Having led the U.K. & International Partner Management & Marketing division for one of the world's most significant I.T. solutions providers, I have dealt with multiple partnership opportunities. In every new partnership opportunity, each of them believed that they were better than their competition, a more worthy partner, and they came into the engagement boldly.
Having also been in Sales at much smaller I.T. organisations, where there was no luxury of brand awareness, I can also appreciate contrasting viewpoints.
The I.T. industry has tens of thousands of Vendors & Suppliers across Hardware, Software and Cloud Services. There are also thousands of routes to market via Value Added Resellers, Systems integrators or aggregators to label some.
So how do you create meaningful and valuable partnerships in a crowded and competitive market like the I.T. industry? The answer is quite simple; you work to identify the mutual value you can establish and execute.
The concept and approach are the same for personal and professional partnerships; you must look beyond the initial attraction and delve deeper into your shared core values. Having a successful and meaningful collaboration can't be one-sided. There have to be benefits to both parties; otherwise, it won't last, or you are engaging for the wrong reasons. So, where do you start?
To simplify the key components of any engagement and based on a proven track record in building successful and profitable partnerships, I created the V.A.L.U.E. blueprint.
V – Value
The first step is understanding your common value.
What value are you bringing to the partnership?
What makes you different, or where can you add value to an existing portfolio or ecosystem?
What capability do you have that your competitors don't?
What markets/customers can you get to the table that they don't already have?
A - Agreement
Once you have agreed on your common value, you must get a joint agreement.
How are you going to work together?
What are the products and markets you will be working on together?
Have you agreed to terms and conditions?
What are the expectations from both sides, including rules of engagement?
Have you created clear measures and reporting?
L – Leadership
The next stage is about leadership and ownership.
Do you have Leadership support and buy-in from both sides?
Who is going to take ownership and be accountable?
Who will lead the engagements both internally and externally?
U - Uniqueness
Then it's all about your differentiation and uniqueness.
What makes your partnership unique?
How does your joint value differentiate from the competition?
What's your unique go-to-market strategy?
E - Execution
The final, most essential and critical stage of any successful partnership is execution.
How are you going to execute it?
What are your deliverables and timescales?
Who is going to be held accountable?
Those who execute well should have long-lasting, award-winning partnerships but those who don't soon lose trust or get easily forgotten.
If you would like to understand more about how to build V.A.L.U.E. into your partnerships through either Coaching or Consulting, contact us at www.coachere.com for more information.