influencer, partnership, sales, marketing, revenue

Enterprises are joining hands and expanding partnership programs in an effort to drive revenue growth. And, according to a Forrester report commissioned by Impact, the results are paying off while companies make seeking business partnerships a priority.

Impact is a partnership automation solution that helps companies boost sales, and counts among its clients companies such as Cabela’s, Fanatics, Getty Images, Lenovo, Levi Strauss & Co., TechStyle and Ticketmaster, among others. The Forrester research was based on an online survey with decision makers at 454 companies worldwide.

Partnership types vary and can involve strategic partnerships, traditional affiliates, media houses, influencers, retailers, resellers and value-added resellers, or VARs, dealers or agents, service providers and nontraditional affiliates or ambassadors. With the high-maturity companies the focus is on scaling as well as growth through technology investments and partnerships. The best partnership programs lend a handful of gains, including a boost in market reach and higher loyalty.

Looking at the year ahead, three in four respondents, or 77 percent, see partnership development as central to their 2019 sales and marketing strategy. Forrester found that companies with the most mature partnership programs are growing overall company revenue nearly twice as fast as companies with idling or smaller programs. Maturity of these partnership programs are assessed according to the people, process, technology and breadth of each, essentially which companies have more “skin in the game.” Partnerships attribute an average of 28 percent of overall company revenue for high-maturity companies, while partnerships at low-maturity companies apportion about 18 percent of revenue.

“Businesses have always found a way to work together and refer each other business. But as partnerships have evolved from informal to strategic, and traditional sales and marketing channels have become challenged, we’re at a tipping point in the partnership economy,” David A. Yovanno, chief executive officer at Impact, said in a statement.

According to Yovanno, the study further validates the “power of partnerships as a true driver of revenue growth.”

Eliminating silos is a common outcry by executives. Thus, making better attempts at “cross-functional collaboration” across departments is a goal for many global companies. And too, partnership programs with many departments in sync correlate to higher growth. But the partnership programs that are “strongly aligned with product strategy will be more successful,” as stated in the report, highlighting a potential for product strategy to better embrace collaboration.

As the study reveals, partnerships should be positioned as a competitive differentiator, or “instrumental” to success.