Channel Partner common denominators become your greatest cross-functional collaboration tools. These concepts drive revenue and break down corporate, divisional and departmental silos.
Gee, if channel partner common denominators are that powerful, why aren’t all your MSP and CSP vendors, suppliers and partners using them?
Discovering channel partner common denominators involves the willingness to engage with each other across the business table. If your MSP (managed IT service provider) and CSP (Cloud service provider) organizations have an Us versus Them mindset, I’ve just given you a daunting task.
Far too many channel partners have corporate cultures which exclude various partners from engaging in conversations, until they are needed. The “apply-as-needed” mindset marginalizes folks from the conversation until there is something to demo, an ROI (return on investment) analysis to provide, or a crisis in implementation.
When your organizations are engaged in channel partner common denominators, you communicate throughout the business development process. You continue this collaboration post-sale as well.
Channel partner common denominators are those terms and perceptions which are critical to return-on-engagement. Typically, these terms are specific to your professional discipline. Typically, no one outside your professional discipline understands what you are saying.
You are assuming your cross-functional team comprehends your thrilling presentation, because their heads are bobbing up and down. You assume they agree with what you are saying.
Your cross-functional colleagues’ heads are nodding in agreement because they are too intimidated by the technical intricacy of your information. They don’t want to admit, publicly, that they don’t know what you are talking about.
Be careful about your assumptions.
Your cross-functional colleagues’ heads are nodding in agreement because they have tuned out your riveting sales presentation. They have dismissed your data as being too light-weight to design system specifications against. That’s why the solution they design won’t align with what you sold to the customer.
Be careful about your assumptions.
Enlightened channel partners collaborate based on communication, instead of assumptions. They’ve taken the time to admit to each other that they do not comprehend what the other person is talking about, most of the time.
They’ve given each other permission to admit they don’t know. It’s a safe place to go. It’s a fair question to ask.
They’ve created a list of channel partner common denominators: a set of mutually-agreed upon set of terms to use. These words and concepts are universally understood and applied across all disciplines involved in consummating the sale and implementing the solution.
They’ve framed the solution in terms of a common means of measuring performance and return on investment. This scale, and its interpretation, are universal. It’s not just specific to one department’s KPIs.
When you and your teams discover channel partner common denominators, you suspend the need for turf wars and power struggles. Isn’t that a refreshing thought?
- Listen to the conversations around your business table. Are people communicating or are they assuming they are successfully getting their concepts across? Keep track of head bobbing and people with glazed eyes, even if your meeting is virtual.
- Make a list of all the discipline-specific terms which were used during the meeting. How would you arrive at a set of mutually agreed upon definitions for your team to utilize in the future?
- You know the next step. Put it into play at the next meeting. You will find folks are more engaged when you give them permission to not understand.
This post was brought to you by IBM for Midsize Business and opinions are my own.
Babette N. Ten Haken is a professional development coach and management consultant. She remodels startups. She recalibrates small to medium size companies experiencing unpredictable revenue streams and inconsistent growth and expansion initiatives. Babette’s book on horizontal business development and collaboration strategies, including tools, Do YOU Mean Business? is available on Amazon.com. Contact her here.