By definition, #partnerships function is a disruptor ⚡️ to other functions like sales and marketing.
If you are successful in your mission to find new “sumo partners”
If you partner with a company that unlocks new vertical and multiply your business
If you manage to build a scaled partner program
Then you’re by definition challenging 🗽 what direct sales or direct marketing in your org are doing.
✅ In ideal scenario
The partnership function, true to its nature, becomes very collaborative and inter-connected with other functions.
They have strategic (mid/long term) as well as tactical (measurable) goals,
Partnerships sit on key revenue calls, marketing and (increasingly) product planning calls
And they typically report (or at least have direct access) to CEO, CRO or CPO.
🔻 In suboptimal scenario
Partnerships are siloed and cannot influence the strategy
They don’t have executive access and first to let go in hard times
They’re kept to 1-2 people who have to do mostly sales or brand related things.
(NB: brand partnerships are great, but their scope and impact are usually limited)
📈 In both situations, it’s essential to take effort to build partnership influence in an organization. Consider the following:
Send monthly partnership reports to the executive team that showed results and what is in the pipeline for the next quarter.
Invite key people to participate in meetings with partners after the partnership is agreed in principle, but the execution strategy isn’t fully formed.
Keep everyone excited that the presence in key markets, revenue and influence of your organization are scaling rapidly with partners, rather than growing incrementally.
💡 You’re essentially opening closed doors for sales and marketing, rather than competing with them.