As a successful sales leader, you spend your life chasing airplanes and living in hotels to Make Your Number. Throughout 2018, you will once again prove yourself worthy by flying 100,000+ miles and sleeping in dozens if not hundreds of hotel rooms. Are your business partners starting 2018 with the same expectation that they will need to prove themselves to your business?
This applies to software alliances, value added resellers, system integrators, distributors, or technical ecosystem partners. Do they know what it takes to earn premier partner recognition from your company?
Download the Channel Engagement Questionnaire tool here.
A Partial List of Business Partner Attributes
- Deals Won – The ultimate barometer of success from your business partners are the number of deals your business closes with the partner. Unfortunately, tracking this metric is not always straightforward because there are sell-to, sell-thru, and sell-with motions that need to be tracked to determine the full value of a business partner to your business. Despite how difficult it may be to setup, the scoreboard counts.
- New Leads – Lead generation is the second most valuable contribution from your business partners. Your sales reps need to receive leads from and be pulled into deals by business partners to fill the top of the funnel.
- Active Marketing – There are many forms of marketing. In some cases, co-branded press releases will generate demand, while at other times a full-scale account based marketing campaign is the right strategy. In collaboration with the chief marketing officer, as a sales leader you need to call the play and ensure that partner marketing efforts support your plan.
Business Partners are an Extension of Your Company
Whether your direct sales force is 100 or 10,000 in size, business partners can extend the reach of your sales team. This is done through increased feet on the street and existing client relationships. The key to success is to capture their mindshare so the next time a client opportunity is presented, your company is integral to the proposed solution. To effectively do this, it requires investment from your company. Business partner enablement, certification programs, market development funds, co-branding efforts, and client testimonials are a few of the investments your company can make. The most important question is, are you targeting those investments to the right business partners?
It’s Not Personal, It’s Business
Often, business partner relationships are based on a strong personal connection. This makes it difficult to conduct tough conversations when expectations are not being met. If you find yourself in this position, re-visit the intent of the business partner relationship. To help, look at our Channel Engagement Questionnaire. Answer all questions specific to your business partners and be clear on what success looks like. The tool will help evaluate your business partners. Download the tool here.
Re-Qualify in 2018
You want your business partners to be accretive to your business in 2018 and beyond. Communicate expectations, track progress, and identify improvements for your business partners to achieve your revenue goals. Get this right and you and your business partner will be upgraded to first-class and escorted to the presidential suite upon arrival.
Have expectations gone up and left you wondering if you have the right strategies to support your revenue growth goals? Here is an that will help you understand if you have a chance at success. Take the Revenue Growth Diagnostic test and rate your Sales Strategy against SBI’s emerging best practices to find out if:
- Your revenue goal is realistic
- You will earn your bonus
- You are set-up for success in 2018