Should you partner with another technology / services company to help sell your product?

September 18, 2012

Over the last few weeks a number of clients and readers have asked a similar question:

I’ve been approached by company X to partner with us. Do you know them and what do you think we should do?

Since many startups, especially technology firms, partner for the wrong reasons and end up having failed or suboptimal relationships I thought I’d give as simple an answer as possible for partnering.

There are of course a number of reasons you’d want to partner with someone but if you’re focused on sales and marketing (revenue generation) then you should consider the following questions.

Will working with the partner:

  1. Generate or accelerate the generation of new sales leads? How many?
  2. Help close existing deals faster? How many?
  3. Close any new deals simply because you’re working with them? How many?
  4. Accelerate revenue recognition? By how many days?
  5. Reduce sales costs? By a significant amount? How much?
  6. Reduce implementation timeline? How much?
  7. Reduce implementation costs? How much?
  8. Reduce support calls / cost? By how much?

If there’s not a solid “yes” for some, many, or all of the questions above (followed by appropriate metrics), don’t spend the time considering the partnership.

  • Stephen Armstrong

    This is an excellent list to which I would add 1) will the partner provide relevant or complementary technical expertise and/or bandwidth that can help you to reach your product goals faster or reduce development costs; 2) does the partnership add luster to your brand and/or increased visibility for your business essentially reinforcing or enhancing your positioning?

  • http://www.shahidshah.com Shahid N. Shah

    Great advice, Stephen. Thanks for chiming in.

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