Build great partnerships – create a competitive advantage

Sales and the value of partners

Sales and the value of partners

Rosabeth Moss Kanter recently posted a great blog sharing three reasons why everything goes better with partners.  She shares that even if you’re a “solopreneur” having great partners (e.g., key suppliers, distributors, endorsers, internal champions) by your side is important to extend your reach and help you get the right message, to the right person, at the right time.

Although Kanter’s comments were about business in general, the reasons she shares are particularly applicable to the world of Sales so we did a little translation and added a few insights of our own.  Let’s take a look:

  • Bolder sales strategy.  Having great partners provides huge advantages for crafting a broader and bolder initial sales strategy for landing the business. Leading players not only have good partners with great capabilities; they think about how to leverage those allies and alliances from the very beginning.
  • Greater access.  The right relationships are invaluable because they provide access and reach. For example, the right internal champions can build your credibility with key decision makers, speak for you in places where you can’t go, and advocate for you in meetings you can’t attend.
  • Strength in numbers. You can’t consistently create the most effective, efficient, and affordable approach alone – there is flexibility and strength in numbers. Partners lend credibility, provide implementation options and are a source of backup when the unexpected occurs.

Kanter says the lesson is clear: whether you’re an entrepreneur or a sales manager in a conglomerate or perhaps a salesperson: Having the best partners is vital to achieving success. But always follow the first rule of coalition building: Partners and allies must be valued, honored, appreciated, applauded, and above all, they must get something in return that warrants their continued engagement in the partnership.

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About Janet Spirer

For more than 30 years Dr. Richard Ruff and Dr. Janet Spirer - the founders of Sales Horizons - have worked with the Fortune 1000 - such as UPS, Canon USA, Smith & Nephew, Boston Scientific, Owens & Minor, Textron - to design and develop sales training programs. Janet has followed two different, yet complimentary paths. First, as a B-School Professor she taught marketing, sales, and business strategy courses. She also managed a consulting practice focusing on sales productivity and marketing – working with a variety of clients ranging from Xerox to IBM. She translated those experiences into a book – “Parlez-Vous Business” – that helps sales people develop the business savvy to sell successfully. Since co-founding Sales Momentum® in 2000 with Richard Dr. Spirer received her Ph.D. from The Ohio State University, an M.P.A. from The University of Texas at Austin, and a B.A. in Economics from Brooklyn College. She holds the appointment of Professor Emeritus at Marymount University.
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