I touched on previously a new type of sales and marketing partners to support your collaborative partnership network in generating new income.  As I mentioned though, these partners should be considered a phase two type of addition to most collaboration networks.  The type of collaboration network that I’ve focused on is the type the collaborations and develops partnerships to support the needs and overcome the challenges of the business partners.  In this type of collaborative partnership the initial focus is directed inward to support the needs and challenges of the partners.  The sales and marketing partners will be introduced when the partnership network begins to look outwards and taking advantage of the strengths of the network to support new business capabilities to generate new income streams.


Just like any other partner in your network, the sales and marketing partner brings capabilities, expertise and most important market contacts to the network to develop a new income streams.  These partners can help your network to identify markets and then develop the opportunities with clients in those markets.  These partners come bring a broad market focus that will extend each partners’ reach into new markets without increasing their own internal sales and marketing capabilities.  Again, this incorporates the outsourcing viewpoint in the sales and marketing capacity of the network. 


This would be a phase two addition to the collaborative network because it is beginning to change the view from an internal support view to an external market opportunity view.  It is important that you do not move too early to this external opportunity view with your collaborative network that started with an internal view perspective.  It is important to develop a sound foundation prior to changing your viewpoint.  As with any other type of business initiative without a sound foundation to build on it will be extremely difficult, if not impossible to change or extend your direction. 


The collaborative perspective also changes the sales activities and really the greatest change is from the in-house type of sales to outsourced type sales and marketing.  This change in perspective is necessary though because it changes the view of sales and marketing from a product or ‘what can I offer to the market’ to a need or ‘what is the market need’.  This perspective will allow you to extend your network’s opportunities, allowing your network to meet the needs and challenges of the marketplace and develop new markets.  It is important to develop a broad view of the market in order to ensure your future viability and growth.


And now for the audience participation portion of the show…


How do you identify and address new opportunities in your current business market?  Have you ever tried to develop a SWOT focused on new business opportunities or new markets  to evaluate the fit for partnership and as a means to address and meet new opportunities?  Do you regularly develop a SWOT analysis to evaluate your internal capabilities and needs to support new business and market opportunities?