Crafting a Plan for Partnering Success
Any good snow skier knows to look three turns ahead to navigate moguls with speed and agility. If your focus is on the current bump, by the time you navigate that turn, you’re tossed back on your heels and in a scramble to set up for the next turn. If you look three turns ahead, you’ve created a visual path and are now executing that plan. Take this analogy into 2023 – a large and potentially long mogul field.
Right now, it seems everyone is focused on their feet. What is the new year going to bring for partner-focused resources? How is January’s partner contribution going to play out? I have news for you: January is going to go however January goes. We can’t do much about January. However, we can put plans in place to affect our next several partnering challenges – be they next month, next quarter or next year. Everyone’s moguls may look a different but think about strategies to set your team up for success.
- Establish three key metrics for success that you’ll be working toward in the next month, next quarter and the rest of 2023 and use those metrics to help create your plan. Revenue will be one of those metrics. What are the other two? Partner experience? Partner engagement? Demand generation activities? Partner influence? Partner profitability?
- Craft a short, 3-page, 3-year plan to communicate your long-term goals with your partner team. Don’t assume everyone is on the same page. You’ll only be able to achieve a goal you’re all working toward.
- Evaluate your systems and tools (or ask someone else to evaluate them). Are you and your team wasting hours or days tracking down partners and deals and searching through emails when you could have the automation tools in place to increase visibility, communication and coordination?
- Create a methodology for regularly checking in with all levels of partners to evaluate their profitability and satisfaction. This might be a survey, a profitability assessment and/or a Partner Advisory Council. The partnership is a relationship, and relationships take work. Check in regularly before you find out they’re unhappy.
If we don’t start looking up and planning our actions three turns ahead, we’re always going to be thrown off balance by the last bump. Are you an optimist or a pessimist? Are you going straight down the mogul field or traversing the entire mountain? Take some time to look up! Visualize your line through the bumps and be flexible for when you catch an edge or are surprised by a patch of ice. Here’s to a smooth run of the mogul field, navigated with grace and agility.
For more advice on making a plan to improve your partnering, please contact us – we're happy to chat.
Diane Krakora is CEO of PartnerPath with over two decades of experience defining the best practices and frameworks around how to develop and manage partnerships.