Drafting a partner strategy for a software vendor régis collignon alliance manager

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Drafting a partner strategy for a software vendor régis collignon alliance manager

  1. 1. Drafting a partner strategy fora software vendor<br />RégisCollignon<br />PartnerManager<br />Collignon.reg@gmail.com<br />
  2. 2. Layered approach<br />Putting in place a partner strategy requires to think at different levels<br />Strategically<br />What is your company’s vision at 3-5 y<br />Tactically<br />What would be the required resources ? <br />Operationally<br />How do we put that in place ?<br />
  3. 3. 3<br />The Challenge<br />Putting in place a successful partner strategy is not a 1 man task !<br />A good partner strategy requires the buy in from the entire company, at least from its leaders : top executives, sales managers, professional services managers,.. <br />
  4. 4. 4<br />Strategic Level<br />A coherent alliance strategy needs to rely on the underlying business strategy<br />Is the creation of (separate) alliances actually fits my business and sales strategy in the mid/long term <br />Shouldn’t we increase our sales forces instead<br />Wouldn’t it create too much conflict with the professional services and sales teams ?<br />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 ?<br />Is the company ready to put in place an internal infrastructure that supports and strives to maximize the value of external collaboration<br />Hiring a partner manager that coordinate activities<br />Designating individuals within each team that will allocate time on partnerships<br />
  5. 5. 5<br />Strategic Level cont’d<br />What are my long term goals<br />% of additional revenues generated by partners<br />Countries to be covered, Coverage of new regions<br />…<br />Which executive will sponsor those partnership development and eventually be actively involved in this activity ?<br />Required Inputs : CEO’s, CSO’s, CMO’s, Head of Prof Services<br />Output : an Agreed Strategic Plan <br />
  6. 6. 6<br />Tactical Level<br />The required resources are<br />Alliance or Partner Manager <br />This partner manager will move the strategic plan forward<br />Coordinate the activities of the internal teams with the partners <br />Put in place the partner processes<br />Be accountable for the partner results<br />Executive sponsor(s)<br />Sales<br />Derived from the strategic plan, what will be the sales engagement process ? <br />Who will take the sales lead when partners are being involved in sales processes when they bring new opportunities ? <br />
  7. 7. 7<br />Tactical Level cont’d<br />Professional Services<br />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. <br />Product organization<br />May be needed for demo’s, solution centre<br />Marketing<br />Designate a point of contact for marketing activities<br />Legal<br />Designate a POC for legal matters (Master partnership agreements, teaming agreements, confidentiality agreements,..)<br />Others<br />Output : <br />Allocate individuals within the teams who can support the partner process<br />Define the coordination processes between the partner manager and the teams<br />
  8. 8. 8<br />Operational level<br />With your strategic plan and the designated persons, you can now : <br />Reprecise your targets<br />Identify the markets/countries you want to reach<br />Sales targets<br />…<br />Identify the engagement models you want to follow for each market/country<br />Evaluate what partnership models will best help you meet your strategic plan<br />Try to establish a model that fits for all but eventually we may need to draft different types of partner types<br />Develop a partner selection strategy by setting clear partner evaluation rules<br />
  9. 9. 9<br />Partner evaluation rules<br />WILL THIS PARTNER GENERATE NEW OR ADDITIONAL REVENUE FOR MY COMPANY?<br />Existing Partnership or not <br />Experience with your company’s software<br />Market Share in your domain<br />Geographic Presence<br />Customers/Key Accounts <br />Specific skills<br />Competitiveness<br />Willingness to work with your company (if possible to state)<br />
  10. 10. 10<br />Operational level<br />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. <br />The list will of course includes the existing partnerships of your company<br />May vary by type of partnership, by region, by country or by large accounts<br />
  11. 11. 07/03/2010<br />11<br />The “Attack” plan <br />Before approaching your targeted partners, it is important to have prepared <br />A value proposition for each type of partner which defines what we offer them in terms of marketing, sales and complementary services <br />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. <br />The rules of engagement : confidentiality, contracts, services engagements, escalation, sales support, etc<br />
  12. 12. 12<br />Go and get them ! <br />Rapidly, this requires <br />Enthusiasm<br />Connections<br />Again Internal support from<br />Executive<br />Sales<br />Product<br />….<br />Ideally the selection process needs to be fast since the negotiation and finalization of a partnership will take some time<br />
  13. 13. 13<br />Once you have found them you will need to… <br />Sign a partnership agreement<br />Establish with the Partner different plans and processes<br />Business Plan : targets, territories, named accounts<br />Marketing Plan<br />Education plan<br />Rules of engagements<br />Opportunity / Lead Management Process<br />Bid Process<br />Pipeline Review<br />Regular governance and review calls<br />Solution centre<br />SELL together !<br />Concentrate on the partnerships that work !<br />
  14. 14. 14<br />ConclusionFew recommendations<br />There isn’t a magical solution : preparation and professionalism is what will you help the best<br />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<br />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 <br />You need a method and tools for approaching your potential partners and evaluating them <br />

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