Keep Right Blog

Commit to Partner Success to Build Loyalty

Building partner loyalty requires a consistent commitment to your partner’s success. And, like any healthy partnership, it’s not “one thing” or a “one shot deal”.  But, a some ideas for building loyalty are tried and true: 

• Providing qualified leads to your partners is key. And, we don’t mean the leads that your direct sales force doesn’t want, but leads that have been pre-qualified for a potential fit to your partner’s solution. While partners shouldn’t depend solely on their vendors to create demand, passing quality leads to partners demonstrates your respect and commitment to helping them grow their business. In turn, you should expect your partners to be accountable for reporting back to you on each lead’s outcome.

• Ensuring partner profitability is an ongoing task and takes many forms. As margins dissipate along with the natural evolution of the technology life cycle, it’s important to work alongside your partners to identify ways for them to add value, extend reach into new markets, or even re-evaluate their business model. Earning the role of a trusted advisor demonstrates that you’re in this together. As the Cloud has become a viable distribution medium for many solutions, for instance, some partners will welcome your help in exploring managed services models, or in partnering with others to deliver complementary offerings.

• Building productive partnerships takes time and requires investment from both sides. Most partnerships follow a trajectory that requires a fair amount of partner readiness, enablement, and development before the first sale is ever realized. While “bluebirds” fly in now and again, short-circuiting the development process isn’t sustainable, and almost certainly results in dissatisfaction.

While loyalty is a worthy objective, more often, it’s a natural outcome of a healthy partnership. Are you earning your partners trust and demonstrating daily your commitment to their success?

April 5, 2012  ·  

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