How and when should software development agencies participate in strategic partnerships?
In what way will your partnership impact your customers?
Your customers expect from honesty and competency. By writing code and building beautiful products, the complexity of your skill set increases, and so does the budget.
Therefore it goes without saying that knowing really well what you do is more than appreciated by your customers.
The aspect of honesty spills into numerous areas – but let’s focus on being honest in what you offer and try to sell to your customers.
On one hand, honesty can mean not to unnecessarily increase billable hours just for the sake of it.
On the other hand, it also means being the best and most trusted advisor, offering the best help possible that you’re able to give. This is what you should aim for.
Expanding your range of services and becoming a partner offering complementary services is not only about increasing your revenue, but about honestly offering a service to your customer that will serve them in areas where you can’t help them.
What partnerships to form?
We can segment partnerships in the following categoriees.
- Tactical – short time span and quick revenue
- Strategic – combining strength of 2 companies to enter a new market or to reach awider market
- Operational partnerships – provide operating capabilities
- Channel/Sales partnerships – one company provides services and other sells it
While it’s common that many software development studios want sales partners to simply sell their service for them (wouldn’t that be great!), the fact is that actively recruiting partners that are not developers / outsources is incredibly difficult. Secondly, the performance is often not meeting expectations – only a small segment of partners actually brings in some revenue (around 1-2%).
So what should type of partnership would be ideal for you? Of course, it depends on your business situation…
But, strategic partnerships tend to be the best. You combine strengths, and seek a win-win-win situation where you and your partner work hard to deliver on your partnership agreement.
Who should you partner with?
Since we have our own partnership programme specifically aimed at development agencies, I will briefly discuss it here.
Our partners introduce us, or resell our SaaS marketing services to their existing or past clients. This effort doesn’t require any additional work beyond utilizing existing resources they have.
The development agencies that partner with us benefit these ways:
- Increased revenue per client – by introducing us or reselling our services
- Increasing the likelihood of future work with their client, as our marketing services generate revenue for them
- Superior offering and differentiation – more holistic offering for their lead generation
- Get clients from our pool of past customers
How to pick a partner
Choosing the right partner is crucially important. When working with a different business entity, the relationship cannot be simply about maximizing revenue, but also about the overall approach and attitude. It boils down to alignment of the following key elements.
- Clearly defined terms
- Ease of delivery
- Great relationship
It goes without saying that in any partnership both parties need to be compatible in a myriad of aspects to reach a win-win situation. Partners need to be compatible in:
- Services: are your and your services compatible so you can offer them to your clients? Does it make sense from the commercial stand point, and will your clients be interested? Do are your and your partner not competing, but rather their services complement theirs?
- Compensation: being on the same page regarding compensation is crucial – both parties have commercial interests as the main priority when entering a partnership
- Culture fit: how well do ou do business, integrity, fair, but also – important to have a call to discuss thi
2. Clearly defined terms
Crystal clear terms, knowing what to expect, and having clearly communicated each party’s responsibilities is a safe way to avoid unpleasant surprises that can end in litigation. Here is what you need to be completely clear on:
- Division of tasks and responsibilities
- Payment terms
- Data processing
- Method of reviewing results
Mutual trust is important as it gives the confidence for both parties to push the project and partnership forward. Trust is built over time, but make sure to do due diligence before entering any partnerships, especially if you get into legally binding contracts.
4. Ease of delivery
Remember that if you’ve entered a strategic partnership, your role should not be doing something completely outside the scope of normal operation. How easy can you fulfill your responsibilities? Clearly – the easier the better.
In case of our partnership programme, we partner with software development agencies that refer us to their clients. There is minimal amount of effort involved, as they already established close relationship. This way, our partners enter a low effort but high reward situation.
Receiving adequate support from your partner is needed to achieve the end goal of the partnership. Will they leave you to figure everything out? Or will they provide you with enough information to help you accomplish your part?
In our case, we provide our partners with information on how to introduce us, how to sell our services (if they want), and how to generate their top-of-funnel leads. We treat our clients’ success and growth as our own.
6. Great relationship
Business is ultimately conducted between people. Having a great working relationship with your partner, where you have enjoyable communication and find ways to solve problems, is going to greatly contribute to the overall success and duration of the partnership engagement.
How to partner with us
You can learn more about our partner programme on the dedicated page, including all the support and very competitive commission compensation you can receive.
To find out more about our partnership programme and whether there could be a professional fit to form a long-term win-win engagement, contact us now.