Sales

New Rules for B2B Partnerships

It's time to think outside the box, to think about our direct & indirect partners and to transform our partnerships into true collaborative experiences.


In a recent Accenture report, B2B companies are taking steps to transform their partnership models. They are finding new ways to move forward together. It’s become clear that the success of B2B companies is tightly interwoven with their channel partners.

Over and over we are seeing that this is the right time to think outside the box. This is the moment to think about our direct and indirect partners. This is the best time to transform our partnerships into true collaborative experiences.

How does improvement start?

According to the experts at Accenture, it begins with a new operating model for productivity. This new model, and new rules, treat partners as trusted co-creators.

Let’s take a closer look and see what this might mean in your sales organization. 

The big signposts on this road: leveraging what we have, rethinking our positions, planning together, moving forward, and of course – creating new value.

 

Leveraging

I love the word ‘leverage.’ To me, it stands for a way of thinking that uses what you have, in ways that you haven’t done before. Just imagine a little guy with a little stick, suddenly being able to move a huge boulder, which had seemed immovable.

When you’re looking at collaborative partnerships, this is often how it goes. A scrappy start-up has ideas, creativity, and insights that a giant global organization just doesn’t even see.

It’s not that the possibilities for the partnership weren’t there. It’s that due to the thickness of norms, it doesn’t rise to the top. With complex and intricate protocols, guidelines, and regulations—the idea for a trust-based partnership never even popped up.

It takes a different pair of eyes and ears to see what is possible. 

 

Rethinking

Based on leveraging unique strengths—and weaknesses, it’s possible to rethink the value proposition. 

Recently, when remote working started skyrocketing, some businesses recognized this as a remarkable opportunity to build new partnerships.

At the same moment, many professionals were moaning and groaning about the loss of productivity, loss of camaraderie, and loss of normalcy. Yet, other people were rethinking how to connect the dots with new partners. They were rethinking the entire pattern and perception about remote working. 

While many leaders were worrying about virtual work, remote-working companies set up new offices in urban centers and remote locations. One such company is Outsite, which now has multiple creative workspaces around the world, for digital nomads. 

And they didn’t stop there. 

Outsite also rethought the entire value proposition. They recognized that remote work has a high value for realtors, property owners, and property managers. With this in mind, they are building meaningful relationships with both the workers, organizations of remote workers, and property owners. 

Rethinking opens up new possibilities for partner models that are more similar to living ecosystems.

 

Planning

Of course, once you identify key leverage points and define break-through ideas, you need to do some serious planning. 

Planning is a fascinating process. Often teams start with one idea, and as they gather insights and information, they realize that their original idea isn’t quite as sparkly as they thought. 

This is when you need to commit to iterate, investigate, and be ready to pivot.

Here’s a different example of planning from in the remote working arena. Another company saw this trend of remote working as an opportunity to create work-tours. 

Remote Year offers tours for digital nomads that include housing, local hosts, and office-locations. As professional business travelers get familiar with this option, they are seeing it as a perk and benefit. 

This is appealing to organizations as well as to individuals. Forward-facing organizations recognize that remote working is also a way to attract top talent. It’s a win-win.

You can just imagine what the planning meetings are with an ecosystem-like approach to brainstorming. New and brilliant ideas often emerge.

 

Moving

Moving forward is the name of the game for strategic partnerships. This phase of the process happens when you’ve got the leverage concept, value proposition, and precise plan.

There is a time for implementing your ideas and making them real. 

As you would expect, this is where ‘the rubber meets the road.’ Even with the most remarkable plans, you’ll see projects move forward only when the team participates with agility.

Project management is often viewed as a balance of 3 elements: time, scope, and budget. 

Let’s take this idea of remote working a little closer to home. Perhaps in recent months, you’ve been working from your kitchen table, dining table, spare room, or garage.

Just think about your office setup. How have you adjusted to working remotely? I bet you’ve set up a home office to cope with the changes in virtual working. Maybe you’ve got a new computer, WiFi, and sound system. 

With all the time you’re spending working from home, you might have decided to remodel the garage and set up a real office space. Each of these decisions costs time, money, and energy. As you make the changes, you’re constantly juggling and juggling. Should you knock the wall down? Or, should you work within the current space? Should you do it yourself with that trusty sled hammer in the corner? Or should you hire a professional design-and-build expert?

While you’re making these decisions, you are experiencing the perils and pleasures of a project manager. You’re moving forward in this vital phase of making your ideas real. 

This same idea stage happens when you’re working with B2B partners. You’ll want to roll up your sleeves and make sure that you’re providing clarity, support, structure, and balancing the elements: time, scope, and budget.

 

Creating

Let’s explore some of the possibilities. Let’s say you’re not alone in your home office remodeling project.  

You are working with a construction partner. It might be your version of the popular comedy television show with 2 brothers in “A Man with a Plan.” 

You work together and follow the essential steps to create your home office. In the back of your mind, you and your partner view your office remodel as a test case. You start to show the results and share your success with neighbors, friends, and family.

This is when your construction partner sees the potential. 

He or she goes wild for this idea and then the wheels start spinning. Over a strong pot of coffee, you brew up an expanded version of where your remodel idea can go. You may have been happy with getting a functional and private home office. Yet, your partner is going full-steam ahead.

He has blueprints for turning a garage into a remote-work sanctuary. He has people lined up who need this done to their home. He has built #1, and now he wants to expand.

As you explore the details, you can determine how to best move forward.

 

Collaborating With Partners

It’s easy to see from these examples how working with collaborative partners opens up new opportunities. 

By looking at challenges in a fresh light, you can transform a problem into a new source of value. This is truly a physical project like construction, remodeling, or remote working. It’s equally true for selling software and expanding the scope of your B2B partnerships.

With warm introductions, you can build your network and grow your vision into reality.

 

Sum Up

Exploring new ways to work collaboratively with your partners is key to helping your company move forward. 

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.

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