… adapt it. If there are things in the software that make it difficult to deploy, manage and use, or you don’t have sufficient documentation (or automation) to compensate, then you, the ISV, needs to be prepared to mitigate that with support mechanisms and tools.
And finally, the most important key to a usable program: people. People want to talk to people. People don’t want to talk to websites. Online support is critical, but if you want your partner to be satisfied, there should be someone willing to answer a 1-800 number.
Partner Support: What naturally follows from simplicity is support. This means more than break-fix engineering (which is still critical, though) or tele-sales, and speaks to the quality of the program. The right training tools, rather than just the quantity of tools, must address the breadth of scenarios you wish to sell into. Teaching sellers how to sell a solution is as important as teaching them what to sell. How do you differentiate your ISV offering? How does the partner build differentiable value with respect to others in the program? This is true partner enablement.
> Train your sales teams on the marketplace they’re walking into. Look for content on market dynamics, breadth, addressable share and other factors likely to affect customer interest.
> To enable your field sellers, ask for a suite of collateral that addresses sales and marketing tactics to all levels of a customer’s organization, from the C-suite on down.
> The marketing department should be able to easily deliver directed materials, such as customized presentations, data sheets, emailers, testimonials, ads, videos, experiences / demos and other white-label content.
> The sales pipeline doesn’t stop once the ink is dry. The ISV’s partner program must include an end-to-end strategy from initial customer engagement and presales activity to feed the funnel, sales support to guide the process, and post-sales customer onboarding with ongoing support.
Partner Communication: Good partners are simpatico. They create and join events together, drive customer programs together and create industry excitement together. Going into the market with a unified front connotes commitment, investment and competitiveness. Customers will see the value in a partner being backed by the vendor, as well as a vendor who has the confidence of their partners. Case studies pretty much write themselves after that.
Business Opportunity: In most situations, neither the ISV nor the partner exist solely to make the other one successful, and no one is …