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...
Making the SMART Choice with CoSelling
SMART: Specific, Measurable, Actionable, Resourceful & Timely. In co-selling, being SMART is a great way to enhance collaboration in the 'next normal'.
As we head into this quarter, many people I’m talking with are wondering how the pandemic will shape the workplace trends of 2021. It’s clear that we are getting used to working virtually, and this looks likely to continue for collaborative selling.
One of the core tenets of sales training is we are focused on getting results. I bet you remember the SMART methodology from your sales training days. SMART is an acronym that stands for: Specific, Measurable, Actionable, Resourceful, and Timely.
When it comes to collaborative selling, being SMART is not only an easy way to refine our approach, it’s also a great way to enhance collaboration in the ‘next normal’ workplace.
As there are many aspects of our work environments that are in flux, using the SMART method is something to do consistently and repeatedly. Personally, I like to check-in at least once a month with this as a compass.
We’re all looking for specific and verifiable data about our prospects. When we have an accurate view of our potential clients, we all start to breathe more easily.
Specificity means different things for different people. When you have a specific idea of key prospective companies, you’ll also want to drill down to know specific decisions makers. Once you know the drivers, it’s time to examine their motives both from a company perspective and a personal perspective. There may be people, issues, legislation, and company strategies that are affecting the timing of their buying decisions.
By doing a deep investigation into your prospects, you’ll have a great deal of insight.
One of the best ways to determine specificity is to measure it. It may seem like a lot of work. It could feel like overkill. But, if you talk with seasoned sales leaders, they will all extol the value of measuring your sales process—and your sales results.
Some sales leaders, of course, rely on the sales results measurement. This is why so many people have stories about their former bosses hounding them to make their numbers and fill in the quarterly report.
The best sales leaders know this simple truth: if you measure the process, you’ll have a clearer path for confidence in the outcome.
- What does measuring the process look like?
- How many key decision-makers have you identified?
- How much do you know about each one’s buying persona?
- How much information do you have about influencers?
- How many sources do you have for information about the company?
- How many key decision-makers are you contacting per day, week, and month?
Naturally, your questions will be unique and most likely more precise than the ones listed above. You’ll want to have key measurements that will be adaptable to different situations, regions, and team members.
Collaborative selling is all about being actionable. You need to be able to take action on your ideas—so that you can reap the benefits of your work.
The idea is straightforward: steady, consistent action produces results.
Of course, steady, consistent and targeted action produces even better results. This is the primary concept behind warm introductions.
When you know the companies, decision-makers, influencers, business strategies of potential partners—you have a keener sense of who to have on your account map. You know which people to contact to get the most relevant and actionable information. This may be as simple as sharing a contact with a colleague because you know they are looking to get close to one of your strategic partners.
One of the key concepts about actionable is this: break it down. If you notice that ideas are vast but actions are limited…break things down into bite-size chunks.
So far, we’ve got: Specific. Check. Measurable. Check. Actionable. Check.
What’s next? Resourceful.
To be successful, we need to have the best resources. In this case, our resources need to include an easy-to-use platform. We don’t want to waste hours getting up to speed on software that has a steep learning curve.
That’s why a simple solution such as CoSell is so appealing. It is easy to use from the get-go. You don’t need to have in-depth training or a Ph.D. to get the hang of it. When you’ve got an intuitive platform, you can focus all your attention on moving your collaborative sales initiatives forward.
Other types of resources may be more about the people-side of the equation. Look for sales leaders and team members who are having wins with collaborative selling. Make room for people to share their stories, explain their sales process, and motivate other sales reps with their wins.
In the context of collaborative selling, having timely information and actions is key. This is where a platform for sharing data overlaps is so valuable. You are able to know with confidence that the data is accurate and up-to-date.
You want to be able to get to the key decision-makers at the best time. Timely information in sales is critical.
For instance, one company may have a year-end in January. Another has the fiscal year ending in March. By knowing this critical fact, you can tailor your approach to match their purchasing calendar. Without this information, you could waste valuable time and miss the mark of internally driven deadlines.
Why Co-Selling Is SMART
Partnerships help us sell more together. While partnerships vary across industries, we are able to achieve greater wins by broadening our abilities to serve our customers.
We might find ourselves thinking ‘out-of-the-box.’
In channel partnerships, we may find opportunities for a reseller to partner with a vendor to sell a new solution. We may see a service provider working with the reseller to offer maintenance and peace-of-mind.
In other partnerships, start-ups may find opportunities with an enterprise, offering new innovative products to a broader, already established market.
When looking for co-selling opportunities, you may find yourself stretching out of traditional lines of business.
The smartest and simplest way to get started with co-selling is to do look at your sales process. Explore ways to refine each stage of collaborative selling so that it is: specific, measurable, actionable, resourceful, and timely.
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.