Thursday, August 30, 2007

Leveraging the Big Guys

One of the best strategies I tell my start-up clients to consider is to leverage the marketing and sales resources of strategic partners. This allows a start-up company to reduce or eliminate the need to invest in their own sales force. The right strategic alliance partner could allow you to cover the global market and potentially tap into 1,000’s of their existing customers. Armed with the right marketing information, your partner has the opportunity to derive new revenue from stale customers. As their partner, you might also get to participate in their user conferences, trade show booths and website assets.


  1. Find strategic partners that compliments your products and services, and gives you the market coverage you desire. Think vertically or horizontally.
  2. Learn to sell to their sales people who will in turn convey your value position to their clients (if you can convince a sales person then they are more willing to push your solution to an existing client). Be sure you convey what’s in it for them as sales people.
  3. Dedicate time to nurturing the relationship with your partner’s sales people so that your solution is always remains on top of the stack and on their mental radar screen.
  4. Make sure your marketing materials clearly connects all the dots for their prospective customers as their sales people will not be subject matter experts on your solutions. Giving them all the ammo they need will make the difference between them pushing your solution or only giving it “lip service”.

For my B2B clients, I recommend Target Market Analysis (TMA). The process is very successful in identifying and developing the right marketing messages that address all the stakeholders’ needs in the buying process (and not just the technology people). TMA helps you to spell out everything your partner’s sales person needs to sell to your solution.

I will write more about the target marketing process and the other advantages of forming strategic alliances in future posts.

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