Tag Archives: Partner

How Do You Select The Right Strategic Partner? Three Guidelines

Interview with Jim Soss, CEO, Red Aril

Situation: A rapidly growing company is expanding both in its primary market and into new verticals. A number of companies are interested in strategic partnerships. How do you select the right partner in the right space?

Advice:

  • At the end of the day it’s about a connection with the partner which extends across both organizations.
    • Look for cultural synergy with the other company. Do your and their managers and employees “click” or are they oil and water? This is a gut assessment.
    • Is the quality of people in both companies complimentary? Is there similar drive for quality and attention to detail?
    • Will technical integration be smooth? Are systems complimentary? At a minimum are there the right skills on both sides so that this won’t hinder the project.
    • Are sales and marketing approaches compatible? Will teams be able to work together? What about other departments?
  • You need to have strategic commitment across both organizations.
    • Partnerships don’t work if there is only alignment at the top. Executives can’t shove a new opportunity down the throats of those who report to them. There must be excitement about the opportunity across both sides of the partnership.
    • There must be complimentary competencies, capabilities and commitment.
    • Is there a clear understanding of the goals and objectives succeed?
    • Reward structures and incentives must be aligned down through the two parties. Conflicts will lead to struggles.
  • There must be a strategic alignment between the two organizations so that both see the partnership as complementing their broader strategic plans.
    • There must be a fundamental strategic win-win. The venture must be seen by each party as core to their business, plans and results. If this isn’t present, the collaboration can be drowned when a better opportunity that comes along.
    • Look for some gauge that the partnership is as important to the other party as it is to you. What other partners do they have? Is the size of the opportunity enough so that you are assured of their ongoing attention?

You can contact Jim Soss at jsoss@redaril.com

Key Words: Partner, Partnership, Connection, Culture, Synergy, Quality, Integration, Systems, Complimentary, Commitment, Alignment, Capabilities, Rewards, Incentives, Strategic Plan

Working with an Off-Shore Business Partner – Six Recommendations

Situation:  The Company has an off-shore business partner. Primary concerns involve team performance, process documentation and anticipating sales/marketing problems before they become issues. What have you found effective to monitor these areas?

Advice from the CEOs:

  • At the executive level, keep things simple – identifying the major goals and pieces of projects that are the make-break points.
  • Simplify the high level summary and make sure that all of the supporting activity is aligned with and supports key project or company goals. Some members manage projects with weekly or bi-weekly meetings.
  • The benefit of keeping it simple in your own mind is that you can always return to this simplicity when dealing with detail level queries from the partner. It keeps you grounded and on track.
  • One company uses project timelines that clearly show each of the teams where they fit into the project and how important it is for them to complete their portion of the project on time and to spec. Keep everything simple and direct.
  • Sales tracking and management is different from development projects. Drive monitoring off forecasts, pipeline, and achievement of metrics that track with the forecasts.
  • In working with your off-shore partner, organize your presentations so that the key points of emphasis are readily visible. Have back-up slides to show detail aspects of particular projects or initiatives, and be prepared to cover the details if needed. This will help to build confidence between you and your business partner.

Key Words: International, Partner, Performance, Process Documentation, Sales, Marketing, Alignment, Project Management, Communications