As I wrote about previously (link) we’ve developed a “fully baked” business development strategy for MasterMessaging this year in order to create FAT pipeline and give us more opportunities to tell our story, sell more deals and hit a number that represents an 87.5% revenue growth year over year.
The structure is what we call The 3 Pillars of Pipeline and they are activities that center around the areas:
On the Internal side, we started our process by first investing in building deep and meaningful partnerships with a few select companies. This has been a huge win for us over the last couple of years and continues to be a significant source of our yearly revenue.
However, when I mention developing partnerships to colleagues and this being a strategy for increasing revenue, I often get a general look of bewilderment, as if partnerships are rarely if ever considered. In my opinion, not exploring the possibility of value added partnerships is a real mistake and leaves a BUNCH of opportunity on the table over the life of your business.
Common objections to pursuing partnerships are:
- A lack of belief that partnerships could actually bring in revenue and could end up being a colossal waste of time/resources if the effort proves to be unsuccessful.
- Due to the inherent complexity of partnerships, many don’t know where to start the process and lack the structure to make them a win/win.
I understand that many sales pros have had the experience of someone getting very excited about your company/product/service, promise to make referrals to other companies and then nothing comes from the relationship, which is frustrating. In contrast, a legit partnership agreement is inherently different and built on several important criteria:
- Our solution provides incredible value to our partners AND their clients.
- It’s built in such a way that results in our company being “top of mind” with partners.
- It’s built in such a way that results in a mutually beneficial financial outcome.
Let me speak to each of these criteria using our experience in the last several years of successful partnerships:
VALUE TO OUR PARTNERS AND THEIR CLIENTS
Value is a sometimes mysterious word in the world of sales, but it need not be. I don’t have the space here to expound on the topic, but here is a resource we've provided on how to communicate value in the mind of our prospects (and partners) based on breakthroughs in behavioral psychology.
The way that the human brain perceives value is in a contrasting world view. Or: your prospects/partners world WITHOUT your solution vs. your prospects/partners world WITH your solution. Use this simple formula: Contrast = Value.
Value to our Partners AND their Clients was discovered by looking at their world and determining if we can improve it significantly through the application of our solution. We’re a sales consultancy with a focus on developing messaging that makes it easy for prospects to make a decision quickly. We also apply a behavior change framework to make the principles and techniques we teach “sticky” and applicable long after an event based training.
Understanding the value we bring, we asked ourselves a question:
“Who have we worked with or have in our networks that can benefit from our solution either before, during or after a client engagement?”
No value = no chance of partnership, little value = little chance of partnership, BIG value = Real partnership! Using that approach, we quickly identified a handful of companies we’ve worked with in the past or who are in our network and walked through a process I’ll detail in just a moment.
BEING TOP OF MIND WITH PARTNERS
The agreement then has to be structured in a way that we are always top of mind with our partners. The way we did that was to build custom services that are complementary and sometimes directly connected to what our partners are selling and vice versa.
If that sounds complicated, it really isn’t. Sometimes it’s a no brainer. Let me give an example.
We work with a partner that delivers powerful marketing materials to mid-market and fortune 500 organizations and their primary point of entry is through marketing. However, for their solution to achieve maximum value in an organization, it must be adopted and USED by the sales team to increase revenue. Otherwise, the tremendous value that they create could potentially go unrealized.
Our partnership structure is simple: They deliver the messaging and we train the sales team how to deliver it using our behavior change methodology. We created a process and product specific to our partners solution that helps them deliver maximum value to their clients and now every time they deliver their solution, we get introduced to their clients!
MUTUALLY BENEFICIAL FINANCIAL ARRANGEMENT
Obviously, no one in a for-profit business is going to be motivated to sell someone else’s solution without some kind of financial benefit. These financial benefits can come from either a direct monetary compensation structure or an indirect value added benefit.
We have a partnership with a company with a very high priced solution and every prospect is a whale, which makes them rare. Our partnership is simple, if we connect them to a buyer and they close business, we get paid a commission for the introduction, a direct monetary structure.
We’ve had a partnership in which our engagement with partner clients enhances the value of our partners solution. They provide first appointments for their clients and we help their clients craft messaging that converts those first conversations into sales. As a result, they are able to charge their clients more for their solution due to our ability to help their clients realize the full value of what they provide.
Here’s how we identified and engaged past clients and our network to develop these opportunities:
We scoured our past client list and network to develop a master list of potential partnership opportunities with organizations/individuals that we can measurably impact using the criteria above. If we have something, we move to step 2.
We met with each one, presenting the value we believe we can create in their business and their client’s businesses. If they are interested and see the possibility, we move to step 3.
With the information gained from that meeting, we conduct a strategy session to determine a partnership agreement that meets the criteria above. At this point, we’re doing all the work. If they are favorable to the solution we provide, we shake hands or sign agreements.
The result? Increased opportunities to sell our products and services and INCREASED REVENUE.
If you would like to schedule a brief 20 minute Business Development Assessment that will help you increase opportunities to tell your company story with target prospects, email me here.
MasterMessaging is a sales consultancy that helps our clients increase revenue in predictable, replicable and sustainable ways. All based on applying principles derived from the latest in behavioral psychology. Principles ranging from how individuals perceive value to communicating in a way that overcomes the status quo.
What if you could…
- Shorten the Sales Cycle?
- Sell higher margin deals?
- Drive higher adoption of your product(s) over time?
You can, ONLY by partnering with MasterMessaging.