The value of a Sustainability Business Partner programme
For suppliers of Sustainability solutions building effective and productive business partnerships are vital to success in these growing markets. Partnerships are valuable and relevant to a number of business models including:
In both circumstances effective business partners can deliver a number of benefits including:
Broader Market Coverage
Even for organisations whose growth to date has been based upon a direct sales strategy, business partnerships can be invaluable. Alliances with other companies can offer the addition of new value over and above that provided by the existing direct sales force. These can include:
Business partners do not always need to contribute additional sales coverage. The innovation required to meet the sustainability challenges facing many businesses are requiring new solutions based on the deployment of new technologies side by side to deliver a complete solutions to a client’s needs. Once identified these solutions can often be replicated in other clients. These innovation based partnerships bring vital solution value that unleashes the potential of a whole new Sustainability supply chain.
Leveraging the sales force and client relationships of business partners / channels can rapidly increase market coverage at lower cost. This can often be achieved more quickly at lower cost with less risk, when compared to building a direct sales force. Partners offer the potential for rapid, profitable, scalable sales growth.
When dealing with larger enterprises a Sustainability innovator may just not have sufficient size to be a risk free direct supplier. In these circumstances partnerships with larger companies already in possession of longstanding commercial relationships can enable opportunities for the innovator, where previously the opportunity would have been missed. Such organisations often have larger salesforces and other client relationships where similar client opportunities can be found.
For those Sustainability innovations requiring a degree of after sales implementation or support, there may be scaling opportunities created by the establishment of an ecosystem of implementation partners. These organisations, often services based businesses, have cost structure and business models that are optimised for high levels of after-sale care. This offers the sustainability innovator the opportunity to focus its resources onto accelerating the adoption of the innovation in the wider market.
Sustainability suppliers in early market can often derive benefit from collaborations with other fellow travellers in the Sustainability market, where the partner serve a separate need in the emerging market. In this case common cause is found in accelerating awareness of the new market and expanding the opportunity for all. These partnerships often include collaboration around tradeshows, marketing events or webinars all designed to create “Mindshare” for the participants and buzz or interest in B2B client audiences around the emerging market.