Forty-two percent of companies are not satisfied with how well they leverage their partnership and alliance potential according to the new study, based on a survey of 330 senior management executives and 20 in-depth qualitative interviews.
While 85% of companies polled view partnerships and alliances as essential or important to their businesses, only a third have formal partnering strategies, and almost half report failure rates of 60% or higher.
Reaching new geographical markets and expanding an online presence was a partnership goal for 40% of respondents. The top three drivers for third party partnerships, according to the report, were:
- Need for new ideas, insights and innovations
- Complexity and pace of business
- Growing an increasingly diversified customer base
Only 10% of management respondents felt they were extremely good at identifying, qualifying and securing partner introductions, while 60% have an eye on developing more targeted approach towards building partnerships and contact networks.
“The marketplace is evolving rapidly, so our practices also need to evolve,” noted Simon Dryer, national partner manager of VMware and one of the expert contributors to the study. “Companies need to look closely at their offerings and ask themselves, ‘Are we in the right business? Are we going to market in the right way?’”
CEOs cited strategic partnerships as their number-one growth strategy, in a recent survey by Frost & Sullivan. But small to medium sized firms are at a disadvantage, noted Donovan Neale-May, executive director of the CMO Council, in a statement.
“They do not have the domain expertise, business networks or management bandwidth to support the arduous and time-consuming process of identifying, cultivating and making the right partner connections—regardless of whether this is for revenue gain, new market access, product line extension, geographic expansion, customer access, domain knowledge, IP licensing or capital sourcing,” he added.