In 1943, Abraham Maslow introduced the concept of a hierarchy of needs in his paper titled, “A Theory of Human Motivation” in order to better understand human beings. He proposed that our needs can be organised into a hierarchy. At the base of the hierarchy are physiological needs, while at the top are more psychological concepts such as self actualisation and fulfilment.
The Hierarchy is progressive, so you can’t move to the next level until you’ve completed the one below it. Attempting to progress prematurely typically results in feeling “stuck”.
The Alliances Hierarchy of Needs functions in the same way, with tiers of requirements that include basic human assets, collateral, and strategy, organised according to necessity.
Through experience, I’ve concluded that in order for a partner program to be successful, you must establish alliances capital; a leader to run your partner program, stakeholder collateral, and a strategic plan.
Once necessary capital is established, you’ll need to align your organisation on your partner program goals and establish how internal and external resources will support your initiatives. Only then can you begin enabling partners and saturating the market. Too many times, ISVs try and establish these assets out of order, resulting in lacklustre first impressions with SIs and Salesforce, from which it is difficult to rebound.
It is only after establishing your base tiers that your alliances leader can properly carry out their day-to-day partner-building and lead-generation activities. They will also assess current processes and make appropriate adjustments.
The top tier of the Alliances Hierarchy is Growth. At this level, your partner program is a well-oiled machine. You’re exceeding your KPIs, maxing out your leader’s capacity, and feeling ready and motivated to expand your team and initiatives.
By following this hierarchy, I will guide your organisation to build your partner program and establish all necessary components in the correct order, with precision, so that you can focus on growing your business and make your customers happy.