How to Build a Strategic Partnership Value Proposition
Partnerships are on the rise, which means your best potential channel partners are in higher demand. As a result, they can be pickier about the brands they choose to represent.
That's why you need a watertight, data-driven partnership proposition to keep you ahead of the competition and attract more partners. An effective partnership value proposition paints a picture of the future for your partners and convinces them to join your program to evolve your ecosystem to sustainable growth.
In this article, we’ll discuss how to create a partnership value proposition to win more qualified partners.
What is a Strategic Partnership Value Proposition?
A partnership value proposition is a positioning statement created when recruiting a potential partner that explains the problems your partnership could solve, how it would solve them, and what value it would add to both companies.
Think of the partnership value proposition as a data-driven road map. By looking at overlapping customers and the pain points they face, you can paint a vivid picture of how your companies can work together to create value for end users.
Most importantly, a strong value proposition should show how your partnership will support the goals and operations that the potential partner already has in place.
When Should I Present the Partnership Value Proposition?
The moment you decide a potential partner could be a good fit for your program, you should start writing the value proposition. Creating great value propositions will require you to do the groundwork needed to successfully recruit the partner.
You should communicate the partner value proposition in the first outreach with the potential partner, and then present your proposition more formally at the first meeting.
To ensure that you make a lasting impression, use the following best practices to create value proposition statements:
Be Clear About Your Unique Offering
You create a unique value proposition to showcase your special offerings and selling point. Your potential partners need to know what you do and how you do it differently. It should be easy to understand and easy for the potential partner to see how it will bring value to their target customers.
Without specifying your distinctive offering, you risk coming across as just another business looking to earn a quick buck.
Balance Creativity and Clarity
A compelling value proposition is best when it combines innovation and clarity. But that can be difficult, especially if you're new to partnerships.
As long as the main message of the strategy remains crystal clear, then you have a shot. Creativity can be a lot of fun, but even if it's entertaining and memorable, a witty or original value proposition is no good if it's not clear and detailed.
Use The Right Language
The words you choose are important. They need to be in a format your audience understands and should reflect your brand.
It's very important to use the language your potential partner uses about their own goals and company. Doing this breaks down barriers because it’s easier to do business with someone you like and trust. If they see that you've put effort into understanding their language, it'll leave a lasting impression.
How to Create a Strategic Partnership Value Proposition
Creating a strategic partnership value proposition doesn’t have to be rocket science—it just needs to answer the questions that your potential partner and their customers are asking about what you have to offer.
With a few best practices in your pocket, you’ll be scoring new partnerships like a pro. Just keep the following considerations in mind:
How Does it Help Their Customers?
One of the first things your potential partners will be interested in is how the joint venture will benefit their end users.
If you want them to keep listening to you, an important starting point for developing your partner value proposition is to be clear about what your benefit is to the customer and clearly articulate this to your potential partners.
What Leverage Does it Give Them in the Market?
It's unusual for a single company to have power in all areas. Every company has weaknesses in its offerings to certain market segments.
The most important thing is to know the pros and cons of your target audience, but that's not enough. You also need to understand their competitors' business strategies. You can use this information in your value proposition to show your potential partners how a partnership will give them an advantage in the marketplace and give them a leg up on the competition.
How Does it Help Them Reach Their Larger Goals?
This part is very important. Although it may seem too obvious to mention, many vendors focus a lot on their product and how well it compares to their competitors, rather than aligning their value proposition with their partners' goals.
Consider the following:
- What do the potential partners want to achieve?
- What new markets do they want to enter?
- How does your solution help partnership, marketing, and sales teams reach their specific goals?
While you're at it, make it clear how your offering will help them achieve those goals.
What Other Incentives Are You Offering?
This is another mistake that vendors often make: they believe that they should compete only on prices or percentages. While revenue percentages are undoubtedly important, they aren't the only factor you can use to convince your partners to work with you. You have to offer incentives that stand out.
Remember that anything that lowers their overall operating costs basically equates to higher profitability. A simple example would be offering an extensive library of marketing materials, especially components like videos that they may not be able to produce themselves. Such resources lower their own marketing expenses while increasing sales, making them particularly effective unique selling propositions. Make this content accessible and easily found.
As Charlene Strain from Pendo said in her Greatest Minds in Partnerships feature:
“We create no-nonsense assets and also organize existing materials to make it easy not only for our salespeople here at Pendo but also for our actual reseller, integration, or marketplace listing partners. We create templates for press releases, data sheets, and the like so they can be plug-and-play. If they're looking for three to five sentences, we can deliver that to them in the format they need.”
What Co-marketing Support Will They Receive?
Partners want to know that you're providing them with top-notch materials and resources—such as Marketing Development Funds—that they can use to confidently promote your product.
Make sure they have access to clear, thorough product specifications that are appropriate for prospects, recommendations, customer examples, comparative analysis of competing products, email templates, call guides, agendas, and cheat sheets for resolving objections. This will drive partner action immediately because they feel more confident with this information.
What are Your Short- and Long-Term Goals?
You also have to determine your short and long-term goals. Everyone participating needs to have some stake in the outcome for it to succeed, including you. One-way communication supported merely by a handshake isn't going to work. You need to have individual and mutual goals right from the start.
Having a well-thought-out set of objectives and a strategy for monitoring progress toward those objectives is essential. This can be done with a collaborative business plan or MAP.
It’s also important not to limit your attention to sales revenue. You should have other goals such as market share or brand awareness. Naturally, each of these objectives should be in line with the partnership's overall goals for growth and sales.
After you’ve done that, think about your channel goals and how they might affect the bigger business objectives. Consider how your channel program may help these bigger objectives, and try to align them as much as you can. Start by examining your overarching business goals.
Among these, which can be sustained through channel sales? Are there any objectives that are specifically related to channel success? When this is done, clearly articulate your individual and partnership goals to your potential partners.
Prioritize Your Values
Developing a win-win situation isn't the only factor to consider when evaluating a potential partner. Partnerships require a great deal of commitment, self-control, and respect. Each partner must share the ideals of your business for a partnership to work.
Partnerships that share the same views on customer service, company ethics, and brand representation are more likely to form successful partnerships. Companies with similar cultures often achieve synergy more quickly thanks to an implicit code of trust that symbiotically extends resources and workflows.
To make sure you choose a partner with similar values, compare your company's vision, goals, and philanthropic efforts. Ask yourself: do the two companies have similar ideas about their brand promise and customer experience? If so, it's likely you're a good fit and you should continue working together.
An effective value proposition can be reinforced by focusing on aspects of your potential partners' business, such as how your offering meets their goals and helps their customers. Many vendors focus too much on product features in their presentations, leaving partners in the dark about what they get out of the partnership.
You can better address customer needs while helping your partner grow their own business by understanding their business model. You should also help them see how they can connect their own products and services to your offering.