Developing Partner Management

The Importance Of Good Business Relationships

Partner-ManagementWith the increase of online sales and services, there is a growing venue for partner management relations in most businesses. Partner management involves companies working cooperatively to endorse and advertise a particular brand, product or service. There are many organizations that can be involved in such dealings and what is called a co-branding relationship may develop. Some of these organizations may be distributors, vendors, retailers, consultants, systems integrators, value-added resellers, managed service providers, and original equipment manufacturers. Practically anyone the company works with to conduct the sales and distribution of their product or service can be included in the partner management relationship. This field has been growing relatively quickly and there are even software programs that are meant to help organize and optimize the interactions within partner management groups.

Ideally, the efforts of all parties involved will help to optimize the sales and growth of the brand or company that is heading the channel partner growth and monitoring the overall operations. There are many ways these operations can be run. In some instances it is best to delegate certain responsibilities and tasks to a channel partner for a period of time while in other cases the partnership may be managed much more closely. There are also options for referral partners where there are opportunities for client growth through a fairly low cost method. One of the difficulties that is increasing with partner management ventures however, is the type of online representation that is conducted.

Some organizations, especially those with a myriad of distributors, have numerous entities that are working in conjunction with them who have their own independent online sites. Not only does the manager of the channel partner have to guide the use of the company’s logo and image in the distribution processes and customer representation, but also be aware of how the company is represented online as well. This can be difficult, especially since the online venue may have additional sites or partners that the manager may not know of. There are some key elements in helping a channel partner management relationship operate more smoothly.

The first is to find a balance of quality and quantity. Though quantity may seem highly appealing for increasing product awareness and reaching a larger forum of people, how that quantity is portrayed is important. If the size of the program is too expansive, then there are many potential customers who may receive a faulty image of the brand or company which can be detrimental in the long run. Since the balance needs to be maintained, it is important to take stock of the situation often and make any needed adjustments as soon as possible in order to prevent problems rather than face them once they have become a larger issue than necessary. Clear communication is also an essential portion of partner management operations. Making sure that channel organizations have a clear idea of what the overall corporate guidelines are will help prevent misrepresentation of the company or brand image.

There is a large teaching element involved in conducting when trying to assure that the partner organizations have all the tools and knowledge needed to have accurate representations of the brand or company and it is important to not assume they have the same tenets since they can easily differ from one organization to another. In some cases, there may be distributors who work with companies that are competitors of each other, so in these instances it is particularly important that both parties have a clear picture of the objectives and acceptable practices associated with the organization in order to assure the proper product differentiation.

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