Many B2B companies have customers who are more than “key accounts” – these accounts have become integral to each other’s business success and are recognised as “partner” status. For example:
- IT outsourcers can be more than just “suppliers” to their clients as their operations depend upon that relationship
- Manufacturers of componentry may have co-developed a unique part with a partner client that is business-critical to both parties
- Commercial insurers may have co-created specialist/niche products with brokers who have unique expertise in that sector, which may include sharing the underwriting
Other companies (B2B, B2C and Public Sector) similarly have recognised partner-status organisations e.g. to white-label a service or conduct joint or affinity marketing.
By definition, all such partnerships are important to both parties. They represent an important investment – financially and with resources – and will involve the participation of many stakeholders on both sides of the partnership.
Our Partner Relationship Survey consists of 24 questions that are asked during an engaging c. 20 minute 1:1 telephone interview between a Customer Attuned expert and between 20 and 30 stakeholders on each side of the partnership (i.e. up to 60 staff), ensuring that counterparts are mirrored on both sides of the partnership.
For each question the participant is asked to score its importance; how well they would rate it; their sentiment as to whether it is getting better or worse; and to comment if the score is high or low, or if their sentiment is “significantly” better or worse.
This gives a wealth of insight into what’s working or not, and whether the relationship is improving, stagnating, or deteriorating – all supported with pertinent comments that bring the sentiments to life.
“Done a lot to work more collaboratively & setting expectations, but not proactive enough yet in working together.”
The report includes detailed analyses of the results, including (typically) comparisons by seniority, tenure and department of respondent from both sides; sentiment; importance/rating gaps; and dissonance. This leads to a highly engaging intervention with the senior team focusing on the “so what” and “what do we need to do to improve” findings:
- Is it getting better?
- What’s working best?
- Where do we need to focus?
And thus to build better partner relationships based on trust and working together for mutual commercial benefit.
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