Co-selling Partnership
Metrics and Analytics 11.01.2021

Co-selling Partnership

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On this episode of the Sunny Side Up podcast, Anoop sits down with Zoom’s Doug Starzak to talk about co-selling, optimizing meetings, and how to engage partners in a co-selling organization. Co-selling is really an organization that has adopted a fully integrated go to sales model, but engaging all partners in a co-selling operation is not easy. Throughout their conversation, Doug offers some of his best practices when it comes to co-selling organizations, and the two wrap up their conversation by discussing the books Doug thinks everyone should read in their lifetime. 

About the Guest

Doug is an 18-year veteran in the telecommunications industry, who is always staying close and ahead of trends from a thought leadership perspective with transformational technologies especially related to customer experience and the way we communicate as humans through technology. Following his military service, he moved into various role types ranging from real estate, technical operations, and a long stretch in direct and indirect sales.

Connect with Doug Starzak 

Key Takeaways

  • Optimizing your meetings comes down to three different categories: 
    • Personal and human connection – build that foundation of trust through sharing personal or funny stories 
    • Professional and business connection – discuss the high-level view of the customer 
    • Intent or action/topic of the meeting – finish off the meeting with action items and make sure they’re mutual 
  • A co-selling organization is really an organization that has adopted a fully integrated go-to sales model. 
  • Engaging all partners in a co-selling operation is not easy, even if it sounds great on paper. There’s a give and take that has to take place for both entities to be successful and satisfied. 
  • There are three different models to consider when engaging with partners: 
    • The fully joint co-sales approach – partner and vendor sell jointly 
    • The referral-based co-sales approach – whoever has uncovered the sourced opportunity is bringing in the other vendor to hand off the opportunity 
    • The reseller/wholesale-based approach – sales partner acts as frontline and the main point of contact 
  • Doug recommends a few best practices for co-selling organizations, including: 
    • Starting with education 
    • Being willing to check the ego 
    • Promoting together 
    • Co-investing 
    • Making your announcements social 
    • Celebrating the wins 


“In a co-selling environment, there’s a give and take. You have to be willing to let go in areas, to meet in the middle of what’s reasonable and fair for an optimized sales cycle.” 

Highlights From the Episode

How do you optimize meetings?

Video fatigue in the age of COVID-19 is a real thing, but Doug recommends three ways to optimize your meetings, including promoting that person and human connection, using the professional and business connection, and concluding the meeting with the intent or action/topic of the meeting. 

What is a co-selling organization?

A co-selling organization can mean many different things, but essentially it’s an organization that has adopted a fully integrated go-to sales model where partners and vendors work together in a cohesive fashion. This type of organization model leads to an improved customer journey through a better sales experience that’s without conflict. It’s a win-win for the customer. 

How do you engage all parties in a co-selling operation? 

Engaging all partners sounds great on paper, but putting it into action is not easy. Sales organizations are full of quintessential Type A personalities, so things can get heated and competitive easily. In a co-selling environment, there has to be a give and take where there’s a willingness to let go in certain areas and meet in the middle of what’s reasonable for the optimized sales cycle. 

What are some best practices that Doug recommends?

Some best practices Doug recommends for co-selling organizations include starting with education and making sure everyone is educated on the mission and intent of the sales organization, being willing to check your ego, co-investing, making your announcements social, and not stopping there—create best practices specific to your organization and goals. 

Do you have recommended resources for the audience?

Doug recommends everyone read Man’s Search for Meaning by Viktor Frankl, and also Extreme Ownership and The Dichotomy of Leadership, both by Jocko Willink and Leif Babin. 



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