What is the recipe for building a dynamic, international business partnership that can generate a six-figure deal soon after its inception?
Combine one cocktail napkin with two willing partners and mix together in a conference environment where business gets done. Season with the P2P Maturity Model, serve, and enjoy.
All the ingredients for partnership
At WPC in Orlando this past July, I sat down with a partner from the U.K. to discuss the concept of an international partnership. We were both immediately energized by the idea and jotted down the result of our brainstorming on a napkin. We soon realized that we were missing an ingredient—something that would allow us to map out a plan to quickly move forward while minimizing potential pitfalls. P2P Maturity Model Framework turned out to be just the “secret sauce” we needed. Using the model, we swiftly recognized what we needed to do to make our cocktail napkin vision a reality.
Apparently we weren’t the only ones to recognize a need for partners to learn to maximize the success of their partnership. Now the International Association of Microsoft Channel Partners (IAMCP), in concert with Microsoft, is launching the P2P Maturity Model training, and I am thrilled that every partner will have access to resources and information they can use to reach new levels of business development and growth.
Managing the changes
When I reflect on the companies I have started, as well as the ones I have worked for, I have experienced my share of ups and down with partnering over the years. Partner models may vary but they all tend to involve significant upfront investments of money, time, and resources. Unfortunately, once these initial investments have been made, the number of partnering relationships that go bust far outnumber the ones that turn out to be wildly successful.
That the majority of partnering relationships fail to yield positive results is not all that surprising. Forming a partnership is a difficult change management task. It has many moving parts and a great deal of ambiguity:
- A likeminded organization needs to be identified;
Requires overlaying two organizations with different agendas, processes, and cultures to define common goals, often with new roles and responsibilities and new joint processes;
- Involves enlisting cooperation across multiple groups such as sales, marketing, and the “C-Suite” to build common understanding and gain the support of all key stakeholders.
- The pace of technology change within today’s organizations, including the impact of the cloud, add both opportunity and challenge in having two entities working collaboratively (and securely) in a productive manner.
Given the complexities involved, above all else there has to be a will and desire across the organizations to undertake the kind of effort and commitment required to build a successful partnership.
Make it right with the P2P Maturity Model
IAMCP is great with facilitating introductions and helping partners identify likeminded organizations. Now, with the announcement of the P2P Maturity Model training, there is a clear-cut model with tools, steps, processes, templates, and coaching on best practices that will help in building and managing a successful and profitable channel business. In addition, the model offers a unique approach to helping partners identify the right level of depth for each relationship they forge and how to scale the level of investment they make to match the potential for return that exists.
Back in Orlando, with our trusty cocktail-napkin-turned-blueprint on one side of the table and the P2P Maturity Model on the other, my prospective partner and I reviewed our respective company’s people and culture and found these to be well-suited for one another. Our individual plans to extend services to new regions with different channel models made sense when we looked at joint targets. We acknowledged the complementary, non-competitive nature of our offerings. Moreover, the consistency of our leadership styles formed the foundation of trust that was required to move our plan forward. Referring to the model, we recognized that we were starting in the basic phase which was exactly right for what we wanted to achieve in the short term.
A month following WPC, my new partner and I signed an international, six-figure deal. With our eyes on the future and more opportunities in the pipeline, we will be leveraging the P2P model to make investments that match our potential returns as we look to move our partnership into the intermediate and eventually, dynamic level of maturity.
Enjoy sweet success
Despite the similarities that exist in partnering relationships and the all too familiar pitfalls that are known to hamper getting off to a good start, there have been few best practice models for partners to follow to better the chances for success. The P2P Maturity Model changes that. Get started by learning how this key ingredient can help you cook up great partnerships by registering for the P2P Maturity Model Training.