Recently, Salesforce Research surveyed over 3,100 global sales professionals to discover the overall trends changing the role of sales. The research netted the State of Sales report, where patterns are identified and shared in order to determine trends for overall sales success.

A new sales approach is required to lead in the Age of the Customer. Cross-collaboration and strong partner ecosystems are part of this new blueprint for success. Are partner ecosystems the key to eternal sales growth? Read on to decide for yourself.

High-performing salespeople are 2.9x more likely to strongly agree their company is available to customers anytime.

In order to successfully deliver and track customer experience, teams must fundamentally change how they sell. Sales organizations can no longer exist in silos — they must now connect across different departments, channels, and partners in order to have complete visibility into the customer journey. 73% of consumers say they are likely to switch brands if a company provides inconsistent levels of service. Sales teams across all performance levels understand that collaborative selling is key.

75% of sales professionals agree their company connects customers, employees, partners, and products.

Collaborative selling isn’t just about working together internally, it’s now also about building and bolstering a supportive partner ecosystem. A truly connected sales process includes many different facets including connecting customers, employees, products and partners.

The right partners can help companies discover hidden opportunities they wouldn’t be able to access on their own, while still delivering a seamless, branded experience. For example, if a hotel chain partners with an airline and rental car agency, they can ensure that customers are recognized across their journey and that their trip is smooth from the time they depart to the time they return. Similarly, unique preferences learned by these partners can be leveraged by sales reps to tailor their pitches with personalized recommendations.

76% of high-performing sales teams rate their partner and customer/prospect collaboration capabilities as ‘outstanding’ or ‘very good.’

Creating a connected sales experience for the customer extends beyond internal collaboration. Top teams also prioritize partner relationships, and rate their partner and customer/prospect collaboration capabilities highly.

Nearly 67% of B2B2C companies rate their ability to collaborate with partners as ‘very good.’

Here we see the percentage of sales professionals who rate their team’s capabilities as outstanding or very good by business type. Almost two-thirds of B2B2C companies rate their ability to have a single view of the customer and to collaborate with partners and customers/prospects as very good.

Percentage Who Rate Their Sales Team’s Capabilities in the Following Areas as Outstanding or Very Good by Business Type

According to this data, sales teams must reimagine the traditional sales approach in order to keep up with customer preferences for instant, tailored, and always-on sales. Leading teams are better at understanding and anticipating their customers’ needs with collaboration, strong partner ecosystems, cross-channel interactions, and immediate engagement.

Read the full report for even more insights.