Years ago, in my first Channel Chief role, I realized that we would not achieve our sales goals without our partners also achieving theirs. We now work in such a dynamic business landscape, with constant mergers, acquisitions, and organizational changes. Companies are increasingly realizing the power of collaboration and are leveraging the strengths of partnerships to drive mutual growth. At the heart of successful partnerships lies the concept of joint value propositions and mutual interest, which acts as a forcing function to propel sales growth and build trust. In the changing landscape of business partnerships, trust is the currency that fuels collaboration and drives success.

Establishing and nurturing trust is a multifaceted process that involves different elements and propels business growth. Growth serves as a powerful driver for partnering, motivating us to seek partnerships that can help us achieve our sales targets. Whether it’s entering new markets, launching new products, or expanding our customer base, partnerships offer companies the opportunity to accelerate their growth trajectory.

Growth and Alignment

Partnerships driven by growth are not just about expanding market reach or increasing revenue, though these are mutual goals; they are about finding synergies that align with core business objectives. When seeking partnerships to grow your business, look for alignment in vision, values, trust, and missions. This alignment forms the foundation for a strong partnership, enabling both companies to work towards a common purpose that builds trust.

Growth serves as a forcing function for partnerships in several ways:

  1. Evolution through access to new ideas, technologies, markets, and expertise, enables both companies to learn new skills and stay competitive.
  2. A sense of shared urgency that can push both companies to seek innovative solutions for their mutual customers.

Hard Skills vs. Soft Skills for Partner Account Managers

PAMs/CAMs play a critical role in driving channel sales and managing partner relationships which requires a unique blend of hard and soft sales skills to be effective in their role. Hard skills such as negotiation, deal structuring, forecasting, and financial acumen are essential for PAMs to maximize opportunities with partners and drive revenue. These skills enable PAMs to navigate complex sales cycles, handle objections, and close deals effectively.

In addition, PAMs typically work in a highly technical environment and must understand the products and solutions their company offers. In addition to hard sales skills, PAMs need product training and enablement. Including knowing when to ask for help from sales engineers, product management, product marketing, and executives.

Soft skills such as relationship building, communication, and empathy are equally important for PAMs to master to cultivate strong partnerships. Soft skills enable PAMs to understand partner needs, build trust, and collaborate effectively, ultimately leading to long-term, mutually beneficial relationships with their partners.

Partnerships require expertise from leaders, sellers, partner managers, co-selling, operations, and marketing teams. The AchieveUnite Partner Performance Advisor (PPA) program prepares your teams with the knowledge, tools, and resources needed to develop deep partnering expertise. We help you build strong PAMs, resulting in more engaged and successful partner relationships. Participants report increased knowledge and confidence in their role, regardless of individual level or skill. Managers see value in the common language and the ability to assess the talent on their team.

In conclusion, growth serves as a forcing function for partnerships, driving companies to seek alliances that align with their growth objectives. Growth-driven partnerships are characterized by alignment, innovation, trust, and a shared commitment to their mutual success and customer satisfaction. To succeed in partnering, sales teams must cultivate a balance of hard sales skills and soft skills, enabling them to drive revenue and build lasting partnerships.