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The New Normal of Partner Management

Everybody has written something about changes as a result of COVID 19’s “New Normal.” I know I am tired of it.  Not because the advice isn’t good or that the changes aren’t real, its just getting repetitive.  We get it, we need to work from home, we need to maintain relationships virtually, we need…

Working from home in the technology industry is not new. Many companies moved to remote workforces years ago.  A very high percentage of startups and consultants and work from home.  The challenges of working from home are not new.  What is new is the other family members in the household doing the same, but I think everyone is now beyond that.

It will be more work to achieve Partner Success!

There is a difference in remotely managing partners, when you are used to face to face meetings and spending time regularly in the partners’ office.  One of the biggest challenges is getting and maintaining the partners’ mindshare among all the others trying to get mindshare and getting the partner to focus on your initiatives when in many cases the partner is in customer retention/response mode to keep their business up and running.

Partner Account teams must now be better sales managers to keep the partner on track.  This means cadence calls with partner leaders become more important.  Respect the challenges the partners are facing.  Take detailed notes and publish the minutes/actions.  Take on actions that can help your partner, don’t just give them the actions.  Help them manage their team and build relations with the sales and technical team members to help drive the leadership’s activity and initiatives.  

It will be more work and effort to get partners to achieve their goals and keep you top of mind.  More calls, more virtual meetings, more emails and texts.  If you don’t do the extra work to ensure your partners’ success, I am confident that your competitors will.

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