It's a challenge faced by hundreds of small companies: how to get the CXO of a Fortune 1000 company to consider its product.
One effective strategy that helped get companies such as Citrix and VMware off the ground is to align closely with a major partner.
Building a strong channel, even with just one or two partners, can be much more effective and easier to leverage than trying to develop your own sales team and customer relationships.
The following five tips can help B2B companies maintain strong channel partnerships.
1. Get close to the partner—really close
If your business depends on a single partner, physical proximity is key. Dozens of companies have grown up in the wake of Intel, Symantec, and Microsoft—and now similar things are happening with Internet 2.0, as companies such as Facebook, Google, and YouTube are creating their own ecosystems.
It may seem like a lot to pick up and move to be close to your partners, but it's ultimately a small price to pay in exchange for the opportunity to build strong personal relationships, conduct last-minute joint sales calls, and collaborate on product development and marketing strategy.
2. Clearly articulate the differentiated value that you provide to customers
Robbie Kellman Baxter is president of consulting firm Peninsula Strategies (www.peninsulastrategies.com).