Solving the Biggest Challenge: Starting with the Right Partners

Solving the Biggest Challenge: Starting with the Right Partners

Multiple Contributors 3 min

There is a big risk in partnerships: investing your time and effort into the wrong partners. 

It’s both tempting and easy to sign a new partner. And it does feel good saying “We have signed a new partnership”, doesn’t it? 

However, when the partner does not deliver what you were expecting or hoping for, you wasted your—and probably your colleagues’—time and resources. 
 

So how do you avoid that mistake? How do you make sure to start with the right partners? 

You need to thoroughly qualify your partner prospects before signing them. And here is the trick: you actually should aim to disqualify them as fast as possible. Be rigid and only sign those who are worth your time. 

 

Quality over quantity is the rule in partnerships 

And how do you identify the ones who are worth the effort? Use our ’4C’s Method’, which is a robust methodology for evaluating potential partners, crafted and proven for more than 10 years. The method focuses on four critical areas: 

  • Customer base, 

  • Credibility, 

  • Capability, and 

  • Commitment. 

By thoroughly assessing these aspects, you can confidently select partners who will drive your business forward.

 

Let’s dive into the 4C’s …

 

 

Customer

A potential partner must have a relevant and accessible customer base that matches the company’s ideal customer profile. Partner candidates with an extensive customer base could still be disqualified if access is limited to only a small number of customers. Another influential factor to consider is the existing customer base’s maturity and growth potential.

 

Credibility

When evaluating the partnership, a potential partner’s credibility to represent the company’s products or services to the customer is important. The partner’s portfolio should be in the adjacency of the company’s offerings. Successful partnerships can be established between companies from different sectors, provided the combination is credible in the eyes of the end customer. 

 

Capability

Partners need to be capable of delivering their part of the partnership. Depending on the type of partner, typical points to evaluate the partner fit need to include the marketing and sales models and the way the accounting and invoicing systems are set up on the partner side, or their technology capabilities (e.g. API) when looking into integrations.

 

Commitment

Your partner is an independent business that has its own independent goals. You may influence these but you can’t control them.

 

A partnership will only be successful if both parties get their fair share. The partnership must contribute to the potential partner’s company goals. A formal Mutual Action Plan (MAP), describing the joint goals and expectations, as well as committed investments into the partnership, should always be created together and explored early on before even signing a formal binding partner agreement.

 

For best results make sure you tick all the boxes. Missing one does not automatically mean failure, but requires a substantial commitment of the partner to cover that. Continue only if you see that clear commitment. 

 

 

Multiple Contributors 3 min

Solving the Biggest Challenge: Starting with the Right Partners


Learn how to select partners by using the '4C's Method'—evaluating potential partners based on Customer base, Credibility, Capability, and Commitment.


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