Ideal Partner Profile
You may have heard about Ideal Customer Profiles (ICPs) and Ideal Partner Profiles (IPPs), often used interchangeably. However, these two concepts differ significantly, with each serving a unique purpose. An ICP refers to the characteristics of a company’s perfect customer, whereas the IPP focuses on finding a partner who complements and enhances your business activities.
💡 ICPs seek for transactional relationships, IPPs seek for collaborative relationships
Check: Understanding the difference between transactional and collaborative relationships
Ideal Partner Profile vs. 4Cs of Qualification vs. Partner Type
Ideal Partner Profile
It’s your wish list for a business ally. It identifies what would make a partner ideal for your business, like industry alignment, target market, expertise, specialization or market reach.
Purpose: This helps you find partners who can drive your business objectives.
4Cs of Qualification
The 4Cs (Customer, Credibility, Capabilities and Commitment) are criteria to qualify a certain partner from a list of identified ideal partners before signing an agreement.
Purpose: This helps you increase the success rate of an individual partnership.
Partner Type & Category
The partner type and partner categories describes the role the partner take in your business model. It’s your own “business cupboard,” where each type of partner (like resellers or tech partners) has a specific “shelf” or program.
Purpose: This helps you manage diverse partnerships efficiently.
Steps to Create Your IPP
Creating an Ideal Partner Profile is paramount for setting up successful partnerships. The following step-by-step approach will guide you through this process:
1. Understanding Your Business
Scaling your business often involves understanding the wider context in which your business operates. You need to clearly comprehend your business goals and check your ICP to get an insight into what your ideal partner should look like.
2. Purpose of Your Ideal Partner
Your ideal partner should be able to help you reach your goals. So, it’s necessary to identify areas where partners can play a significant role. This step also includes determining the key characteristics you’re seeking in a partner and conducting research to gather as much information as you can about potential partners.
3. Define the Ideal Partner Profile (Company + Partner Persona)
After gathering vital details about what you want in a partner, fill out a template including all your key partner company characteristics and partner person. This description should be detailed and touch on every essential aspect of your expectations.
4. Share IPP with Stakeholders
It’s crucial to involve all stakeholders in the process. After finalizing your IPP, disseminate the IPP among your stakeholders. This encourages a unified organizational approach towards securing the ideal partner.
5. Refine Your Ideal Partner Profile Over Time
Our business doesn’t stand still, and neither should your IPP. As your business evolves, so should your ideal partner profiles. Regular feedback, KPI evaluation, analysis of competitor partner programs, and tools like PartnerOptimizer can help you continually refine your IPP.
To wrap up, here are a few factors you want to check when searching for new partners.
- The partner has executive sponsors to facilitate and champion the partnership.
- A team experience with partnerships makes the navigating process smoother.
- Commercial Fit — Your and your partners business model fit together in terms of pricing models
- Cultural Fit — They share similarities in organizational culture and values.
- Operational Fit — Their processes and systems integrate seamlessly with yours.
- Complementary Products/Services — The partner’s offerings add value to both their business and yours.