Unsure what your partners actually want? Why not ask them?

February 17, 2021

As a technology business, you rely heavily on your partner network to sell your products and services to end customers. In reality, however, there are only a limited number of potential partners in Australia, and competition for their loyalty is fierce.  

At the same time, it can also be extremely hard to know what your partners actually want or how to deliver. A recent survey by Splendid revealed the vast majority of Australian B2B technology organisations feel their partner programs are lacking. In fact, 73% said their program was only ‘somewhat effective’ or was ‘in need of improvement’.  

So, when it comes to evolving your partner program and responding more effectively to your partners’ needs, where should you start?  

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Splendid was recently engaged to answer this question for one of our large technology vendor clients. This client had received some negative anecdotal feedback regarding their partner program and wanted to delve further into this to gain a deeper and much more comprehensive understanding of their partners’ needs and evolve their program for 2021.  

Here’s what we did:

1. We listened

We started out by working closely with our client to understand their specific objectives with regards to their partner program, as well as the size and scope of their network and the specific issues they were facing. 

2. We surveyed their partners

We created an online survey with some clear and direct questions on behalf of our technology client. Their partners were invited to take part in this survey via an email and told their answers would be anonymous (to encourage more responses). We composed a range of questions to provide us with some rich insights. This ranged from questions such as, ‘What term best describes how you’re finding doing business during the COVID pandemic?​’ to ‘In the future, how would you like <vendor name> to execute marketing campaigns?’ 

3. We collated the results

Once the survey was completed, we brought the results and data points together to extract valuable insights to fuel the right change to their Partner Program. We learned that the Partners were looking for:
  • More leadership from vendors when it comes to applying and improving their marketing
  • More leadership around customer insights
  • Help building awareness of their business and in developing customer relationships – not just generating leads
  • More forward planning with campaign initiatives and greater awareness and visibility around marketing plans
  • More (and better) marketing materials​
  • Greater measurement and sharing of results​
  • Greater flexibility around use of marketing development funds
  • More opportunities to customise materials and programs to their own needs

We presented these insights, along with many of the more detailed answers which partners had submitted, to the client’s executive team.  

4.WE CRAFTED A PARTNER-FOCUSED SMB MARKETING PROGRAM 

Following on from the results of the survey, we developed a new SMB campaign that has partners’ needs at its heart. We also worked closely with our client to create a brief for partners – to help them understand the specific nuances of this upcoming campaign and how it could work for them.   

Importantly, we’re continuing to work with this client to ensure their marketing evolves consistently with the feedback to match the needs of their partners 

Want to know more? 

If you’re interested in speaking with our team about your partner program and how we can help you gather real feedback from your partners, get in touch.