Now that you have closed some partnerships, you have to keep your partners happy. The general rule in partnership management or “customer success”, is happiness. Keep your partners happy, and they will stay with you. If the partnership still makes sense of course. If the partnership is negative in anyway or takes up too many resources, you need to talk to each other to understand how you can improve it.
Set clear expectations
Depending on the partnership, you have to set clear expectations. How do you measure ROI and success of the partnership? Which KPIs should you report, how should you report them and how often?
Do you have to do weekly, monthly or quarterly updates? Who (with the partner) are you reporting to? Do they want meetings, calls or emails?
Setting clear goals and milestones for the partnership will make it so much easier for you to re-negotiate and document your success. Ask yourself the question, “So if I reach this goal / KPI, am I happy and do I feel that the partnership is beneficial? Am I ready to sign a deal for two or three years?”.
Send out invites
You can host online or offline meetings or business events for your partners. Make sure you invite everyone, and include their names and make it personal. Also, if your teams are playing a great final or tournament that would be relevant for the partner to be part of, think of putting them on the guest list and make them feel great.
Give more than expected
You can give your partners more than they expect. This could be handwritten cards on holidays, a personalized jersey or flowers and a small box of candy. You can reach your goals and deliver more than the partner expects but doing something that shows that you have taken the time and thought of your partner will help build your relationship. Gestures such as these often come at a minimal cost and are always beneficial to both parties.
Build a partner program
For some organizations, it makes sense to build a partner program where you offer events, services, meetings, networking, news and secrets to your partners. Partner programs are widely used in traditional sports and such programs are based on what kind of organization you run. Online, local, national, international – there are many ways to do it. What can you offer your partners that would benefit them?
Hire a person
Have someone in charge of partner management or customer success. People who are great salespeople are necessarily not the best at creating detailed monthly ROI reports, following up, keeping a partner happy, receiving complaints, working around complex issues and finding new solutions so the partnership becomes successful.