A long, long time ago…. (Well actually not that long ago), a relatively large telecommunications company only went to market using alliances. They were a wholesale player. That’s all changed now, now they are selling through alliances AND directly to their end enterprise customers. Begs the question, why?
If they specifically used alliances as their go to market strategy since the time of their inception, it may lead some to think they weren’t managing their alliances effectively i.e. they weren’t achieving their revenue, profit and customer satisfaction goals. Just a thought.
Why do we use alliances to get our products to market? Many reasons: Cost of Sales, Established Relationships, Greater Market Share, Geography, Credibility etc etc.
In one form or another I think we all use alliances, don’t we? I know I do.
This post is about how you can accelerate your revenues through alliances, but first of all let’s look at the different types:
Product: This is the traditional approach. This is simply getting your ‘stuff’ to market, as is, through another party. Decision are made on price.
Process: This is the consultative approach. We’re not box-shifting here. We are now taking the best elements of both parties and making the best of the portfolio for the client. We are looking at the total cost to the client.
New Value: This is the collaborative approach. This is where the term ‘2 heads are better than 1’ really fits. Working together we are considered experts and now we’re really looking at profit margins.
Added Value & Awareness: FIREWORKS!!!! We’re working together STRATEGICALLY and we are truly differentiating ourselves from our competition because we are living and breathing the alliance. We are finding new ways and new markets for ourselves and our clients.
……..Of course you get some companies who ‘hedge their bets’ by using different and multiple alliances same to target the same prospective customer. This can get very, very confusing for the poor soles who are ultimately going to buy your products. This can also get very expensive for you and really shows that you’re not managing your alliances effectively.
Out of these different types of alliances, which one(s) do you use in your company?
Is everything going smoothly? Are you aware of any issues?
Without understanding your issues, how can we even begin to think about accelerating your revenues?
Let’s run an assessment…….
Having completed the assessment, you now know the issues you need to fix because you now know that there are 8 CRITICAL SUCCESS FACTORS that make an alliances model work1
1. Founded on mutual need
2. The relationships are effective
3. Top executives, visibly, working together
4. You have agreed upon objectives
5. Safeguards have been discussed and implemented
6. Commitment has been demonstrated
7. You are willing to evolve for the benefit of the alliance
8. The continuity of the alliance is evident
I, Claire Broome, am going to suggest to you a # 9…..
9. You have effective support services
You need to treat the alliance model just like you would a direct sales channel. Ensure that you have removed any obstacles within the process (on both sides) that will take the ‘alliance’ sales people away from selling. It’s all in the execution!
Not to worry if we find issues you need to fix during the assessment phase (no matter how ugly)…. WE can address them.
Now we’re ACCELERATING REVENUES THROUGH ALLIANCES!
So, back to the company I mentioned at the beginning; why did they change their go to market strategy? I think channel conflict and the inability to connect with the end customer were the main issues. Understanding now what it takes to effectively manage alliances, these don’t need to be reasons to abandon an alliance strategy.
A lot of companies we speak to use alliances as their main revenue stream. We’d like to share our experiences with you and discuss how we can help you accelerate your revenues.
Thanks for your time!
President & Chief Sales Enabler
Complectus Consulting, LLC
--Your Revenue Accelerator--