Co-Selling Champion: How To Become A Partner Manager

Co-selling is an art and a science. Let’s explore what you can do to develop the right set of skills and pave the way for a successful career.

Co-selling is an art and a science. It takes a champion of co-selling with a special blend of skills to become a successful partner manager. Let’s explore what you can do to develop the right set of skills and pave the way for a successful career.

When you’re fresh out of college, you may not have the network yet. But, when you’ve had years of relating to colleagues, you will have a solid network for partnering. This doesn’t mean you can’t start today – wherever you are in your career.

In many cases, this is why partner managers tend to be people who have been in sales or leadership roles for some time. This experience in the real world has brought them in contact with other people. Often, people worked together in the early days of a start-up. Or they collaborated on a community project. Or they sat on the boards and worked closely together. 

As you grow in your career, you are building skills that make you an exceptional partner manager. These include the ability to think strategically, innovate on value, make connections, and take collaboration further.

Let’s explore these four areas.


01. Think Strategically

Strategic thinking is a skill. This is good news because it means we can all learn it, and become better at it. If you’re a strategic thinker, you’re able to look at things from different perspectives and keep your eye on the goal. 

In a lot of ways, it’s like being a captain of a ship. You are in command of your ship, and able to navigate effectively under changing conditions. Amongst those changing conditions are competitors, market changes, and economic factors. While managing these, you’re looking for ways to work with others and achieve remarkable success.


02. Innovate On Value

The key for partner managers is innovating on value. This means you’ve got a keen sense of value that your product, service, or solution adds. Plus, you’re open-minded about contributing that value for the benefit of your customer. Whoosh. 

That was the sound of doors opening for innovation.


03. Connect With Your Peers

As a product manager, you’re on the lookout for being productive and working with creative people who like to make good things happen. That’s why you are staying in touch with people who you went to school with. This is why you are in the know and attending retreats and reunions. This is why you are in touch with like-minded folks who you worked with from your previous jobs, startups, and other projects.

As a connector, you know exactly who to especially keep in contact with. I’ll give you a hint. It is the people or person who is open-minded and has a collaborative spirit. I bet you have at least one, two, or ten people in mind.

Now, you know what to do. Guess what you’re going to do next? Get in touch.

Don’t wait. Do it right away. Send a note. Send a photo. Send an idea. Stay in touch and make sure you stay connected.


04. Go Further In Collaboration

As a partner manager, you are the champion for collaboration. You are the one people will come to with fresh ideas. You will be the first to get warm introductions to new connections. You will the go-to person to review rough drafts for brilliant partnerships. 

It will be up to you to model exactly the kind of openness and non-judgmental attitudes you’d like to receive. One of the best things you can do to become a collaborative selling partner is this: listen. Listen closely. Listen for key ideas. Listen for nuggets that may not be fully formed. 

While you’re listening, you’re also incubating. You’re letting ideas take shape in their own frame and time. In addition, you’re letting your teammates, bosses, and clients know that you’re the right person to go to with collaborative ideas.

By practicing these skills, you are thinking, speaking, and acting with the mindset of a partner manager. You may not have the title of partner manager—yet. The keyword is yet.


4 Questions To Ask To Become a Brilliant Partner Manager

  1. How can you get better at strategic thinking?
  2. How can you practice innovating on value?
  3. How can you strengthen connecting with my peers?
  4. How can you become better at collaborating?

As you explore these questions, it helps to remember that you are not alone.


Discuss Your Goals

Share your goals for becoming a partner manager with your team leader, boss, and supervisor. Speak about this with your teammates. Don’t make your goals a secret. When you define your interest, you’ll have more to discuss during performance reviews.

In many organizations, by discussing your goals, people can put you in touch with opportunities to volunteer, get advanced training, and receive expert mentoring.


Volunteer For Experience

Look to people in your organization who are already active in the role of being partner managers. Seek out opportunities to shadow them in their work. Ask to sit in on meetings. Explore how they think, speak, and behave with partners. 


Explore Training Options

Explore training options. Look within your organization for training and workshops where you can build these skills. Check out online training if you aren’t finding what you’re looking for in-house.


Assess Mentoring Opportunities

Many organizations offer mentoring opportunities for newer team members. If becoming a partner manager is something that interests you, explore opportunities for getting mentored.


Sum Up

Going forward, you can shape your career and build for your future success. Expect to see more organizations hiring for this position and promoting talented individuals to become partner managers. Focus on developing the specific skills you need to succeed in this role such as strategic thinking and collaborative creativity.

By optimizing your partner manager skills, 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 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.

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