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Level Up Your Strategic Partnerships with Co-Marketing and Co-Selling 


Through account mapping in your partnership ecosystem, help your business accelerate its reach, increase brand awareness, and identify new prospects through these marketing strategies.  

Key takeaways: 

  • Co-marketing is when business partners prompt each other’s product and/or service.
  • Co-selling is when business partners sell their product and/or service to the same customer simultaneously.
  • Co-marketing and co-selling help strategic partnerships leverage each other’s customers and prospects to meet their goals.
  • Account mapping is a critical exercise in knowing which partners to co-market or co-sell with to yield the most significant ROI.

Businesses today have more access to data than ever before. By strategically leveraging this data, they can better understand their customers and prospects and expand their reach by collaborating with the right partners. 

This post will review how businesses can use co-marketing and co-selling techniques by forming strategic partnerships to boost sales enablement, retain existing customers, reach new ones, and drive revenue. 

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What is Co-Marketing vs. Co-Selling?

When two businesses with similar target audiences partner up to promote each other’s product(s) and/or service(s), that’s called co-marketing

Co-marketing allows two or more businesses to reach their customers through more channels. It also promotes lead generation by introducing both organizations to each other’s customers - similar to when your friend introduces you to new people. 

Let’s use Salesforce as an example. Salesforce is an online customer relationship management (CRM) platform used by businesses of all types to get a shared view of their customers across all departments. Sharework, for example, - might be a prospective customer of Salesforce since Sharework would want a robust CRM system to store their customer data.

Salesforce could use direct marketing strategies to target Sharework, but they may not reach the right people. Alternatively, they could partner up with another organization that’s also targeting Sharework. But who do they partner with? Which alliance would yield the most significant returns? 

That’s where account mapping comes in. Using an account mapping tool helps assess the potential of different partnerships to identify where synergies exist. Knowing which other organizations have joint customer opportunities or prospects is a first step in researching partnership opportunities. It’s also important to know how much overlap there is in the market and your target user (i.e., persona). 

For example, say Salesforce does account mapping and finds significant overlap in customers/prospects with Slack - a channel-based messaging platform used by startups and tech firms globally. 

Together, Salesforce and Slack could co-promote their products to their contacts at Sharework to increase each other’s reach and brand awareness. Their message to Sharework may be, “Salesforce is a great tool that could increase your revenue, and by the way! - have you considered Slack? It’s also a great internal tool to support stronger communication across teams”. 

Take it one step further; Salesforce and Slack could combine their efforts to sell their products together. This partnership would then be called co-selling

Co-selling is when two businesses with similar target audiences form a strategic alliance to sell each other’s product(s) and/or service(s) to the same customer at the same time. In this case, maybe the Sales Reps at Salesforce and Slack could meet with Sharework together. 

What are the Advantages of Co-Marketing and Co-Selling?

“Individually, we are one drop; Together, we are an ocean.” - Ryunosuke Satoro 

It’s no secret that there’s power in numbers. Prioritizing strategic partnerships has many advantages that can be realized across the sales funnel.

Sales Enablement

Co-marketing allows a company’s sales team to get access to more prospects and generate more leads. It enables them to gain greater consumer insights by giving them access to their partners’ data on common prospects and context around budget, timing, or key contacts in a prospective organization. 

Integration

Sharing common customers presents a unique opportunity for partners to offer integration between their product(s) and service(s) to incentivize their target customer to purchase (or continue using a product and service). Co-selling strategies, in particular, can be useful in presenting bundled solutions to generate interest and increase the overall value for a prospective customer. Integrating with a partner’s product and service, you increase stickiness between your company and the customer and your company and the partner. Ultimately, making yourself invaluable to both. 

Decrease Churn Rate 

Customers are less likely to stop using a product and service that brings them value often. Identifying other products and services essential to your customer and partnering with them can help position your business as vital to your target customer’s life. 

Drive Revenue 

Co-marketing takes the efforts of each business to yield double the results. It boasts double the exposure and, thus, double the return. Co-marketing allows you to identify common customers and prospects, which is critical to establishing referral revenue channels. You can then use co-selling techniques to drive revenue at twice the speed with double the customer touchpoints (as a result of your and your partner’s efforts). 

How to Decide the Right Partners to Co-Market or Co-Sell with? 

Once you’ve decided to explore new strategic partnerships, the next step is knowing which partnership makes the most sense? More importantly, which partnerships will yield the most significant ROI for your organization? Let’s have a look. 

1. Identify the goal

The first step in any business decision is to understand the why. Why are you looking to form an alliance with another organization? What is it that you want out of this partnership? It’s critical to identify your end goal with any partnership so that you can make decisions with clear direction. Your partnership will require you to invest time and resources, so you want to give some thought to what you’re trying to achieve. 

Suppose you’re looking to boost lead generation. In that case, you’ll want to ensure you’re partnering with an organization that has a common target audience. Suppose you’re looking to strengthen your reach amongst existing customers or increase retention. In that case, you may want to partner with an organization that provides complimentary products and services that will entice your customers to keep coming back.  

Remember, the right partnership can exponentially accelerate your growth in the market (if that’s your goal). And the wrong partnership can end up costing you a lot of time and resources, so always know what your end goal is. 

2. Perform Account Mapping 

Once you’ve identified your goal, the next step is to perform account mapping. Account mapping is the exercise of cross-referencing (or “mapping”) your list of existing and prospective customers with a partner’s list of current or prospective customers. 

Account mapping is a crucial step in every partnership to learn more about your current and potential customers, gather intelligence and context for sales and identify opportunities to co-market and co-sell. It helps you gain a deeper understanding of your consumer behavior to identify key trends and patterns, which influence your partnerships strategy.  By doing this market analysis, you can determine what your customers are interested in to position yourself as an indispensable part of the solution that they’re seeking.

3. Upgrade Your Tech Stack

By now, we know how important account mapping is. But did you know it can get messy? Often, account mapping exercises are done through endless excel sheets that require a mastery of VLOOKUP and other helpful formulas. While this isn’t an impossible process, it’s certainly not the most efficient. Beyond countless hours lost, manual account mapping has very high occurrences of inaccuracy.

Further, there are significant security risks when sharing this information with a partner.

To make this process easier, accurate, and secure it is essential to sign up for an account mapping tool, like Sharework. 

Sharework is a secure and free platform that helps you increase your win-rate by up to 39% and deal size up to 45% by leveraging your ecosystem partners. The app allows you to streamline your account mapping process by delivering data right into your CRM. It offers a goldmine of data to drive revenue by revealing unseen opportunities with partners, prioritizing sales targets, & identifying which partners can help by referring and influencing sales opportunities. 

Sign up for a free here and find revenue building opportunities with your partners today!

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