GOOD & BAD partner benefits

June 14, 2022
Posted by
Romain Baron

Why I think your value proposition should evolve now.

It's not easy to navigate with partners and it is even more difficult to produce good results if your value proposition towards them is worthless. Nonetheless, companies and partner managers have a choice: Keep the same old patterns that do not work or try new things and evolve their methods to be different from the rest.

In this short piece, I've combined ideas and benefits that I think are worth trying. I also explained why I think the "bad" patterns are not exciting enough anymore.

I had a conversation with Marc Fries, an incredible Tech Consultant, who read my post on Bond Connect Slack and literally disagreed with me. And it was constructive! First of all, we cannot classify and treat all partners the same way. Nonetheless, I have spoken to many Hospitality Consultants, Innovation Experts, Integration partners and Hotel Management companies over the past months and I realized one common thing talking to all these people: they ALL have something to say about Partnership Programs and the way they are built.

So is that a sign? After 2 years of Covid, after such a fragmented Hospitality Tech ecosystem of apps, systems, integrations and reseller partners, I think it is time to regroup and ask the question: what do partners want in 2022, and even go further in 2030?

Here is my take on the subject,

👉 GOOD

Hello Mike Tyson,

Love what you are doing at {company}! Your recent blog about {something you actually liked for real} was a pleasure to read. For that reason, I would like to invite you to join our service partner program :) Apply here, and see the benefits below:

1. You will access our customer slack community and connect with 3000+ people from the industry

2. You will be listed on our service directory website and get more traffic and leads to your business

3. You will be recommended to our customers by our account managers if they see a relevant need

4. Finally, you will get £600 upfront for any new customer referrals going live with our product

PS: we have an upcoming webinar about {topic}, would you be interested to be our guest?

Best, Romain

👉  BAD and corporate 

*Joint exclusive events

*E-newsletter Ad

*VIP tech support

*Product Academy/Training/Learning Center

*Exclusive sales and product update

*Discount opportunities 

*Exclusive co-marketing opportunities 

Why are they bad you may ask?

-The “bad” ones are communicated by most startups nowadays and as a potential partner with a large tech wallet, I cannot see a clear differentiation between them.

-The benefits are a copy-paste of some 10 years old marketing books (I have them on my bookshelf)

-The “bad” ones have been used for over 20 years by startup veterans and used again and again by partner managers without real creative minds.

-There is still this idea of the more benefits you have the better your program looks, which is not true, especially if your benefits are just a bunch of meaningless marketing buzzwords. 

-Great partner programs demonstrate quickly how a partner will be able to grow his business and his awareness to a specific audience. Key metrics for a partner manager should be: Web traffic generated to partners, Lead generated to partners, then referral leads made by partners…

-A common excuse I often hear when companies start looking at how many consultants they are working with is: We just have a few, we are focusing on quality and not quantity”. But why? Why don’t you want to work with 1000 relevant badass consultants? They are free to work with and take 1 relevant consultant with 5 customers, that’s 5000 potential prospects for you.

-Very few startups introduce consultants to their sales, account managers, onboarding or customer success teams so they can sell partners' services or even invite them to join the onboarding or implementation of the software to get to know better the product and mingle with clients.

-Be specific when it comes to co-brand marketing activities and offer one specific activity directly to increase your conversation and start building a relationship. If you have an upcoming webinar, go for it, an ebook, go for it, a street stunt, go for it.

-Referrals. SAAS Subscription model is dying and is slowly replaced by “payment free” only. That means you won’t have a % commission of a customer contract to give to partners anymore. It’s time for startups to think bigger and upfront to keep partners motivated. Try this: take all your signed deals this month and divide them by total sales and marketing expenses. That’s what a deal costs you. If you don’t give, at least half of that number to a consultant, you are losing opportunities to close more deals and keep them happy.

If you'd like to take it further and get a one-on-one virtual coffee with me, feel free to drop me a message at romain@bond-agency.io. I'm always open to communicate and share ideas 👍

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