A thought leadership study from Forrester Consulting and Impact has outlined how companies can make tactical improvements to their partnership programmes by learning from high-maturity companies – and that this optimisation yields on average £118 million more revenue per year. 

The roadmap study  sets out a path to turbocharge revenue growth via learnings from best-in-class partnership programmes in the US, EMEA and APAC. 

It outlines how companies can exceed stakeholder expectations simply by considering the differences between high and low maturity companies, while bearing in mind the old adage: “If you want to go far, go together”. 

It is indeed possible to increase revenue, brand awareness and customer retention via partnerships, but companies must carefully choose these based on desired business outcomes and target audiences, and implement automation to free up time and resource in the most appropriate fashion.  

Some of the other top tips include:

  • Find the right partner mix: Partnerships come in many shapes and sizes. Assess the right mix of partners to meet business goals at each phase of the partnership journey, ensuring alignment with messaging and values. Diversification of the partner mix was found to be the first step when moving from low to average maturity.
  • Ensure sufficient time is spent on the critical planning phase: For high maturity companies, this is the second-most challenging phase behind discovery and recruitment. Taking a few key steps during planning can swiftly improve your company’s maturity level.
  • Leverage automation where possible: Respondents said their organisations spend most time during the discovery and recruitment phase, for instance; finding partner recommendations and lookalikes, and qualifying partners. Automation can free up time and resource.
  • Build partner loyalty: During the contracting and payouts phase, in particular, partners that feel valued yield success for both parties. Consider behavioural bonuses and tiered incentives.
  • Build in the ability to scale: High maturity companies are more than three times as likely to have the tracking phase mostly automated than low maturity companies
  • Build cross-device customer journeys: This can set you apart from competitors
  • Audit workflows for compliance: For instance, it’s possible to move to high maturity by paying particular attention to fraud. 
  • The optimisation phase has the highest correlation to high maturity: Look for ways to improve your process, people, and technology and your programme’s maturity will take off.

Traditional advertising spend may have fallen, but those with mature partnership programmes generate a staggering £262 million annual revenue advantage, on average. What’s more, the revenue growth rate advantage for high-maturity companies was found to be two times higher than that of low-maturity companies.

More guidance and recommendations on how to improve your programme can be found here.