For me, the first step in creating a solid partner program and engage with the right partners is to define what a true partnership means to me.
I realize that a partner is someone who will complement my abilities to accomplish what I cannot accomplish by myself, and in some cases vice versa. And that my success in achieving this, will be predicted by the success of my partner.
So, to make sure my partner will succeed, it is crucial from the very beginning to understand what he needs from me to succeed. Then, we can build what will become a long-lasting relationship based on rational values and principles that will drive the manner in which we will eventually support our commitments to each other.
Part of these principles include frequent communication in an honest, proactive, and transparent way, while focusing on providing value which will lead to results through our ideas, advice, knowledge, solutions and services.
A few months ago, Leaseweb started in-depth talks with partners, and asked them what their goals in business are and what they need from us to realize these. In these talks, basically everything could be discussed; we were open and honest about our wishes and dreams. After all, a good partner is the other partners’ biggest supporter—and severest critic.
The direct result of this exchange of ideas is the creation of Leaseweb Partner Portal, a simple new tool for partners. With this tool, partners can communicate with Leaseweb and stay completely up to date. We can discuss customer leads and exchange information on new leads. Together, we can establish exactly where the need is and how the partner can best approach the customer.
I am convinced this will create a transparency that is unequaled till today. We will have a chance to look at all open accounts together, dashboards will easily inform both parties of deals opening up, and will tell where opportunities lie. We can chat about our strategy together, and what to do next. Our partners will be able to see exactly all that we are working on together. Open, simple, accessible, and, I am sure, extremely effective.
The Leaseweb Partner Portal will reinforce our long-term relationships with our partners and make it more flexible. I expect the relationship with our partners to evolve as a result of using this tool; by working closer together, we will be able to do something we could both not achieve by ourselves.
Next: learning about your partners business – how do you step into someone else’s shoes?