5 Partner Manager Tactics That Can Preserve Your Job
As I continue to talk to a number of technology companies about their winning strategies and best practices in building partnerships and alliances, I keep hearing about some of the critical tactics that will work in your behalf and hopefully keep you in your position.
Note that I said tactics – not strategies or best practices – that can keep you successful. I’ll leave strategy and best practices for another blog.
Here are 5 that I believe are important to help you keep your position.
- Target a 90 day win
- Target high and deliver in phases
- Target the largest customers in your market
- Target your sales force and your partner’s sales force
- Target maximum control
Now here is more of what I mean.
Thinking beyond 90 days in today’s economy is a recipe for disaster. Few companies can afford that luxury, not even the largest ones. While good alliance managers like to think strategically, this is not the time to put all your eggs in this long term basket.
Thinking big in terms of a win means delivering the highest value and hopefully highest revenue joint sale that is realistic and still fits in the 90 day-ish window. Thinking big also keeps you in front of all the right people – sales, management, marketing and customers. But think in chunks of deliverables that are realistic and that can show measurable and incremental success to everyone.
Thinking in terms of large customer deals means that you are targeting the highest end of your target market. If you need to target large companies and your partner is targeting companies in the mid bracket, you could have a disconnect. Make sure you’re both on the same track and can deliver with the same level of customer.
Thinking in terms of getting the buy-in and participation of both direct sales forces has always been important. This has not changed today and may be even more critical in making the right things happen. And if the right things don’t happen, having the sales buy-in may provide a little extra buffer for you in the event of problems.
Thinking in terms of maximum control means keeping control of as many of the elements of success as possible. If you expand your partnership beyond two partners, or if you require too many resources, or input from a third party, you will begin to lose control. That goes for complex projects or ventures that require too many pieces of your own organization to deliver on.
This is a tough market and alliance managers are under a lot of pressure. I’d like to hear what you believe are most critical to your immediate success.