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Taking on Partners – defining the goals and criteria for partnership

Posted by Tracy Williams on
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For 2011, we set some partnership goals around product integration and the launch of our API. Seems lots of people are interested in integrating webinar data with their critical business systems and so far our partnership goals are right on track.

With the interest in partnerships high, we need to be quick and smart in our decisions. To streamline due diligence the partner marketing team devised a partner profile and a scorecard to rank the prospects and estimate the value of the partnership to ReadyTalk. Most importantly, we recognize that not all opportunities provide good value and classifying our business objectives will help the decision making process. For ReadyTalk we can classify current partner needs as technology and marketing.

So you may be wondering what a partner profile and scorecard consists of. Based on the goals you have established, a clear partner profile and scorecard is easy to create. Below I’ve used marketing partnerships as an example.

Marketing Partners

Set goals. Every organization should define unique goals of their partner marketing program. Is it to generate leads? Build brand? Expand into a new market? Making this choice up front will help define the partner profile. Defining goals will assist in understanding what partnerships are critical to business.

Create a score card for your criteria. Score cards help you evaluate your priorities against what a partner has to offer. Using the profile of your ideal partner, define the desired elements and rank them in order of importance. Build a scale of your choosing. As an example 1-5, with 5 being a required item.

Every business has different needs so your profile will be unique. To start, list the desired criteria, keeping in mind that not all will be viable, so be prepared to live without some of them. Companies that have multiple decision makers on the partner marketing team can have each member rate individually, then review an overall team score.

Consider issues such as:


  • Not a competitor but in the same market and selling to the same decision maker

  • Similar price point, unless your product is the lead or add-on item

  • Complementary products/services

  • Define a new market to enter


Define a rank value for criteria. Setting rank value and understanding the score applied is important. There are several ways to do this, be sure and document how you want a score applied.

 

Example scorecard sample where 5 is the highest ranking:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Prospect Criteria Rank Value Score
ABC Company Sells to the IT decision maker 5 4
  Product is complementary 4 4
  Target market: healthcare 5 5
Total   14 13


Take a two step approach to researching your prospects. First, identify prospects with the profile in mind and do preliminary research on the company. Mark the scorecard with the information available to the public. Now you have initially prioritized the list. At this point, determine if you want to go forward and make contact with the prospect. A few conversations will help you learn more about the prospect and if there are synergies.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A great example of a marketing partner for ReadyTalk is cloud based services in the marketing automation systems and in the customer relationship management space where the decision maker is a marketing executive. We can easily build criteria and rank value with this example.

You may be able to see immediately the companies that travel in your circles, if not – contact me and let’s go over options.

Taking a measurable approach to partnerships can help you prioritize your needs and build a strong partnership based on common goals.

The ReadyTalk partner programs are outlined here or you can comment here with questions and your insights into building partnerships.

 

Tracy focuses on channel and partner marketing at ReadyTalk, building out marketing programs to recruit partners and reinforce engagement with them. When she’s not coming up with marketing plans she likes to compete in canine freestyle Frisbee and ride her Ninja motorcycle.


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