Partnerships Can Unlock Big Opportunities for Your Company: Here’s How

Can a company’s partnerships materially contribute to revenue attainment goals? If you’re unsure about the answer to this question, you’re not alone.

First, it’s important to remember that partnerships are not a one-size fits all and lack of understanding can produce over simplification, which in turn prevents partners from attaching to your GTM as they should.

With this in mind, you’ll need to identify factors that might be preventing material partnership contribution. Factors can include misalignment of metrics and KPIs, lack of sales enablement and seller accountability to  co-sell, lack of co-selling operational tooling, and/or lack of understanding of how different partner types attach to the business.

To determine if partnerships can unlock opportunities for your company to grow, let’s take a closer look at how partnerships can increase customer stickiness, the role partner sales enablement can play, the differences between strategic partnerships, channel partnerships, and technology partnerships, and some metrics for measuring partnership effectiveness.

Increasing Customer Stickiness

Are you ready to leverage your partners’ expertise to amplify your strengths and decrease customer churn? Start by positioning the customer at the center of your company’s partner program and better-together story if you haven’t already. It’s paramount that you are able to clearly articulate how partners contribute to and increase average deal size, renewal likelihood, and the life-time-value (LTV) of the customer. These serve as forcing functions that align your brand with partner marketing in a very tangible way.

The output of this work forms the bedrock of your co-marketing and will subsequently boost the brand in the market with your partner, within your company, and your customers. Partner programs that master this see a material decrease in customer churn, higher renewal win rates, and increase in expansion deal sizes – all metrics your sales and customer success teams love, love, love.

Developing Partner Sales Enablement

Don’t overlook the development and deployment of partner sales enablement as a linchpin in repeatable partner success! The objective of partner sales enablement is to supply sales teams, strategic partners, and channel partners with the necessary tools, resources, and general support to effectively sell, deploy, and service your joint solutions. When thoughtfully developed and executed, partner sales enablement leads to increased market reach, customer satisfaction, and revenue growth for your company. C’mon, who wouldn’t want that?

Take a look at some of the key elements of partner sales enablement:

  1. Training and certification: Providing partners with comprehensive training on the company’s products, services, and sales processes to ensure that they have the knowledge and skills to sell effectively.

  2.  Sales collateral and resources: Developing and distributing sales materials, such as product guides, case studies, presentations, and competitive analysis to support partners in their sales efforts.

  3.  Marketing support: Offering co-marketing opportunities, lead generation programs, and promotional materials to help partners reach and engage potential customers.

  4. Technology and tools: Providing partners with access to sales enablement platforms, CRM systems, and other tools to streamline their sales processes and improve collaboration.

  5. Incentives and rewards: Implementing incentive programs and rewards to motivate partners and recognize their sales achievements.

  6. Communication and feedback: Maintaining open communication channels with partners to provide updates, gather feedback, and address any challenges or concerns.

The Different Types of B2B Partnerships

B2B partnerships are a superb tool for expanding reach into new markets, converting leads to customers, and increasing revenue. Let’s examine the different types of partnerships you can leverage for your company’s growth.

Strategic Partnerships

A strategic partnership is a relationship between two or more companies that work towards mutually beneficial goals by leveraging each partner’s strengths, resources, and expertise. These partnerships are typically formed to address specific market opportunities, drive innovation, and gain a competitive advantage in an industry. Strategic partnerships include joint ventures, co-branding initiatives, technology licensing agreements, and co-development projects. These partnerships can occur between hardware manufacturers, software providers, cloud service providers, and other technology companies. The goal of these partnerships is to drive innovation, expand market reach, and deliver value to customers.

The relationship between Red Hat and Microsoft is an excellent example of a strategic partnership. Their partnership aims to provide customers with the flexibility, scalability, and reliability needed to run applications and share data in hybrid cloud environments. Both companies benefit from the partnership and mutually experience revenue growth. As hyperscalers eliminate egress fees, more enterprises will be able to realize the benefits of hybrid cloud environments. Remember, value generating partnerships start with the customer!

Channel Partnerships

With a channel partnership, ISVs can expand reach, scale sales efforts, gain industry expertise, and provide better support to customers, all while sharing risks and investments. Channel partners often have established relationships with customers in various industries and geographies. In many cases, channel partners have deep, trusted relationships with their customers. As an ISV, your channel partner can help you quickly expand your market reach and tap into new customer segments without having to invest heavily in sales and marketing efforts.

Think of your channel partners as advisors who can recommend the best solutions to meet customers’ needs. ISVs that team up with channel partners can benefit from these trusted advisor relationships and gain credibility with potential customers. What’s more, channel partners often have a strong local presence in their markets, with deep understanding of local business practices, regulations, and customer preferences. By partnering with them, ISVs can provide better localized support and service to their customers.

Carahsoft is a wonderful example of a “must have” channel partner in the public sector market. They have well-established relationships with government agencies and a wide network of reseller partners. Carahsoft also holds several key government contracts, such as GSA Schedule, NASA SEWP, and NASPO ValuePoint, which can simplify the procurement process for ISVs and their customers. As a channel partner, Carahsoft provides ISVs with valuable expertise, relationships, and support specific to the exceptionally unique and complex public sector market.

Technology Partnerships

Technology partnerships are collaborative relationships between two or more companies that combine their technologies, expertise, and resources to create innovative solutions, enhance product offerings, and/or improve service delivery. By combining technologies, an ISV and a technology partner can offer customers a more comprehensive, end-to-end solution that addresses specific needs and challenges. Strong technology partnerships lead to valuable integrations that result in better user experiences for customers. Yep, it’s still all about the customer!

How will you know if your technology partnership is effective? You can use the following metrics to measure a technology partnership’s effectiveness:

  • Joint innovation: The number of new products, features, or capabilities developed through the partnership, and their impact on customer adoption and satisfaction.

  • Integration depth: The level of integration between the partners’ technologies and how well both work together to deliver a seamless customer experience.

  • Customer adoption: The number of joint customers adopting the combined solution and the rate at which usage increases overtime.

  • Customer satisfaction: Feedback and ratings from joint customers on the quality, performance, and value of the combined solution.

  • Partnership health: Qualitative measures of the partnership’s strength, such as the level of trust, communication, and alignment between the partners, and the ability to resolve conflicts and adapt to changing market conditions.
You probably noticed these are not marketing metrics (like demos and leads) and with good reason. While sales and distribution metrics are ideal for measuring a channel partnership’s effectiveness, the measure of an effective tech partner is the viability of their technology, so metrics should be more focused on the technological and customer-centric aspects of the partnership.

A Mosaic of Various Partners for the Most Effective Program

Effective partner programs are a mosaic of various partner types. A successful partner program harmoniously integrates the strengths of strategic partnerships, channel partnerships, and technology partnerships in the go-to-market planning and execution. Teaming up with strategic alliances, channel partners, and tech partners can unlock opportunities for your company to expand reach to new markets, accelerate revenue attainment, decrease churn, speed development, and increase brand loyalty. Building and optimizing your partner program doesn’t have to be a scary, anxiety-riddled experience. At, we’re here to guide you every step of the way! Contact us about scheduling a free growth strategy session to assess partnership opportunities for your business.