Partner Enablement Strategy: What comes before with Bryan Williams

Partner Enablement Strategy: What comes before with Bryan Williams

Bryan Williams explains the essential steps and considerations to create a successful Partner Enablement Strategy.

Partner enablement plays a crucial role in maximizing the potential of partnerships. According to Bryan Williams, founder of Hockey Stick Advisory, there are essential steps and considerations to creating a successful Partner Enablement Strategy. In this article, we’ll explore these steps and shed light on the importance of setting a strong foundation for partner enablement.

About the author

Bryan Williams, Founder of Hockey Stick Advisory, brings a wealth of expertise in partnership ecosystems. With a background in leading the ecosystem team at Xero for 5 years and connecting retailers with connected tools at Vend POS, Bryan offers invaluable insights into growth strategies and tailored partnership ecosystem strategies for scale-up companies.

Bryan Williams on creating a successful Partner Enablement Strategy
Bryan Williams, Founder of Hockey Stick Advisory

Partner Enablement is a team effort

To begin with, it’s vital to understand that partner enablement is not a standalone activity but an integral part of your overall partnership strategy. As much as you need a defined partnership strategy as a partner program to set up scale, enablement is what makes the wheels turn. It requires cross-functional collaboration and integration across all business units to have a meaningful impact. By involving partnership team members throughout the process, you can ensure that their insights and expertise contribute to the success of your planned initiatives.

Establishing scalable processes and repeatable practices within partner enablement is going to be essential for the success of the strategy. This includes developing systems, tools, and partner operations to drive positive outcomes. Without these fundamental components, your efforts may falter, resulting in wasted time and resources.

The Foundations of Partner Enablement

Regarding scaling partner enablement efforts, getting the foundations right is key. As the number of partners grows, managing their engagement and interactions becomes more complex. It is crucial to provide a frictionless and consistent experience to establish yourself as the partner of choice. Failing to do so may lead partners to seek opportunities elsewhere, undermining your overall efforts.

Every partner has a choice of where they spend their efforts. You want them to direct their efforts your way, now and ahead.

5 steps for a successful Partner Enablement Strategy

1- Begin by defining your partner strategy, where you want to play, and what success would look like

2- Identify partners who align with your core customers’ needs and growth stage. Seek customer feedback!
3- Prioritize the top partners with whom you want to collaborate. 

4- Outline your Partner Value Proposition, clearly articulating what you bring to the table and the benefits of partnering with your organization.

5. Consider what resources, headcount & budget you need to achieve your goals, ensuring you have the support of leadership set up for success. Over-communicate right across the business.

Once these foundational steps are in place, partner enablement becomes a pivotal aspect. It involves onboarding partners effectively, establishing reporting metrics, determining engagement frequency, and setting clear commitments on both sides. Creating a scalable framework is vital to accommodate future growth and ensure that your partner enablement efforts align with your long-term goals.

It’s important to note that partner enablement should not be an ad hoc or arbitrary process.  Metrics, reporting, and well-defined communication channels are essential to track progress and demonstrate tangible outcomes, often linked to a well-defined partner program, which you should quickly grow into. Without these elements, your business may struggle to deliver on its promises, leading to questions from stakeholders and hindering growth.


In summary, partner enablement is a strategic and systematic approach that requires careful planning and execution. By laying a strong foundation, defining your partner strategy, and implementing scalable processes through a partner program, you can position your organization for success.

Remember, partner enablement is an ongoing journey that evolves alongside your partnerships, always building, never building. By continuously refining your practices and seeking partner feedback, you can drive growth, create meaningful relationships, and unlock new opportunities for your business.

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