Alliances and their role in managing your relationships

Today’s world moves at a fast and ever changing pace.   Developing the right offer in time to meet a shrinking window of opportunity brings companies together as partners — creating “joint go to market” products and services that bring value to both.

 At least that is the theory.

 In reality most partnerships fail. 

They fail for a variety of reasons, but the primary one is a lack of vision and planning.  Two big companies want to be linked — but don’t set quantifiable goals.  Or perhaps the goals are set, but the money and people are not put into place to make the vision a reality.

In the world of managing customer expectations and exceeding customer’s wants this can be a serious blow to both the joint offer and each individual company.

 So step one is to determine WHY you want to partner.  This step needs to come prior to even consider WHO a potential partner might be.  In other words:  why do you need a partner?

 Do you need products or services that your company cannot provide (or cannot provide in a timely manner?).

 Do you need an additional sales channel in a market niche (ERP, healthcare, etc.)?

 Do you need a marquee name to give your company credibility in a particular market segment?

 Is this a tactical parter (I need a widget and the partner sells widgets) or a strategic partner (to make that quantum leap Microsoft needed IBM to endorse MS-DOS)? 

 Once you understand the “why” you want or need a partner the next step is to determine a short list of who can best fulfill the “who” in the equation.  Who can best supply the need?

In a very real sense a good partner is as much a customer as your end users.  You must nurture your partnerships and manage them (monitoring to revenue goals for example).   You must also determine when the partnership is over — and have an exit plan in place so that both of you can move on without damaging either’s reputation.

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About Sandra Eisenberg

Dynamic pragmatic marketing and sales executive whose biggest asset is converting technology to real corporate value -- for a variety of industries including health care providers (Adventist Health System Sunbelt), Teradata (Data Warehousing), RWD Technologies (quality improvement and professional services), Siemens and AT&T (telecom). Sandra brings twenty years of experience in sales, marketing and IT management. Her career spans entrepreneurial firms (E5 Marketing) and senior positions in sales, sales management (direct and indirect), marketing, channel development and product management at Bell Labs and NCR Teradata. A few career highlights: • Total product lifecycle management (PLM) using ISO 9001 and other quality methodologies. Sunset aging product lines and developed a migration path to a new, open standards platforms at Avaya, NCR and Bell Labs. • 1st woman to win the AT&T and NCR Teradata national sales awards -- top sales manager and sales rep at AT&T, NCR Teradata and Avaya • Delivered profitable marketing campaigns in the area of CRM, Business intelligence, contact centers and other high tech areas • Run call centers, sold call centers and been in product management of call centers (Avaya, AT&T and NCR) • Director of CRM Strategic Planning and Alliances at Avaya and NCR Teradata • Senior Manager of Product Management Bell Labs (business intelligence, data warehousing and CRM) Most recently Sandra managed the Central Florida territory for Siemens' telephony division. Siemens is selling this division soon and their loss can be your gain.

Posted on January 7, 2007, in CRM. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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