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The Most Important People You Need To Sell On Your Partner Business Proposition

Most of us want to deal with people who understand our business, and will go to bat for us should we need it.

Similarly, when selling to your partners, nothing is going to compensate for a business proposition - and the partner program - that lacks the support of your sales team, your first and most important “customer.” Resist rushing to market with “the flash” in favor of spending time with your salespeople to ensure they buy in first. How so, you ask?

1) Make Sales a part of the design process. Ideally, select the most vocal, cynical reps you can find. If they get the chance to participate in the solution, they will be your strongest advocates to the rest of the sales team.

2) Enlist Sales to test your business proposition and program with select partners. This could mean working with a third party to orchestrate focus groups with partners or conducting objective interviews. Either way, your strongest reps will view this as an opportunity to elevate their and the company’s value to their partners.

3) Let the training begin once your business proposition and program have passed muster with your primary sales constituents. And, the process of training Sales is a multi-faceted process, not a drive-by PowerPoint sent over email. Effective training uses various media (webinars, Podcasts, FAQ documents, etc.) and ensures that reps have had multiple opportunities to participate. Further, all materials should be readily catalogued and accessible on an ongoing basis.

4) Ensure that all operational processes and resources are in place to deliver against program elements. Better to execute a limited program flawlessly than a comprehensive program that falls flat because the back-end resources are not in place. Your sales folks can stand up for the company for only so long before their credibility is on the line.

While getting it right with Sales isn’t always easy, it’s critical to your successful partner business proposition. Is your sales team “on board”?

 

December 22, 2011  ·  

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