What To Look for In a Collaboration Partnership Manager?

The list of activities for partnership managers is often diverse, verging on vast. Let’s explore these activities & see how you can hire the best.

A successful collaboration partnership manager is … ___. 

Now, just fill in the blank. Many leaders are looking to 'fill in the blank' as the concept is still evolving. Collaboration partnership manager is a new, hot, and emerging role. 

The list of activities for partnership managers is often diverse, verging on vast. I’ve been talking with VP’s and gathering their comments. 

At times, it sounds like we want a miracle worker. We’re looking for a person who can wave a magic wand, inspire, teach, coach, and lead like a champion. 

Among the top activities just about every leader I spoke with highlighted:

    • A true ‘people person – building relationships is their thing
    • Curious and eager to learn about their partner’s products, company, and vision
    • Connector par excellence – networking is in their blood
    • Outstanding salesperson and coach
    • Avid advocate for partners – an extension of their partners’ team
    • Start right, continues strong and manage for integrity

The role is emerging and if you see yourself as the right person for the job, you are heading to a great career as a partnership manager.

Let’s explore these activities and see how you can hire the best person to be your partnership manager?


People Person

Look for people who are at home with other people. I know it sounds a little old-fashioned, but a people person is whom you want in this role. This is the person who is agreeable, eager to learn, and always building rapport. 

Somehow, no matter who they are speaking with, they know how to make that person feel comfortable and at ease. This includes you – so if you’re feeling at ease with the candidate, you are getting a green light sign.


Eager To Learn

Curiosity is a key trait and this is what drives success for a partnership manager. He or she is intensely eager to learn everything about their partner’s products, services, and solutions. They want to know about the origins of the company, mergers, acquisitions, challenges, and achievements. They are active in investigating to get a good sense of what’s ahead in the industry, including environmental impacts and legislation.

Within a short time, the partnership manager can speak with authority and insight to take the partnership to further success.

Do you notice these traits in the interview? Do you have the feeling that this person will be there when you need them, much like a member of your founding team?


True Connector 

Although selling and networking are often considered different dimensions, this person is always in a connected mindset. That’s what makes them the best person for the job. 

If your candidate is great at giving warm introductions, connecting the right people for deals, and helping partners network with qualified prospects, they can help your partnership team grow.

They often have the knack for thinking outside the box, going beyond what’s seen, and building a true community or partnership ecosystem. 

Are you seeing signs and signals that the person you’re interviewing is a born connector?


Sales Expert and Sales Coach

Some people just seem to have sales running through their veins. They can’t stop themselves. And that’s a great thing! 

That means that they are naturally tuned in to sales, sales opportunities, and sales leads. They appreciate that selling is something that comes naturally, and also a set of skills that can be learned. This understanding is why they make such great coaches. They love sales and they love teaching others how to appreciate the value of partners. 

Instead of keeping all the fame and glory, they prefer to share the mindset, skillset, and toolset that can help them grow their sales team. And, they do this for their own sales teams and their partner teams equally.

Are you in the presence of a true sales expert and eager sales coach? If so, you are seeing the future of your company’s success.


Avid Partner Advocate

Remember your school debate team? It’s when you needed to argue for the other side – as effectively as for the side you might prefer. This quality comes through in a partnership manager. They can and do advocate for the issues, needs, and priorities of their partners.

Sometimes, their position will be in disagreement with current policy. They may advocate for changes that equalize a balance of power, promote changes in policy or pay, and challenge the status quo.

A partnership manager is there to build partnerships. These traits are positive signs of their ability, skill, and willingness to build the future. They aren’t satisfied with keeping things as they were – they are building new structures that will support a new future.

Do you notice these qualities in your candidate? 


Start Strong and Stay Strong

It’s often said that you can see everything about a relationship right at the beginning. Is this true for your interactions with your candidate? 

Most likely you’re noticing little details as well as a big picture impression. You notice how this person communicates, speaks, and listens. You notice verbal and non-verbal cues. You notice whether they appear relaxed and at ease. You are aware of impressions from emails, voicemails, texts, and Zoom calls.

In short, in many ways you are sensing the person’s integrity and sincerity. You are getting cues from start-to-finish of your interactions.

The same holds true for your partners. They will notice that they feel a sense of rapport, sincerity, and trust. They will register that person is a professional with integrity and their best interests at heart. They will base decisions on what is said, and what is unsaid.

By focusing on integrity, you’ll choose the candidate who can start partnerships off to a great start—and be there for the duration. 

Do you notice that this person has these traits?


Sum Up

In hiring a collaboration partnership manager, look for these traits: a people person, eager to learn, a true connector, great sales person and coach, avid partner advocate, and high integrity. By hiring the right person today, you will prepare for successful partnerships.

With a collaborative mental model, 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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