As I have indicated in previous blogs, partners provide meaningful value when the dynamics between vendors, partners, customers, and products are aligned and leveraged.  This value contributes to the success of vendors, partners, and customers. The value to vendors comes via amplified revenue, increased profitability, expanded solution capabilities, and enhanced customer satisfaction.  One way that partners increase vendor revenue is by providing access to new markets by leveraging the following:

  • Technology expertise
  • Market knowledge
  • Customer relationships
  • Market-specific solutions
  • Regional coverage

Technology Expertise

Partners provide technology expertise that makes a vendor’s offering more compelling to a specific customer need, or they can bundle products and services around a technology to produce customer outcomes. They leverage knowledge of the technology to optimize configurations, provide specific use case implementations, augment features, and bundle components to produce solutions.

Partners are able to optimize and enhance vendor technology in several ways:

  • Fine-tuning configurations for specific customer needs or use cases
  • Implementing solutions for niche applications of the technology
  • Adding features and capabilities beyond the core vendor offering
  • Integrating and bundling the technology into broader solutions

Market Knowledge

Market knowledge can be leveraged by partners to open new markets by fine-tuning a vendor’s offering. They understand the crucial trends of the market and the unique needs of the customer base. They utilize this knowledge to design, sell, implement, and support offerings based on vendor products or platforms. This expertise is a key differentiator for their customers. Vertical markets are generally based on industries such as government, education, healthcare, or manufacturing.

As an example, a major video conferencing company has 80% of its federal business run through partners. Horizontal market knowledge allows partners to position a company’s offering to a wide range of buyers across different sectors of the economy.

This market expertise becomes a major competitive differentiator for partners. Customers value partners who speak their language and intrinsically understand their goals. This positions the partner as an invaluable advisor rather than just another vendor. And it opens the door for them to bring in vendor solutions tailored to that customer’s specific needs.

Customer Relationships

Vendors can gain access to customers across a wide range of markets through existing relationships between partners and their customers.  Partners can become trusted advisors for their customers or simply a company that is easy to do business with. Regardless of the degree of customer affinity, partners can influence the customer to purchase a vendor’s products or services. Partners highly value these customer relationships, and they will not risk them if they do not believe the product or service will contribute to customer success.

Market-Specific Solutions

Partners can build, sell, and service market-specific solutions that provide vendors with access to that market. A patient management solution for small to medium-sized hospitals is an example of a market-specific solution. Customers continue to demand specialized business outcomes and partners that deliver these outcomes drive differentiation for themselves and their vendors.

This ability to build vertical solutions opens up markets that would otherwise be difficult for vendors to penetrate on their own. Developing truly customized solutions requires an intimate understanding of each market’s dynamics and customer requirements. Partners that possess this knowledge become invaluable to vendors seeking expansion into new segments

Regional Coverage

Vendors can utilize partners to reach markets in other regions or countries. Partners can provide local language, local time zone coverage, cultural awareness, and regional expertise. These may be cost-prohibitive for vendors to provide directly.  In addition, many customers prefer to deal with local companies instead of US-based companies. As an example, the same major video conferencing company has 70% of its Japanese market business run through partners while 30% of its standard US market business runs through partners.

Partners can provide localization services to adapt marketing materials, product documentation, technical support, and more to the native language. This facilitates better communication and trust with customers.


Partners can be a great path to new markets and should be a key component of a vendor’s Go-To-Market strategy.  Joint business planning as well as collaboration in marketing, product development, customer success, and sales are critical to efficient and effective market expansion through a partner ecosystem.

In upcoming blogs, we will address the remaining dynamics that drive meaningful value for vendors, partners, and customers, including:

  • Enhancing solution offerings
  • Reducing sales and delivery expenses

Did you miss Part 2 of the series? Click here to read the article

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