A GREAT Partnership is one that really delivers value to the customer, your partner and you. The more on-going and longer term it is the better with truly complementary fit of capabilities and business focus.
As anyone who has built a company knows, getting your own operations right is difficult, then consider how you get two business operations working together with a common business focus.
If you have a complex sale or delivery, then partnering is not simply a black-box approach with relationship with CEO to CEO and putting your product into a distribution channel. Complex sales and delivery requires much tighter alignment from strategy, marketing and sales, product management, professional services and technical support.
Partnering is the matching of Complementary Capabilities. Partnering is the merging of two or more companies’ sales and delivery processes.
Some key points for GREAT Partnerships, you must have:
1) Partner Fit, Alignment of Plans and Commitment
Securing a partner agreement is not sales, its more about business understanding to ensure Partner-Fit and it really makes sense for the companies to partner bringing benefit to both parties.
2) A clear Understanding how you Partner does business
Too many consider the partnership to be with the CEO of the company and ask very little about how they do business. To truly understand how you will work with your partner, you must understand how they do business all along their sales and delivery processes.
3) Proper supports according to whether their an Ad-hoc, Long-term or Strategic Partner
Understand the effort and supports you should provide based on the size of the opportunity available to both parties. This involves being able to evaluate the capabilities of the partner company delivery multiple and on-going sales as opposed to a single opportunity.
4) Defined Targets and Reporting structures
To manage, monitor and assist the partner you have agreed means of forecasting, pipeline visibility and open doors for you to assist in the partner in sales and provide suggestions in improving how they sell and deliver your products. With Reporting, that doesn’t add an admin overhead but tracks metrics what the company was doing already.
5) Multi-level Relationships and Communication
For functioning and somewhat active operations, it’s important to have strong multi-level relationships across each company all along the CEO/Divisional Head, Sales & Marketing, Professional Services/Delivery, Support and Product Management to get market feedback.
6) Activity and Target based Incentives for Growth
With a clear understanding on how the partner does business, then seek to incentivise the activities that generate business for you. Don’t assume that the partner always knows what to do to generate more sales for you. You must be ready to help them understand the activities. Then you can measure these activities while providing bonuses to always incentivise the partner forward.
7) Market Feedback for Product Management
Working through partners may remove you from contact with the end-users, it’s important that you have structures in place to continually get feedback from the market. This can be arranged with your partner.
In Tenego we focus heavily on making sure the partner-fit is right and the activities required by both parties to build a lasting commercial relationship. For more info on how we can do this for your Company email us today at firstname.lastname@example.org