Partner Teams Need Better Positioning - Introducing Co-Selling Teams

Partner Teams Need Better Positioning - Introducing Co-Selling Teams

Allan Adler 5 min

I have a terrific hack for partnership teams that want to highlight their ability to drive revenue above and beyond just managing a “channel,” and get the attention of CROs and gain access to their budgets.

Position partnering as a Co-Sell Team and focus on driving intel, intros, and influence by aligning your revenue and sales team with partner revenue and sales teams.

Let’s be honest; most CROs don’t truly care about partners. But anything and anyone that can drive highly convertible leads, speed up pipeline closes, and increase deal size while lowering cost is an absolute winner for them.

That’s what Co-Sales Teams can do.

Co-selling with partners isn’t complicated

We break co-selling (eco-led co-selling) into three simple processes that anyone can relate to:

  1. Finding overlaps. Crossbeam and Reveal have crushed finding and communicating how and where customers overlap with prospects/opportunities and vice versa.
  2. Lending influence. Helping partners sell by lending them influence, typically from within your customer base or an opportunity where you can support a co-sell motion.
  3. Gaining intros. Partners can help when they share intel about, and intros to a customer, or when they influence one of their prospects to co-sell with you.

Once GoToEco, Nearbound, or ELG drive EPS (Efficient, Predictable, and Scalable) revenues, it will be easy to get money from CROs to fund partner-led everything. And although it isn’t complicated, HOW we drive EPS revenue can be daunting.

Co-selling requires that we overcome 3 key obstacles

The three killers of EPS for partner activities are:

  1. Too many dependencies. Any ecosystem-led motion has a lot of moving parts. A good example is account overlap intel from account mapping. Find the overlap, and are you good? Far from it. You need to know and manage a bunch of dependencies, including integrations, references, relationship management and account-specific intel, consistency, etc.
  2. Few standard operating procedures (SOPs). I’m a big believer that a solid playbook that anticipates dependencies and sets forth an end-to-end process can improve EPS. Playbooks are a great way to establish, land, and pressure test SOPs. We have case studies to prove it based on playbooks we’re developing.
  3. Fragmented systems. There is a lot of system fragmentation between RevOps and PartnerOps. It’s important to make it as easy as possible for RevOps to see dashboards and evidence of efficient and predictable revenue from partners. 

Tools like Outreach have zero workflows to drive partner-led anything, and account opportunity and overlap information from mapping tools like Crossbeam and Reveal have no place to go.

Smart PL teams do their best relying on Slack and integrations into CRM, but systems of customer engagement (where the AEs and CSMs live) are not connected to partner systems. At Digital Bridge it’s a top priority for us in 2023 to attend to this problem arm-and-arm with key PartnerTech solutions.

One way to overcome the obstacles TODAY

Before getting too depressed by the headwinds that block EPS for co-selling, there are tools that make co-selling viable in 2023. Shared Slack channels are a great example, and are perhaps the easiest solution to set up and run.

We ran a poll a few days ago to find out how you and your peers are using Slack channels. We found that 85% find them highly impactful.

Of those, two-thirds said it was because they allowed PMs and Sales to share info, and the other one-third said that the impact was driven by allowing PMs to share info (as catalyst/coordinators) with partners.

We can further extend Slack channel functionality by leveraging partner management tools that expand on the channel functionality.

Some Slack channels to start with:

  • Superglue, a partner engagement platform that recommends and executes revenue-generating partnership plays, adds an additional workflow layer with its recently released integration that enables partner teams to take action on Crossbeam insights in Slack. This notifies partner managers when relevant new partner overlaps occur, suggests who they should engage from their partners’ organizations, and provides pre-built templates to automate messaging, tasks, and next steps.
  • Crossbeam will be rolling out the latest edition of their Sales Edge at Supernode23 which will allow partner teams to catalyze sales and CS activity within shared Slack channels. Partner Managers can set up custom templates that make it super easy for salespeople to request information, identify the right partner contact, and drive co-sales activity.
  • Reveal. With the Slack integration built into Reveal, Partner Managers can send messages directly to the relevant account owner within your business to pass them sales insights from partners on a specific account.

Good news is coming, and co-selling teams are positioned to crush it

By positioning Partnerships as a Co-Selling team, you’ll speak the language your CRO understands. Your CRO understands revenue, leads, and pipeline. So speak to them in a way that makes sense to them!

Focus on the obstacles you need to overcome this year. The big ones are too many dependencies, too few SOPs, and getting fragmented systems to work together.

Get those right, and you’ll be able to scale EPS revenue in Q2 of 2023.

Allan Adler 5 min

Partner Teams Need Better Positioning - Introducing Co-Selling Teams

Learn how to position partnering as a Co-Sell Team and focus on driving intel, intros, and influence.

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