The 5 Powerful Myths of Partnering
In this continuing series focused around alliance building and partnering, I’d like to explore 5 topics, or should I say Partnering Myths, that I will discuss in this issue. These myths, as I term them, are nothing more than a set of expectations that are usually never realized.
Here are my 5 myths of partnering:
Myth No. 1 – Loyalty and success are dictated by the Agreement and Contract. My experience indicates that a written contract has very little to do with success. It’s not the numbers, terms or conditions that make alliances work, rather it’s much more dependent on people and mutual trust.
Myth No. 2 – My second myth, Exclusivity, frequently is associated with further increasing the mutual value of the partner agreement. Some believe that exclusivity enforces trust and loyalty and further creates a foundation for success. Perhaps that is true in some cases, but while exclusivity may benefit the smaller partner in the near term in a weak-strong partner relationship, it usually creates over-dependence on the larger partner in the long term and can result in non-competitive selling situations, reduced revenue and lower market capitalization for the smaller partner.
Myth No. 3 – Short Term Financial Results are indicative of a successful partnership. While short term results are always good, they can also cloud or mask problems with how the combined products and services are supported and what the longer term satisfaction requirements are for the customer.
Myth No. 4 – Money and Resources can solve partnership problems. Rarely does a set of joint marketing initiatives or investments solve an inherently poor business proposition. Rather, joint marketing spending needs to have clear objectives assigned in terms of what it will do to create demand and brand for the partnership.
Myth No. 5 – Industry Analysts buy into it. Over the years, I’ve heard a lot of analysts who come out and endorse a certain alliance or particular partnership. While analysts usually have excellent insight into the market landscape, they can often be blind-sided when it comes to understanding how productive alliances net out in actual working relationships between two sales organizations and R&D groups.
No doubt that there are others that I haven’t highlighted.
What’s your favorite myth when it comes to partnering?