Corporate alliances are growing in number—by about 25% a year according to a recent Vantage Partners study. As alliance teams are expanding and becoming a more impactful source of revenue and value for organizations, how is this impacting the individuals at the center of it all?
Much like how alliance partnerships vary greatly from company to company, the roles and responsibilities of individual alliance managers can fluctuate vastly between organizations. However, no matter where alliance managers work or what their specific partnerships look like, their day-to-day routine is a juggling act of duties and needs. When you break it down, alliance managers wear a least 7 different hats throughout an alliance lifecycle!
StrategistAlliance teams are tasked with the difficult job of figuring out their overall partnership strategy to help drive their organization’s key initiatives. They must determine which key-value props they can offer to their partners as well as design what a mutually beneficial partnership would look like. Oftentimes, alliance strategies are constantly adapting to meet market and customer demands, so they need to be agile and adapt to changing momentum and feedback.
Once the strategy is set, then it’s time to switch to the analyst hat. Alliance managers must gather data and conduct due diligence on each potential partner to determine which are best for their organization. In addition to the facts and figures, alliance teams must take a closer look at how the organization operates, its structure, and its culture to determine if a partnership would be successful.
This hat never comes off – one of the most important roles of alliance managers is to build trust with their prospective and current partners. One of the quickest ways to earn trust with new partners is to perfect your kickoff and onboarding process, so you start every partnership on the right foot. Additionally, a detailed onboarding plan can be shared with prospective partners to build credibility before the engagement starts. If you are looking for ways to improve your onboarding process, read our eBook 5 Essential Steps to Perfect your Partner Onboarding.
The negotiator role can fluctuate depending on the type of organization and partnership. Some partner programs are clearly defined, but oftentimes alliance partnerships are co-designed between alliance teams based on what makes the most sense for each organization. This is when negotiation skills come into play. However, in alliances, negotiation isn’t typically about maximizing the benefits for one side or the other, it’s about maximizing the mutual benefits.
Get out your microphone! Alliance managers are oftentimes the ones responsible for promoting partnerships internally and externally. They serve as the spokesperson for the partner organization when communicating benefits internally and they are an advocate for marketing and co-marketing support when the partnership is launched externally.
Alliance managers are the cornerstone of the day-to-day operations of each partnership. From architecting processes to data collection and reporting, alliance managers keep relationships running smoothly, but also create benchmarks and standards so they can measure progress and success. Ultimately, they are on the line to make sure partners are sticking to timelines and budgets so they can reach shared goals.
Lastly, alliance managers are encouraged to be proactive and get creative to find new ways of enhancing and expanding partnership opportunities. Oftentimes, alliances teams have the greatest insights into both organizations, so they are a wealth of knowledge when it comes time to invigorate or amplify partnerships.
Looking for a more efficient way to manage the many hats and processes on your plate? Take a look at Moovila’s Partner Process Automation platform to see how we aree transforming the partner experience for alliance managers and their partner organizations.