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Ecosystem Leaders

Episode 120

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April 13, 2021

#120 Erik Heinrich: Why Managing Partners Requires Wearing Many Hats

Erik Heinrich, Director, Business Development, RUCKUS Networks, at CommScope joins Ecosystem Aces and discusses how he strategically manages

Successfully managing strategic partnerships requires empathy and understanding of many stakeholders. This means not just understanding the customer and the challenges they hope to solve but also the partners who have their own business goals, as well as internal teams in your own organization who have to sell these solutions.

In this episode, Erik Heinrich, Director, Business Development, RUCKUS Networks, at CommScope joins Ecosystem Aces and discusses how he strategically manages and optimizes the company's partnerships.

Erik shares:

  • What he believes are the 2 most important components in creating successful joint solutions
  • Why managing partnerships requires wearing many hats
  • How he “gets smart’ on different verticals  


How CommScope Creates Successful Joint Solutions

Erik says that the first component in creating successful joint solutions is the strategic component. This consists of having a strong understanding of the vertical as well as the problems that customers face. CommScope finds the most knowledgeable partners for each joint solution to ensure that it is well equipped for success.

The second component in creating successful joint solutions is what Erik describes as the tactical component. This consists of aligning partners in terms of their channels as well as their objectives. Understanding that each partner has their own goals and objectives means that ensuring the joint solution is a win-win for everyone involved is crucial.


The Importance of Empathy and Understanding in Partnerships

Every partner has their own objectives. A successful partnership is when each partner’s goals are aligned with each other. Managing strategic partnerships, therefore, requires a lot of empathy. Primarily, understanding the customer and the problems they face is integral in creating the most successful partnerships and solutions. This is because delivering optimal solutions for customers is ultimately beneficial for each partner involved.

In addition, ensuring successful partnerships and joint solutions also requires empathy outside of the partnership teams and the customers. Understanding that your own internal teams have to work to sell and market these solutions means that you also have to look for the best interest of your marketing and sales teams.


How to Get Smart on Different Verticals

In Erik’s position, he has to quickly get smart on different verticals to create the best joint solutions for different customers and partners. He says that the way he does this is by making a concerted effort to work closely with business leads that are directly in contact with the customer. He believes that being receptive to information from leads that directly deal with customers and not being tied to ideas that come from partners is crucial in successfully understanding new verticals


To contact the host, Chip Rodgers, with topic ideas, suggest a guest, or join the conversation about alliances, he can be reached by:

Email: chip@workspan.com

Twitter: @chiprodgers

LinkedIn: linkedin.com/in/chiprodgers