Business leaders are seeking an agile approach to working with partners, testing strategies and realizing value for building successful partner...
Partner Ecosystems: Unlocking The Formula For Growth
The key elements for a new growth formula are; innovate fast, stay ahead & work the ecosystem. With partner ecosystems we can sell more by selling together
Where’s that crystal ball when you need it? Imagine if we knew exactly which strategies and tactics would result in success. We’d have advance knowledge that would help our sales organizations sell smarter and work smarter.
Yet, even if we don’t have a crystal ball, we do know that partner ecosystems are the path to growth. We can sell more by selling together.
Let’s look at how to unlock the formula.
A recent McKinsey article highlights the key elements for a new growth formula: innovate fast, stay ahead, and work the ecosystem. The article describes how Majid Al Futtaim, a Dubai-based conglomerate, is innovating with ecosystem partners.
McKinsey estimates that by 2025, a global revenue pool of $60 billion will derive from ecosystems. This is roughly 30% of the global economy up from 1-2% today.
While your business may not be part of a big brand or global enterprise, consider how you can adopt an ecosystem mindset. Many early-stage startups and small businesses are putting ecosystem thinking to work in their organizations.
As you have the opportunity to influence the success of your business, consider how you can adapt these ideas to your own unique situation.
Collaborate and Build Relationships
Collaboration is a popular word for a reason. It’s the single factor that helps us get the most out of every sales interaction. When you have personal relationships amongst your partner teams. It’s much like an internal team dynamic – it’s just easier to reach out when you have a personal relationship. It’s easier to ask for help, input, and coaching.
Think about it. Perhaps someone on your partnership team has information that will help you refine a presentation. A person who knows the decision maker can help you focus your key points to address top concerns. An experienced partner manager understands their organization and customer – in ways you haven’t even thought about.
As partner teams are often working virtually – it’s even more important to build personal relationships and encourage collaboration is even higher.
Now, let’s take this into daily life. How can you ignite collaboration with partners as a way of working?
1. Identify Shared Objectives
While you’re exploring successful partnerships, the question is partnering with shared objectives, and moving towards the same direction. Look for overlaps that help you innovate together to serve your customers.
2. Share Warm Introductions
Sharing warm introductions can help ecosystem partners connect with their target audiences. This means faster sales cycles, fewer obstacles, and more rapid growth. While doing this, there is the additional benefit of seeking to provide value in ways that are directly helping partners grow their business.
3. Encourage Informal Check Ins
Formal meetings can be tedious and time-consuming. Informal check-ins, on the other hand, are easy to do. You can get answers to questions – without a formal agenda. Consider where this may help you stay in close contact with your partners.
4. Structure Win Sessions
Schedule times to share wins – across sales teams, across regions, and across partners. Share real-time stories to boost motivation and build a stronger partner ecosystem.
5. Include Each Other
In our increasingly virtual work environment, it’s even more important to include each other. Get partners together to brainstorm, solve issues, and explore new solutions. You may be delighted to get guidance, history, input, and support.
6. Look For New Audiences
As you and your partners share target audiences, look for ways to complement your existing businesses. For example, if you’re involved in tech for grocery stores, look for related audiences. This may lead you to offer tech solutions to farmers, manufacturers, small food producers, and online retailers.
You may be able to adapt your offerings to appeal to different age groups, regions, and demographics. As you expand into new target audiences, develop strategies to benefit everyone in the partnership ecosystem.
7. Simplify Technology
While there are an ever-increasing number of digital solutions, people are longing for simplicity. This simplicity may apply to different areas of the business such as real-time data, finances, or productivity.
Explore the pains that your partners are experiencing. Examine the goals of your target audience. What can you do to develop a simplified solution that puts a smile on peoples’ faces when they use it?
8. Leverage Data Insights
As you and your partners work together, you’re gathering data insights. Just about every business owner understands that timely data drives profitability. If you know who is buying what, you can anticipate the need with timely offers. If you understand the value of these insights, you may be inspired to offer it as a revenue stream to advertisers, businesses, or industry advisors.
9. Be A Collaborative Leader
As a sales leader, CEO, or entrepreneur – your teams and partners are looking to you. They want to see, hear, and feel that you’re practicing what you’re preaching.
It may seem old-fashioned, but we often make snap decisions based on what we see, hear, and sense. When you’re a collaborative leader, get in the habit of considering your impact.
To achieve this, examine your beliefs, communication style, hiring practices, and relationship skills. It’s not about achieving perfection – but it is about proceeding with humility and experimentation. When you make this a priority, your partners will notice.
It may also cause you to make different decisions that have a ripple effect in your organization. For example, you could invest heavily in talent. This could extend to recruiting new talent, finding people with critical skills, and offering online training programs to help people gain necessary skills.
Additionally, you may shift resources and choose to invest in offering training, coaching and mentoring to develop skills needed for a collaborative culture. Focus training on key skills in agility, creativity, collaboration, and innovation.
As you explore the growing impact of partner ecosystems, you’ll see new ways to plant seeds, nurture collaboration, and encourage experimentation.
Building your personal collaboration skills is essential for growth. Fostering a collaborative culture is key to creating a thriving partner ecosystem.
By starting with the right mindset, 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 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.