Let’s dive straight into the nitty-gritty of alliances:
Famed author and entrepreneur Jim Rohn said that “success is the natural consequence of consistently applying the basic fundamentals.”
David agrees, and he boiled down success with alliances to his basics, what he calls the 3 Es:
Engage — Meet face-to-face with your alliance(s), and be willing to get really specific about the requirements their customers have.
Enable — Give your partners really great tools, especially when it comes to tracking and measuring activity (we may actually have something that can help with that … )
Educate — Immerse your alliance partners in your service: This enables them to see how you are differentiated from other partners within their ecosystem who provide similar solutions.
Connect with the strategic initiatives of the executive team
If you want your alliance partners to truly recognize your value, ensure you can easily describe how your product or service ties back to the strategic initiatives of their executive team.
If you can connect a clear path from what your specific partnership provides all the way up to and then back down from the board room, it’s easy to set yourself apart from the competition.
Especially for technology companies: This connection to the strategic initiatives has become much easier for tech partners in the last decade. No longer are all tech services considered “go as low as you can, as fast as you can.” As David put it, tech is now “the oxygen in the room.”
By tying in your services to the strategic initiatives of the CTO/CIO, they will be able to see your value, and it won’t simply be a “how low can you go” game. That’s good news — so take advantage.
You won’t always be a perfect fit. And that’s OK
It's OK to say, “We're not a great fit” to your alliances when you’re not. In fact, this is a central component of building trust (and you know how we like to talk about trust).
Don’t try to force a partnership when it’s simply not the best fit, just because you are distracted by what others are doing — execute on your job description, your task list, your priorities.
Not only is this good advice for how to handle alliance competition, but it’s also the advice David would give to any alliance professional for their day-to-day:
Stay on task. Don’t get lost in email land. Reset your goals every day to the most important priorities, and execute.