Identifying the Right Partner for Partner Marketing

8 minutes read
Manveen Kaur - 07.05.2024
Identifying the Right Partner for Partner Marketing

Creating a strong partner ecosystem should be an important part of your go-to-market strategy. With a well-built partner marketing ecosystem, you’ll observe significant growth within your business - with access to new markets, audience, technology and expertise!

We recently picked up the discussion on partnerships and partner ecosystems where we explore what is a partner ecosystem and how to build a partner ecosystem. In this blog, we’ll take you through the process of identifying the right partner for partner marketing ecosystem.


Understanding the Partner Scoring Model

At Six & Flow, we’ve got a partner scoring model in place which we use to assess and rank partners based on objectives and specific performance indicators.

In a partner scoring model, you can set criteria such as sales achievements, marketing effectiveness, customer satisfaction, and alignment with strategic goals, among others. Each partner is then scored against these criteria, often with assigned weights to reflect their importance. 

This process helps companies identify which partnerships are most valuable and contribute significantly towards their objectives. 

By quantifying the performance and potential of each partner, you’re better equipped to make informed decisions on resource allocation, fostering stronger collaborations, and optimising your partner ecosystem for maximum impact.

A section of our recent Flowtalks video was dedicated to how we assess and rank new partners using a partner scoring model:

Watch the full video on The Rise of Partner-Led Growth on YouTube!


In the video, we discussed the following variables that we use in our partner scoring model:

Total Addressable Market

The Total Addressable Market (TAM) is all about figuring out how much money you could potentially make from selling a product or service. 

For example, It's like looking at a big pie and trying to work out how big a slice you can aim for with the help of a partner. When businesses pick partners, they look at the partner's TAM by checking out how far and wide they can sell, what kinds of customers they're good at selling to, and what specific needs they can meet. Understanding this helps businesses find partners who can really help them grow in the right directions. 

In simple terms, evaluating your partner's TAM helps you spot the ones who can really boost your business in the markets you care about.



When businesses team up technology plays an important role in assessing the partnership's potential by examining the technological compatibility. It’s about exploring key areas like robustness, which is how well the technology can handle challenges; scalability, or its ability to grow and meet higher demands; and security, which is about keeping data and systems safe from cyber threats. Additionally, it’s also important to evaluate how seamlessly the partner’s technology solutions can be integrated with your existing products or services, making sure they can work together smoothly.

Partners who invest in technologies like AI and automation add great value by showing they're committed to innovation and efficiency. Using these technologies helps streamline operations, improve solutions, and gain a competitive advantage. This strategy strengthens the partnership and sets the stage for future success.


Roadmap and Strategy

This part is all about figuring out if you and your partner are on the same page about the future. Here you evaluate whether you're both planning to head in the same direction, with similar goals for growing, innovating, and reaching more customers. 

If you both align, it means you're aiming for the same targets, making working together smoother and more beneficial for each partner involved. This teamwork not only makes the partnership stronger but also helps both of you grow and succeed in the long run.

It's about making sure you and your partner are planning to grow together, focusing on creating new products and targeting the right markets, all in tune with what's expected in the future.


Executive Relationships

The strength of executive relationships between business partners is key. Stronger ties mean more trust and commitment, making it easier to overcome challenges and align strategies. This involves how often key decision-makers talk, their history of working together on projects, and how accessible they are. 

Essentially, good executive relationships signal a partnership's likelihood of success, as they enable better strategic alignment, problem-solving, and exploration of new opportunities, showing why leadership engagement is crucial for fruitful partnerships.


Account Mapping

Detailed account mapping sheds light on customer overlap and potential shared markets, which can significantly help you identify cross-sell and upsell opportunities. This strategy helps you understand how working with others can actually help you make more money. It sets the stage for coming up with specific plans to really get the most out of having shared customers.

But for account mapping to really work, you and your partners need to be open and work well together. This honesty lets both sides use their strengths to the fullest, find new chances, and build stronger relationships with customers. By teaming up, you can take a combined approach that doesn't just find these opportunities but also makes the most of them, leading to more success for everyone involved.


Going Above & Beyond to Select Your Ideal Partner

At this point, we’ve established how a partnership benefits you in the long run, which is why choosing the right partner is key!

It's essential to carefully assess potential partners to guarantee they match your strategic objectives and values, thereby protecting your interests and securing shared success. A poor choice could lead to wasted time, resources, and potential harm to your brand's reputation.

Here are a few other variables you should consider to ensure you’ve got the right match for your partner marketing strategy:

  1. Cultural Alignment:
    Assessing the cultural fit between your organisation and a potential partner is crucial. This includes looking at shared values, business ethics, and operational philosophies. Cultural alignment ensures smoother collaboration and communication, which is essential for overcoming challenges and achieving common goals.

  2. Market Reputation and Brand Alignment:
    A partner's market reputation and how their brand aligns with yours can significantly impact the partnership's success. Partners with positive reputations can enhance your brand's credibility, while those whose market perceptions or brand values conflict with yours might pose risks.

  3. Financial Health and Stability:
    Evaluating a potential partner's financial health is critical to ensuring they have the stability and resources necessary for sustained collaboration. Financial instability in a partner could jeopardise joint initiatives and long-term plans.

  4. Compliance and Security Standards:
    Especially relevant in technology and data-driven partnerships, compliance with industry standards and security protocols is non-negotiable. Ensuring that partners adhere to relevant regulations and best practices in data security protects both parties from legal and operational risks.

  5. Capability for Joint Solution Development:
    The ability of a partner to collaborate on developing new solutions or integrating products can be a valuable asset. This involves evaluating their technical expertise, innovation capabilities, and willingness to invest in joint product development efforts.

  6. Customer Success Focus:
    A partner’s approach to customer success—how they support end users, manage customer relationships, and ensure customer satisfaction—can greatly influence the partnership's overall success. Aligning with partners who prioritise customer success can enhance customer retention and satisfaction rates.

  7. Scalability:
    The potential for scaling the partnership is an important consideration. Assess whether a partner has the capacity to grow with you, accommodating increased demand or expanding into new markets or segments without compromising quality or performance.

  8. Sales and Marketing Alignment:
    Besides technological and strategic alignment, the compatibility of sales and marketing approaches is vital. This includes shared targets, complementary marketing strategies, and the ability to execute co-marketing or co-selling initiatives effectively.

  9. Training and Support:
    Evaluate the extent of training and support a partner is willing to provide. This can range from product training for your teams to customer support post-sale. Partners who offer comprehensive training and support services can enhance the partnership's value.

  10. Feedback Mechanisms and Continuous Improvement:
    A partner’s openness to feedback and commitment to continuous improvement shows their dedication to evolving the partnership. This factor assesses the mechanisms in place for feedback exchange and how it's used to drive improvements.


A partnership built on these principles isn't just about joining forces; it's a strategic alliance that drives both parties towards shared growth and success. As you start your search for the ideal partner, keep these tips in mind to build relationships that are strong, lively, and mutually rewarding. Remember, the right partnership can be a game-changer for your business, unlocking new opportunities and markets, and sparking innovation and competitiveness.

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