Partner Program Strategy
Technology partner

Can a potential partnership backfire at my company? If yes, could you share some examples?

3 Answers
Maurits Pieper avatar
Maurits Pieper
Dixa Head of Partnerships
I would say an easy and frequent 'backfire' could be overpromising too early and too quick. Partners are then disappointed as the expectations were too high and then it takes 3x energy/commitment to get back to previous level of excitement. Remember that partner reps always (eventually) tier their partners so if you fall down a tier, another partner might take your spot in their list. If you want to get back there, you'll probably have to earn that spot again.
Doug Gould avatar
Doug Gould
LaunchDarkly Head of Ecosystem Partners
Backfiring could mean a lot of things. The most common I see is that teams invest a lot of time and resources into partnerships that repeatedly miss deadlines and have minimal to no impact on customers. Generally, there are signs in the early days of the partnership that this could be the case like vaguely defined success metrics, rotating points-of-contact, and unclear direction on the value of working together for customers. I had an instance earlier in my career where despite having strong executive buy-in from a large tech partner, we were not seeing execution on ways that would drive more value to the partnership. The biggest mistake I made at the time was neglecting to adjust the strategy and continuing to expect the partnership to be the next big thing.
Janos Vrancsik avatar
Janos Vrancsik
Hygraph Ecosystem Partnerships
Oh it absolutely can, and I always encourage everyone to choose partners carefully. Even if they’re trying their best to be a good partner (and they don’t proactively try to harm you in any way), things can backfire sometimes. In case of technology partnerships, the case I’ve faced a few times before was related to security breaches / data leaks. When one partner product gets breached, and hackers can get access to API keys used to authenticate the integration, you’ll also face some difficult conversations with your customers. Of course you’ll review the code, test the integration, etc. but in general, the best you can do is to prepare for these cases so you’ll be able to execute and mitigate the risks quickly I think.