Marketing and Selling – Getting the Word Out and Joint Selling: Part 5 in a 6 Part Partner Series

Read Part 4 in the series: The Key to a Successful Partner Integration is in the Details
Any partnership built without a strategy of how to market and sell the joint solution will ultimately fail. Above all, the most important aspect of marketing and selling a joint solution is to fundamentally understand the market for which the joint solution was created.  Failure to start with this understanding in mind is like going fishing with a line and a shoelace for bait.  What’s the point?
Here are the top three things to keep in mind when developing your marketing and sales partnership strategy: 

  1. How to reach and converse with the target audience.  A successful partnership requires a new type of language in order to reach the target audience.  You have to highlight the new strength that is created by the joint offering, not just the independent strengths of the two formerly unique solutions.  This process takes time and requires multiple iterations to get right.  By failing at this step, you’re speaking to the market with a mouth full of marbles: how will anyone understand what it is you’re doing together?
  1. Who is responsible for what?  The sooner that the marketing and sales leadership of each partner come together to address who owns each part of the marketing/sales process, the better. Every hour that goes by where both parties’ marketing and sales leadership don’t connect is weeks of missed opportunity in the market.
  1. What’s the pace at which we make adjustments to the strategy?  This is where the DNA of the partnership companies comes through.  Is one partner slow to adjust and one partner quick to move?  Is there an ideal pace of GTM activity on each side?  More often than not, if setting pacing benchmarks is not accounted for up front, this lack of alignment becomes a significant impediment to building a successful partnership.  It has to be understood out of the gate how and when each side will make adjustments when things aren’t working or if you need to add more gas to the fire and move quicker to capitalize on an opportunity.

When the partner‘ship’ was created, so was the partner ‘ship’wreck.   Make sure that your joint sales and marketing sails are primed to take a full wind and can be adjusted quickly en route to your joint destination.  Don’t let this vessel land in the rocks of unknown waters, go to where the fish are and cast your nets.  Reel ‘em in!
Read Part 6 in the series: Clear, Concise, Consistent – Client Support
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