The success of many businesses comes down to their partnerships and relationships. But what makes a good partner and a successful partnership? These are the key questions you should ask yourself each time you are evaluating partnerships for your business to ensure growth and productivity. Over the years, Cvent has developed a framework to guide our thinking when pursuing the right partnerships and avoiding bad ones.
5 Qualities of a Successful Partnership
Open communication is the backbone of any effective partnership. Each party depends on the other to keep informed; this can be achieved by offering regular status reports and/or scheduling a regular touch base. It is better to overcommunicate and be transparent than to keep one another in the dark and surprised or confused if an issue arises. It is also important to take your commitments seriously if you have promised something by a certain day and time, then you must meet that deadline. Transparency and reliability build trust and credibility which further fosters communication between partners.
Signing a deal is only the beginning, implementation is when the heavy lifting starts. Access to the right team members is the difference between a partnership that yields results and one that is just on paper. Ask your partner to help you understand which people or departments are involved in implementing your new partnership. Sit with those people, understand their pain, help them resolve their issues. Understanding how a new partnership affects everyone in the organization is critical to adoption and the overall success of the agreement for both sides. So make sure you discuss accessibility to the people that actually do the work, they are the ones holding all the gold.
It is important to keep your overall goal front and center, but it is also good to acknowledge the likelihood of everything going as planned is unlikely. Being prepared and flexible is the key to overcoming curveballs in partnerships. Make sure both parties discuss what could go wrong and how to handle an unexpected situation. Once these have been addressed your teams should develop contingency plans, so you are prepared while also remembering it is okay to pivot strategies when needed to reach a mutually successful outcome.
In a mutually beneficial partnership, each partner takes an active interest in the other, while working together to develop shared success. A balanced commitment and investment from each party ensure the partnership will drive impact, innovation, and longevity in overall returns. Know that if both parties commit to this, you're giving each other a competitive edge. In the end, a mutually beneficial partnership can truly add up to more than the sum of its parts if each party stays focused on the end goal.
Partnerships can create great outcomes but require commitment and resources. Measuring the value of these relationships helps assess the success of the partnership and should be included in every agreement. As an example, consider the following metrics when evaluation:
Financial KPIs can be used to determine the monetary value of the partnership such as leads generated, active deals, or completed sales.
Strategic KPIs can be less tangible but are still important when determining partnership impacts such as awareness, engagement, customer satisfaction, etc.
In all partnerships, data should be a critical component of what's agreed upon to help measure what matters. Don’t overcomplicate these, as you can build on them throughout the partnership.
In conclusion, every partnership is unique, but all partnerships should include the above qualities to ensure mutual success. Remember both parties should be communicative, accessible, flexible, provide mutual, and have measurable results. These qualities are crucial in optimizing your partnership agreements.
Build virtual partnerships with your clients, prospects, and members with the Cvent virtual event platform.