How To Get The Most Out Of Partner Go-to-Market Initiatives

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Written by Nate Wright

February 9, 2021

How to Get The Most Out Of Partner Go-To-Market (GTM) Initiatives

You have partnerships with some of the world’s most valuable companies.  You’ve created partnerships with them to help scale your business, create competitive advantage, and take your products to market faster. Joint GTM initiatives are increasingly necessary for large global companies to grow and scale across different industries and geographies. Your business is an essential element of their success.

Whether you work with Microsoft, AWS, HP, Dell or many others, how do you know you are getting the most out of your relationship?  How do you make sure you are getting the right attention and recognition for new opportunities?

Having developed and worked on partner programs with and for Microsoft, AWS, HP, Dell, and others, I’ve learned a few things about successful joint GTM and messaging.  Here’s some tips to help your business build trust with your co-sell partner and create better experiences for your customers. 

1. Establish Joint Understanding

Be crystal clear and open with your partner about your goals, priorities, and plans.  The more you can come together in a seamless motion, the stronger your relationship will be. 

  • Establish joint business goals.  Have the tough conversations when your goals are not the same and find common ground.
  • Focus on initiatives to achieve early success and build on the momentum toward larger opportunities.  Don’t shoot for the moon with your first opportunity.
  • Tap into the people you know at these global corporations to help point you in the right direction and help you get into the right conversations.

2. Create Joint Value Proposition and Messaging

Specific, strong, and clearly articulated value propositions will win.  If you confuse your customer you will lose. The stronger your joint value proposition is the easier it is to get and maintain attention from direct sellers at your partnership company. Clearly define your value to your partner, your value to the customer and why the customer is better off with the joint solution. 

  • Document the customer journey and identify points of value at each stage for both companies across joint product and engineering teams – not just sales and marketing
  • Always, always keep the customer as the hero of the story – always
  • Develop strong messaging to articulate your value proposition

3. Establish a well-rounded joint GTM team

Select team members that represent the best of your solutions, not just from a technical perspective, but also from a plain and simple – get it done perspective.  Your business is just one of many thousands of partnerships. Your team will have to set itself apart from other partners with every interaction.

  • Show up, work smartly, communicate effectively and consistently. While face-to-face is best stay well-rounded across the many different touchpoints at your partner’s disposal. Find out how your team wants to stay in touch and respect their wishes.
  • Propose a joint set of KPIs or other simple measures to help identify success. Be specific (e.g., number of new leads generated? Number of demos? Number of workshops?)
  • Ask your partner which KPI will resonate the most for them?  Remember this is a joint motion, so the metrics your partner cares about may not be the same thing you care about. 

4. Create a joint sales motion

Build trust by aligning your solutions to the big program your partner is trying to take to market. Do the hard work for any interested direct sales team, so they can learn precisely where your solution fits in with their company. 

  • Nurture internal relationships and build champions for your business. Look for opportunities to conduct pilot programs to help advance their programs, their causes, their needs.
  • Stay flexible with your own programs to find new ways to drive joint success
  • Repeat:  Carefully articulate your customer message, so your value is undeniable Continually strengthen your commitment to your partner by bringing ideas and leads to the table. It’s not likely Microsoft, AWS, and other global companies will bring you an ever-lasting supply of leads. 

5. Start and end with the customer’s needs

Identify how your joint solution solves the biggest problems for your prospective customers. Demonstrate how they will get the best value from your joint solution.

  • Create forums for your prospective customers, your partner, and your company to come together to discuss ideas and solutions.  
  • Seek early adopters to help serve as your advocates for joint solutions

If you are struggling with joint GTM initiatives or want more from your partner programs, schedule an appointment and let’s create a plan together.

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