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Collaborate, don’t compete: 4 steps to making Microsoft partnerships work

As a Microsoft partner, you understand that your client’s complex problems require tailored solutions. One of the best ways to deliver a seamless experience for clients is to partner with specialist providers, thereby fostering a community of collaborative busines.. Continue

Collaborate, don’t compete: 4 steps to making Microsoft partnerships work
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Zoe England

As a Microsoft partner, you understand that your client’s complex problems require tailored solutions.

One of the best ways to deliver a seamless experience for clients is to partner with specialist providers, thereby fostering a community of collaborative businesses as opposed to rivals. But how can you ensure that potential partners will benefit your business and your clients in the long run? Follow these 4 simple steps on how to ensure a successful business partnership:

STEP 1: Keep ahead of your competitors

A key reason you should be considering partnering is to stay ahead of industry trends to remain a trusted reseller.

If you are not offering a particular service to your client, then it is likely that someone else will. Therefore, it is crucial that you and your partner maintain a joint awareness of market trends to identify opportunities to address the changing needs of your clients to stay ahead of competitors.

Partnering effectively will enable you to offer a greater range of services that your clients would value through your brand. This allows you to retain your client’s trust increasing their connection to your brand and ensuring long-term loyalty.

STEP 2: Ensure a good cultural fit  

Before establishing any strategic relationship, it is crucial to ensure that both companies have a strong cultural match. Identifying potential partners with similar values to your own will minimise the risk of conflicts later down the line.

We have seen the landscape of the workplace change rapidly in a short space of time. But with the support of partners who share common values, your company is empowered with the agility and flexibility that’s required of successful businesses to grow and keep clients.  

There’s huge value in engaging with a range of partners, such as legal firms and accountancies, provided they share and believe in the essence of your own purpose with a focus on clients success.  Any relationship that is based on a shared purpose will outlive all others that were purely for commercial gain.

STEP 3: Identify the value of the partnership

The definition of what a successful partnership will look like for all participants should be identified early on. The desired outcome of the relationship, whether that be a larger portfolio of offerings to clients or an increase in lead referrals, must be clear from the outset. For both sides to maximise potential benefits they must be clear on what these are for each party !

We recommend regular catchups and setting up a virtual hub for all resources and planning, easily accessible between both teams. Poor communication, regarding successes and collaboration, can lead to a breakdown of trust within the relationship. Consider using a shared Team for this collaboration, as well as planned catch up, as afterall the success of the partnership will be significantly down to the human relationships between both parties with a desire to drive common value.

STEP 4: Package up your offerings

Whether you are seeking to create a complex collaborative product with a unique entry to market, or just a simple lead referral system with commission, the offerings that you are able to present to your clients together will form the functional basis of your partnership.

A cohesive solution is extremely attractive for your clients. Rather than needing to have different providers for different services, you will be able to offer one package that meets all their needs, making their lives much easier.

Regularly assess the product and service options that you have available for clients and continue to look for ways to improve these to better market and service your clients.

As a Dynamics 365 Elite Service Provider for Ingram Micro, Cloud9 knows how to get the most out of partnerships. Want to learn more about how partnering has helped us grow our revenue by 70% in the last year? Read all about our approach to partnering on our website.

If you are interested in what the combined Ingram /Cloud9 Partnership can offer around delivering a Dynamics Practice for your business get in touch with Mathew.Batterbee@ingrammicro.com or hello@cloud9insight.com