As far as problems go, it’s a pretty good one to have: As your customer base grows and monthly subscription rates increase, how do you manage to effectively scale your operation, ensuring that you’re able to keep up with demand without jeopardizing your service standards?
Too often, when a growing technology business gets off the ground, you find yourself feeling stretched too thin and pulled in too many directions. When this happens, you risk losing focus on your core business – technology development – as you scramble to onboard, hand-hold, and support every new customer.
Luckily, there’s a simple solution to this problem: co-operating with and outsourcing to a network of accredited partners.
Building a solid partner network is key to delivering an outstanding customer experience while you focus on the core needs of your business.
Having a partner program in place allows you to divert some of your customers’ needs to an accredited provider whose service standards you trust. However, just as you need to be able to trust your partners to deliver an exceptional experience and uphold your brand’s name, your partners need to have an equal amount of faith in your product and service.
This means that your potential partners are going to vet you just as thoroughly as you vet them. They’re going to want to make sure that your vision and values align with their own. With that in mind, it makes sense to understand what service providers are looking for in a technology partner and pre-empt the questions they’re likely to ask when choosing the right technology partner.
Potential partners will ask these three questions when choosing the right technology partner:
When interviewing potential partners, expect to be grilled in turn, and prepare yourself to answer the following questions:
1) How will your technology solve our customers’ pain points?
A key question potential partners will be trying to answer is if – and how – your technology will solve their customers’ main pain points. Answering this question well is absolutely critical to turning a potential partner into an actual partner, so take your time to clearly explain how your product will meet their customers’ needs and complement their own services.
2) What exactly does your working process look like?
Transparency is important to any successful working relationship, and technology partnerships are no exception. As such, your potential partner will probably ask you to outline your general working and onboarding processes, or, better yet, walk you through a detailed onboarding plan for partner projects specifically.
How do you keep track of projects? Which channels do you use to communicate with partners (and customers)? Are you able to offer one-on-one support if required? If so, what does that support look like? Your answer should cover any task tracking systems, project management tools, or PRM software you use when working with partners.
Once you’ve outlined your working process for partner projects, offer some insight into how you work with your partners in a more general way. For example, talk about how joining your partner program can help partners meet their long-term goals and priorities. How often do you offer partner training? Do you offer wider business coaching and support too? How will becoming part of a wider ecosystem of partners benefit them? Do you offer a dedicated sales channel for partners?
3) Is your product cost-effective?
Your potential partners will be looking to offer the most cost-effective solution to their customers. Essentially, they’ll want to know how your product provides value and, frankly, if it’s worth the cost. In addition, they’ll want to know if you offer any incentive programs or rebates for resellers and partners.
Partnering with the right service providers can provide untold value to your customers and help combat churn. Make the decision easy for potential partners who are choosing the right technology partner by offering them a brand new sales channel when they join your partner network, in the form of a private, commerce-enabled marketplace specifically designed to sell services online.