to strengthen valuable partnerships: the integration is already built. Plus, the partner is ready to invest resources to bring the solution to market.
6. “Find a closely related solution – and provide a thorough, clear explanation for why your solution is different from your partners.”
—Alex Boyd, CEO, Revenue Zen
This is a very specific instruction and it helps to understand why it works. When you and your partner provide what looks similar, you have to be able to offer a clear rationale that withstands closer examination.
With a very closely related solution, each party can build credibility and illustrate to the end-customer why you’ve chosen to partner. The end effect? Customers will see the value of each part of the partnership.
7. “Find partners who are aligned in business experience, aligned in values, aligned with common prospects, and aligned in offering complementary services.”
—Eric Keosky-Smith, Chief Growth Officer, Hownd, Inc.
Alignment is a key to having a shared perspective. If you were thinking in traditional terms, this is akin to finding your most likely sales prospect. You don’t need an educational sale to find common ground.
In identifying your most valuable partners, look for alignment in all areas. Do you have similar business experience? Do you share values? Do you serve a close or overlapping market? Do you offer complimentary, yet not competitive, services or solutions?
Think of how this way of looking is very similar to the classic Venn Diagram. When you have overlapping circles, you can focus on the areas where you are most likely to achieve success. This is a smart way to be radically more productive, close deals faster, and increase deal size.
What’s the one common theme about strengthening your co selling partnerships?
Serve your customers by sharing products, services, and solutions that are closely aligned — but not competitive.
Finding partners who offer valuable solutions to your customers is a powerful starting place. As you explore your customer’s needs together, you’ll be able to serve your clients in new ways that amplify the power of your solutions. As you work together, you’ll spot opportunities to continue to add value for your customers – and grow your collaborative partnerships.
By optimizing your virtual sales performance, you can join successful businesses that are shaping the market and realizing significant revenue potential. Partnership Co-Selling is how you can virtually qualify B2B sales opportunity. You can use this to boost sales, expand your network, and grow profitability.
Using a platform like CoSell.io is the simplest way to get your sales team on board. CoSell is a robust platform that makes it easy and fast to automate and scale collaborative co-selling across sales teams.
If you’d like to explore how partnership co-selling can help you and your team boost sales and win major clients fast - check out our selection of free eBooks.