Top Tips For Managing A Successful B2B Partnership

Top Tips For Managing A Successful B2B Partnership 7 min

B2B partnerships are strategic alliances that provide opportunities for growth and success. These mutually beneficial relationships allow businesses to expand their reach and target customers that would have previously been unobtainable. Although this seems simple, finding the correct partnerships for your company can take time and effort. 

With a set process, organizations can easily align with potential partners and nurture new pipelines. Avoiding wasted resources and missed opportunities. 

The goal is to make obtaining new partnerships as easy as making a cup of coffee. To help you do just that, we’ve created this intro guide to managing partnership program, packed with all the tips and tricks you need to get ahead of the competition.

What is a B2B partnership?

Partnerships come in various shapes and sizes but, generally speaking, refer to the concept of one or more separate entities joining forces to improve brand reach, market opportunity, and revenue. 

Although the type of partnerships formed can differ significantly, you can put them into three main categories: 

  • Strategic partnerships
  • Strategic marketing partnerships 
  • Integration partnerships 

Want to learn more about the different types of partnerships and how they can be applied to your business?

Click read our post discussing the different types of partnerships in more detail. 

The importance of managing partnerships correctly

Having a partnership manager who specializes in creating and fostering meaningful partnerships helps to alleviate the risk of them failing. 

When a partnership is executed incorrectly, any potential benefits will be significantly hindered and can lead to: 

  1. Less effective results: Key milestones can be missed, avenues for growth can be overlooked, and companies will fail to see the desired benefit of their partnership. 
  2. Wasted resources: Planning and creating a partnership takes time and lots of resources, such as staff, training, and technology. When a partnership is unsuccessful, the effort that went into creating a new venture is lost, causing frustration between teams and a reduction in expected revenue. 
  3. A lack of trust between partners: Top-rate communication is pivotal. With it, it can be easier to establish trust. The job of a partnership manager is to nurture new relationships and ensure avenues to communication are clear and concise. 
  4. Dissatisfied customers: A failed partnership impacts the parties involved and the end users. A substandard partnership will ultimately negatively impact your customers by limiting the solutions/products you could offer them, increasing the risk of them moving to a competitor. 

However, there are ways of mitigating risks, and like always, we are here to give you the tools you need to make the process as seamless as possible. 

Our tips for successfully managing B2B partnerships

Now that you’ve identified potential partners, your focus is to ensure the partnership launches successfully. Your main priority during this stage is laying solid foundations between teams and ensuring that all parties share the same vision. 

Building rapport and establishing trust is often the differentiating factor between a launch that thrives and one that flops, and nobody wants a failed launch. 

1. Get the onboarding right

The nature of the business and the partnership means that the specific steps of the partnership can differ.

Yet, regardless of the partnership type or service offering, a successful onboarding process always contains the following steps. 

2. Be in regular contact with partners to get feedback

Have you ever heard of collective intelligence

It’s the concept that when you combine unique thoughts, opinions, and data as a business you’re collectively a lot smarter. 

Or if you want to put it simply, two heads are better than one.

Scheduling regular meetings between you and your partners provides an atmosphere for shared ideas and creative solutions. When people come together to achieve a common goal, the opportunities are endless, so having open and transparent lines of communication sets to benefit everyone involved greatly. 

3. Build scalable and simple processes

When establishing a new partnership, standardized processes that you can quickly scale must be implemented to have even a chance of achieving a basic level of quality and performance. 

During the partnership process, partnership managers have a lot to consider. Their focus must be equally spread across different stages, such as recruiting, going to market, and continuous analysis. So simplifying things makes their job much more achievable. 

There are several ways to do this, but the most effective include: 

  1. Mapping out the everyday tasks carried out across your partners
  2. Analyzing the output that is expected from each task
  3. Laying out a step-by-step guide for each process
  4. Creating a framework/checklist for each essential duty and the milestones that must be met for it to be a success

Having simple and scalable systems not only reduces confusion and error but makes it easier for partners to understand and follow your processes, making them more likely to comply, engage with, and trust you. 

It’s a win, win. 

4. Decentralize your partner program

Decentralizing a partner program means distributing responsibilities and decision-making power among multiple individuals or teams rather than having a single centralized group in charge. 

As you can imagine, this has various benefits, including: 

  • Allowing for more specialized expertise and knowledge to be brought to different aspects of the program.
  • Promoting collaboration and communication among different teams and individuals can lead to more cohesive and effective partnerships.
  • It helps to ensure that the program is responsive to the needs and feedback of partners, which can improve satisfaction and retention.
  • Limits risk and reduces the impact of any one individual or team’s mistakes on the program as a whole,

Overall, decentralizing a partner program can ensure that it is more effective, responsive, and resilient in the face of changing business needs and challenges. 

Everyone must be kept in the loop when going through a period of change, and decentralization ensures this happens.

So, how do you decentralize your partner program? 

There are many ways, but the golden rule is the more departments and parties involved, the more effective a meeting is.  

Like the onboarding process, decentralizing involves different approaches for each business, but a typical framework typically consists of the following: 

  • Making sure that each partner is assigned to an AE
  • Setting up recurring meetings to sync up with AE’s on each partner
  • Organizing monthly catch-ups with the broader business around key partner objectives, goals, and how they may be able to influence them.
  • Arranging meetings between partners and key stakeholders from the wider business to help introduce them and align on how they can promote growth.

5. Get obsessed with data and measurement

Although we hate to sound cliche, in this case, we really have saved the best (most important) tip till last.  

You can have the best partner program in the world and complete every step noted above, and yet without a strong and accurate hold on the data, your partnership would still be highly likely to fail. 

Why? Because without knowing the data, you cannot measure performance and, therefore, cannot make informed strategic decisions

Understanding the data your partnership produces needs to go far beyond sourced and influenced revenue.  

Your partnership manager must have a constant and real-time pulse on the health of your partnership program and, as a result, should be analyzing various metrics such as staff productivity, customer satisfaction, and external interest. 

It’s no secret that increasing revenue is a high priority of any program. However, if it becomes your primary focus, it will significantly hinder your potential to optimize your partnerships fully. 


  • A partnership is a strategic alliance of one or more companies for shared growth and increased opportunities
  • A partner relationship manager takes on the role of creating, nurturing, and maintaining new relationships
  • Clear and concise communication can be the difference between success and failure
  • Set up shared KPIs and concise strategic milestones 
  • Implement simple and scalable processes and systems for standardized results 7 min

Top Tips For Managing A Successful B2B Partnership

Learn the top tips for successfully managing a B2B partnership.

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