With 75% of world trade now going through the indirect sales channel, partner experience (PX) is fast becoming just as important as customer experience (CX).
When we surveyed some of the leading global technology brands, in conjunction with The University of Huddersfield, we found out just how important the experience and maturity of partner marketers was related to their ability to develop successful partner relationships. Being able to pull on a wide knowledge base and understanding really was key to being able work effectively with partners, yet this is often an area that is overlooked or under-resourced.
Take customer experience for example – we all know how important delivering the best CX is and businesses across the world are investing heavily in CX champions. But the reality is, they only have one strategy to develop and manage (albeit a very important one!). A partner marketeer, on the other hand, needs to consider two strategies when it comes to PX; how they manage this in their own organisations AND with their partners. And don’t forget, most partner marketeers will be responsible for multiple partner relationships.
A PX champion needs to be passionate about every single one of their partners. They will need to invest significantly in getting to know them, what makes them tick etc, to understand how best they can work together and create the most value for both organisations.
There are a number of character traits that make a successful partner marketeer:
- Be an excellent communicator to both internal team members and partner team stakeholders and DON’T be afraid of having those honest conversations.
- Be a team player; motivating, inspiring and supportive.
- Be able to develop and track processes from building the initial relationship right the way through to developing a go-to-market strategy and executing it.
- Be a great negotiator; take time to understand your partner’s world to help you persuade their marketing teams to work with you and demonstrate your value through ROI metrics and sales opportunities.
- Understand the goals of both your business and your partner’s.
What do you need to do to make sure your partners really value you?
Step 1 – understand who your partners are
- map out your stakeholders, where do you have gaps?
Step 2 – understand your partner’s needs
- take time to understand their strategy and objectives and then identify how your organisation can add value and support them.
Step 3 – understand your partner’s internal processes to get your organisation on the radar
- Is your value understood? Do you have a joint value proposition? Are the sales teams aware of it? How do they train and incentivise your staff – is your organisation aligned with that? How does your partner communicate with end-customers?
Step 4 – design your PX blueprint
- Map any assets you have onto the end-customer’s buying journey. Look at everything from the knowledge and awareness of the partner’s sales team right the way through to how a customer buys from them. Are there any gaps? What do you need to fill this gap?
Once you have completed all these steps, you will be able to outline your PX strategy and set about creating the very best experience for your partners and helping both organisations achieve your sales goals and business objectives.
To find out more about the tools and methodologies we have to help speed up this process, contact Jo.