What Does an Alliance or Partner Manager Do?

I was on a call with a friend and former partner yesterday and kind of stumbled around this question. What does an Alliance or Partner Manager do? You can read some of my other “Thought Streams” and read between the lines, but what is that 15-second elevator pitch or tag line? Keep reading…

I’ve thought about this quite a bit. It seems difficult for people to wrap their heads around what an Alliance or Partner Manager does. My wife affectionately refers to me as a “Professional Schmoozer”. There might be some truth to this given we’re very focused on relationships, but it’s much more complicated. We wear many hats. We often navigate between the roles of executive, sales person, sales engineer, consultant, business analyst, trusted advisor, etc. Our job is to identify, manage, and monetize mutually beneficial partnerships. We operate in a role of influence and rarely have authoritative control over other roles or departments. That being said, our influence is extremely valued given the organizational visibility and deep relationships we possess. Major decisions are typically not made without our participation or influence. It’s a very important role to organizations with a partner strategy.

Back to my call yesterday. As I was stumbling around this question, my friend started to described it with a hammer and nail analogy. I thought about this last night and it finally came to me. It’s quite simple…

An Alliance or Partner Manager introduces the hammer to the nail and shows them how together they can create a great product or solution that is mutually beneficial to their clients.

There’s a lot that happens in between, but I think this pretty much sums it up. 

If you’re a “hammer” or “nail” and looking for introductions or a growth strategy through partners, maybe we should talk.

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