According to Kathy Contreras, Sr. Research Director at SiriusDecisions there is a new key trend that we are seeing relating to the future of the channel, specifically the growth of new partner relationships and ecosystem.

We are currently at the forefront of a tremendous shift across the channel. It is a pivotal time for many B2B organizations, as we continue to see the rise and expansion of new partner relationships and the formation of formal partner ecosystems. Channel and partner leaders much like yourself, each prepare for the future with this reality in mind.

We have witnessed a new technology trend in the last decade, such as the advent of cloud computing, IoT, and platform offerings, etc. And with the rise of new partner ecosystems, we will see a tremendous change in the business.

Sixty percent of the alliances fail within the first twelve months, so it becomes incredibly important that you as an alliance professional set the right cadence to maximize success and capitalize on this new trend.

We often see that a lot of effort goes into the announcement of the new alliance partnership and then, nothing happens.

We bring you a 5 point checklist for an alliance organization to maximize their success rate:

1. Dig deep into the business case

  • According to Bob Schwartz, Sr. Director of Global Alliances at Veeam software, far too often organizations do not dig deep in the business case to understand customer concerns. You should spend significant time to understand what does the customer needs, dig deeper into their problems, workflows, and roadblocks. Then, find the appropriate partner to create a co-solution that solves the customer’s problem.
  • It should always start with the target customer and the buyer. Learn:
    1. Who are they?
    2. What do they want to buy?
    3. Why do they buy?
    4. When do they buy?
    5. How do they buy and how do they want to buy?
    6. Where do they want to buy and from whom?

And then and only then explore new solutions that would help them achieve their objectives.

2. Expect arguments

  • Think about the nuances involved when considering going to market with partners from different organizations with different approaches. It may include complex partner ecosystems and strategic alliance partnerships.
  • Alliance partnerships are like marriages, so expect arguments. You must learn to listen attentively and seek to understand before being understood. You must try to see the situation from your alliance partner’s perspective, and then solve and resolve the problem.

3. Focus on execution

  • You can make all the plans in the world, but until you execute them, they will bear no fruit. Work with your team to execute on the plans, learn from them and improve as you go along.

4. Field & sales enablement

  • It is critically important that the sales team is on board and understands the value they need to deliver to the customer, how to deliver it, and how to leverage their partners to do so. It will provide clarity in the minds of the field teams, and they will get behind the leadership’s vision.

5. Integrate the alliance organization into the sales motions

  • Often alliance organizations are not integrated into the sales motion, and sometimes they are 2-3 steps away from the sale.
  • Alliance organization should be part of the sale and have similar metrics & compensation packages as the sales teams. According to Bob Schwartz, at Veeam software, they have a team that only works with the partners and are compensated based on the success of the partnership. It encourages and keeps the alliance team motivated to watch the deal flow from end to end.

If you can adopt these five tactics into your next alliance partnership, you might be able to increase your chances of a successful business partnership.

The trend towards the rise of channel partners is both external and internal. Suppliers are lining up for new, modified or expanded routes to market. They are also seeing that new organizations are now formalizing programs to support ecosystems and these organizations are consolidating ownership of the broad universe of partners under a centralized function.

By leveraging the new trend and avoiding the pitfalls, you will be able to grow revenue, increase market share and bring more collaborative solutions to the market.

You can watch the FREE On-Demand Webinar by Kathy Contreras, Sr. Research Director at SiriusDecisions to learn more about the growth of ecosystems and new partner relations.

About the author

Vishal Kalia

Vishal is the Director of Content Marketing & Social Media and leads our Alliance Aces Community. He has been in marketing for 14+ years and writes about ecosystem cloud, alliance strategies, and digital transformation.