You want to work with great distributors and other partners to extend your market reach. Like you, they are also looking for solutions that will directly or indirectly improve their competitive advantage.
They want to hear specifically on how working with you will contribute to their success—and why you’re uniquely qualified to deliver that value.
Your partner value proposition is your “elevator speech” to quickly grab their attention. Without it, you may never hear back from many great partners. They’re busy, and have other options, including staying with the status quo.
Although many companies put a lot of effort into creating a great customer value proposition, they often don’t think about creating a partner value proposition. Your partners are not the same as your end-customers. So your partner value proposition needs to be different.
And just as you may have different customer value propositions, you may need separate ones focused on different kinds of partners. Your value proposition for supplier partners will be different from your indirect sales distribution partners.
And among your indirect channel partners, the value proposition may differ depending on the product line, and whether they regional domestic distributors or new international ones.
Whatever your partnering strategy, creating a partner value proposition is worthwhile. Here are some key reasons:
- Provides Competitive Intelligence
To create an effective partner value proposition, you need to clearly understand the current competitive landscape. Once you have that, you can more effectively distinguish yourself from your competitors. This understanding, though, really requires you to research the competition.
You can get some of this from internet searches, but much of the best data takes more work. It means talking with partners – current, past, and potential – about who else they work with and the reputations of your competitors in the marketplace. It may mean chatting up colleagues in companies that are in adjacent markets.
It also means understanding your partner persona(s). Often, your real competition is the status quo/doing nothing – partners who chose not to take on a new project.
- Ensures Consistent Messaging
Your partner value proposition is the cornerstone of your partner communications. It carries through from your first contact with a potential partner, to partner negotiations, all the way through ongoing relationship governance and communication.
Once you have this, your partners will always know who you are and what they’ll get from you. They will not only hear, but will consistently experience the benefits of working with you.
- Ensures Best Fit Partners
Your value proposition is the difference between partners who ignore you or view you skeptically, and ones who immediately see the value in working with you.
If you are unable to communicate your value to current or potential partners, why should they value what you offer? Just like you need an effective elevator speech to land the best job interviews, you need a partner elevator speech to grab the attention of the best partners.
- Improves Internal Alignment
An effective partnership requires ongoing support and coordination from various internal company functions. Many companies have challenges in getting all the internal support functions to prioritize partner support and to send consistent messages to partners.
Working through the partner value proposition, re-iterating it, and then making sure communications and actions are always consistent with this not only ensures you stay top of mind with your partners, but also that you stay top of mind with your internal partners.
The bottom line?
Take the time to articulate and communicate clear partner value propositions. It’s well worth the effort!