Stalled channel partner deals result in post mortem group mea culpa. Everyone’s beating themselves up about details they overlooked and signals they missed from buyers and decision makers.
Even in the healthiest organizations, stalled channel partner deals can create a lot of internal discomfort. The difference between these organizations, and your own, rests in the attitude and processes devoted to dealing with channel partner deals in the first place.
In the best of all possible worlds, you and your team win every contract you propose on. There is no need for finger-pointing. No details are missed.
Snap out of your idealism.
What’s the usual scenario after you lose a deal? Depending on the integrity of your team, group dynamics can degenerate into finger-pointing from departmental silos and playing the popular status quo blame-game.
The reality of your future win-loss track record results from how you and your team anticipate stalled channel partner deals. Yes, I just said anticipate them in the first place.
Haven’t you all had enough of channel partner hindsight being 20-20?
Build in the scenario of a stalled channel partner deal into your business development, sales and project planning processes. Every one of them. You will have a greater chance of increasing your long-term win rate.
What I am proposing to you won’t happen overnight. Here’s what’s involved.
Anticipating stalled channel partner deals changes up the dynamics and structure of your MSP and CSP teams. You will work with each other, cross-functionally, from the start of the business development process. You suspend calling each other in, on an as-needed basis or for the sole purpose of demo-ing.
When everyone focuses on anticipating how, when, why and where channel partner deals become stalled, you work together more interactively. You frame the business case and associated problems differently. You produce a more thoughtful RFP or RFQ in the process.
When the focus is preventing channel partner deals from being derailed, disrupted or stalled, your conversations with buyers and decision makers are distinctive. You and your entire team start thinking about issues from the perspective of customers, first.
Your To-Do List:
- Make it your team priority to become proactive and anticipatory of the historical and contextual factors contributing to stalled channel partner deals.
- Think bigger than who screwed up where and when, this time around the RFQ block.
- Incorporate all of your channel partners’ insights from the start.
- Create a larger repository of collective experience from which to draw on.
You create tremendous breadth and depth for your channel partner offering to each of your customers. Your focus becomes more strategic and lateral, across all of your company cultures and business models. The quality of your proposed business outcomes will become more robust and nimble. Everyone benefits in the long run as your team dynamics and cultures become healthier.
This post was brought to you by IBM for MSPs and opinions are my own.
Babette N. Ten Haken is a professional development coach and management consultant. She develops Playbooks for startups and small to mid-size companies experiencing unpredictable revenue streams. Then she brings these Playbooks to life. Her Playbook on leadership, business development and sales collaboration strategies, including tools, Do YOU Mean Business? is available on Amazon.com. Contact her here.