How to Partner in a Globalizing Marketplace

Rudy Rodriguez of IAMCP

CHANNEL PARTNERS EVOLUTION — Partnering is a key to growth in an ever growing, ever specializing economy.

That insight comes from Rudy Rodriguez, who leads the U.S. chapter of the International Association of Microsoft Channel Partners (IAMCP). Rodriguez kicked off the morning keynote of Day 3 the Channel Partners Evolution on Wednesday with a talk titled “Peer Partnering Without Fear.”

Rodriguez shared a study of the more than 450,000 Microsoft partners which found that they are collectively sharing more than $10 billion with each other in partner-to-partner business.

“That’s a lot of small companies sharing a lot of business,” he said.

Rodriguez, who also serves as principal of Dunamis Marketing, said the market for solution providers is expanding, due in part to increased globalization. He said that the increased size of the market combines with complexity of businesses and specificity of new IT/telecommunications offerings to make partnering all the more necessary. Partnering with other companies not only increases your geographical range but deepens your skill set.

“Customers are asking for industry-specific expertise,” Rodriguez said. “They’re looking for a depth of services, and they’re looking for more trusted advisers as business partners.”

Rodriguez laid out strategy for a “partner-to-partner maturity model” in hope building more profitable partnerships. The model begins with nine questions, which include some of the following:

  • Do I need new technology capabilities?
  • Do I need to expand geographically?
  • Do I need more salespeople?
  • Have I considered sales compensation?
  • Do I have the investment required to manage a channel?

Rodriguez shared 10 key business functions for companies to apply once they’ve taken inventory of the aforementioned questions. Those functions include establishing leads and a pipeline, sales compensation, the necessary certifications and market messaging. And a vital starting point of these business functions is for the partners to make these plans together — starting at the top.

“You should get buy-in all the way to the leadership level,” he said. “If you don’t do that, it falls apart on you. If it’s just salesperson-to-salesperson, it’s not going to work. Buy-in has to take place at the leadership level.”

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