Achieving an advantage in today’s business world is all about relationships. Relationships that are anchored in respect, communication, understanding, and trust have the greatest potential to positively impact your sales career.  Sales professionals who operate with integrity and who consistently contribute value to relationships not only win the trust of their customers but also of their partners. Partners will have greater confidence and comfort recommending a vendor sales professional who they believe will act in their customer’s best interests.

By virtue of partner leads having the highest probability of closure, they are the most valuable lead type for most sales professionals. Cultivating relationships grounded in trust, reciprocity, and value is a necessary step that can produce the type of partnership that generates leads on a regular basis.

Partnering relationship principles include:

  • understand what value is for each of your partners
  • understand your partner’s short and long-term goals
  • understand your partner’s ideal prospect profile
  • communicate regularly
  • always do the right thing

Using a collaborative sales partnering approach enables sales professionals to become more agile about teaming and more in touch with each other’s goals. With understanding, communication, and empathy the relationship improves and trust increases. In addition, reps who prioritize partner relationships become better skilled at selling in a way that provides universal benefit to the partnership and to shared prospects.

As the buying process has increased in complexity, sellers who form alliances and partnerships that supply specialty skills, technology, and services are better equipped navigate these complexities and support the needs of their prospects. Collaborative selling brings sales professionals, customers and partners together to focus on the most important mission, helping the customer achieve their goals. Using the collaborative selling approach with prospects can increase buyer confidence to the extent that you may become a trusted advisor to the buying team.

To apply the Collaborative Selling approach with skill will require a sales professionals take on a new perspective about the type of buying experience buyers now demand. Additionally, sales professionals who use the Collaborative Selling approach will need to hone new techniques and soft skills in order to create the type of relationships that allow them to influence decision making.

A skill that is core to Collaborative Selling is Active Listening.  Active Listening is the art of receiving, remembering, and responding to information that is shared by either repeating, paraphrasing or reframing what was heard or through using effective questioning.

Active Listening:

  • Allows the listener to validate what is being communicated
  • Allows the sharer to perceive they are understood
  • Allows the listener to expand their understanding of the message

Active listeners stay tuned into what is being shared. Active listeners convey genuine interest and are able to provide feedback and insights in addition to using effective questioning.  Effective Questioning incorporates various question types including open-ended questions, probing questions, situation questions, leading questions, framing questions, rhetorical questions, and implication questions.

Collaborative Selling with Partners is the superior method for reaching, influencing, and creating winning customer experiences with modern buyers.

Takeaways for consideration:

  • Relationships built on trust, value, and reciprocity are most effective at influencing your partners and customers
  • Partner Leads are superior in quality and close faster
  • Prospects are generally more accepting of new sales professionals who are introduced through an existing relationship
  • Always do the right thing for your prospect or risk losing the prospect and your partner
  • Prepare through partnerships to support complex buying processes
  • Leverage effective questioning techniques to create a shared understanding of prospects and partners
  • Build strong relationships with your partners

Implement a Collaborative Selling methodology along with PartnerTap’s capabilities to connect with more buyers and win more deals.

Read our upcoming our blogs on partnering to learn more.

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