Partnership Manager: The Role You’ve Been Missing

Partnership Manager: The Role You’ve Been Missing

Partnership managers are no longer bound to the realm of technology and SaaS companies. These days, you can find roles within industries such as marketing, retail, and sports teams. No matter where you find yourself working, the goal of the Partnership Manager will be the same: develop professional relationships and help meet each company’s goals. 

Partnership managers are no longer bound to the realm of technology and SaaS companies. These days, you can find roles within industries such as marketing, retail, and sports teams. No matter where you find yourself working, the goal of the Partnership Manager will be the same: develop professional relationships and help meet each company’s goals. 

This is done in a number of ways, but as a whole, it means forming a strong network of mutually beneficial relationships, in order to combine customer bases, products, and services between partner companies.

The Daily Grind

What does a Partner Manager’s day-to-day workload look like? Communication and networking. Like many jobs, your daily duties may change depending on the company’s priorities, but here’s what a new Partner Manager can likely expect:

Hit “Connect”

You cannot form good partnership relationships without a solid foundation first. Think of it like working in sales. Selling to those who trust you and know your credibility will always be easier than cold-calling customers. It’s the same way in Partner Management. Other companies are much more likely to take on collaboration and provide great leads when a relationship has already been established. There are dozens of opportunities to begin forming these relationships, including LinkedIn, networking events and looking to the companies you already have relationships with.

Research, Research, Research

Another important portion of the Partnership Management role is assessing the new opportunities that come across. Having both strategic and analytic strengths will be important for this role, as you’ll be tasked with determining which partnerships to prioritize first, researching new products and services to generate leads, and analyzing sales data to find the overlap between your organization and a partner’s. Staying on top of marketing trends, company performance, and consumers’ search trends can help when making partnership decisions.

Closing the Deal

Closing the deal on a partnership is just as important as the initial opening of the door to one, if not more. This is the time to see if your values align, your services complement one another and overall, if you would work well as a team. As a Partnership Manager, your main goal in forming partnerships is to increase your company’s revenue and form strong, long-lasting relationships. Finding partners that fit well within your company and will be able to bring in referrals or services and advice that will lead to closed deals reflects well on your role as Partnership Manager, especially when it produces a higher conversion rate and a larger number of sales for both companies.

Jack of All Trades

It may seem like as a Partnership Manager, you’re expected to do anything and everything. For some companies, that might be the case. Small to medium sized companies will typically hire one or two Partnership Managers to run the show, whereas well-know, established companies like Google will hire complete teams with hundreds of employees dedicated to partnerships. According to LinkedIn, Google currently has over 700 job openings for “Strategic Partner Managers.”  Each company will be on the lookout for different hard skills and specialty areas, but there are specific skills that every Partnership Manager needs across the board.

Strong Communication

Partnership Managers need to be strong communicators, especially in the current climate where a most companies have transitioned to a remote setting. Being able to clearly and effectively communicate across different channels like Email, Zoom/Google Meets, and Slack is an indispensable skill to have.

Innovation

The ideal Partnership Manager is willing to think outside of the box. Being innovative and willing to put creative ideas to the test will lead to better, more reliable partnerships and results for the company overall. After all, there is no rulebook for Partnership Management, only guidelines. Even then, what works for one company may not work for another, so being able to improvise and adapt will be important.

A Self-Starter Mindset

In Partnership Management, things aren’t black and white. There are going to be times when the answers to your questions are not as straightforward as you need. Being able to take initiative and do further research will save you and your partners time, which will reflect well on you in the end.

Prioritization

As a Partnership Manager, you want your company to be successful and have record breaking sales. Remember – it takes two to tango. Making sure you are prioritizing your partners’ success as well is essential to ensuring a successful partnership and continued relationship. When your partners are reaching their sales goals, they are not only more likely to continue working with you, but they’re more likely to refer others seeking partnerships to your company, making it easier for you to generate leads and close deals. 

Whether you’re looking to step into your first partnership role or increase your performance and move up in your company, the Partnerships Career Progression Playbook has everything you need to be successful in your field. Once you’ve signed your offer, you can apply to join Partnership Leaders and gain access to one of the largest networks of partnership professionals as well as discover open Partner Manager roles on our job board.

Join The 1700+ Leaders Transforming Partnerships

As a member of Partnership Leaders you will:
  • 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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