Hello partnership leader! This is a template you can use for evaluating new partner opportunities. It holds questions you should answer before engaging with a new partner. It can also be a great place to start as you think through partnership business cases. Feel free to copy and paste this template. Questions? You can reach me for consulting on .
What are the partner’s goals? What are they measured on?
You want to have clear metric-based answers here. Ex: Partner X is looking to drive net new leads. They are goaled on new leads and MRR. These leads can be content leads, free trial users, or new sign-ups.
What makes the partner look good?
Ex: The partner is specifically looking to break into X space. They want to create more content around Y topic and reach out to Z kind of customer. They’re focused on creating more video content. Ask for examples of previous partnerships that did really well for the partner—what were their most successful partnerships? What did they drive? What is a good integration connection number/lead per month number, etc?
Do their goals align with ours?
You want to establish whether you’re working toward the same goals. Are you looking to drive leads as well, or are you focused more on referrals? Your goals can be slightly different, as long as you and the partner are aligned on that.
Who is the partner’s ideal customer? Do we speak to the same customer?
Make sure you’re speaking to the same type of customer. If you’ll be working on co-marketing material, such as thought leadership, lead gen content, etc, you want to make sure it’s valuable to both of your customers and you can easily co-promote.
What does their audience/customer base base look like?
How many customers do they have? What’s their total emailable list size? Look them up on social media—is there good engagement? Do they have a strong and engaged community? Do they participate or host their own events? What does their overall reach look like and how engaged is that reach?
How many mutual customers do you have?
Do some account mapping through Crossbeam or Reveal to get a good understanding of how many mutual customers you have. That will give you a good idea of the opportunity. If you have a current integration, how many monthly active users do you have? Are there good reviews on the integration? Is there opportunity to strengthen the offering?
What would you want from the partner? What can you give to the partner?
Partnerships are not a one way street. They work on trust and mutual gives. What would you like this partner to do for you, ideally? Be specific! (Send an email to their customer base asking them to sign up for our product, add us into their nurturing flow, host an event with us, build an integration, whatever it is, add several items.) Based on their goals, what can you give to the partner?
Do they have resources for a partnership?
Ask them specifically—what kinds of resources do you have available? Is there copywriting and design support? Is there engineering/product support for a new integration or initiative? Is there budget support for a new initiative? How bought in is your leadership/marketing/product team around partnerships?
What are some potential concerns? How will you solve for them?
Think through some potential issues that may come up and how you might mitigate them.
As you’re evaluating a new partner opportunity, this framework will help you make your business case and get aligned with internal teams.
We’re trying to:
Get: X persona
To: sign up for our product, connect an integration, use Y feature, etc.
By: working with partner A on co-marketing, a new integration, a new offer, a new campaign, etc that offers this or solves that problem for them.
Why this partner?
Why should we prioritize this partner? What does this partner have that is important to us? Why is now the right time to work with them?
What is the opportunity?
This is where you’ll go into detail about the opportunity, what it holds, what the TAM is, and how you will execute. Don’t forget to add ommissions! What aren’t you going to do regarding this partnership?
Why this type of partnership?
Whether you’re evaluating a co-marketing partnership, whitelabeling, co-selling, referral, integration, you name it, outline why this type of partnership is the right way to go.
Does this align with your overall company goals?
Your partnership should align with where your business is going overall. Does this align with the overall company goals for the next quarter/year?
Which resources will this opportunity take?
Who should be involved? At what stage? Do you need budget? How much? What would you need it for? Do you need product resources? Sync with aligned parties to get a sense of what might be needed.
What does the timeline look like?
When should this opportunity be executed? How long will it take? Are you planning for something more one-off or (ideally) a long term play? What would that look like?
Depending on the opportunity, there will be many other questions you’ll want answered to have a good sense of the partnership. This is just a place to start. Best of luck!