In the partner keynote at Dreamforce 2015, Tyler Prince, Executive VP of Worldwide Alliances & Channels at salesforce.com, shared their goal to grow the partner ecosystem by 5x in five years. And they are investing heavily in partner alignment to make this happen.
Neeracha Taychakhoonavudh, SVP, Partner Programs at salesforce.com also outlined their plan for partners to help Salesforce bring more value to its customers. One of the initiatives Neeracha spoke about was nextlevel, a program which enables the Salesforce Sales Army to identify the right partner solutions for its customers. The upshot? Thriving partners and happy customers.
How is Altify involved?
We’re honored to say Conversation Manager is part of what makes it happen. Salesforce account executives (AEs) use Conversation Manager to discover the business problems their customers are facing and map these to the solutions offered by the program partners. Through the power of Conversation Manager, the partners provide insights and content to their sales organizations in order to ensure their sales reps are prepared for every business conversation. This allows them to deliver the right product and solution messages to their customers, to ultimately accelerate the sale.
As Neeracha mentioned in her presentation, we also supply the account planning toolset for the ‘Salesforce Sales Army’ through Account Manager (our Executive Chairman, Donal Daly, did write the definitive book on Account Planning in Salesforce, after all). This gives Salesforce the tools to explore opportunities for growth in their key accounts. There is a synergy between the two products, in that Conversation Manager shows you where you can offer value to solve customer business problems, while Account Manager provides the toolset for uncovering ‘white space’ and finding mutual-value upsell and cross sell opportunities.
When we talk about sales automation, it’s not just about nifty automation tricks to save salespeople time (although, trust us we DEFINITELY appreciate the value of those things too..especially at the end of the quarter ;)) it’s about selling more intelligently with the data you have.
While it’s great to see Salesforce, and the nextlevel partners, understand how crucial it is to put the customer’s challenges first, studies suggest this may be the exception rather than the rule. Take this study by Forrester, discussed here in a post by Mark Lindwall. Of the 319 executive-level buyers questioned, 77% felt salespeople did not understand their business challenges. What a damning statistic, given that salespeople are constantly told about the importance of putting the buyer’s needs first.
But as Mark Lindwall’s post accurately states, “Understanding your buyers is only the first step toward optimizing your selling system.” You must also understand the value your services can provide and map these to your buyers’ needs. Only when this has been done (and, as we know, Conversation Manager and Account Manager are the perfect tools to do this within your Salesforce CRM) can you begin to have meaningful, value-driven conversations with your buyers.
If you want to find out more about the nextlevel partner support program, you can watch the Salesforce session with Neeracha Taychakhoonavudh, SVP, Partner Programs here.