To realize the benefit, you will need to make an investment in time and energy. Yes, this is one of the hardest things to do in an age where everyone is working hard with little time to spare. My series will help you optimize your time and energy focusing on identifying the right partner(s), establishing the right business model for you, and executing successfully.
It’s time to deliver the goods! By taking the time for due diligence in a new vendor/partner relationship, you have set yourself up for success. Sure beats the alternative. Now let’s execute. Here are my proven techniques to ensure you bring it home strong and reap the rewards of your efforts
Use your pre-work as a tool to create checklists and action plans as well as to identify the right folks to bring into the process. Making this a team effort is critical. Let’s start with the head of the team.
Every successful initiative requires an executive champion to secure resources, navigate politics and generally cheer lead the effort. Be sure they are on-board with your approach at every phase. Bring good news and bad news to them timely so you don’t get derailed.
I prefer checklists over the complicated program management software only very few people seem to be able to operate. Using your pre-work notes, partner profile, and vendor onboarding procedure, make checklists identifying everything required to happen and identify responsible parties for each activity. Be sure to budget rewards for the participants at key milestones to keep everyone engaged, enthusiastic and supportive.
Team engagement should start early in the process. Coming in to late will not be well received. Regular meetings or huddles should be structured to engage, but not bore or waste time. Nobody likes meetings without an agenda, with no direction and accomplishes nothing. I suggest you schedule them for 10 minutes standing if they are merely status meetings – longer if decisions need to be made.
Reporting & Tracking
Be sure to include reporting of results as a key component of any new relationship. Someone should be tracking the information including training, onboarding, quotes, sales, incidents, etc. These reports should be reviewed on a regularly scheduled basis to be sure the team is moving the ball. If there are no reports and no accountabilities, the relationship will stall, lose momentum and then be categorized as one of those wasted time relationships. Don’t let this happen to one of your projects.
There’s a crisis management concept called the smoldering crisis. As you may guess, you don’t know a crisis is coming until what appears to be a catastrophic event happens. Something like snow breaking through a rotting roof. Looking back, you realize it’s been smoldering for some time waiting to blow. Don’t let your channel program smolder. Be selective, be proactive and control your destiny.
I hope you enjoyed my Building Strategic Relationships in Cloud & Telecom series. I’ve enjoyed putting these thoughts together for you and look forward to seeing you build successful relationships.
I offer services ranging from short durations point solutions to serving as a part—time channel chief for organizations interested in building a more strategic and successful channel program. If you would like more detailed tools or coaching through the process for your organization, give a call or send an email so we can explore how I can help you meet your goals.
For like-minded partners and vendors, I periodically host intimate events to explore and brainstorm. Let me know if you have interest in joining us for these rewarding and fun events.