Imagine a situation where the partners who are committed to working together sit down around a board room table at the start of the year – with all of the key stakeholders involved in the partnership. They build together in a collaborative and workshop-oriented way, their annual business plan. The owners of each section are in the room and together accept their responsibility, and the total business plan isn’t more than 1-3 pages or 5-6 PowerPoint charts. Sound familiar?

Findings from our study showed that working collaboratively with partners—assisting them with their own goals and developing mutual interests—is a key aspect of Partner LifeTime Value®. Collaboration is an aspect of partnership that requires deep levels of trust and dedication. But collaborating is often easier said than done. Collaboration leads to higher rates of innovation and profitability, and yet it’s very difficult for companies to do across functions. From the Partner LifeTime Value® survey, we learned that collaborative partnerships:

  • Assist partner in growth and development – we help partners with their business growth goals.
  • Provide partner executive education – we give partners executive leadership, coaching, or financial education.
  • Develop mutual IP – we build joint intellectual property that can raise the financial value of both of our companies.
  • Participate in partner budgeting – we participate in one another’s budgeting process annually or quarterly.
  • Entertain financing assistance – we may agree to fund resources, initiatives, or even a company in the right situation.
  • Include partners in research – we conduct research together in the industry, or in tandem with a university or scholar.

These six criteria are important to partnership-building because they help you show your partners that you trust them and are committed to them over the long term. It is a great checklist for any organization who is looking to improve performance in this domain. Running through this list will reveal strengths and weaknesses and, importantly, identify any gaps. We see companies only doing 1 or 2 of these most of the time, however, the partnerships that are engaging in all of these activities are the ones that are built to sustain long-term value.

Curious to learn more? This is the fourth in a 6 part series of blogs about our Partner Lifetime Value™ study and its results. Check back to learn why collaborative partnerships are important and what you can do to take action!