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  • 1. Drafting a partner strategy fora software vendor
  • 2. Layered approach
    Putting in place a partner strategy requires to think at different levels
    What is your company’s vision at 3-5 y
    What would be the required resources ?
    How do we put that in place ?
  • 3. 3
    The Challenge
    Putting in place a successful partner strategy is not a 1 man task !
    A good partner strategy requires the buy in from the entire company, at least from its leaders : top executives, sales managers, professional services managers,..
  • 4. 4
    Strategic Level
    A coherent alliance strategy needs to rely on the underlying business strategy
    Is the creation of (separate) alliances actually fits my business and sales strategy in the mid/long term
    Shouldn’t we increase our sales forces instead
    Wouldn’t it create too much conflict with the professional services and sales teams ?
    Do we want to sell our licenses though resellers or do we simply want a co-sale, co implementation approach or a mix of both ?
    Is the company ready to put in place an internal infrastructure that supports and strives to maximize the value of external collaboration
    Hiring a partner manager that coordinate activities
    Designating individuals within each team that will allocate time on partnerships
  • 5. 5
    Strategic Level cont’d
    What are my long term goals
    % of additional revenues generated by partners
    Countries to be covered, Coverage of new regions

    Which executive will sponsor those partnership development and eventually be actively involved in this activity ?
    Required Inputs : CEO’s, CSO’s, CMO’s, Head of Prof Services
    Output : an Agreed Strategic Plan
  • 6. 6
    Tactical Level
    The required resources are
    Alliance or Partner Manager
    This partner manager will move the strategic plan forward
    Coordinate the activities of the internal teams with the partners
    Put in place the partner processes
    Be accountable for the partner results
    Executive sponsor(s)
    Derived from the strategic plan, what will be the sales engagement process ?
    Who will take the sales lead when partners are being involved in sales processes when they bring new opportunities ?
  • 7. 7
    Tactical Level cont’d
    Professional Services
    Clear engagement models are critical for successful partnerships . Especially with SI’s. Therefore, there will be a need for one individual that will create those engagements models or help creating those with the partner manager.
    Product organization
    May be needed for demo’s, solution centre
    Designate a point of contact for marketing activities
    Designate a POC for legal matters (Master partnership agreements, teaming agreements, confidentiality agreements,..)
    Output :
    Allocate individuals within the teams who can support the partner process
    Define the coordination processes between the partner manager and the teams
  • 8. 8
    Operational level
    With your strategic plan and the designated persons, you can now :
    Reprecise your targets
    Identify the markets/countries you want to reach
    Sales targets

    Identify the engagement models you want to follow for each market/country
    Evaluate what partnership models will best help you meet your strategic plan
    Try to establish a model that fits for all but eventually we may need to draft different types of partner types
    Develop a partner selection strategy by setting clear partner evaluation rules
  • 9. 9
    Partner evaluation rules
    Existing Partnership or not
    Experience with your company’s software
    Market Share in your domain
    Geographic Presence
    Customers/Key Accounts
    Specific skills
    Willingness to work with your company (if possible to state)
  • 10. 10
    Operational level
    The partner manager will map the potential partners to the above criteria. Using those data, the partner manager will put forward a list of partners to go after.
    The list will of course includes the existing partnerships of your company
    May vary by type of partnership, by region, by country or by large accounts
  • 11. 07/03/2010
    The “Attack” plan
    Before approaching your targeted partners, it is important to have prepared
    A value proposition for each type of partner which defines what we offer them in terms of marketing, sales and complementary services
    The value proposition which will come with partnership sales presentation - The copy must clearly present the value proposition that attracts and persuades potential partners.  we are in a sales exercise and we need to be sure to outline benefits and activities tailored for each potential partner.
    The rules of engagement : confidentiality, contracts, services engagements, escalation, sales support, etc
  • 12. 12
    Go and get them !
    Rapidly, this requires
    Again Internal support from
    Ideally the selection process needs to be fast since the negotiation and finalization of a partnership will take some time
  • 13. 13
    Once you have found them you will need to…
    Sign a partnership agreement
    Establish with the Partner different plans and processes
    Business Plan : targets, territories, named accounts
    Marketing Plan
    Education plan
    Rules of engagements
    Opportunity / Lead Management Process
    Bid Process
    Pipeline Review
    Regular governance and review calls
    Solution centre
    SELL together !
    Concentrate on the partnerships that work !
  • 14. 14
    ConclusionFew recommendations
    There isn’t a magical solution : preparation and professionalism is what will you help the best
    Indeed, engaging in a partner strategy requires some clear thinking beforehand : You need to look at it strategically and tactically before putting in places (expensive) resources
    If there is go for a (new) partner strategy, this requires internal buy in and support. A Partner manager is key but he cannot work by himself
    You need a method and tools for approaching your potential partners and evaluating them