Here’re my ten suggestions for building effective sales partnerships:

1 Have clear Partnering Objectives: “Sound strategy starts with having the right goal.”

2 Define your Partner Proposition and Messaging: this will be different to your end-customer messaging

3 Document your Partner Requirements: don’t just let the wrong partner find you

4 Ensure your product/service is partner-ready: selling through/with partners may require product development, more focused propositions or changes to the product/service ‘total product’

5 Ensure the partnership is commercially attractive: don’t expect your partner to work hard for nothing, equally, ensure you reap the rewards if things go well and protect yourself if things go bad – no partnership lasts forever

6 Don’t underestimate Enablement and Management: it’s key to maximising the value of the relationship

7 Verify your assumptions – check that your partner proposition is attractive and there are partners that you can work within your chosen area

8 Allocate sufficient resources to Partnering: money, people, and changes to your internal processes and culture

9 Use a structured approach: a Partnership Framework, or similar to help you avoid the pitfalls

10 Get help: most companies partner because they can’t or don’t want to commit resources to direct sales but don’t assume you’ll have all the resources required internally

Finally, use or develop a set of templates and partner resources so that the processes are clear and transparent.

Have I missed some important points? Please add a comment below.

For more information on creating and maintaining partnerships, see our Partnership Framework.

Taken from our webinar “Increase Sales using Partnerships”:

  • “Very practical, straightforward advice”
  • “Well structured”
  • “Good overview. Speaker spoke to the point”
  • “Framework-very practical and useful”
  • “It gave a very good overview on the ‘topic’, really helpful”
  • “Very good to look at things from a practical perspective”