Co-selling is a process where two or more non-competing brands come together to offer their products or services to a shared target market. Some people think about this in terms of co-branding or co-marketing. But if you look closer, it's about making different products or solutions from different companies collaborate in one ecosystem.
One example would be a premium content management system offered with a social media post scheduling tool. Each product becomes more useful and valuable when taken together. As a result, the brands involved in an ecosystem collaboration can improve their respective bottom lines. There are many ways to create a co-selling arrangement. Resources like WorkSpan's partnership selling guide can help brands grow their businesses via co-selling.
When done right, there's no doubt that co-selling will have positive results in a brand's revenues. Here are the top ways to improve your co-selling strategies and reap the rewards of partnering with other companies in your business sphere:
Under a co-selling setup, the companies involved need to work together and promote their products as one solution package. In other words, you’re not only selling jointly, but you also cross-promote each other's products. The key to making this work is for co-selling companies to find the target market or audience segment they share but don’t compete in. By sharing leads with your partner brand, you stand to make more sales and enhance your bottom line.
Even with traditional selling, getting each team member's goals aligned is vital in generating higher sales and winning customers. The same can be said when working with other brands. The operative word in co-selling is collaborating—to line up each company's goals and work to achieve them. For that to happen, you need to build trust and confidence with your partner companies.
A vital aspect of participating in a co-sell setup is identifying the needs and goals of the parties involved. Foster honest conversation and share information with the companies you're working with. Only then will you effectively understand your target market and offer your products as an all-in-one solution.
Trust and confidence are crucial to make this arrangement work, but you know that ugly things can happen when money is involved. When co-selling with other companies, don't let the issue of money distract you from your goals or, worse, drag you down to lawsuits.
Part of building trust with your partner brand is to implement a way to effectively track or account for the money you make or spend during your collaboration. By doing so, you can focus your creativity and improve your strategies to attain better results from jointly promoting your brands.
In the same vein as tracking all the revenues and expenses from your co-selling arrangement, it's vital to invest in the project together. Investment, in this sense, doesn't only mean putting up the money or funds to promote your bundled products. You and the other brands you're co-selling with should also allot resources, hours, and sales representatives who will concentrate on pushing your packaged solution to your target market or audience.
It’d be better if you and your channel partner could agree to train each other's representatives to gain familiarity with your respective products. After all, good salespeople start by knowing everything about what they're selling.
When you collaborate with other brands to sell your products as a package solution, you create an ecosystem. It's not a new product, but a combination of solutions. Your target customers will have many questions, and you and your brand partners need to educate your audience.
To make your co-selling strategies work, you need to take your narrative online, mainly on social media. Remember, you're no longer running your show regarding your co-sell products. You're collaborating with other companies. It’d be best if you thought about your partner brands, too, when creating online strategies.
By building online communities, you and your co-sell partners will be able to share technical expertise or experience with your target market. You can also glean new ideas from your audience. Communities will allow you to get your combined message across to your customers more effectively and improve your results.
There’s strength in numbers. Also, two (or more) heads are better than one. Co-selling or collaboration with other brands can be an effective way to sell your products and grow your market, especially in the digital solutions space.
While co-promoting or cross-selling has been used in brick-and-mortar businesses and isn’t an entirely new concept, it's now transforming how digital companies offer their products. Ecosystem collaboration lets you bring your products and services to your market faster and with a broader audience. Plus, it gives your brand a competitive advantage by creating value-based solutions.