3 Best Practices to Put Your Alliances and Joint Solutions in Hyperdrive

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Last Updated on July 22, 2019

The road to the digitization and delivering stellar customer experiences stems from facilitating great partner experiences. Today, no company goes to market alone, and the share of alliances driven revenue has grown to more than 40%, yet 60% of your partnerships and recently announced Joint Solutions would most likely fail. And that should be unacceptable.

 What was unexpected was that although strategic partnerships were rated as important, almost half reported high failure rates (failure rate of 60% or more).  according to Forbes.

One reason why such a high percentage of alliances and joint solutions never get to see any glory is that operationalizing teams across company boundaries to work on a joint goal day-in and day-out is hard. Even more so, when you are doing this orchestration on emails and spreadsheets.

Creating alignment and accountability within and across your partner teams early on is very important. The quicker you align on goals and rally around them, the faster you can move on to execute on strategic actions that will help your alliances succeed. “One-off press releases,” “one-keynote” mentions help create the alignment and buzz, but it is what you do after to operationalize and activate your partners and field teams, that will be the key differentiator in achieving your alliance goals.

Assuming you have this alignment, I would like to focus on a few things that will help you get a good launch and create a dependable pre-pipeline. The aim here is to secure early wins that excite your field and partner field teams to include more of your joint solutions to deliver better end customer experiences.

Three best practices you can rely on to give your Joint Solutions the highest chance to succeed:

     1. Launch your Joint Solutions like a Boss:

    • Set a solid strategy and align on joint goals with your partner
      • Strategy alignment among you and your partners is pivotal in the early stages to establish focus and priorities. Alliance professionals often work with multiple partners across multiple industries, and misalignment of GTM strategies and goals can lead to loss of effort and time.
      • Align on a joint objective backed up with quantifiable goals like Joint Pipeline, Revenue, Number of Customer References, etc.
      • Set key dates and milestones to drive urgency around critical events. 


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    • Empower your teams with the latest Sales Enablement collateral
      • Organize your joint solution briefs and sales enablement collateral in one place to make access easier for your partner business managers and field teams. Access to good enablement will help field teams correctly position your joint solution in their respective accounts to create the excitement and mindshare it deserves.

sales enablement collateral


    • Send out exclusive invites before general availability:
      • Send exclusive invites and give early access to your regional leads and partner field teams. Once they accept the invite, onboard them to your Joint Solutions and mutual goals.
      • Once aligned on the goals, give them access to the latest and greatest sales collateral. 

     2. Collectively nominate accounts to build a solid pre-pipeline:

    • Nominate 10 accounts each that could benefit from your joint solution or offering:
      • Imagine if each of your partners and regional fields teams identified and nominated 10 accounts each in their respective companies or regions. You can easily have 100’s of identified pursuits that you can jointly help to develop with your field and sales teams for an early win.
      • By using WorkSpan you and your partners can quickly nominate accounts. 

Nominate accounts


     3. Develop nominated accounts via weekly joint pipeline reviews

    • Make weekly calls about action instead of status updates.
      • Jointly review accounts one by one. WorkSpan’s double pane view allows for a quick opp by opp review. You can take notes in line, assign tasks, and orient the call on action items by assigning new tasks or following up on existing ones. I reckon this is a much better use of your time rather than chasing status updates.
    • Identify the right accounts early and double down on getting your first win
      • Early wins can set the right momentum for your sales team to build on. It’s imperative that you identify the proper accounts with the highest chance of converting in the early stages so your team can taste success early on. Sales team need to believe, and nothing other than a quick win will get them more excited than ever.
    • Develop a case study around your first few wins
      • Nothing speaks louder than a success story. Convert your early win into a case study that walks your prospects through the value your joint solution delivered to your end customer. Case studies play an essential role in sharing the story of your early adopter change agents. Also, they often act as the fuel that gets the laggards to move and get ready for the transformation as well.

To sum up

Successful alliances are differentiated by how well can you operationalize your team and your partner’s field teams towards a joint mission. By creating a good soft-launch, getting your field teams and partners to nominate accounts, and running weekly joint-pipeline reviews will be the key differentiators that help you mobilize your team and get early wins to build on. Implementing these three prescriptive plays will give you and your partner’s team the visibility and alignment you need such that you can move on to things that you are great at, i.e. influencing joint pipeline and driving revenue.

Gaurav Saini
Gaurav has dedicated the vast majority of his career to leading highly effective Growth & Data-Driven Marketing teams across several SaaS companies. Prior to WorkSpan, he built and scaled marketing & user experience teams at UserVoice and RealPage. Gaurav strives to deliver stellar user experiences via creating delightful and memorable interactions for our customers, both on and off the product. He holds a BS in Business Management from San Jose State University.

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