By Phumelele Mzizi, Partnership Development Manager for Africa at Infobip
Partnership programmes are becoming increasingly important, as tough economic times force businesses to continually look for new ways to increase revenue, retain existing customers and attract new business. Economic instability and uncertainty are putting an emphasis on the key role that partnerships can play in achieving positive business outcomes, with companies recognising that working together towards a common goal could be good for the bottom line.
For many companies, their partnership programmes become an extension of their sales teams, enabling them to reach markets where they do not necessarily have the relationships or presence. These companies look for partners whose relationships can be leveraged to gain market share by providing solutions that their partners can use to extend their offering portfolio to customers.
By joining a partnership programme, companies can work with a partner development manager to differentiate their offerings and build quicker go-to-market and co-selling strategies. By partnering with a reputable and well-established vendor, companies can expect to get full support from the pre-sales end, and some vendors offer mechanisms for partners to obtain tools or funding. These platforms can often be used by partners to market their various solutions and grow their market share and enable business deals to be concluded jointly.
Access to skills and technology
For example, joining the partnership programme of an organisation that is a global leader in providing omnichannel customer engagement solutions for businesses, would provide companies with access to a team of experts with vast experience in the omnichannel space and enable them to implement these solutions for their clients in the different regions where the business operates.
When choosing a partnership, organisations should ideally look for a partner that is keen on driving business growth jointly with the vendor. Aside from partnering with companies in the technology space, many technology vendors typically also seek to partner with consulting and services firms, business-to-business start-ups and telecommunication companies, alongside, enterprises with extensive experience in the niche communication spaces that are willing to offer the vendor’s solutions to their clients.
Companies must also keep in mind that partnerships can unlock new revenue streams and lead to product integration. New sources of revenue can be accessed through the development of joint marketing plans, events and webinars, and developing a good understanding of the market and the clients that they will be engaging with. This will enable the partnership to offer solutions that best address their clients’ needs and ensure that clients get maximum value from the collaboration.
Partnerships can also lead to product integration, with the vendor typically integrating its solutions by white labelling offerings, while a partner can offer the vendor’s solutions with its product stack, essentially extending their product suite.
Strategic partnerships can position businesses to leverage the expertise and backing of a bigger partner or multinational vendor that typically provides a full suite of professional services that companies can utilise for the implementation of solutions for their customers.
Additionally, partnerships can also facilitate revenue growth, as collaborating with a vendor ensures that partners are fully supported, while providing best of breed solutions to the market, and also benefiting from rebates offered to partners that help drive the vendor’s business. Other revenue drivers include a joint marketing development plan that will ensure that partnering companies go to market and gain market share jointly.
Joining a partnership programme can be hugely beneficial to companies, especially during times of economic uncertainty. Partnerships can be a sure way to access new markets and grow revenue, as well as give organisations access to technology and other resources that would be far too expensive to develop on their own.