Partnerships are great, aren’t they? Gin & tonic, apple pie & custard, Prince Harry and Meghan, there is one thing they all have in common and that’s balance. The ying to the yang, if you will. This is also true when it comes to crafting the best joint partner value propositions. It’s all too easy to try to merge two separate stories together – we do X, our partner does Y but the problem being, customers can see straight through it – or be left totally confused. That’s why the story needs to be told properly, if it’s to drive sales results. It’s also a really good way to make sure both sales teams see the collective value and can position the complete offering.

For joint propositions to really fly, the focus must always be on the power of the joint solution – how, by two (or more) companies coming together can you help meet the customers’ needs better/faster/more cost effectively than the competition. It is less important who technically does what but it’s essential that the customer can understand what the offering can do for them. At the end of the day, they don’t care who delivers it, just that it works.

Here are a few simple tips to make sure you achieve the perfect value with your proposition:

  1. Start with the customer – rather than what you can both do. By understanding the challenges they face and the needs they have, you can craft a great story based on meeting these and leave the individual solution details until the end.
  2. Invest the time in crafting the value proposition together – a joint workshop to brainstorm ideas, interview experts from both companies and make a joint approval process.
  3. Involve senior stakeholders from both businesses – you need shared commitment and buy-in to create an equal story.
  4. Ensure you invest in creating your value proposition before you tackle your joint go-to-market strategy – you can use the main message to create campaign propositions and make sure nothing is lost in translation when it comes to creating materials and assets.

And one final point, it can really help to involve a third party when developing joint partner propositions. An independent view can ensure all your value statements are properly tested against the customer ‘so-what’ question and that there is no bias on either side.

SUGGESTION! A great joint value proposition doesn’t come easy! You must ask – so what, so what – over and over to get them beyond feeling technically bamboozled. Don’t rush them, take the time to do it once and properly.

Hilary Fenn
Director & Head of Value Proposition Development