How to Add Value to Your Partners
How do you improve your relationship with your partners?
I often hear from sales managers and account managers that their sales partners are only interested in more commission. Of course, every business and entrepreneur is interested in increasing their profits, right? But it’s not the only way to increase the value of your business relationship.
Commissions are not the holy grail.
Instead of commissions, you can add value to your partners.
Ask yourself these questions: How can I help them grow their business? What are my partner’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats—and how can my business help them?
Want to know more? Here’s a few things you can do to establish a strong business relationship
1. Time and Efficiency
To add value, increase the speed of product deliveries, services and so on—to your sales agents or partners.
Brainstorm ways you can create and deliver your products at a faster pace. Do you need to hire more people to improve delivery at certain areas? If you’re selling physical products, how often are your partners waiting for stocks? Are your partners trained to use your products?
Make your product easy to sell in every possible way you can.
Sales partners look up to businesses who can do everything faster and more efficiently. It shows that they are working with a competent company that’s bound to make them successful too.
The next instrument is resources.
I bet you collect data on your customers and products. You find out the promotions that potential leads love, and what attracted them to your product. To generate data, your marketing team might have sent surveys, or you could have hired a research agency to do the work for you.
Whatever the case, the data collected from these transactions have tremendous value for your business, as well as your sales partners.
Your sales partners can use it to improve their promotions, predict sales, and reach out to customers through the channels they use. They can also understand the factors that influence customer behavior and provide improvements to pricing and promotions.
Partners also have valuable information. Since they’re the ones talking to customers face-to-face, they have an accurate understanding of your customers’ wants and expectations. They know the product features they want, and why they flock to specific competitors.
This is why access to resources is important.
Your information can help sales partners identify opportunities to mutually increase sales and profitability.
Do you have access to resources or content that your partner doesn’t have or may be helpful for them? Think about your training initiatives and in-house experts.
If you’re in charge of product design and management, then set up a meeting to get your partner’s opinions. They have a great understanding of your customer’s needs, so you can exchange information to learn more about your customers and products.
Of course, all sales partners and account managers want to improve their network, right?
They want to meet industry experts and professionals who can help them grow their business. So, helping your partner expand their network is one of the best ways you can improve your relationship.
Can you introduce your partners to some of your peers, people you think that might be of interest to them?
4. Build Trust
I bet you love working with partners you like and trust.
It’s the same for your sales partners, they love working with businesses they like and trust too.
Now, how do you improve your likeability and trust rating? The answer—be reliable and professional.
Don’t make promises that you can’t keep. If you promised to do X, then do what you said you would do.
When there are problems, don’t rant or complain. Be a professional, offer solutions, then solve it as quick as possible.
Got partners who need advice or help? Collaborate and be interested in improving their business. Meet with them face-to-face and brainstorm ways you can both improve the sales and marketing process, as well as the product. Involve them because what they have to say matters.
5. Offer Sales Support
Make your product easy to sell.
Conduct regular meetings with salespeople, sales managers and account managers.
What are the challenges your partners and account managers face? What are their barriers to success? Train them, offer help, and be accessible to quickly eliminate any problems in your sales process.
Another tip is to think about the speed at which you handle sales support. Are there people readily available to offer help to your partners? How long does it take you to solve their issues?
If you can’t assist your partners properly, then your sales will be significantly affected. So, determine how you can improve your sales support. Ask them upfront, make surveys or conduct evaluations. You need their feedback to improve your pipeline.
6. Give Something Valuable
Be ready to give something valuable to your partners—a gift, an advice or a solution.
When you’re browsing news articles or browsing through your newsfeed, share content that might be of interest them. Tell them information that you think they’ll enjoy. Invite them to events where they can meet people who can help them grow their business.
By offering something valuable, you’ll improve the relationship in the long-run.
7. Be patient
Relationships don’t grow overnight—they take time. You have to make a consistent effort to build and maintain your relationships. Make time to communicate with them, and keep in touch. Follow them on social media and comment on their posts. Give them regular updates about your products.
If they like your business, they’ll stick around for the long-run.
Over to You
Commissions are not the holy grail.
These are a lot of ways you can add value and establish a strong business relationship.
You can manufacture and deliver products at a faster pace and give access to resources. You can also add value by introducing them to the right people, offering sales support, building trust among many others.
Now, before you can use any of these strategies, you need to understand your partner’s needs. Make sure to have an inventory or an assessment of the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats to their business.
This way, what you have to offer, will be valuable to their business.
You can also find a video version on our youtube channel “3 instruments to increase value in your business relationship”
Learn more from our BRM Academy video
Written by : Frie Pétré