Curious what lies ahead for co-selling in 2021? We've scoured the news and selected the 7 critical trends for collaborative selling.
The Time to Invest in a Co-Selling Strategy Is Now
To recover from COVID-19, we all need to; rebuild, rethink and re-envision. And when it comes to digital selling; the best strategy is Partner Co-Selling.
As you are no doubt experiencing, the COVID-19 recovery will be digital. Reading the reports, tools, checklists, and insights at McKinsey, this truth comes down like a heavy hammer. We all need to do these things: recover, rebuild, rethink, and re-envision.
When you think of digital, you might think about digital banking, online ordering, and virtual training. That’s true. But if you’re in sales, you’ve gone straight past all those conveniences.
You go straight to the best strategies for digital selling: Partner Co-Selling.
While Partner Co-selling may have its humble roots in sharing data with like-minded partners, there are more reasons why Partner Co-Selling strategy is right for this moment in time.
If you look at the key stages identified by McKinsey, we need smart digital tools to be successful. We need these tools at every phase of recovery. Most sales organizations are struggling with these phases. We are seeking to bring business back—or forward—in an environment where a vaccine has yet to be delivered.
Individuals, organizations, countries, and economies are all still reeling.
And yet, we must continue forward. To do so, business experts advise that we must return and re-imagine sales. This is key to staying effective, focused, and strategic.
Investing in Partner Co-Selling is the smart thing to do right now. It is key to add agility, boost flexibility, and increase speed. We may not return to the old world. We may not conduct sales as we did in the previous normal. But, to move forward with confidence, look to Partner Co-Selling.
Recovering Sales Revenue
Accelerating Adoption of Digital Solutions
Without a doubt, smart organizations are making an abrupt shift to remote, virtual teams. The urgency of responding to this global pandemic has radically increased the speed of this shift.
Nevertheless, here we are. The writing is on the wall: to recover sales revenue, we must get better at working virtually.
This is done to a large part with software. But to an equally important part: human creativity.
The software we need includes Partner Co-Selling tools for making warm introductions. We want a program that is easy, simple, efficient, and secure. We want to be able to sort out the best referrals for each partner ensuring a flow of high-value data.
The tools we need for human creativity are also critical. These include virtual meeting spaces, zoom, digital whiteboards, videoconferencing, and instant chat. We need the tools, the skills, and the willingness to create closer contact—at more of a distance. We need to be able to simulate conversations as if we are ‘being in the room’ together.
While some of the brilliant technology for this is primarily used in Fortune 500 companies, public tools promote collaboration and participation. You may not have the budget for a Telepresence system but you can make a zoom call.
Key Things for Recovering Sales Revenue:
- Co-selling software
- Collaboration tools
- Creative mindset for inclusion
Rebuilding Sales Operations
Respecting Contactless Partner Co-Selling
Working from home is different. Each person experiences unique challenges, unlike those in a professional office setting. Yet, for the time being, for many people, working from home adds stress.
In order to rebuild sales operations, take a big dose of respect. Video conferences may include the presence of a young child, a family pet, or the sound of the washing machine in the background.
When working to rebuild, start with respect. Be patient as people find their way in creating an efficient home workspace. This applies to contactless contact with team members, sales leaders, partner teams, and partner sales leaders.
In addition, some people will already be familiar with virtual tools more than others. If you are a tech wizard, now is a good time to be kind. Share your tips and techniques for home adaptations. If you have experience with a virtual tool or software, help out your teammates. With an expanded view of ‘team’, this applies to all your partners as well.
Key Things for Rebuilding Sales Operations:
- Videoconferencing tools in place
- Guidelines and norms agreed upon
- Happy to help others get up to speed
Rethinking the Sales Partner Organization
Accelerating Value for Sales Partners
When rethinking the sales organization, strategic direction is essential. It is tempting to exercise control somewhere: especially when so much is unknown. It is tempting to spell everything out with extremely detailed codes of conduct, process, and outcomes. However, while the environment remains in flux, agility is the most important guiding principle.
Experts advise staying flexible and not trying to replicate everything that worked at a headquarters or central facility. It presumes to know things that are unknowable.
With flexibility, you’ll focus on the direction of strategy and assume positive intent.
Save yourself sleepless nights outlining protocol. Focus on results. Work backward to find unique ways to respond, and invite your team, leaders, and partners into the collaborative process of rethinking.
You don’t really know where the next brilliant insight or idea will emerge. With a focus on collaboration, trust, and results—you and your partners will create together.
As in all creative projects, staying in close touch will help you notice drifts, make adjustments, and keep the channels of communication open.
Key ideas for Rethinking The Sales Partner Organization
- Collaborating is more powerful than controlling
- Encourage flexibility and sharing of ideas
- Be open to changes, refinements, and course corrections
Re-envisioning Sales Strategy
Adapting Rapidly To Strategic Partner Co-Selling
Sales leaders know that “we’re all in this together.” From one-on-one interactions to group meetings, their tone sets the tone. From internal meetings to partner account mapping meetings, leaders model their approach.
McKinsey highlights three areas that help teams engage customers and external stakeholders. These are vitally important to communicate effectively with partner sales leaders and partner team members.
First: Engage with Purpose
While working virtually, be especially alert to purposeful engagement. Make every contact point valuable. Ask questions to explore deeper concerns and personalize delivery to match the needs of your partner.
You may be able to add additional value with statistics, fact sheets, checklists, and tools.
Second: Be Transparent
Share tools with your partners. As you come across new findings, social media posts, emails, or news that could benefit your partner, be proactive. Your transparency demonstrates that you are keeping them top of mind.
Engaging with partners is an ongoing process. You won’t do it once and then forget about it. Instead, keep reviewing and reimagining. Keep exploring how to make collaboration easier, faster, and simpler.
Once you find processes that work, share these with your sales team, sales leaders, partner team members, and partner leaders.
Key Considerations for Re-envisioning Sales Strategy
- Engage sales partners with the purpose
- Be transparent and share tools
- Collaborate for maximum involvement
Now is the time to invest in Partner CoSelling. Successful businesses are investing in digital solutions to stay agile, focused, and strategic. They are using Partnership CoSelling to return, rebuild, rethink, and re-envision sales. Partnership CoSelling is an important focus during COVID-19 and moving forward.
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 help automate and scale 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.