I wrote 3 posts on riding the elephant – and how the relationship with an elephant can help you get through any forest (market).
What was not clear from those 3 posts was one fact – which elephant should you choose…..this is as critical as identifying the single target market that I keep talking about.
The elephant that you choose to partner with, should be focussed on the market in which you want to operate. If the elephant has a different area of interest compared to you then taking this elephant is going to take you into the wrong forest.
To be able to choose the right elephant therefore you need to ask the fundamental question – what is it that we want to achieve with this partnership. Once this question is clearly answered then it become easier to identify you partners that you want to work with.
This question gets answered even better when you have identified the single target market that you want to address, because then you will know if the partners that you are looking for has product or services for those customers that you want to work with.
If you want to target B2B customers in the enterprise space as an example then your partner needs to be someone who already has customers in the enterprise space, and who does not have a product or service which directly competes with yours. If the partner already has something that is similar to yours then they will never move your product.
Keeping the above example in mind, you then need to figure out how you will work with the various sales people of your partner and why should they take you to the customer.
While partnering is a very valid concept, there are a lot of human issues which need to be addressed. The bigger the target partner you are trying to work with , the more sales, pre-sales and marketing people involved, the larger is the challenge of engaging them and larger is the stamina you should have to wait for success.
Till next time then.