A Proven Sales Template to Close More Deals Using Your Account-Based Network
Many templates exist for creating sales partner agreements. Sure, these agreements form an important part of making sales partnerships work. But what about the actual process of building a sales partnership? Why isn’t there a resource out there to help simplify the process?
The search is over. The Partnered team has heard your questions and created this sales partnership template to help make the process easier. We’ve even included a resource you can use over and over again to establish a sales partnership process.
This sales partnership template is divided into three parts. Let’s dive in.
Part 1: Lay the groundwork by clearly defining how your company will be working with all sales partners.
Start with a sell sheet — a visually appealing and organized one-page document that has a specific call-to-action and makes it easy to understand how your product solves a specific problem. Unlike a traditional sell sheet, this account-based networking document focuses specifically on the details your sales partners need to know about your product.
There are two main types of sell sheets — product sell sheets and company sell sheets. Product sell sheets focus on specific products, while company sell sheets focus on the overall business. Both types of sell sheets should be shared with partners prior to networking calls.
The aim is to ensure all partners in a network clearly understand what each company offers. That’s why your sell sheet should answer three key questions:
- What does the company do?
- How do you work with your partners?
- What are the value propositions that both sales teams need to be aware of or listen out for?
Pro Tip: The simpler the sell sheet, the better. You don’t want to overload partners with too much information at once.
Tips For Creating a Strong Sell Sheet
- Design and layout should make it easy to quickly scan the sheet.
- Strong product highlights should be used to make the sell sheet informative and visually appealing.
- Use strong, clear copy that makes your value proposition easy to understand.
- Use a tool like Proposify or PandaDoc to make creating the sell sheet easier.
Part 2: Set up your sales partnerships for success.
Sales partnerships are great for helping your sales team stand out from other sales teams in the crowded B2B space. Michael Hanson, founder of Growth Genie, and I recently had a chat about the best ways to stand out in sales outreach and how to leverage partnerships for better conversions. Matthew and his team have built an impressive 30-step sales cadence, but he explained that having a strong partner network is the best sales strategy of all.
While a sell sheet is great for getting everyone on the same page, there’s more that can be done to set your sales partnerships up for success. Michael shared four tips that I believe work well here.
- Practice reciprocity by solving specific problems for your partners. Their problems may not always be related to making connections that lead to sales. He used his business to explain a great example. Let’s say someone in his partner network is looking for new hires for her sales team. Growth Genie’s clients are already in the SaaS sales space so he could easily connect his partner with possible candidates from his client list.
- If you’re a small business owner, focus on quick wins by starting with a network of people you’ve worked with in the past rather than trying to build a massive partner ecosystem from scratch.
- Include partners in your network who have similar customers. These partners are part of what we call your Ideal Partner Profile (IPP) and help create strategic partner alignment. Partners who fit your IPP should also share your company’s core values and be people you find it easy to work with.
- Leverage partner SDRs to get in touch with people in large organizations. These people may not be the contact person you had in mind to target, but you’ll get a surround sound effect that leads to connecting with people who influence key decision-makers within your organization.
These tips should be supported by a clear plan for your account-based network.
How to Create a Plan For Your Account-Based Network
- Start with your goals.
Your most obvious goal with account-based networking is to connect with partners who can help you secure deals and, therefore, increase revenue. But you can have other goals related to the stage of growth of your account-based network.
Just starting out? Your goal should be to find sales partners who fit your IPP and gradually build your network.
Already have a growing partner ecosystem? Your goal should be to create a scalable account-based network where there are clear systems in place for onboarding partners, nurturing partner relationships, and tracking the partner metrics that matter.
Speaking of metrics, let’s discuss the most important metrics to track as part of your account-based networking plan.
- Identify the metrics you’ll track.
—— > Partner-sourced revenue: The direct revenue from any deal attributed to one or more partners that brought the account into your sales pipeline.
—— > Partner-influenced revenue: Happens when revenue was initiated or accelerated by partnership efforts.
—— > Partner attach rate: The total of partner sourced and partner influenced deals.
—— > Number of new partnerships: Total number of partners who’re added to your ecosystem within a given timeframe. Note here that it’s important to strike the right balance between the number of partners and the quality of partners. Quality trumps quantity.
