Before spending your money on such a program, you must ask yourself two crucial questions:
- Who exactly is your ideal partner? It isn’t enough to onboard and collaborate with just anyone. To get a bigger bang for your buck and your time spent, you must identify and analyze your target partners. In other words, you must first define your partner persona.
- What is the goal of your partnership? Before developing your persona, it’s important to set the goals of your partner program and decide whether you want to enhance brand awareness, generate leads, increase customer loyalty, increase your sales force, etc...
Here are some quick and easy tips on how to define your partner persona.
First things first – what exactly is a partner persona? To put it simply, a partner persona is a research-based profile or a semi-fictional representation of your ideal partner. She/he is not a real person, but a representation that embodies all the best characteristics of your potential partner. It is typically created based on market research and data analysis of the customer audience you want to target.
Having your partner persona defined at the outset helps you in more ways than one. It helps you:
Find partners who are relevant to your business, market, and demographics
Understand your partners’ perspectives, decision drivers, and motivations
Communicate with them meaningfully
Keep them incentivized
Customize your partner program
Creating a partner profile is easier said than done. If done without proper research, it can do more harm than good. For optimal results, it is best that you select a persona that:
Knows/works with your target customer
Since the primary objective of partner programs is to acquire and retain customers, your ideal partner must be someone who is already working with your target customers. For instance, it makes sense for an HR SaaS platform to partner with consultant agencies in the HR industry.
In addition to giving you instant access to thousands of potential buyers, this also speeds up the sales cycle. In other words, the credibility and expertise of the partner will work in your favor and catalyze the buying decisions of your target audience.
Sells other solutions/services alongside yours
People who offer related solutions and services are an ideal category to partner with and for the right reasons. While they get a commission as part of the partner program, they can also offer their services and solutions together with your products. This, in turn, will keep them motivated and incentivized. For example, when the partners of SalesForce sell a subscription, many can earn 4 times more revenue by selling services around the license like setup, implementation, training, etc. Likewise, B2B tech companies are most likely to find their perfect partner persona in integrators, consultants, marketing agencies, and the like.
Fits your values and technical requirements
Another factor to consider while identifying your target partner is whether they fit your requirements. Here, you need to look beyond mere technical requirements and factor in your competency expectations, work culture, and values. If you are offering eco-friendly solutions, someone who sells non-sustainable products is the last person to partner with, right?
Benefits equally from the partnership
Your ideal partner should benefit from the program just as you do. In other words, the partnership should help them reach their business goals such that they don’t lose motivation or become disinterested. The benefit need not be just increased revenue – improved visibility, expanded customer base, reputation, the technical know-how you offer through partner training sessions, etc. might all work as motivating factors. Further along in the partner lifecycle, it’s important to stay in close contact with your partners to listen to their feedback and see how you can help them accomplish their goals.
As mentioned earlier, research and analysis are of extreme importance when creating a partner persona. It is recommended that you prepare a set of questions to understand your partner better. Here are some basic categories to include :
They say, to understand a person, you should walk in their shoes for a mile. Creating a partner profile is an intellectual exercise where you walk in the shoes of your potential partner and understand what drives, inspires, and motivates them. When you have understood your partner the right way, you can start your program on the right note.
After, Kiflo Partner Platform is here to help you every step of the way as you onboard, enable, engage, and retain your partners.