Skip to content

Partners as an Extension of Product

January 7, 2019

Customers don’t want to buy your products, customers want you to solve their problems. This is an obvious statement, but it is worth repeating. To solve a customer’s problem, often your particular product may not solely suffice.

You may have an incredible offering (and I’m mainly talking about technology here), but the simple fact is that customer problems are now so complex, no one offering can fully address them right now.

This is where strong product-focused partners can help and how a well-executed Business Development strategy can make partners an extension of your product, and a solution for your customers.

Be Market Driven

In technology, especially now with SaaS, there is no end to the number of other companies you can partner with. Some partnerships may be intellectually challenging, some may be outright cool, but the ones that are really valuable are market driven. In other words, can you quantify the real customer demand for the solution that you and a partner can offer. If there is real demand, then you have the basis for a successful product partnership.

Will Both Partners Invest?

Both companies need to recognize the market demand and be willing to invest product, engineering and marketing resources to build and evangelize the joint solution. Customer will be far more comfortable contemplating a joint solution if they hear equal commitment from the companies involved

To Offer a Solution, Must There Be a Deep Integration?

This is an interesting question and I actually think the answer is no. You and a partner certainly want to come to a customer with a solution that offers unique value, and two (or more) deeply integrated products may do that. But there are also cases where a reference architecture will suffice; showing how two or more products working side-by-side addresses exactly the customer needs.

Product Management builds the product that addresses many of the needs of your customer. Business Development complements this role by finding and building the partnerships that expand the product, and allows your company to come to a customer with a more complete solution.

Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: