Organizations often establish partnerships with other companies—but they don’t always end in success.
In the beginning, channel account managers and partners struggle to optimize their processes and tools.
As the popular saying goes, “Time is money”. Thus, the parties involved rush to achieve alignment as fast as possible. And a lot of them struggle to make decisions about where to start first.
Now, before you think about creating new ways of working, standardizing processes, and getting people to acquire new capabilities, I believe it's fundamental to get your teams aligned on a partner vision and mission.
Before we go in-depth about this topic, let’s make sure we’re all on the same page first.
What is a Partner's Mission and Vision?
A mission statement is a short and concise statement that describes the purpose of the partnership. This enables relevant parties to remain focused on why the partnership exists and the products or services it encompasses. In contrast, a vision statement is composed of the aspirations of the involved parties or what they’re trying to achieve through the mission statement. Because it’s about future value, it’s more abstract.
Here’s a look at the difference between the partner's mission and vision.
- Mission statement - refers to the purpose of the partnership. These may include the target customers, key products, or objectives they want to fulfill.
- Vision statement - is an overview of the businesses’ future. Since it describes the results of the partnership, it’s usually written in the future tense.
Ideally, a good partnership begins with a common vision and mission. This doesn’t mean that the purpose or mission should be the same between partners—especially if relevant organizations have distinct self-serving interests. Rather, these are supposed to ensure you’re on the same page.
Why a Partner's Mission and Vision is Important?
A partner mission and vision statement can keep partners focused on what matters. In spite of the advantages it can bring, many account managers forge partnerships without them. Some may have written a statement at the beginning of their partnership—but as time goes on the statements may have been left forgotten. After all, how important could a few sentences be?
This is unfortunate. Even if these statements are concise and simple, they’re an important means of ensuring that everyone—especially executives and account managers—is on track to achieve their goals. A study by Forbes found that people who find their companies' vision meaningful achieve a 68% engagement rate.
Because they find purpose in what they do, they care about the success of the organization. They’re also more likely to make sure that the job’s done right and not just think about their paycheck.
How to craft a mission and vision statement?
Now how to craft a mission and vision statement that can get your partnerships on the right track? Here are a few tips to keep in mind.
1. Discuss with your clients
A partnership is a collaboration that involves merging your resources, knowledge, and capabilities to create something of greater value.
A good starting point is to ask these questions:
- How would the partnerships look three to five years from now?
- What will be the role of your partner account managers?
- What do you hope to achieve through the partnership?
- What is the value that you’ll offer to your combined target audience?
By answering these questions, you’ll be able to align your interests. Going back to these discussions will also help you resolve conflicts and disagreements.
2. Think about the future
Next, envision what will happen a few years from the present. Imagine what objectives you’ll be able to fulfil by keeping the partnership going for three years or five years. Ideally, the answer you’ll get will be used as the basis for your vision statement.
Here are some questions that can help you craft your vision:
- How would the partnerships look three to five years from now?
- What are the issues the partnership will solve?
- What benefit will you achieve by keeping the collaboration going?
- How will the partnership improve the organization of the parties involved?
3. Craft the mission and vision statement
A standard mission and vision statement that’s not specific to your partnership won’t compel relevant parties to keep the relationship going. A mission statement and vision statement should be clear and straightforward—but it’s best if it’s something distinct to your partnership.
There’s no need to worry about the steps involved to achieve your mission and vision just yet. Rather, it’s best to be ambitious because a challenging attempt is a good motivator.
Start by listing down the ideas and goals that you want to achieve. Narrow down to key points that are mutually beneficial for all the parties involved. Eliminate technical terms and focus on the purpose. Even if it’s supposed to be memorable, it doesn’t have to be a catchy slogan.
Remember: A partner mission will serve as guidance for future strategic decision-making. It can also be helpful to define three to four touchpoints on your partner's journey that are critical to achieving your vision—this will contribute to your mission at the same time. Try to make this vision and mission and align it with your teams. It will make the change process way easier.
4. Go back to the mission-vision statement as the partnership evolves
Once you’ve made your mission and vision statement, don’t just leave it in a corner to gather dust. Instead, make sure teams and partners revisit the statement during quarterly meetings or annual reports. Keeping it in mind will enable your company and partners to plan strategically and get mutually beneficial results.
Over time, you can modify the mission and vision with your partners, especially if you’ve managed to achieve your original goals. Done right, you can take your partnership to take the next level and craft bolder goals and objectives.
Ready to craft your partner's vision and mission?
Creating a mutually beneficial vision and mission statement is a lot harder than it looks. You’ll need to have an honest discussion with your clients regarding the goal of the partnership and your future aspirations. Once you’re done, it’s best to revisit the vision and mission statement every few months. That way, the entire team will stay focused on what matters most.