How to Incentivize Your Sales Team to Embrace Partnerships

Adam Michalski
October 27, 2021

FACT: Partnered selling can save time spent on account mapping by 50% so, why aren’t more sales teams focusing on partnerships?

Change is hard. 

But a huge part of a partner ecosystem's success comes from your sales team embracing it. 

It’s like they say, you can lead a horse to water but can’t make it drink.

Let’s get that horse drinking and embracing partnerships!

Integrate partnerships into your goals.

First things first, you have to integrate partnership goals into the goals that have already been set out for your sales team.

You’ll need to set partnership targets for your sales teams, as well as stretch goals for those go-getters. 

It’s important to individualize these targets so they feel achievable. 

  • Targets should reflect incremental growth over base goals. For some, you may set a target for a 5% increase, with a 10% increase for the next tier down.
  • As you roll out these new targets, it’s crucial to monitor what worked and what didn’t and to adjust regularly.  

Sales targets need to land somewhere between a walk in the park and climbing a mountain in a blizzard. Aim for a challenging hiking trail.

Go On My Way GIF by Tirol

 What are some partner ecosystem KPIs you can start with?

  • Number of calls with partners
  • Number of new partner interactions
  • Number of new leads from partners

Great! You’ve integrated partner goals into your sales targets. How else can you incentivize your team?

Reward them for working with their partners. 

To get your sales teams in the habit, you should reward any small steps they take to work with their partner counterparts. 

All calls should be logged, tracked, and rewarded. 🏆

But don’t just take it from us. 

We had Rich Gardner, VP of Global Strategic Partnerships at Klaviyo, on The Partnered Podcast to chat about how he helped the sales teams at Klaviyo embrace partnerships (check it out).

Gardner stresses that whether they get credit or the partner team gets credit, the salesperson should be paid no matter what. 

What does that mean? 

It means incorporating incentives for partners who don't just bring us leads but actually manage that customer.

Salespeople should be rewarded for landing partner deals—even if the partner is doing the heavy lifting. 

It’s about rewarding the act of engaging with a partner—every bit counts!

Once you start this, you’ll need to track these numbers on a sales leaderboard.

Display the numbers.

Sales leaderboards are nothing new. They help keep goals top of mind in the fast-paced world of sales.

There’s nothing like a little competition to motivate your sales team.

As Review42 states, over 60% of employees would be more motivated if given the opportunity to compete with their peers. 

By integrating partner selling metrics into a leaderboard, you ignite the competitive spirit inside all salespeople.  

What starts out as a task to move up the leaderboard will become a routine sales tactic. 

But what are some metrics to measure on this leaderboard? Check out this blog.

Early on, you can track:

  • Number of new partnerships 
  • Calls with partners
  • Number of new leads generated

As your partner ecosystem develops, start tracking:

  • Partner-sourced revenue 
  • Partner-influenced revenue 

Sales leaderboards will allow peers to congratulate those doing well, ask for advice or encourage those needing an extra hand.

Sales GIF

Using an account-based partnership platform like Partnered takes your partnership data and brings you actionable insights.


Now that you have these tactics in your wheelhouse, your sales teams will be embracing the partner ecosystem and not just leading the horses to the water but having them actually drink it too!

Remember it’s all about:

  • Integrating partnership goals into the sales team’s targets.
  • Rewarding them for any work they do with their counterparts.
  • Igniting the competitive spirit with gamification like a leaderboard.

Now get out there and make some magic!

Are there tactics not listed here that have worked for you? Let us know.

Get started with Partnered today!

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, join today!


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