Chapter 11

Joint Initiatives

A Step Change for Sales Collaboration

Mike Heald, Paul Neumann, and Golnar Pooya


Chapter Summary

  • Companies need a holistic and fresh approach to building sales networks. The traditional model is plagued with historical inefficiency and baggage.
  • Building a Joint Initiative (JI) is one model for how to reach new markets through new collaboration.
  • There are five critical steps in launching a JI and five organizational elements that must be jointly defined.
  • Making a JI successful takes senior executive commitment from each involved company and requires a bold challenge to the conventional model.

For many years, companies have used alliances to help them boost their reach and share in key markets and segments. These traditional partnerships are “sell with” arrangements: Teams from the respective companies work together as opportunities arise to jointly sell their respective products and/or joint solutions.

However, as companies in search of growth opportunities plow new ground—emerging markets, the lucrative small- and medium-size business (SMB) segment, and service and solution offerings, to name the most prominent—the JI framework is one potential approach that can enable companies to achieve their objectives.

Emerging and SMB markets, for example, require their own products and services, as well as different selling and pricing strategies. Furthermore, in these new markets and segments, there is far less customer data available that companies can ...

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