Strategic alliances can offer more value – to joint customers and your business
By forming a strategic alliance, you may be able to offer joint customers more value. For instance, you may be able to offer a special product integration or joint service arrangement/agreement where the customer only has to visit one place for purchasing, information, product fulfillment, or customer service rather than two. In general, the relationship or alliance provides customers with value that is greater than the sum of their parts and may provide a basis for competitive advantage if the joint offering is unique to the marketplace. Usually, each partner brings value to the other, making the relationship a win-win for both parties. The partner may provide a product/service feature that complements your offering or they may have more distribution and communication channels that provide your company with the name recognition you need to build trust with prospects.
Agree on responsibilities and expectations
If you form a strategic alliance, make sure you agree on the responsibilities and expectations – and how success will be measured.
- Define the rules of engagement clearly so that prospects understand the offering and are not confused by multiple entities contacting them.
- Obtain agreement on when issues should be escalated and how they will be addressed. After all, you’ll want your joint customers to be happy, knowing their concerns will be resolved quickly and completed in a satisfactory manner.
- Determine how you will work with the partner – sell with or along side them. Your sales tools will need to be tailored to the situation.
- Develop a joint go-to-market plan that includes all elements of the marketing mix for extending your reach.