#54 RJ Bibby: How To Overcome The Challenges Of Alliances To Bring a Great Experience To Your Customers
When working in a multi-tenant alliance, the normal partnership challenges become exponentially more complex. The stakes are higher and progress is ...
When working in a multi-tenant alliance, the normal partnership challenges become exponentially more complex. The stakes are higher and progress is more easily stalled.
We totally get it. So we put together a list of the 7 ideas to focus on when dealing with complex partnerships.
And, we didn’t do it on our own: We partnered with RJ Bibby, Global SAP/SI Digital Transformation Officer at NetApp. He joined us for an Alliance Aces interview while we were attending SAP FKOM in Las Vegas.
He knows about complex alliances — For him, a typical alliance has at least 4 partners: NetApp, SAP, a GSI, and a hyperscaler.
1: Make it Insanely Easy for the End-User, & Your Partners
Multi-partnership alliances are difficult for the professionals managing them and perhaps more complicated to understand for the end-user.
At NetApp, RJ uses cheat sheet battle cards for all of the end-users and his partners. These are a fantastic way to keep the complexities clear, and answer all of these questions answered at a glance:
- What’s the value for you (whether you are a partner or a user)
- Here’s who to call for … (SI, technology support, contact within SAP, etc)
- Here’s how you get your data points
- What’s coming in the future for this product/partnership.
- Specifically for partners:
- Mutual goals (prospecting, marketing, etc.)
- CTA for each partner
2: Own What You Do Well
In multi-tiered alliances, execute exceptionally well on your piece of the partnership. It creates a synergy with other partners that push each toward their own expertise.
3: Leverage Each Partner’s Relationships
Having Multiple partners becomes a huge asset in sales and marketing, as each partner brings their own unique set of contacts and relationships.
You may have the greatest influence with one prospect's decision-makers, while partner #3 has better leverage with another prospect.
Own the relationships you have, own the piece of expertise you’re bringing to the customer, then utilize each partner and the relationships they have within their arsenal.
4: Find a Common Interface for All Partners
RJ noted how crucial an alliance management tech is. He uses Workspan so he and each of his partners can have the following:
- A common UI
- Easily access to all partners
- A common view of all value props
- Understanding of who the tactical players are
- View of regions you and your partners are going after
- Results tracking
5: Know That Data Is the New Oil (Currency)
Data has become the new hotly traded item in the enterprise. It’s the oil of our day and the currency of the times.
6: Let the Customer Choose
RJ is seeing an increasing amount of large instances of SAP in hybrid cloud environments — whether it’s AWS, Azure, VMware, etc.
Being able to deploy your product within each of them, and navigate between them is crucial in today's environments, especially if dealing with enterprise businesses.
7: Stick to the Basics
If you’ve made it this far in your alliance career, you probably know these, but it’s good to be reminded of the basics. At all times you should be able to answer the following:
- What regions are we attacking?
- Where is there a transformational need?
- What is the value to each partner?
- What is the value to the customer?
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