Sales Leadership and Partner Enablement: Part 3

Sales Leadership and Partner Enablement: Part 3

Jessie Shipman 3 min

Last week I outlined some concrete suggestions on when and how a sales leader can engage their teams in order to solidify partner enablement.


There are specific actions, before, during, and after a Sales team engages with partner enablement that need to be reinforced by sales leadership in order for behaviors to really change toward partner-led go-to-market change.


But after the after?


After the behavior has been encouraged, and adopted. After the team has engaged. That is when the sales leader becomes a bridge between the sales team and the partner team by asking for and then sharing feedback.


Post-mortem

The post-mortem is the sales leader’s opportunity to get direct feedback from the team about what works and what doesn’t from the partner enablement. Use the time to discuss what’s working and what are the struggles with the new behavior.


Have the sellers share their experiences—document ideas as they come up. This can be the source of best practices or places to pivot.


Some of these best practices are likely better than what sales leaders or partner teams will typically come up with. And because it comes from them, there is a higher likelihood that others will attempt to implement them.


As an example, someone may say, "The whole positioning statement just doesn’t seem to fit into my pitch. It derails what I am trying to accomplish with my customers."


You may have some notes from your previous observations that have an example of a rep who was able to make the positioning statement fit. It may be a great time to ask that rep to share their interaction.


This shows that the positioning is possible, gives recognition for the attempt, and shows the solution comes from a colleague—not the learning content, sales leader, or partner manager.


Reflect and collect

Post mortems are a great place to have sellers reflect on their attempts - whether successful or not and collect the anecdotes.


This is the perfect time to remind the sellers of partner KPIs and set the expectation that their focus should now be on continued refining of the behavior.


Collecting anecdotal data from a post-mortem allows sales leaders to look at the expressed success of the team and compare it to reporting metrics. This will help sales leaders start to determine whether the enablement actually has a business impact.


If the data is indicating that there isn’t an explicit impact—remember it may not be the sellers. The behavior may not be the right action to position the new partner sale, which could indicate the need for a pivot.


Sales + Partnerships

This is where the sales leader and the partner manager can do great work together. The sales leader can take both the anecdotal data and the reporting back to the partner team and together they can listen and learn from the seller conversations and look for insights in the reporting.


The magic here is that the sales leader is pushing on the internal partnerships flywheel. The partner team created enablement to help the sales team sell more, faster, and better through a meaningful partnership. The sales leader took this seriously, engaged with their team, followed through on the enablement requirements, gathered feedback, and correlated data.


Data-driven conversations help the partner team to build better and more efficient enablement in the future. It also goes a long way to building trust, collaboration, and cross-functional alignment. Which is, after all, what partnerships is all about.


Jessie Shipman is the CEO and Co-Founder of Fluincy, a Sales Enablement Software for Partnerships. She has a background in education and learning theory and spent 4 years building and delivering partner enablement strategy for Apple’s top partnerships before building Fluincy.

Jessie Shipman 3 min

Sales Leadership and Partner Enablement: Part 3


There are specific actions, before, during and after a sales team engages with partner enablement that need to be reinforced by sales leadership in order for behaviors to really change toward partner led go to market change.


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