Static Is Dead! Long Live Dynamic Business Relationship Management
How do you make business and partner plans today?
In the past, business relationships and channels were solely confined to transactions.
Today, business relationships have evolved into something more. Modern partnerships involve brand awareness, market penetration, lead generation, product adoption among many others.
So, how do you upgrade your current business relationship management model? In today’s webinar, we’ve invited Ruben Weistmeijer—the co-founder of Bond-Partnerships to give us a lowdown on this interesting topic.
Let’s begin by defining Business Relationship Management (BRM).
What Is Business Relationship Management (BRM)?
Business relationship management enables the commercial process or collaboration between account managers and business partners. It facilitates the two-way approach and helps manage the relationship between existing parties to increase sales.
Similar to the classic channel sales model, BRM involves a manufacturer or product owner selling a product through distributors. In turn, these distributors sell through shops or end users.
Usually, distributors would contact sales representatives to make a transaction. The main goal of these sales reps is to increase the number of transactions and boost revenue.
In the past, sales reps primarily took part in static year planning. They set annual prices, negotiate volumes, create an annual marketing plan, set a bonus or kickback scheme, and attend in-person meetings.
The magic word here is costing and reporting.
Traditional BRM focused on analyzing past reports and using this information to deliver a sales forecast and ensure partners are delivering results.
…but modern partnerships have changed.
What Are Modern Partnerships In 2020?
“The modern partnership is no longer beholden to a transaction. As such, it requires a deeper and authentic relationship where each party believes and invests in the other, with the ultimate goal being partnership nirvana: good fit and deep trust, resulting in perfect happiness for both the partners and the customer,” according to Forbes.
Modern partnerships do not solely rely on distributors and resellers. Businesses may reach out to influencers and launch referral programs to boost promotions. Some agencies even bundle a product with their own services. There are also value-added resellers, white label resellers, integration partnerships that work towards providing a better customer experience.
Now that we know the ideal partnerships… what is BRM in 2020?
What Is Business Relationship Management In 2020?
In today’s world, partner management is a far cry from the lonely representative traveling around the world with a suitcase. Instead, partnership management teams work together to manage different types of partners.
Their main goal is to achieve brand awareness, market penetration, lead generation, product adoption amongst clients, customer success, and connectivity.
Modern BRM also enables joint business planning, digital collaboration and follow-ups. Partner managers are fuelled by relevant data from a range of internal solutions, all aggregated and centralized in one place.
BRM in 2020 is real-time and dynamic performance management for a complete partner ecosystem, according to Ruben Weistmeijer—the co-founder of Bond-Partnerships.
Common Pitfalls and Mistakes In BRM
Ruben Weistmeijer shared that 95% of Microsoft’s commercial revenue comes from its partner ecosystem.
Spoiler alert: They don’t engage in static partner planning.
Rather, they’ve developed a whole partner ecosystem to serve the needs of their partners and clients.
Now, how can businesses replicate these results?
The key is to avoid these common pitfalls.
Pitfall #1: No plan, just directions
Basically, some businesses have no plans, just actions.
A sales rep would give partners a target to hit by the end of the year, and that’s it.
The problem is that this only focuses on the end results. There is no route or milestones in place to achieve the end goal.
As we all know, partners love to see a route from A to Z. They want to see the results and get a glimpse of your plan, or else they’ll struggle to reach their sales targets. But, in this scenario, partners do not receive any assistance.
With no help or communication, you don’t know what partners are struggling with.
You don’t know if they’ll even generate results.
Pitfall #2: One master plan for all partners
You’ve managed to establish a formal relationship with partners.
Unfortunately, you only have one master plan and it applies to all of them.
This shows a lack of understanding about what partners can deliver for you. What if the size of your partner’s company? What is their internal structure? The answers are never the same because your partners are different.
As a result, this leads to miscommunication and frustration from both sides. You have one master plan that you want businesses to follow. However, partners can’t meet your expectations because they don’t have the tools for it.
The bottom line is: A common master plan for all partners doesn’t really work.
Pitfall #3: Static Mutual Success Plans
It’s great if you’ve set up a mutual success plan with your partners—but the common mistake is not updating or adjusting the plan. The document is signed, and it’s done. It goes into a folder, no one really looks at it anymore.
A mutual success plan must be adaptive to the current circumstances.
Let’s use the global pandemic as an example. No one has predicted it. Yet, how many businesses have adjusted their mutual success plan with their partners because it doesn’t make sense anymore?
If your mutual success plan remains static, then you’ll miss out on opportunities to overachieve. That’s why your mutual success plan must be dynamic. Share the plan with your partner and review it during the year.
Why Move To Dynamic BRM and How?
Businesses that want to maximize the opportunities available within the partnership must look at their own internal processes and adapt to their business’ or partners’ needs.
Modern dynamic BRM involves brand awareness, market penetration and a whole list of many other goals. To succeed, businesses must also rely on software and automation. Pay attention to partnership automation and technology to achieve flawless channel automation.
The good news is tools like Qollabi leverage BRM technology so businesses can plan, collaborate and measure goals with their partners. This way, you can easily communicate and work with partners to achieve a common goal.
By Frie Pétré