IQ Partnership


Partnering Methodology

Below is a walkthrough of the complete PARTNERNOMICS methodology (each tool is incorporated throughout the IQ software). Each section will have an associated video that explains why and how to use the tools.

The PDF downloads are build-outs of each tool using a brewery looking for referral partners to accelerate the awareness and adoption of their mobile application as the example.

Strategic Partnering Plan (SPP)

Your Strategic Partnering Plans will act as maps as your team moves through the various phases of the partnering process.

Strategic Partnering Plans are internal living documents that becomes the collaborative work of your organization’s major stakeholders of various partnering initiatives.

Each SPP will help ensure internal alignment of knowledge, resources, intentions, and expectations as your partnering team prepares to engage partner candidates.

If you decide to segment your targeted partners by accounting firm size, geography, or other specialization, then you will need to create individual SPPs that address each unique segmentation.

It is not uncommon for organizations to have 5-10 SPPs that specifically address their referral programs. Then going beyond your referral programs, your team may create SPPs for affiliate, resell, and co-sell partner programs to identify each of those program’s unique characteristics.

SWOT Analysis

Forget your past SWOT analysis experiences and clear your mind to see precisely how the SWOT analysis should be used and the great clarity that this powerful analysis can bring to your partnering initiatives.

The SWOT analysis is an initial view into a company that helps to inform business leaders as they begin to create a strategic plan. The SWOT analysis highlights “power” the organization should continue to build upon and areas of concern that need to be addressed.

Power Analysis

A power analysis is an exercise that we go through to understand all of the “opportunities” and “threats” that one company can pose on the other in order to influence a prospective partner to take action. Power is the ability to influence others into action and this can be done in two different ways.

The “opportunities” side is where we can help another company increase its revenues and/or decrease its costs. And, the “threat” side is where we can decrease a company’s revenues and/or increase its costs.

Needs | Wants | Limits

By doing your homework to draw a clear distinction between your organization’s “needs” vs “wants,” you will be able to clearly articulate your position and begin to communicate the value points for an impending partnership.

When we begin to formulate our growth strategy we must first get crystal clear on exactly what we are seeking to accomplish. This clear determination will help us separate our needs (our must haves) from our wants (our nice to haves). Unfortunately, most of the time executives create a cloudy idea of what they want to accomplish in a new partnership.

The more clarity you can create before engaging in conversations with potential partners the more efficient and effective you will be. This is not to say that your first version must be “set in stone,” but it does mean that it should be well thought out and clear in your mind and be on paper.

Partner Personas

Creating partner personas involves analysis at two levels. First, you need to identify the ideal “Organizational Persona” with which you would like to partner. Then second, you must describe the “Partnership Leader Persona” you are likely to encounter at each candidate organization.

By clearly identifying your ideal partner companies and their associated leaders, you can develop highly targeted campaigns, messages, and processes to not only be seen by these organizations, but also “speak to them in their language,” thereby significantly increasing your probability of earning their interest in your program.

Partner Profile Forms

Partner Profile forms are used to collect information on each partner candidate that you are evaluating for your program. We recommend that you create two profile forms in your information collection process, an “Initial Form,” and a “Full Form.”

The “Initial Form” is a short instrument that allows you to quickly collect up to 15 items from candidates directly on your website. The “Full Form” includes all remaining fields that your team needs to collect in subsequent encounters to be best prepared for a comprehensive evaluation.

The “Full Profile Form” will be used in conjunction with your Term Sheet and other evaluation tools to determine if a particular candidate is a fit for your partnering program.  

Preparation Sheet

The Partner Preparation Sheet is a tool that helps you get the most out of your partner candidate conversations. We recommend updating the Prep Sheet each time you have a conversation so you know how current the information is. We also recommend taking periodic “snapshots” so you have a log of how the conversations have progressed. 

The Partner Preparation Sheet is designed to be a living, electronic document. You can simply pick up where you left off from the previous conversation. Information that you collect on your partner preparation sheets will eventually make its way to your Terms Sheet and finally your Channel Partnering Agreement.

Candidate Scoring Tool

Most channel programs take the “big net” approach. That is, they cast the largest net they can, nearly begging organizations to sign their partnering agreements. Then, a year later, they wonder why no meaningful activity has been generated by their “so called partners.”

We have developed a simple and efficient tool that allows Partner Development Leaders to objectively score single candidates or compare multiple candidates in a peer-to-peer evaluation.

To use the tool, simply rate each candidate on a scale of 0-10, where 10 is a perfect score, for each criteria. If you were an accounting major, yes you may use decimal points for fractional scoring.

Term SHeet

The effective use of a Term Sheet will significantly reduce the amount of time you spend negotiating agreements by helping each party overtly communicate their “needs” and expectations as part of the Contracting Phase.

A Term Sheet is a brief document, typically three to four pages when finalized, that outlines the core business intentions of parties to a potential agreement. Term Sheets are non-binding, collaborative documents that are eventually used to create a formal contract. Sometimes Term Sheets are made more formal by physically signing Letters of Intent or Memorandums of Understanding. 

It is critically important to know exactly what your company needs in a partnership and make it known early in the evaluation process.

First 90-Days Plan

It is worth noting, even though we refer to this plan as the “First 90 Days Plan,” your organization should develop an initial launch period that is congruent with your partnership’s needs. After working with thousands of partnering professionals from across the world, we have found that a quarterly cadence for initial onboarding and ongoing performance management fits most organizations best.

As soon as your new partnership agreement is signed, you must begin executing the tasks that were identified in your “First 90 Days Plan,” immediately. By collaboratively developing and agreeing to this plan prior to signing your impending partnership agreement, the path to mutual success will be clear and it should start on day 1.