Partner and Channel Managers can accelerate their success by transitioning from Super Rep to Sales Enabler. Read how this strategy enhances your organization's success and supports your partners more effectively.

A Guide for Partner and Channel Managers

Understanding the Shift in Mindset

In the competitive world of selling through a channel, becoming a Sales Enabler rather than just a “super rep” can dramatically improve sales. It requires a strategic shift from focusing solely on individual achievements to fostering scale and efficiency across the board. Unfortunately, many Partner or Channel Managers find themselves trapped in the super rep mindset, which not only restricts growth but also creates a dependency that obstructs sustainable success.

 

Breaking the “Super Rep” Mold

Imagine this: A Partner or Channel Manager complains about their partner’s sales representatives struggling to close deals successfully. It’s a typical story, but it focuses on the symptom not the root cause. Here’s the thing: letting your Partner or Channel Manager operate as a “super salesperson” isn’t the answer—it’s the issue.

In reality, many partner organizations are led by individuals with technical backgrounds or consulting expertise but little sales acumen. Likewise, some partner sales reps excel in selling their solutions but struggle with selling yours. While the knee-jerk reaction might be to swoop in and take over the deals, it’s a short-sighted approach that fails to address the underlying issue.

A Guide for Partner and Channel Managers

Transitioning from Super Rep to Sales Enabler

Striking the Balance

However, finding an equilibrium between enabling partner sellers and closing short-term revenue deals is challenging. It requires a delicate balancing act that prioritizes long-term growth without neglecting short-term targets by leveraging three different sales management practices the better enable partner sellers.

 

      • Opportunity Reviews where you provide strategic advice and high-level support on multiple opportunities in a single discussion
      • Opportunity Coaching where you provide tactical recommendations and detail-level support on select opportunities, and 
      • Co-Selling where you model and coach appropriate selling skills on key opportunities

Adopting sales enablement practices has shown to improve sales productivity by 12-15%, providing tangible evidence of the effectiveness of strategic sales enablement in boosting sales operations​​.

 

Navigating the Transition

Transitioning from a “super rep” to a sales enabler is undoubtedly daunting. It demands a fundamental shift in mindset that prioritizes empowerment over control and collaboration over dependency.

So, what steps can Partner or Channel Managers take to facilitate this transition? It starts with acknowledging the need for change and embracing a more inclusive, empowering approach to partnership sales management.

 

Overcoming Common Challenges in Partner Sales Enablement

Transitioning from a “super rep” to a sales enabler isn’t without its hurdles. Partner and Channel Managers often face resistance from both internal teams and external partners. 

Common challenges include:

Resistance to Coaching: Sellers are often resistant to coaching in the best of circumstances; when the seller doesn’t even work for you that resistance can go through the roof.. It’s essential to communicate the value your coaching can bring clearly and consistently.

Lack of Transparency: Providing any kind of helpful advice or coaching on a sales opportunity requires full knowledge of the deal and often partner sellers are reluctant to share those details.  Partner and Channel Mangers need to perfect their unassuming questioning skills to get partner sellers to reveal what really matters in the deal..

Sales Process Alignment Issues: Your organization and the partner organization almost certainly use two different sales processes and language around deal progression leading to misalignment, misunderstanding, and even mistakes.  It is critical to develop and agree on a common language to be used when discussing deals and sales strategies.

Partner and Channel Managers can overcome obstacles and drive meaningful results for their organizations by addressing these challenges and staying committed to partner seller enablement.

Looking ahead, the adoption of partner seller enablement technology is projected to increase by 30% over the next two years, indicating a growing recognition of its importance in achieving sales and revenue goals​​.

A Guide for Partner and Channel Managers

Driving Revenue through Empowerment

Shifting from a “super rep” to a sales enabler is key for Partner or Channel Managers aiming for long-term revenue growth and building a self-reliant partner network. This change isn’t just about immediate wins; it’s about preparing for future success. Your role is crucial in empowering partners and setting them up to succeed on their own. By focusing on seller enablement, partnership, and growth, you offer new possibilities for your partner’s and your organization. Embrace this evolution and watch as it leads to significant advancements for all involved.

Ready to delve deeper into the art of partner seller enablement? Explore our comprehensive guide for actionable insights and practical strategies to empower your partnering and sales teams. Click here to discover 5 Reasons Your Partner Organization Isn’t Achieving Revenue Scale and How to Solve It.

John Rudow

Founder, EQ Selling™

John’s 18-year leadership at EQ Selling™ has transformed sales training for the world’s leading high-tech organizations. Moving away from outdated traditional classroom tactics to an emotional intelligence-driven method, he and his team equip sales and channel partner managers to inspire lasting behavior change and achieve peak performance.

Contact us today to learn how we can assist you and your team.

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