This may become a deceiving vanity metric.
Here is why.
I don't actually believe necessarily that you need to have someone super senior championing a partnership internally.
I think it's more about finding the right relevant people within your partner company, than it is about a particular title or perceived importance.
💯And I think executive sponsorship can wind up being a bit of a vanity metric, where it's, “oh, we presented to this person”, yeah, but does that person actually care?
Or does that person actually know how this would impact their team?
Or is it actually the person a level or two down from them? Who has purchasing power? Who knows exactly how this would be used and what value it would produce and is able to experience the benefits of a partnership going well.
🙌🏻 A mentor in the BD space once told me that “your goal in talking to your counterpart in any partnership, is to help them look really good to their boss. If you want to be a partner or deliver partnership results, that's going to make them look like they're amazing at their job.”
And it doesn't actually need to be someone super senior. As long as they have the influence to make something happen and to really experience the benefits of it for themselves and their customers - I think you're golden.
Obviously it varies. There are companies that are different amounts of top down or where every decision gets run all the way up the flagpole.
That's not always the case, though."