When reading “alliances are not about sales!”, you might think I’ve lost it. After all, you are in alliances and you are being measured by the amount of sales your partner does with your company. Or you might be on a sales headcount and awarded with the alliance role, but you still need to deliver your numbers.
I understand I’ve been there. You are in one of those companies that still have to learn a lot about strategic alliances. There are many types of alliances in the Collaborative Business Spectrum. When you are in the channel type of alliances and measured on the sales your partner does with your company, then you are a channel manager. In that case, you should be measured on sales.
When you are in strategic alliances, you are a conductor. It is your job to ensure that the two organizations in the alliance sing from the same hymn sheet. Preferably even for the two organizations to do so in such a fashion that it will be a pleasure to listen to their music. The result of that nice piece of music? Your audience will buy it!
Now back from music to alliances. When your partner and you work well together and create a joint product that is in demand, it will be bought. Sales will be a result, an outcome, a lagging indicator. It will be the icing on the cake. The reward of your hard work as alliance partners together.
Too often I see the focus on Alliance Sales. Worse even, that sales often feels like you have to stuff it through the channel. Don’t do it. Alliances are about relationships and creating great solutions together. So, ensure that you are aligned well with your partner. Deliver on the promise. Overdeliver if you can. Customers will love it and as a result, your sales will thrive!