How To Extract Full Value From Collaborative Partnerships

Collaborative partners are a key to gaining a competitive advantage, and yet, an estimated 40% of alliances fail to comprehensively address best practices.


We all know and love the value potential of collaborative partnerships. But did you know that an estimated 40% of alliances fail to comprehensively address best practices for commercial, strategic, operational, cultural, and technical efforts?

That’s just crazy.

Many companies try to extract value from partnerships and strategic alliances. Many organizations fail to outline or adhere to best practices. This causes alliances to fail – and not capture the full extent of the value that they could have achieved.

Experts at Alliance Best Practice, Ltd. found 5 key categories where alliances suffer: trust, lack of common vision, inequity in returns, cultural mismatch, and lack of suitable governance model.  

 

How Big Is The Problem?

According to the research from Alliance Best Practice Ltd, here’s the proportion of alliances that fail to adhere to best practices. 

The biggest proportional problem is trust, where 65% of alliances come up short.

Next, lack of common vision at 60%. There are approximately 50% experiencing inequity on commercial returns. 45% experience cultural misalignment. Finally, 40% struggle because they lack a suitable governance model.

These are eye-popping numbers, right? 

Since you want to beat the odds, let’s take a closer look at what might be going on.

 

Trust In The Relationships

This seems to be true for a good marriage, as well as for business partnerships. If trust is lacking, well…nothing else works.

If you have trust, you tend to be more lenient.

If you don’t get a response to your email in 24 hours, you don’t go into a tizzy. Instead, you have room. You might wonder what’s going on or feel concerned for their health. But you aren’t over-thinking it. You have room to send another email, check-in, or practice patience. 

If you have trust, you also tend to read compassionately, filling in between the lines. 

If you get a super-short email, you don’t jump into judgments. Instead, you feel compassion. You might think, “I know he has a lot going on at home. His child is home with a cold. He is worried about getting home on time with groceries. I’ll touch base with him after the weekend.”

When you have established trust, you respond with empathy. This creates more trust, more goodwill, and more confidence in the relationship. 

In other words, trust builds strong relationships…personally and professionally.

This is why…trust is the number one thing to focus on for building long-lasting, mutually beneficial partnerships.

 

Sharing A Common Vision

Maybe it’s because I just watched a show about marriage. But, hey, isn’t it so similar? 

When you and your business partner share a common vision, you will look together. You’ll look for how to deliver exceptional value and align decisions, projects, and strategies to get to where you want to go.

What you won’t do is bicker about little stuff. You won’t dwell on difficult pivots where you had to relinquish control and let go of a pet project. You won’t look for fault or resort to judging.

Instead, you’ll keep a high-level view of your shared vision.

 

Equity In Returns

No one in business likes to have inequity. Inequity takes different forms. 

For a global corporation, the inequity could be that they just have unbelievable amounts of cash to throw at projects. They have armies of lawyers, researchers, and developers to manage projects. They think in terms that make a small entrepreneur go cross-eyed.

For a scrappy start-up, the inequity could be that they are wired on caffeine and coming up with insanely innovative designs, ideas, and responses. They seem to thrive on challenges and aren’t bogged down with piles of protocols.

These inequities can be beautifully matched for providing equity in returns. If you can see past the differences of approach, you’ll recognize that diversity in partners is a profound strength. To uphold that understanding, seek to provide equitable returns.

 

Cultural Match

Perhaps differences in culture pose even more of a threat than other matches. If your partner is a button-down conservative company that prefers to color inside the lines…and your company is an anything goes, a creative think-tank that is looking to disrupt the market…Guess what?

You have a cultural mismatch. 

While you may find some leaders here and there in both organizations that can comfortably bridge the gap, they will work overtime. Unless you have leadership support and a clear path for finding common ground, this cultural mismatch could derail your collaborative efforts.

 

Effective Models 

What is the model for governance? What is the blueprint for decision-making? What is the map that helps you navigate the territory of your partnership?

If you have ineffective models, your partnership will suffer. If you have no model and think you can invent as you go along, this is a flashing red danger sign.

Agreeing on effective models can seem like a lot of work upfront. You need to look at partnership management, workflow, strategic alignment, due diligence, and issues for implementing operational excellence. You might want to hire an outside facilitator or consultant to get it right. 

You will work hard with your partners to agree on terms, hash out details, and expose potential problems. If you do the upfront work, you’ll be positioned for success.

 

What’s The Upshot?

There’s no question you are seeking to get maximum value with your collaborative partnerships. By keeping these pitfalls in mind you will move forward—in the opposite direction. 

You’ll stay vigilant in building trust and developing a shared vision. You’ll work to ensure equity in returns and strive to collaborate for a cultural match. And, you will do the due diligence necessary to agree on governance.

In short, you’ll do what the other organizations fail to achieve. By taking this approach, you can work together to create exceptionally successful partnerships.

 

Sum Up

Collaborative partners are a key to gaining a competitive advantage. By understanding how to extract full value from collaborative partnerships, you are positioning your company for success. 

By starting with a collaborative mindset, you can join successful businesses that are shaping the market and realizing significant revenue potential. Partnership Co-Selling is how you can virtually qualify B2B sales opportunity. You can use this to boost sales, expand your network, and grow profitability.

Using a platform like CoSell is the simplest way to get your sales team on board. CoSell is a robust platform that makes it easy and fast to automate and scale collaborative co-selling across sales teams. 

If you’d like to explore how partnership co-selling can help you and your team boost sales and win major clients fast - check out our selection of free eBooks.

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