The 5 Stages of Partner Life Cycle Management
New and old partnership life cycle stages should be managed proactively. Partnering activities in every stage are crucial to the growth of your business. Managing the partnering activities in every stage helps you optimize the impact and value of the relationship. As a result, the rate of return on your investment is increased. However, business owners struggle to nourish and maintain partner life cycle stages. Sometimes businesses continue partnering with underperforming partners. The following are the five stages and how you can make the best of each stage;
1. Identify and Discover
It involves identifying and discovering an excellent partner to help you achieve your business’s objectives. A suitable partner shares in your goals and meets the standards to fit in your partnership strategy. Sharing similar values at a personal and professional level is the start of a successful partnership. In addition, they should be focused and influence the target audience. Your primary focus is persuading potential partners to work with you. Partnership lifecycle management becomes easier when using automated methods, especially for this first stage. Using automated methods saves resources and time.
Once potential partners are identified and discovered, the next step is to sign up for the partnership. You should determine if the people you identified are willing and ready to work with your business. Keep in mind that your competitor may be seeking their attention. Therefore, make the recruitment process as easy and quick as possible. You can do this by explaining the steps to sign up for your program and get started. When the partner joins your program, it becomes the start of a relationship that should be nurtured and maintained to the last stage of the cycle.
The third stage in the partnership life cycle is writing down and formalizing the arrangements. Each partner knows their commitment and expected reward. During this stage, you get to communicate the conditions of the arrangement and educate them about the program. The more your partner is educated, the more likely they will become successful advocates for your brand. Giving them resources and unlimited access will make the onboarding process less challenging. Most businesses prefer giving the new partner an affiliate dashboard to get resources, information, and support. Providing incentives to partners can also help bring them on board quickly. In return, you can drive higher results and increase your revenue.
4. Activate and Engage
The Activation and engagement stage focuses on encouraging employees to do better. As the business owner, you have to keep in constant communication with all your partners. You should also provide them with creative and innovative content for promotions to keep them focused on your brand. Positive encouragement prompts partners to work harder, which enhances productivity. In some cases, partners can argue about goals or compete for leadership roles. Such conflicts are navigated through effective communication when they arise. Communication is very vital in this stage as it strengthens the relationship and ensures more productivity.
5. Grow, Cultivate, and Optimize
Partners’ performance must be consistently reviewed. This will give an insight into how effective the partnership strategy is. This allows you to improve your program by nurturing and offering support to help your partners get through to the customers more effectively. Remember, performance and what drives different results will vary. To optimize your program, you should measure and analyze results properly. You will then focus on campaigns that drive more traffic and increase sales. However, ensure your partners are provided with the best tools and opportunities to grow. Maintaining trustworthiness is vital for this stage as productivity is at its best, and hence, a solid and long-term relationship is necessary.
A partnership program is a powerful strategy for generating revenue for the business. Partners become an extension of your business, not just making your brand popular. Therefore, you must start a strong relationship with them that you nourish throughout the partner’s life cycle. Ensure that they get their benefits when they make their contributions. When they exceed expectations, they make the relationship long-term by appreciating their efforts. In case you have to recruit new partners, never assume the first stages. For you to get it right, you must progress through all the stages in the partnership lifecycle.