Partner Business Reviews Strengthen Relationships and Map Future Paths

Milestone Systems has launched a comprehensive Partner Business Review (PBR) program with global scope. With this, we’re building on our already strong commitment to partner success by taking a detailed dive into our partnerships and making strategic improvements to further leverage the strengths of Milestone with our Open Platform Community.

We are holding a series of half-day meetings with partner leadership teams to review significant aspects of our relationship. The objective is to take the time to meet face-to-face with integrator decision makers and mutually explore all facets of our interactions. Some topics for the meetings cover: Where and why we are successful? Are you aware of all the tools and resources available to you? How can we help each other become even more effective in our business?

I’ve personally carried out over 40 of these meetings so far, and I like to start the sessions by saying “We are pulling back the curtain and sharing all of the data Milestone has about our relationship.” The data we share is refreshing to the partner leadership, and unique.

This is incredible! No manufacturer provides us with this kind of information. – Milestone Partner, Western U.S.

Strategic planning and information sharing at this level enables the integrator partners and our channel managers to develop customized, effective plans for raising the level of the relationship, aligning our near- and long-term goals and improving revenues for both companies by generating high-value implementations for the customers.

I’m taking away two major components of today’s meeting that will have a big impact on our business. –Milestone Partner, NW U.S.

With these PBRs, we take a long-term, strategic view, developing plans and actions that fill any gaps that might be revealed. Everywhere possible, we will maximize our communication, planning and coordination to foster an even stronger partnership.

A typical Partner Business Review agenda includes:

  • Overview of the current state of business and our partnership
  • Detailed discussion of fully utilizing all Milestone support resources
  • Deep dive into Certifications, eLearning & Performance tracks, and other Milestone tools
  • Thorough look at product categories, systems sales and recurring revenue
  • How to leverage the Open Platform Community for value-adding integrations

This has been extremely valuable. It has opened our eyes to know more about how Milestone can grow our business. –Milestone Partner, Canada

Why Now?

Milestone aims to grow business above the market pace. This is good news for our community and motivating: such a goal assures that Milestone will maintain its leadership role and continue to be a driving force within the industry. We have an aggressive plan to grow revenue by more than a 20 percent compound annual growth rate over the next five years. And, with our focus on the Open Platform Community, we want — and need — all Milestone partners to join us on this very rewarding journey.

To achieve this level of success, we all must be able to scale our businesses. And in order to scale, we need better processes and tools. We can’t just work harder. It’d be nice if that’s all it took, but it takes much more than that. A well-defined analysis and plan provide both partners and ourselves with an understanding of where we are and where we want to be. PBRs are quickly proving critical in helping partners — and Milestone — to achieve valuable business goal visibility and direction.

By communicating on these points, together we can measure and track a full range of partner success dimensions including sales and technical training, product support readiness, market coverage, and a number of other useful metrics.

This demonstrates a commitment from Milestone to our business that we don’t find with anyone else. –Milestone Partner, Southern U.S.

The High Value Community

A major goal with the PBR is to help all partners make use of every possible Milestone resource, and to build the right internal capabilities to succeed. Additionally, these insights are critical in developing an effective plan for generating high-value projects.

This opened our eyes to new things we didn’t know about and reminded us of things we need to revisit. –Milestone Partner, Upper Midwest U.S.

Partnership is at the core of the Open Platform Community, which is why we are so driven to provide the solid products, systems, services and support that resellers and installers can leverage to increase their own profitability. As an industry, we can expand everyone’s business by working together to deploy a value-based strategy where pricing is not the primary differentiator.

Selling and delivering on value represents greater opportunity. Instead of talking about price, product and features, the focus is on open platform benefits and the global community of applications that comprise flexible, comprehensive and long-lasting solutions.

Strategic success requires ongoing conversation to discover and understand each party’s business goals. With deeper knowledge of the current situation, it becomes clear that no single company can deliver long-term success in isolation. So the platform and the community become a unique journey for addressing the partner’s and the customer’s needs.

We want to make sure all partners leverage the Open Platform Community to its fullest. This approach effectively insulates the reseller and integrator from price pressures, because no one else can offer the same solution. Value selling is critical to reflect a level of expertise and exclusivity through leveraging the partnerships, services and systems available to create the unique solutions.

Today’s meeting was amazing. Milestone is truly a partner in our business. – Milestone Partner, West Coast U.S.

Strategically Looking Forward

This summer, Milestone initiates Phase 2 of the Partner Business Review program with a series of follow-up meetings with the same groups that met in the first phase, in all world regions. We will review the plans, measure progress, make tweaks and re-alignments as needed. By the end of 2018, we will have strategic account plans in place for almost 70% of our business globally.

It’s all about open communication and relationship building. Milestone PBRs are a tangible way to work through issues, make strategic plans, strengthen and align resources for the success of everyone involved.

Once every four months is not enough for these meetings; we need to meet like this every quarter. – Milestone Partner, UK

The initial meetings have been similarly well received and insightful, with a great deal of learning happening on all sides.

At my first set of PBRs it was a great discussion with fantastic input from everyone. The integrator left feeling we are very engaged and committed to our partnership. Considering the fact that I speak to someone at this business almost daily, it was surprising that things came out of this that I was not aware of.  I am really looking forward to continuing this, and with other accounts. – Darrick Felice, Channel Business Manager Northwest, Milestone Systems

Another key outcome of this initiative is making a positive change. In most cases, our Channel Business Managers have been a single source of contact for our System Integrators. That can create a bottleneck for communication between our organizations that the PBR meetings help solve. We are now engaging more staff resources at Milestone with more personnel at the System Integrator for a cohesive, deeper, broader relationship across functions and departments.

Beyond improving the bonds between each of the partner companies, the PBRs gather information from our top resellers about Milestone – how we interact – which helps us gain organizational insights that can move us into better alignment with the channel’s needs.

By Matt Fishback, Global Business Development Manager, Milestone Systems