Sales collaboration is another way of looking at outsourcing sales and marketing to support the broader collaboration network.  This broader perspective will allow your network and the partners within the network to be much more competitive in the market with much larger organizations.  This sales and marketing perspective will allow your collaborative network to effectively compete and win opportunities over these larger organizations because your solution will provide the same value and the cost will be reduced because your collaborative network has eliminated, or does not have the requirement to support a large administrative management overhead.

One of the key benefits to this sales collaboration perspective is changing the network partners’ view of sales and marketing from a product or ‘what can I offer to the market’ to a market need or ‘what is the market need’.  This perspective change, or paradigm shift is critical to the long term success of the collaborative network and all of the network partners.  This perspective shifts from a myopic viewpoint to a farsighted viewpoint that focuses on market needs.  I think you can quickly see that this focus on market needs will provide the foundation for flexibility and growth that will promote and ensure the success of the collaborative network.

This market focused 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.  As I’ve discussed this perspective is important to encourage and even ensure the future viability and growth of your network and the partners in your network.  What I am proposing is not really outsourcing in the classic sense, I am proposing a new type of outsourcing that connects the capabilities of the individual partners.  In this type of outsourcing the objective is for the new partner to view the needs of the marketplace and then identify how the collaborative network can meet the needs to support and win the market initiatives or sales.

You can see why this is not the classic definition of outsourcing, because you will be creating a new framework that helps to glue your network partners into a cohesive framework.  In fact, I think that this provides a new type of service industry, or offering, that fits very nicely into the collaborative partnership framework.  This creates an opportunity for a new partner to focus on two things; the needs of the market and building the team from the collaborative partnership to meet the needs of the market.  This shift in perspective will allow the network to better meet the needs of the market and win more initiatives.  Winning more initiatives then provides the review to support the growth of the collaborative partnership. 

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?