Business DNA

How to Become Part of Your Partner’s DNA

By Matt Ball

When speaking with start-ups and scale-ups during our GTM (Go To Market) best practice programs and free GTM clinics, ChannelCreator often references the “Intel Inside” effect. If someone mentions “Intel Inside” to you and you own a computer of any description, here are a few things that might well happen:

  1. You see the logo in your mind’s eye.
  2. You hear the musical motif that plays when “Intel Inside” is mentioned in video ads.
  3. You think of a high-quality, very small chip inside your computer doing very clever things very quickly.

Now imagine your computer has the Intel Inside removed. Firstly, it probably won’t work very well, and secondly, if you replaced it with another chip, you might feel like you’re getting a second rate piece of kit. Perhaps your computer will stop functioning so well. Perhaps it will stop functioning completely. Better put that Intel back inside quickly….

In short, what Intel have done very well is:

  1. They have become part of the DNA of the companies with which they partner: Dell, Lenovo, IBM, Toshiba – the list is extensive.
  2. They have marketed themselves through their partners so effectively, you associate the products as “inextricable”.
  3. The proposition is so clear, you can explain it in a single line.

Why build a GTM plan with your Partners?

In simple terms, building a Go To Market plan with a partner is about becoming the Intel Inside for the company with which you are partnering, and generating leads and revenue for both parties. In other words, programmatically aligning what you do with what your partner does, so you are included in as many projects, products and initiatives with that partner as possible.

Creating a Go To Market plan with a partner takes time and resources, so this is not something you should do with every partner. ChannelCreator recommends you select your top 5 partners based on performance to date, alignment with your Ideal Partner Profile (you can read more about this here) and potential for growth, and apply the approach only to these partners. Other partners can then be organised into a second tier that is handled on a more reactive basis as leads come in, or joint marketing initiatives are identified.

How do you build a GTM plan with your Partners?

GTM plans should be a collaborative. Even when you start with a template of your own, the plan should be developed with the partner so everyone has a sense of ownership of the document produced:

  • Create a partner enablement and GTM blueprint that ensures partners train sales, consultants, developers etc., commit to sales targets to get higher commissions, and make appropriate investments in resource and marketing to promote the partnership.
  • Resource your GTM plan with experienced senior representative(s), to ensure the right stakeholders and teams in each partner are engaged and briefed, and that engagement proceeds according to your GTM plan – senior representatives are able to win the trust of senior decision makers in the partner’s business, provide insights into market trends and product capabilities, and are able to “speak on the same level” to many different stakeholders within the partner.
  • Top 5 partners should be managed in a proactive cycle of calls every 2 to 4 weeks to ensure you stay at the top of their mind, and that the plan is executed in a timely manner.
  • Meanwhile, your remaining partners should be engaged more reactively, ideally via marketing automation and quarterly update calls for 30 minutes to discuss potential leads and tactical, one-off initiatives.

What is in a good GTM plan?

Here’s the good news: GTM plans don’t need to be big or complicated! They can vary significantly based on whether you are selling enterprise technology, or SaaS for SMEs, but some of the best programs are clear, concise, 2 page plans.

The essentials for a good GTM are:

  • Owners: On each side, there should be a senior or management sponsor overseeing the program, and ensuring resources and budgets are assigned to meet commitments.
  • Objectives: Set objectives and targets, and measure against them – knowing what you are trying to achieve will inform the initiatives that you will need to run – for example, 1 deal per quarter will require 5 to 10 good sales leads per quarter to ensure success.
  • Briefings: Sales, marketing, consulting and management teams within the partners should all be briefed on your proposition, but consider both Commercial and Technical briefings to ensure that:
    • Everyone in the partner can spot opportunities and sell your solution – sometimes Solution Architects are the best advocates of the right solution for a project.
    • Tecnnical teams should be appropriately briefed and trained on how to implement and support the solution, if they are involved in delivery of the proposition to customers.
  • Sales: Agree sales initiatives and who will be “fronting” the proposition within the partner. Ensure they have the sales kit and collateral they need, and be clear about how leads will be managed or referred, and who will support sales cycles – for example, will you “sell with” or “sell through”?
  • Marketing: finally, a mainstay of any GTM plan is the marketing and PR initiatives that will drive lead gen. Agree what these initiatives should be, when they will happen, how they will be funded, and how ROI will be achieved.

….And you are good to go! The above should help you to get started with developing GTM plans with partners.

If you need support, naturally feel free to reach out and ChannelCreator can help you either through our Clinic service to provide further advice, or via our Hybrid or Fully Outsourced models to get more hands on in creating the blueprints and programs.

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