How To Sell a Partner Marketing Program Internally

The internal conversation with your company about your partner marketing program is so important. Today we give insight into some tips to help make the conversation successful. 
Luke Swanek
Luke Swanek
April 4, 2018
How To Sell a Partner Marketing Program Internally

You’ve decided that a partner marketing program is a fit for your organization’s growth strategy and you’re enthusiastic about rolling it out. Like many other proposals that ask for an organization’s time and resources, partner marketing needs to be sold internally first. To help prepare you for these conversations, this article outlines some tips for how to sell your partner marketing program internally.

1) Align program to strategic objectives

An excellent way to gain internal buy-in for your partner marketing campaign, is to piggyback on organizational objectives your colleagues care about.

Is your company looking to expand into a new customer base? Are there goals to tap into different geographically markets? Draw connections to how strategic partnerships and partner marketing can support these efforts. Bring real examples of other organizations you wish you work with and provide logic that leads back to a longer-term strategy.  

Allowing your colleagues to see that partner marketing is a way to achieve more than just a sales target, can not only motivate your team to approve your campaign, but they could also chip in additional resources to make it an even greater success.

2) Provide relevant case studies

For some of your colleagues, partner marketing might sound like a risky investment. There are resources involved in getting the program up and running, and it’s not a guarantee that the partners you recruit will be able to make up for that time and money put forward.

Reduce some of their concerns by bringing in relevant success stories of organizations within your industry that have found success. You may consider talking to potential partners that you would like to work with and learn more about the success they’ve had in other partner marketing campaigns.

You can also reference more iconic partnerships like those amongst household brands your team would recognize. Great examples are Uber and Spotify’s “Soundtrack for Your ride” and Nike and Apple’s “Nike+”.

3) Have a foolproof plan

When pitching your partner marketing program to your colleagues, there’s a chance a warning bell may go off for some when they think about the work involved. Not everyone is open to adding to their existing workload to support new initiatives and you should be mindful of that.

Come to the meeting with a plan that showcases you’ve thought through the execution fully and the resources required to make it a success. Go a few steps further and consider writing sample copy that could go out to partners or begin sourcing external vendors you would recommend utilizing for the tracking and fulfillment of incentives. Check out an example here.

If your colleagues feel like you have it under control, not only will they be more confident in the validity of the program they will also be less likely to give you push back on start dates and resources you need to get the program off the ground.

More important than anything, educate your internal team on the benefits of partner marketing. As technology continues to advance and decreases the barriers of entry to various industries, the competitive landscape will only thicken. Partner marketing provides an excellent way for organization’s to remain competitive while growing at a much faster speed than they could on their own. Don't be intimidated about selling your partner marketing program internally, follow the steps mentioned above and you'll have it off the ground in no time.

Luke Swanek

Luke Swanek

VP Sales, Cofounder at GrowSumo

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