So, why do I rank ‘information sharing’ at the top-end of this list? Put simply, it’s because sharing information is the riskiest obligation.
You never have a guarantee on how the information will be used or whether it’s useful at all. You won’t know ahead of time if it’s old, new or the right information and, often, you won’t know what to do with it. For me though, information sharing it is the purest form of obligation sharing.
I observe this time and again in commercial conversations: Whilst we think in a linear way about spending money on sales activity with partners and understand the obligations on both sides, more often than not, we struggle to do the same with information: X number of pounds spent on marketing will yield X pounds on pipe. Easy. Measurable. With information, it’s just not that straightforward. Information is our currency or – if you want to add a sprinkle of drama – our lifeblood (particularly as we are one of the last niche consultancies proudly left in the market).
How being ‘niche’ affects our obligations
Being niche affects our obligations in terms of making partnerships work. As a smaller partner, we need to make dedicated decisions on focus, to become not just a ‘gold’ or ‘advanced’ partner on paper, but to drive real impact that generates revenues.
I strongly believe in focusing on solutions and offerings that create value for customers, increase spend for partners, and influence our revenues as a professional services company; I would even put solution build and reliably generating outcomes before specialisations; anyone can have hundreds of specialisations on paper, but if they can’t deliver to outcomes, then nothing is gained.
We are also obliged to participate, on our clients’ behalf, in funding activities and acceleration programmes. A demonstrable interest and investment in our partners’ technologies offer us more opportunities to grow both the clients and us.