How to Avoid Common Co-Selling Pitfalls

Using co-selling to develop referral sales is a smart strategy. But it takes more than just academic knowledge to build a robust channel-selling machine.

You’ve got a fire burning in your belly. You’re ready to go forward with aggressive targets, and co-selling as your jet fuel. 

Using co-selling to develop referral sales is a smart strategy. But it takes more than a piece of academic knowledge to build a robust channel-selling machine. Over the years, we’ve seen smart people make foolish mistakes. 

Here’s the way you can steer clear of common pitfalls and channel conflict. As the Latin proverb states:

Praemonitus, Praemunitus.”

This is classic strategic advice, meaning: forewarned is forearmed.


How to Anticipate and Boost Success

When we think of partner co-selling, it’s hard to resist the urge to go out and get people who would like to be part of your winning strategy. 

Familiar, right?

You just want to jump into action. This is understandable. Yet, if you go racing towards the goal without the internal workings in place, you can set yourself up for problems down the road.

With these three smart actions, you can prepare for success. What’s the best part? These three actions are fully within your sphere of influence and control.


Hire a Partner Leader Focused on Co-selling

To be successful, build your dedicated team for co-selling. It may seem common sense to you. However, many organizations fail to do this from the outset. Establishing a dedicated co-selling team is often something that happens as an after-thought.

This leaves valuable time, energy, and momentum up for grabs. 

When you start making money from partner attributed revenue naturally, you start thinking about partner management. Now, you’re ready to hire a partner manager. The entire proposition becomes more attractive. By building your Partner Co-Selling motion from the beginning, you have a chance to get it right from the get-go.

Naturally, salespeople are going to go for the biggest wins, with the highest incentives. As a sales leader, planning incentives for partner attributed revenue will make your team successful. Instead of focusing on solo direct sales, your team will see the value of coordinated efforts. 

In the short run and the long run, this can transform your sales organization.


Invest In Data Visualization

Partner leaders vary across different organizations. For most B2B businesses, partner managers are responsible for maintaining partner relationships, implementing partnership software, and surfacing new partnership opportunities, and most importantly, generating partner attributed revenue. However, depending on the stage of the business and maturity of the co-selling program the specific needs can be unique.

Before you jump into a partnership, outline the process flow of the involvement. This will help you anticipate conflicts, overlap, and opportunities. A good read: How to Structure a Co-Selling Partnership.

Once you have a clear sense of process, train your sales team. Find out what they know and don’t know. More often than not, this will help you create great tools for the future. Based on real-life, develop your sales enablement materials and training courses to rapidly onboard future sales representatives.


Invest In Collaborative Technology

You’ve got a great, dedicated sales team. You’ve got a clear sense of process, and information display depicting the flow. You’re doing a great job so far.

Now, you need to identify the best collaborative technology for your sales team and your partners. 

Getting this in place streamlines your efforts in partner-driven sales. Ideally, you’ll use easy and intuitive software such as CoSell to help your team operationalize and automate sales intelligence sharing and warm introductions.

As in most areas of life, we tend to use the tools that are easy, intuitive, and robust. With CoSell, you can make introductions, track partnerships, and rapidly build an effective network.

Similarly to sharing strategies, tactics, and wins—ask your Co-Selling top performers to share their tips and tricks. This is a highly effective way to build a consistent level of usage across your sales team. Who doesn’t want to emulate a winner?


Invest in Ongoing Learning

Your sales team is going to win big when they share knowledge with each other and with your trusted partners. You may have a few key people who are well experienced in co-selling and collaborative sales methods. Engage these high achievers to share their best practices, strategies, and mindset. Your best instructors are those already familiar with your organization, opportunities, and partners.

One of the best times to engage in learning is around specific wins. Everyone wants to know how to land a big partner. When the win is fresh, share the details. If you’re working in an office setting, some teams like to create a learning map. On the map, you can show specific steps, unique actions, and a timeline of engagement.

If you’re not in one location, share this more informally. Have a zoom meeting to share best practices in live storytelling. You’ll build team resilience, foster communication, and ignite a passion for Partner Co-selling.

As a bonus, you won’t have to push, command, or control. There’s an organic momentum when salespeople hear successes in an informal meeting. You don’t have to issue a set of rules, edicts, or mandates. You can let the momentum take shape, and encourage the flow of wins.


Sum Up

By identifying your best practices, you can avoid the common Co-Selling pitfalls. Instead, you can power forward to shape a new network, transform a new market, and realize significant revenue potential. Partnership Co-Selling is what makes it easy to boost channel partnerships.

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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