Drafting a partner strategy fora software vendor RégisCollignon PartnerManager Collignon.email@example.com
Layered approach Putting in place a partner strategy requires to think at different levels Strategically What is your company’s vision at 3-5 y Tactically What would be the required resources ? Operationally How do we put that in place ?
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 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 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 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) Sales 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 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 Marketing Designate a point of contact for marketing activities Legal Designate a POC for legal matters (Master partnership agreements, teaming agreements, confidentiality agreements,..) Others Output : Allocate individuals within the teams who can support the partner process Define the coordination processes between the partner manager and the teams
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 Partner evaluation rules WILL THIS PARTNER GENERATE NEW OR ADDITIONAL REVENUE FOR MY COMPANY? Existing Partnership or not Experience with your company’s software Market Share in your domain Geographic Presence Customers/Key Accounts Specific skills Competitiveness Willingness to work with your company (if possible to state)
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
07/03/2010 11 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 Go and get them ! Rapidly, this requires Enthusiasm Connections Again Internal support from Executive Sales Product …. Ideally the selection process needs to be fast since the negotiation and finalization of a partnership will take some time
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 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