How to Show Executives the Real Value of Partnerships

Partnerships drive business growth, but explaining their value to executives can be tough. This blog equips leaders with strategies to communicate partnership benefits effectively.

Partnerships are crucial for business growth, but explaining their value to executives can be challenging. This post aims to equip partnership leaders with effective strategies for communicating the benefits of partnerships to their executive teams. For more in-depth sessions and hands-on workshops, head to Catalyst in August.

Understanding the Executive Perspective

Executives focus on ROI, competitive advantage, and customer experience. Align your partnership strategies with these priorities to grab their attention.

Ensure your KPIs directly align with the overall strategy and organizational goals. 

Demonstrating the Value of Partnerships

Business Benefits:

Show how your partnership function is already impacting key metrics. If your team is at an early stage, using other relevant examples from your industry will help make your case without historic data.

  • Partnerships can significantly increase revenue. For example, Salesforce’s extensive partnership ecosystem is key to its growth strategy, generating 2.8X the revenue, according to its 2023 economy report
  • Partnerships also cut costs by pooling resources and knowledge, and combining purchasing power.
  • Product adoption is also enhanced by partnerships. Metrics like engagement, retention and expansion (cross-sell and upsell).

Communicating Effectively with Executives

Tailored Messaging:

  • Keep it focused on business outcomes. How you get there is often not as important as the outcome you’re looking for, or that you’ve achieved. Most execs will only want the details if goals aren’t being met. 
  • Speak the language of numbers and strategic goals. Net New Revenue is often the key north star metric for partnerships teams, along with Partner Sourced Revenue and Partner Influenced Revenue. 
  • Avoid vanity metrics like brand (unless a strategic company objective), volume of activities, and meetings held. This goes back to the point of outcomes-led conversations. These metrics don’t show the final result, so they’re not as important.


  • Bring in real-life examples of successful partnerships that had a clear positive outcome.
  • Case studies and testimonials aren’t just for prospective customers. Highlighting key data points with happy customer stories, or important feedback on the product will add life to your charts. 

Securing Funding for Partnership Initiatives

Outline how partnerships can be a profitable investment. Use previous data from similar activities to demonstrate the ROI that can be expected from your next partnership initiative. Our Chief Partner Officer report has more detail about this.

Presenting data-driven forecasts shows you’re a safe pair of hands in which to place company funds. Effective forecasting needs good KPIs. Once your KPIs are in place, determine your partner recruitment velocity, and partner onboarding velocity. 

Finally, calculate your required budget, and how that stacks up against your metrics. What investments are strategically necessary for increased growth? 

Building Long-Term Executive Support

Keep the executive team in the loop with regular updates on partnership progress. Figure out how your exec team likes to communicate. Some will prefer a weekly Slack update, and some like a monthly deep-dive call, for example.  

Leverage executive sponsors to help communicate the benefits of your partner program, and ensure continued support.


Creating a great relationship with your executive team will help your partnership function grow. The discussions at Catalyst this year are focused on upskilling partnerships teams, and fording the gap between functions. Find out more about Catalyst here.

Join The 1700+ Leaders Transforming Partnerships

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  • Build and learn with the top partner people at the best companies around the world.
  • Increase your impact and accelerate your career with proven resources, tools, and best practices.
  • Grow a network of peers, partners, and advisors with common objectives.

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