Yes! You have been hired or given a brief to start a Tech Partner Program. What now?
Below are a few ideas to get started, but there is no right or wrong approach. Just put one foot in front of the other and start talking to people about what they need. Your peers, and partners will help you build your plan.
Start with Why
The "why" behind your program will drive everything else. Is your why to drive more sales? Maybe it is to improve customer satisfaction? Figure out why the business wants to build out this program, build a crisp elevator pitch for it, and then use this to guide future decision making.
Agree principles for what kind of partner you will be
It's important to know how you will operate with other partners. Will you be transparent? How transparent? Will you fund integrations or will you expect partners to fund them? Getting a rough-cut of some operating principles, and agreeing on them with other leaders, will pay dividends down the line. Your company values are likely a good place to start drafting these.
Go on a "listening tour"
Many new leaders go on a listening tour of their company, to get feedback and ideas. This is a great way to learn what other teams want from partnerships, but also learn how they "see" partnerships and how that may need to change over time. Either way it's a great way to build relationships with peers that can help with the new program.
Draft priorities for the next 12-months
Based on what you have learned, draft what you think your priorities should be for the next 12-months. It's ok if these are not quite right, as they can be refined with your stakeholders.
As you review these with peers, it's important to review where you have shared dependencies and make sure they are committed to meeting those dependencies.
Just as important as goals, are the things you will NOT be doing. Be explicit about these and make sure people understand why. If anyone disagrres, you may be able to fund ways to fund other initiatives together.
The below are great to get to if you can, but they can also come later as you find your feet and build some momentum:
- CRM - can be a spreadsheet to start, but track any discussions you are having
- Lifecycle - what phases do you expect your partnerships to go through?
- BHAG - what would A+ look like for your team? Can be invigorating to map it out and share with others!
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