—— > Number of new leads generated:
It’s important for your team to be on the same page with these metrics. Some teams meet quarterly to discuss account-based networking metrics and what needs to be improved. But it would be better to have more frequent meetings (once per month or once every other week). That way, issues can be nipped in the bud, and course correction can be done before things turn sour.
SaaS Sales Consultant and Advisor Kevin Dorsey recently told me in an interview that his channel team would meet with his sales team each month. They would discuss the partners they need to pull in, what those partners are there for, and the campaigns they’re running.
The five metrics explained above should be aligned with the account-based networking goals you identified in the first step. A goal-tracking template like Range can make it easier to keep everyone on top of goal progress and clearly communicate expectations.
- Have a clear process for communicating with partners.
American psychologist Rollo May once said, “Communication leads to community, that is, to understanding, intimacy, and mutual valuing.” With account-based networking, you’re building a community of partners who support and understand each other. But this can only be possible when you:
- Provide your sales team and your sales partners with an easy way to communicate.
- Check in with partners regularly and find out how best you can support each other to achieve mutual goals.
- Make keeping sales partners in the loop a priority.
- Don’t forget to have fun!
It’s easy to get caught up in metrics, deadlines, and sales targets. All of those important things aside, who said business can’t be fun? Plan some fun events to keep your sales team and partner network happy and engaged.
Virtual Happy Hours
There are many ways to make virtual happy hours interesting. Caroo, for instance, has some amazing happy hour boxes that would be perfect for a virtual happy hour with your partners. You can reach out to the Caroo team to even create customizable boxes that include company swag.
You could also play some games to help break the ice and learn more about the team. Here are some suggestions:
- Weve has some great virtual team-building games you can try.
- Do the virtual boombox challenge
- Use Quizbreaker to create icebreaker quizzes.
- Use Preciate to create partner networking experiences that mimic in-person networking.
Think of the traditional speed date — groups of people having one-on-one conversations with each other for a few minutes and then, by the end of the evening, they decide whether anyone interested them. You can replicate that experience with your account-based network by following these steps:
- Choose a date and time that works for everyone.
- Schedule the event and send partners who have overlapping accounts the Zoom link.
- Create an agenda for the event that includes fun icebreakers and opportunities for attendees to meet in small groups to learn more about each other. These sessions would be timed, much like a speed date, and allow for attendees to have opportunities to meet multiple sales professionals with who they could continue the conversation.
Recognition and Celebration
You don’t need a fancy award ceremony to recognize and celebrate your partners. Sharing partner wins with the internal team and the partner network is a great starting point. You could also include gamification by adding your partners to your employee recognition software, inviting them to participate in challenges, and giving them rewards when they meet certain milestones.
Part 3: Train your sales team and partners.
Schedule kickoff training for your sales team and your partner’s sales team.
Internally, your sales team needs to understand how best to handle partner relationships. For instance, Chantel Green, Senior Agency Partnerships Manager at Iterable, explained in a Partnered podcast episode that account executives shouldn’t jump the gun and reach out to partners because they’re eager to close deals. Such actions could damage relationships partner managers have been working for months to build. So, partner discussions should be collaborative efforts between the company’s partner manager and the account executive or sales representative.
A partner-centric culture also needs to develop within the organization. Leadership needs to buy into account-based networking and your sales team needs to see the clear value of partnerships before they’ll be delighted to hop on board. Helping your sales team understand the clear benefits of partnerships will help motivate them to carefully nurture the partner relationships they develop.
Externally, your partners need to clearly understand:
- What your business offers
- The values that drive your business
- Goals of the partner relationship
- How communication will be facilitated
There should also be opportunities for your partners to meet your sales team and vice versa.
Whether you’re training your sales team or partners, everyone should be clear about their responsibilities and how they will be held accountable. Don’t assume everyone knows what to do, how to do it, and how their success will be measured.
This account-based networking template provides a clear framework you can follow to ensure partnership success. The best way to make all parts of the process come together seamlessly is to integrate Partnered into your tech stack.
With Partnered, you can easily communicate with your account-based network and track the impact partners have on your revenue. Request a demo to see how it works.