The “C” word (Commitment!) strikes fear in many. Yes, you must make a commitment to succeed with partners.
Companies that want to scale their business need to consider partner channels.
It seems so appealing to engage with partners…leveraging their sales organization, utilizing their operational infrastructure, gaining access to new customers, opening new markets for you, providing a broader geographical reach, enabling synergies with complementary products and services – all at a reduced cost and quicker than trying to do it all yourself.
Beware…there is a price for all of these partner benefits. If you think partners are a “can’t lose” arrangement for growth – think again. It takes a commitment to partners for companies to realize the potential of this channel.
You must take an “all-in” approach to win with partners.
As you would in finding a mate, you can casually “date” partners. You may have fun at first and think how wonderful your engagement is. But over time, will you still be having fun with your partner? It requires significant company time, energy, money, resources, and people to build a relationship that yields results over the longer term with a partner. You need to support the partner and ensure they make money, too. How much might it take for your company to build a productive network of partners?
Many technology companies see the partner channel as a short cut for scaling their businesses. Big companies needing to expand, mid-sized companies wanting their growth to continue, and start-up companies that must scale quickly all find the possibilities of partners doing their work, appealing. Beware of the siren call of partners.
It takes COMMITMENT to grow your business through and with partners. There will be a big payback for doing so. Are you willing to commit?