How to Leverage a Solution Selling Canvas for Channel Management Training

Quite a few channel management executives come to their career through field sales or inside sales roles. Consequently, many of them struggle with the whole topic of joint solution selling. One of the most effective ways to help channel managementexecutives to overcome this is to introduce the joint solution selling canvas during their channel management training courses.

The solution selling canvas is a tool used by channel managers and the channel partners that they manage to get them both on the same page when jointly managing a sales opportunity. The canvas enables both parties to engage together on the sales path, helping them to think through each step from Preparation through Closing and post-sales activity.

The various elements of the Joint Solution Selling Canvas include:

  1. Preparation – What are the roles? Who will do what? What resources will be required and who will provide them?
  2. Diagnosing – what exactly is the customer’s need? What is the “pain”? What are the various joint solutions that could potentially be proposed to the customer? Is this a good fit for us?
  3. Qualification – is this a sales opportunity that is relevant for both parties? Does the customer have a budget? When are they planning on making a decision? Is this a worthwhile investment of time and resources for the manufacturer and partner in which to engage? Is there a reasonable probability of winning this deal and will it be profitable for everyone?
  4. What compelling value proposition can we offer to the customer that best represents the strengths of both parties in a way that is valuable to the customers requirement?
  5. What resources do we have to educate the customer about our joint solutions and how they will deliver value for this requirement? Trials, case studies, joint white papers?
  6. Win the deal, implement the solution and solve the problem for the customer.
  7. What insights are there now having gone through the process? What did we do right together? What could we improve on next time?
  8. Post-sale: how can we continue to “delight” the customer? Can we “land and expand”, winning more business there? Can we get a joint case study that we can use going forward?

The joint value proposition is probably the most important part of the entire process. This is where formal channel management training comes to the fore, helping channel professionals understand exactly what is required in order to build a compelling joint value proposition using tools like a “value canvas”.

Another important aspect of using the joint sales canvas is its emphasis on what happens after a sale is completed. The “land and expand” sales training technique is a well-known and very successful sales methodology for winning more business at existing customers. In this model, the first sale is referred to as the “landing” with the customer and is used as a launchpad to generate further sales through professional account expansion. The joint sales canvas enables the manufacturer and channel partner to have a structured conversation about this channel management training technique even before the sale closes.

Of course, a “land and expand” selling strategy requires a solid foundation with the customer and that means that the customer must be cared for after the deal is closed and the solution is in place. Solid customer care is a critical aspect of this activity.

The joint sales canvas has enormous potential for helping channel partners and their manufacturing partners work together more successfully. Fully integrating it into a formal channel management training process is a prerequisite for making sure that it is fully understood and that all parties are clear on how to use it together for maximum sales results.

About the Channel Institute:

The Channel Institute is the only training body in the world that provides business training and certification specifically for the channel profession through a syllabus validated by a vendor-independent Industry Advisory Council. The Institute currently offers three certificate courses supporting channel managers, channel marketers and channel resellers:

  • The Certificate in Channel Management
  • The Certificate in Strategic Channel Sales
  • The Certificate in Channel Marketing
  • The Certificate in Digital Co-Marketing

Peter