Partnership Performance Is not an Accident

This is the sixth article in a series I've been working on about perfecting your Partnering Reference Architecture (aka The Partnerverse).

If you haven't been keeping up, check out the first five articles here:

As anybody will tell you - getting a partner is only part of the battle. The real challenge is making that partnership pay off. 

It should come as no surprise that the secret to getting this to occur is to set goals, and jointly hold yourself and your partner accountable.

Set strategic goals

However, setting goals, updating metrics, and reporting progress against goals is a full-time job (especially if you have many partnerships).

In order to reduce the “management fatigue” of constantly tweaking your goals and metrics data, look for ways to automate the creation of the goals, the measurement of the goals, and the reporting of the goals.

Set SMART goals (specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-bound)

When you set a goal for your team, be specific. Don't just throw out numbers.

If the goal is specific and measurable - you can renew this same goal for the next quarter…and the next.  And, if your data model is correct, you can tally the results quickly and easily (we are currently at three new partnership leads this quarter…target is 5).

This helps set up automation in your Partner Business Review (PBR) and also allows your team to focus attention on achieving these goals (not updating them).

Automate your goals

This objective can only be achieved if you have built your data model correctly - as automation can only come from a normalized data model. However, once you have the setup – look for ways to keep your team from setting and managing goals – and instead let them focus on the steps needed to achieve the goals.

Automation in goal setting means creating a repeatable goal quarter over quarter (e.g. create five new partnership leads this quarter or create partnership Opportunity revenue of $10,000 this quarter).  

Play the long game – plan for success

Designing success in your Partnering program does not happen out of the box. It takes deliberate and planned steps to ensure that the whole model amplifies partnership success.

By following the steps I've laid out in the Partner Reference architecture series, you ensure that reporting is accurate, concise, and correct.

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