Making Partnerships Work: Expert Strategies for Effective Battlecards

Making Partnerships Work: Expert Strategies for Effective Battlecards

Battlecards: a secret weapon in the arsenal of business partnerships working toward success. But when sharing these strategic tools with partners, should the same cards used internally be used externally? 

Battlecards: a secret weapon in the arsenal of business partnerships working toward success. But when sharing these strategic tools with partners, should the same cards used internally be used externally? 

Meredith Hayward, GTM Partner Strategy & Operations at Recharge, raises this question. She is joined by Anuj Joshi, Founder at Channlworks.com, Justin Graci,  Partner GTM & Product Readiness at  HubSpot, Craig Regan, Partnership & Business Development Leader, and Eleanor Thompson, Founder & Principal Consultant at Branchworks.

The Need for Separate Battlecards in Partnerships

A critical strategic decision regarding partnerships is using the same battlecards internally and with partners. 

Anuj observes that it’s common for vendors to maintain two distinct sets of battlecards: one for internal purposes and another tailored for partners. 

This approach is crucial because it acknowledges that internal content might not always be appropriate or relevant for external partnerships.

The reasons for maintaining separate battlecards are straightforward and practical:

  1. It ensures that sensitive internal information remains confidential and isn’t unintentionally shared with external parties. 
  2. It allows businesses to customize their content to better align with their partners’ needs and context.

But why keep internal and partner-facing battlecards distinct? Anuj sheds light on this practice:

  • Confidentiality: Not all internal information is meant for external eyes.
  • Customization: Partners need tailored information that aligns with their specific context.

Anuj notes, “Most of the vendors I work with have two separate battlecards, one for internal and one for partners.” This approach underlines the importance of crafting partner-specific content to foster more meaningful and secure collaborations.

Adapting Battlecards for Partner Use

Adapting battlecards for partnerships working use is a delicate process that requires thoughtful consideration, as Justin highlighted. Justin’s approach involves repurposing internal battlecards, taking into account various factors. 

“We’ve started sharing ours with partners, but will normally repurpose our internal versions,” he explains. 

This repurposing addresses several key issues:

  • Ensuring Content Relevance: Making information useful and resonant for partners.
  • Improving Access and Usability: Modifying internal links and references for partner use.
  • Addressing Legal Compliance: Carefully reviewing content for external appropriateness.

Through this process, the battlecards become valuable in partnerships, providing partners with the correct information and insights tailored to their specific needs and context. This adaptation respects the partnership’s integrity and reinforces the collaboration’s overall effectiveness.

Tailoring Content to the Partner’s Audience

With his experience from Logicbroker, Craig emphasizes the importance of audience-specific content. He advises, “It is important to keep in mind that the content should be tailored to the audience at the partner.” This approach is crucial to get partnerships working, where understanding the partner’s perspective is vital.

Craig points out two crucial aspects:

  • Audience Relevance: Whether the partner’s team consists of salespeople, engineers, or other professionals, the battlecard content should be directly relevant to their specific roles and interests.
  • Risk Management: There’s always a chance that competitors will eventually see shared battlecards. Hence, it’s vital to balance informativeness with discretion.

This tailored approach ensures that the battlecards are informative and strategically safe, aligning with both the partner’s needs and the company’s competitive considerations.

The Strategy of Comparing Approaches Rather Than Vendors

Eleanor introduces a nuanced strategy in battlecard creation. She suggests comparing different methods or approaches in the market instead of directly naming other vendors. This strategy is beneficial for several reasons:

  • Staying Current: Avoids the risk of presenting outdated information about competitors.
  • Objective Comparison: Positions the company as solution-focused rather than competitor-focused.

Eleanor advises, “When walking through these live we’d typically say ‘in comparison to method/approach 2, an example of which could be X, Y or Z vendor’, but I don’t put the vendors on documentation.” 

Adopting this approach has the dual benefit of maintaining the accuracy and relevance of the battlecard content while also solidifying the company’s standing as an innovator and a thought leader in its field. 

To get partnerships working effectively, emphasizing methodologies over direct vendor comparisons is vital. This strategy allows a company to focus on the strengths and innovations of its methods, fostering a more constructive and forward-thinking approach.

It steers the conversation away from competitor-focused narratives and towards discussing the unique benefits and features of the company’s offerings. Such a perspective keeps battlecard content relevant and accurate and enhances the company’s reputation as an innovator and thought leader in its industry.

Conclusion

Collectively, these strategies ensure that battlecards are a powerful tool in strengthening partnerships. Their practical implementation is essential for partnership success, translating into more robust, aligned collaborations. They help balance informativeness and strategic discretion, enhancing the partnership experience and fostering mutual growth. By embracing these best practices, companies can confidently navigate the complexities of partner relationships, turning battlecards into a cornerstone of successful collaboration.

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