According to this BPI network report, 85% of companies say partnerships are vital to growth. But over 65% don’t have formal partnering strategies, and 45% can’t maintain a long-term successful partner relationship.
So how do we succeed with partnerships?
Easy! Set up a partner ecosystem framework. Why? To drive growth and revenue.
Benjamin Franklin once said, “Failing to plan is planning to fail.”
So let’s dig into this framework, starting with account mapping.
Account mapping is the process of uncovering current and potential customer overlap between you and your potential selling partner. This process gives you the exact information you need to get your foot in the door with key accounts so you can skip prospecting and start selling.
As Alexander Shyshko, Head of Agency Partnerships at ON24 said, “Account mapping isn’t just about figuring out mutual customers, but also an establishment of trust.”
The old way of doing this was via spreadsheets, but modern teams use an account-based partnership platform like Partnered to save time on account mapping. You can also connect your account-based partnership platform to your CRM to track partner-influenced revenue in the pipeline.
Once you’ve identified potential partnerships through account mapping, it’s time to qualify those partners.
How do you qualify partners? Check this out.
Qualify Those Partners
Just as leads need to be qualified, so do partners.
Before getting too deep into a partnership, you’ll want to check in on not just your goals but your partner’s goals too.
Billy Robins, Head of Partnerships at Productboard, advises making sure you aren’t just partnering because of internal executive interest. That’s how you end up “spinning your wheels without much coming from it. Even if your SVP of sales, CRO, or other sales executive is making the ask, make sure to qualify before jumping onto it.”
How does he recommend you avoid this? By:
- Formally introducing sales reps to each other
- Aligning on your joint value proposition
- Ensuring sales collateral is easily accessible to both partners and your team
What comes next is the hard part—establishing those relationships!
Start Selling Within Your Partner Ecosystem
So how do you start a flourishing ecosystem? By planting the seeds.
Carina Shahin, Partner Account Manager at Sendoso, explained, “Getting in front of and aligning with your sales team and your partner’s sales team is key to building success within partnerships.”
When you properly brief your sales team on the value of the partnership, you set up your sales rep and the partner rep for success.
Once your partnership is thriving, you can start using that data to close key accounts.
But don’t get too comfortable!
Remember that with any partner ecosystem framework, nothing is set in stone. Successful frameworks and partner ecosystems need to be flexible.
You should routinely check on the health of your partnerships using an account-based partnership platform like Partnered and adjust when necessary.
Trust us. It’ll be worth it.
Developing a successful partner ecosystem framework is not easy. But if you use the following steps, and take advantage of an account-based partnership platform like Partnered, you’ll have a successful partner ecosystem in no time.
- Collect data through account mapping
- Qualify those potential partners
- Monitor and adjust your partnership once you’ve started selling
Now get out there and close those partners!
Using a network like Partnered is the simplest and most effective way to allow your sales team to reap the rewards of a partnership ecosystem. Partnered is a fully automated platform that crunches partner data and pushes key insights into the laps of your sales team, allowing your team to save time prospecting and use powerful insights to close more deals.
If you’d like to check out how Partnered can help you and your team track your partnership data, boost sales and close more deals, please get started for free today!