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The number of alliances needed for a solution has grown: Joint solutions that may have traditionally required 1 partner, may now require 4 or 5. Managing an ecosystem that has all the available partnerships for each solution, can be quite a challenge.
Helen Morin joined our Alliance Aces podcast host, Chip Rodgers, to share 4 tactics you can use right now to manage your expanding alliance network, and we have all the highlights right here.
Helen Morin is the VP of Global Alliances & Channels at SAS, where she’s worked for 17 years in alliance management roles, as well as technical and consulting positions. Prior to SAS, she worked at the Canadian Department of National Defense, and she also holds the coveted CSAP credential (Certified Strategic Alliance Professional).
Partnership Numbers Are Growing:
Here’s one trend everyone of our podcast guests have observed:
The number of partnerships in every alliance is growing.
Consider a managed analytics service provider (like SAS). Often times, the partnership will include:
Cloud hosting platform
Someone with SAS skills
“The complexity of having multiple partners involved is something rather new,” said Helen. “We are trying to help others marry themselves up with other partners so they can have that type of an ecosystem. It requires governance, it requires some structure, and it requires a lot of collaboration, but it can be mutually beneficial for all the players.”
With that number of partners entering into a joint solution, Helen delivered 4 tips we can all learn from:
1) Continually Grow Your Network
SAS hosts large conferences where they bring in the various pieces of a potential alliance such as data consolidators, those who know how to apply the analytics, and cloud platforms.
They allow times for those vendors and others to quickly mingle, exchange contact information and get to know each other rapidly. She calls it speed dating.
Here’s the lesson for all of us:
It may be difficult for us to find our ideal cultural fit with the right technical alliances, but they do exist. And it's probably just as difficult for them to find us. Look for creative ways to engage with them.
2) Find the Customer Pain
If you've worked with global alliances, you’ve probably seen both a top-down model and a more decentralized model in various partners.
Deployment can be slightly easier in the top-down model, where you can educate and partner with one office or team, and then watch as the solution is deployed fairly seamlessly throughout the organization. In a decentralized model, the deployment and solution education can be more difficult, as you may have to contact and work with each region individually.
In the more decentralized model, here’s a tip:
Find common customer pain. That’s where the synergy of the alliance really shows its power.
3) Analytics Are Lifeblood to Alliances
Measure, measure, measure. By now, we’ve all accepted that data is king. It’s how any organization can reinvest in those areas with the most ROI. The same is true in alliances.
Alliances must measure results.
We know measuring results in alliances can be difficult — that's actually why we started Workspan, the first go-to-market cloud solution for alliances.
4) Share Stories With Your Team
Measurement is helpful, but stories are even more powerful. Ensure you have story-based content and assets your sales team and alliance professionals can use.
‘What’s 1 Piece of Advice You Would Give to a Future Alliance Professional?’
Helen: “Have no preconceived ideas. I never thought I would be in alliances.”
Helen’s passion for problem-solving, and her experience in consulting, sales, pre-sales, all created the perfect backdrop to dive into alliances.