“One of the best benefits of Partnership in B2B is the ability to expand your expertise into a new Industry or Niche. The same method that your B2B Partner used to gain awareness & demonstrate credibility, are also readily available to you – as their B2B Partner using your Partner’s experience & vision to gain new customers for your business”.
Partnerships Topics: WoM, Find, Screen (or Scream), Selling U, Contract, Gen Leads, Help ea other, Monitor & Manage.
Two best ways to Grow. All small businesses have access to two powerful actions that can help them ramp up sales and grow their business at a faster pace. Both of these actions require a lot of planning and even more hard work to make it happen. But when used effectively, they can increase the success of a business fairly quickly.
Word-of-Mouth referrals, & Business-to-Business [B2B] Partnerships.
Most of the new business that I’ve received during my entrepreneurial career has come from these two techniques. In fact, it’s been the long-term relationships that I’ve built with partners that have created the best opportunities for collaboration, education and growth.
Long-Term Relationships. The right Partnerships with the right businesses aren’t one-time events, but dynamic relationships that should grow & develop over time. Time is an important consideration in building B2B Partnerships. [B2B-P] requires a lot of it, along with clear objectives, & evaluations (due diligence) to make a realistic decision. But, when done right, B2B Partnerships are worth the effort and can be a Win-Win for both parties involved.
Objectives. Before starting the process of creating a partnership, you should first carefully consider which B2B Partnerships (or Alliances) truly support your long-term Business Objectives. For example, think twice about any B2B Partnership that forces you to stray from your brand image, confuses your clients, or hurts your reputation. Once you have an idea of a relationship that will add value to your business, follow these nine steps to develop a profitable, long-term B2B partnership.
1. How to find Potential Partners
Look at complementary businesses, established businesses in a new geographic area (that you don’t serve), the local Chamber of Commerce & industry directories, to find possible businesses to partner with. And don’t overlook the potential of competitors; teaming up with your competition can often become some of the best B2B Partnerships you form. But you have to be more cautious. Do a deep Due Diligence.
2. Screen potential Partners to select the best Candidates.
Consider these questions to narrow the field and streamline your decision: Is the potential partner established? Are they profitable? What is their reputation?
Measuring your Market
- · How can you quickly assess the potential of new products & markets?
- · How do your customers perceive your company & brands vs. your competitors?
Knowing your Customers
- · What characteristics do your best customers have in common? How can you increase your odds of getting more of them?
Improving your Marketing effectiveness
- · How can you track the effectiveness of each Marketing campaign & channel
- · Identify previously unknown prospects
- · How can you identify which companies are visiting your Website
- · How can you target & market to previously “unknown” prospects?
- · Lead qualification – How can you get more qualified leads?
- · Marketing benchmarks — What does “good” look like? What are the benchmarks across the industry?
Increasing your Sales effectiveness
- · Where you are losing prospects in your sales & marketing funnel?
- · If you have an outbound telesales team, how many phone calls per prospect are needed to maximize your revenue?
- · Which metrics do your most successful sales reps have in common? And your least successful sales reps?
- · Which advanced methods can help you target the right product & offer to the right customer?
- · What do you know about the needs of your current customers? potential customers?
3. Selling your B to a potential B2B Partner
Once you have a shortlist of desirable businesses you’d like to partner with,
- a) prepare a Proposal that outlines how you envision the relationship will work and the benefits for each party. Negotiate it, till you both agree.
- b) It’s usually the best idea to have a Trial Period with a potential permanent B2B Partner, so you can get to know each other to test your compatibilities and your ability to come to agreement on issues.
4. Get it in Writing
Once you agree on the terms of the partnership, put it in writing! You don’t always need a formal document filled with legalese, but you do need some record that clearly outlines what both parties are agreeing to before kicking off the relationship.
5. Develop the Relationship
Like all relationships, B2B Partnerships take time to develop and flourish. Start slow with simple goals and milestones that give both businesses a chance to focus on their strengths. Put in the necessary effort to learn more about each other in the early stages of the partnership.
6. Generating Leads
Most successful Partnerships involve some form of Joint Marketing relationship and Lead generation. Brainstorm ways you can create mutual leads, and explore running an integrated Marketing Campaign that benefits both businesses.
7. Refer your Partner to your Buyers
Leads are great, but Buyers are even better. Nothing says, “I love this partnership” than sending over your most qualified Leads (ie, established Buyers) to your partner.
8. Help Your Partners
A true B2B collaboration isn’t about creating a one-time blitz, but instead looking for ways to support each other over the long term. Start the reciprocal giving by going above and beyond to find cross-sell & up-sell opportunities for your partner an expect them to do the same for you.
9. Manage your Relationship
In order for a B2B Partnership to be beneficial long-term, it needs ongoing management & good communication. This includes having regular status checks (recommend monthly), updating your agreement when needed, adjusting expectations, and even being open to terminating the arrangement when it stops working for either party. Manage relationship with a simple CRM (Customer Relationship Management) tool. If you’re new to CRM tool, start comparing top vendors such as Oracle vs Microsoft Dynamics.
Conclusion. As with all successful business initiatives, it is better to do a few things well rather than everything mediocre. So take your time and follow the nine steps above to find a few thriving Partnerships that will take your business to the next level.
Comments: Do you know any other factors for finding & growing a B2B Partnership?
from Growth University 12/17 enhanced by Peter/CXO Wiz4.biz
For more Info, Click on Partnerships.