Partner Program Strategy
Technology partner

What are some common pitfalls to avoid for tech partnership programs?

8 Answers
Thomas Mancuso avatar
Thomas Mancuso
Podium Director Of Product Partnerships
Not focusing on how to scale integrations, think about who is building, it can be both you and/or your partners, and ensure that your API has the endpoints you need to enable the customer utility required for the partnership to have a "better together" value prop. Review the health and activity of your integrations and double down on integrations that customers find useful, think from a customer workflow mindset, "what does this type of integration do for our customers?" and look to expand partners based on who can also deliver that type of workflow. Tech Partners are best at expanding the value of your product for your customers. Also don't forget to set up bi-directional data feeds, integration partners deal in the currency of data, make sure that goes both ways to ensure a great partnership.
Daniel Dawson avatar
Daniel Dawson
Aircall Sr. Partner Marketing Manager
Treating all partners as equals and not having a way to rank and prioritize your partnerships on both qualitative and quantitative metrics. These can change, grow and evolve as your program matures. You don't even have to publish them or tier your partners publicly to begin with--it can be on the backend--but make sure there's some system of making sense of partnerships. Even when you're starting out, map out what types of partners (integration/tech, community, affiliate, resellers etc) will be helpful in meeting X and Y business goals. You need to rank these partners and tie them to particular areas of the business in order to set up your metrics for success and prove value. Another common pitfall is expecting immediate results. Partnerships are generally a longer-term play. If your company doesn't already have existing relationships or have employees who have those relationships, it's going to take some time to build them. You have to give a lot in the beginning and learn how to provide value, show your own value and be the best partner before you start receiving from partners. Lastly, I'd say another pitfall is not realizing that partnership people are human and the job is inherently relationship-based. People want to work more with people they enjoy working with. Don't be robotic, rigid or vengeful. You won't get very far in your partner program.
Doug Gould avatar
Doug Gould
LaunchDarkly Head of Ecosystem Partners
The most common pitfall is having a tech partner program that is detached from product strategy. Tech partnerships can be a force multiplier across sales and marketing but at the core they are about developing technology to take to customers. Partner leaders must collaborate closely with their colleagues in product to help prioritize discussions happening across the partner landscape. Without that collaboration, it's very difficult for a BD or partner team to action on opportunities that come up in the market when technical work is required. Two other pitfalls I see - having unclear ways that tech partnerships can be measured and lacking a strong method to prioritization of activities. Lacking in both of those areas make working internally (product, sales, marketing) and externally with tech partners very difficult.
Janos Vrancsik avatar
Janos Vrancsik
Hygraph Ecosystem Partnerships
Tech partnerships / integrations are wonderful because it can help you enter new markets and make your product better / stickier, but too often, they just get built, but never adopted and they become a waste of time and resources. I think it’s just understanding the use case on a very deep level. Some integrations are a no-brainer, while some are nothing more than a nice-to-have. So the technical synergy is the baseline, and then once you have a pool of tech partners and use cases that you’d like to support, then comes the business aspect. How many customers do you have in common, how much revenue you can drive, what reach can they drive for you, what regions they’re strong on, etc. If the use case foundation is not there, building an integration is exercise in futility.
Christiannah Oyedeji avatar
Christiannah Oyedeji
AWeber Director of Partnerships
Not deeply understanding your ICP (Ideal Customer Profile), your KPI, and the resulting IPP (Ideal Partner Profile). Having these points buttoned up tightly will vastly improve your ability to source and evaluate successful partnerships. Making programs too complex when you are just getting started. You may not need tiered programs or top of the line partner ops tools when you only have a handful of partners. Keep it simple initially and add complexity needed as with program growth. Not viewing integrated customers as joint customers. Instead consider thinking more about the workflows or insights the joint solution is providing those customers. There is some unique value that can be driven ONLY by you and said partner. Find that value and make it as easy as possible for customers to access. Missing opportunities to reconnect with partners (even those who aren’t top performers). There may be a need your program is not meeting and once unblocked that partner may become a power player in your ecosystem. Track customer adoption AND activity where possible. Activity will provide context for improvements and innovation down the line.
Jocelyn Toonders avatar
Jocelyn Toonders
Mention Me Head of partnerships
1. Spending too much time/resources on partners that don't have the maximum opportunity and/or align with your mission and vision. --> Identifying what a good partner looks like and having clear criteria from the start will help prevent this 2. No alignment between partners and product with a lack of understanding of roles and responsibilities set for all team members
Charlene Strain avatar
Charlene Strain Partner Marketing Manager
When it comes to tech partnership programs, there are a few common pitfalls to avoid. One pitfall is failing to properly align the partner's goals with the company's own marketing objectives. Without this alignment, it can be difficult to measure the success of the partnership and determine whether or not it is worth continuing. Another common pitfall is failing to invest enough resources in partner onboarding and training. This can lead to partners feeling like they are not being supported and ultimately result in them disengaging from the program. It is important to make sure that partners feel invested in the program and have the tools and information they need to be successful. Finally, many companies make the mistake of expecting their partners to do all the work when it comes to marketing and promotion. While partners should certainly be expected to put in some effort, the company should also be prepared to invest time and resources into promoting the partnership. Otherwise, it is unlikely to be successful. By avoiding these common pitfalls, companies can set themselves up for success with their tech partner programs. By taking the time to properly align objectives, invest in partner onboarding and training, and promote the partnership, companies can create programs that are beneficial for both themselves and their partners.
Kevin Kriebel avatar
Kevin Kriebel
Drata Vice President of Business Development
FOCUS. Casting a wide net to see what sticks is a recipe for disaster. Go after a limited set of strategic tech partners whose tech is (1) complementary to yours (2) shares a similar buyer persona (3) technical integration is an option (4) creates a better together story that resellers would be compelled by to create a bundle / service offering to sell to their clients