Here's an interesting proposition for a new medical diagnostic business. You (the entrepreneur and founder of this "company") hire a call center to take calls from customers who want an inexpensive medical diagnosis. Of course, in the interest of being a low cost provider, your call center is staffed by folks with a good customer service orientation, but no medical training.
The business proposition is to allow customers to call and describe their symptoms. These are recorded by the call center folks who relay them to a group of retired physicians who write out a possible diagnosis and send it back. The call center then calls the customer and relays the diagnosis.
Ridiculous? Crazy? Dangerous, even? Yup.
So why would anyone use the same system to sell to a customer?
Now, I'm a believer in having partners to round out offerings and make sure that all of the customer's critical needs are met in the product.
But I am appalled at the number of times one or another partner tries/insists on managing not only the customer relationship but all of the product specifications for the other partners involved. Or, one or another partner encourages some other partner to do exactly this - so they don't have to go to the meeting.
Knowing the customer's pain and being able to bring the exactly right solution is a skill with a short half-life, measured in the number of minutes since last you listened to the customer describe their problem for you. For you. Not for an intermediary.
There is (nearly) always something unique, or subtle, that you bring to a solution that your partner won't hear, know or understand, based on the differences in your product and your experience.
Increase your customer satisfaction rate. Go to the meeting yourself.