Direct sales processes are not sufficient to secure valuable alliance sales. the reason is that they are not collaborative from the outset. There is always a buyer and a seller in traditional sales models whereas in alliance sales the two parties are typically collaborating (Sell With) to sell to joint customers or clients.
Typically organisations invent their own alliance sales methodologies. They do this by hiring someone who is experienced in alliances and asking them to replicate what they did in their previous role or company. whilst the individuals may be extremely experienced they may find it hard to replicate the same situation and characteristics that existed in the situation in which they previously succeeded.
Even if they can replicate the same situation the chances are that they will find it hard to get their partner to agree to use their internally developed process and consequently the situation degenerates into a high level pushing match with both partners insisting that the other users their internal partnering approach.
A solution to this time consuming and damaging scenario is VST (Vision Skills and Trust).
VST is an open and non proprietary Alliance Sales and Optimisation Process. It was originally developed to help IBM to ‘interlock’ activities with partners in multiple countries. Partners such as: NetApp, Citrix, Schneider-Electric, Cisco, Juniper Ava and Anixter.
The system is now being used by a wide range of partnering organisations like: Accenture, Adobe, Atos, AT&T, BT Global Services, Canon, Canopy, Capgemini, CGI, Cisco, Cognizant, Colt Telecom, CSC, Dassault Systemes, Deloitte, EMC, Equinix, Fujitsu, HCL, HP Enterprise Services, IBM, Infosys, Kaspersky Lab, KPMG, Microsoft, NetApp, O2 Telefonica, Oracle, PwC, Qliktech, Rackspace, Ricoh, Salesforce.com, Samsung, SAP, Schneider-Electric, Sungard, TCS, Tieto, VMware, and Wipro Technologies.
The VST system has six discrete stages as follows:
- Stage 1 – Benchmarking – Is the relationship capable of improvement and would it be worth the effort?
- Stage 2 – MOUP – Assuming it is improvable and worth the effort what is the Vision of the relationship as described in a Memorandum of Understanding and Principles?
- Stage 3 – Go To Market Planning – How will we jointly execute on the agreed vision? What tasks and activities do we need to undertake and in what order?
- Stage 4 – Skills Training – What additional skills will the teams on both / all sides of the relationship need and how will they be coached?
- Stage 5 – Growth – How can we grow the relationship quickly and effectively over time?
- Stage 6 – Monitoring – How will we keep track of progress and adjust actions to accommodate changes?
Further details and a free VST Assessment and Benchmark report is available from Alliance Best Practice Ltd by contacting firstname.lastname@example.org