Who wants to close more deals, get more done, and have a higher customer satisfaction rating?
Everyone … right?
Good news! There are proven steps you can take that will help you do each of these and more. It’ll take commitment on your part and your team’s, but the really good news is it has been done before and succeeded with many large and small organizations of all kinds all around the world.
What am I talking about?
Partner to Partner (P2P) engagement
Thanks to the cloud, it’s never been easier to engage with other partners, but when your businesses are involved, you want to be sure you’re doing it right.
Are you and your potential partner compatible?
Are your areas of expertise complementary?
Do you have agreement about expectations, roles, priorities, etc.?
Partnering can be a complex puzzle; the International Association of Microsoft Channel Partners (IAMCP) has developed a free P2P Maturity Model Playbook to help you fill in the pieces.
Step one: Download the playbook and assess your partnership “maturity” by answering questions on ten subjects such as “joint business planning,” “sales compensation,” and “readiness and certification.” There are no wrong answers. The goal is to determine where you fit within the P2P maturity model.
Your position on the maturity model will help you be sure you’ve covered all the basics and are truly ready to partner effectively. That brings us to:
Step two: Go over the questions and answers with potential partners. If you or they are missing a key element, or if you have a fundamental difference in approach, these questions can help drive it to the surface.
HINT: For you and potential partners, one major goal you need to agree on is to ensure every customer deployment achieves a “highly satisfied” score, which is a measure of your ability to partner effectively.
Below is a slice of the P2P Maturity Model Framework in a quick view table format. Here you will be able to see the question areas (vertical axis) and the four stages of Partner Maturity (horizontal axis).
Reaching “dynamic” may not always be necessary or the goal. There are some projects in which achieving “basic” level is sufficient for project needs.
Check out the entire table when you download the P2P Maturity Model Playbook.
Working through the Partner-to-Partner Engagement Model
Have you already advanced to the Dynamic level with all of your existing partnerships? If yes, congratulations! You’re ready for the next step.
Step three: Take what you’ve learned and see if there are other partnerships you should be exploring. Ask your peers, your partners, and your customers to go through the worksheets with you. What you discover may help you identify gaps and new areas to serve your customers.
Because each of the four levels builds and reinforces upon the others, they can be used as a guide to help all parts of your organization envision where they are today and where they want to be.
Using the P2P Maturity Framework in the real world
I’ve worked with partners for over 20 years. Over these years we have included many of the steps involved in the P2P Maturity Model Framework, but we never really put them all together in one format. The P2P Maturity Model Framework is a compilation of many years’ work to boil down the essence of what it takes for a successful P2P engagement.
What I like about the P2P Maturity Framework is that it allows all of the stakeholders to see where they stand very quickly. Some may disagree with the rankings and some may aspire to different levels, but the fact is that this can be used as a gauge and a guide to partnering effectively.