This really isn't about you. It’s about your customers.
Two channel sales veterans at Oracle, Jim Semon and Andy Monga, commented on Forrester’s take on the overlap between partners and CX. They wrote that: “Companies need to consider the influence of every single employee and most importantly external partners on every single customer interaction.”
The SVP of Worldwide Partnerships and Sales at Acquia, Joe Wykes, emphatically expressed that partners: “...must work together seamlessly and in the spirit of trust to create the best experiences for their customers ...you can tell a lot about a company not just by how they treat their customers, but how they treat their partners.”
Outside of your employees, your partners, which function as your integrated or extended self, will directly affect your customers. This happens in all sorts of ways which can be seen, measured, or missed altogether. In other words, Partner Experience (PX) really matters and is often overlooked or treated as secondary.
Throughout the journey your customers take with you, there are moments which they experience—touchpoints which haven’t been directly created or managed by your organization. This is a concerning fact for any zealous customer advocate who isn’t thrilled with their partner relationships.
Think about it: from the messaging your customers consume with your name on it, to the software they use bearing your logo—from the team they interact with which operates in your stead, to the ways you measure their satisfaction… what percentage of these experiences are created or significantly affected by your partners?
Almost if not all of it.
Your brand is not purely your organization. It is an amalgamation of all of your employee effects and partner solutions which gives your brand rise. The collective work of a community of contributors gives it being. In the world of Open Source this is true both figuratively and literally. And this work is of various levels of quality, to be sure.
“As brands increasingly use channels, partnerships, and alliances to reach customers, managing these relationships in a consistent, predictable, and productive way is critical.” Therefore, to have a good Customer Experience and thereby a better brand, isn’t just about hiring the best employees, but aligning with the best partners.
And it’s big business. For example, over $679 million of expected growth in the Partner Relationship software marketplace by 2023 according to Forrester’s Partner Relationship Management Q4 2018 Report.
Big money is flowing into Partner Relationship Management because money flows from well-managed partner relationships. PRM is the space between CX management and brand management—a gap that will become impossible to neglect and highly advantageous to fill.
What has been our experience?
A great PX between agencies really matters.
In 2016, we found ourselves in a strange time. In this expanding digital landscape and a shrinking and costly pool of talent, there’s a red ocean of competition that seems to be more difficult to successfully navigate. The success of the journey you’re undertaking will come down to more than just the direction you set for it. The peers and partners chosen to accompany you along the way really matters. The ones that manage these relationships right are sure to reach their destination. For Axelerant, that means our relationships with other agencies and our tech partners like Acquia.
As an integrated global delivery partner of 70+ working with Acquia and agency partners across continents, over 80% of our current revenue is being generated through these partners and through our robust Customer Success Management practice.
Axelerant’s focus on becoming the best global delivery partner we can possibly be has driven us to acquire a new tech stack, recreated processes, and to create entire departments—but more importantly, the adoption of a mindset. And when we did that, we tapped into something valuable. We tapped into the mindset of our customers.
And as we’ve written about global outsourcing in Acquia Drupal, a place in Open Source where demand is high and bandwidth is low: “...agencies and firms of all sizes are looking for new ways to fund, execute, and expand the tomorrow's opportunities, while handling the needs of today. This has made partnerships the new normal.”
Do your partners value their PX? Do you?