The plan should also include information on the resources and investments required.
It is also important to build in guidance for product roadmap alignment.
This section of the business plan can spell out the expected outcomes: the opportunity to gain access to new markets, expand in specific accounts, solidify the customer base, break new ground with innovative solutions, or defeat key competitors, or something else.
A full understanding of each organization’s goals can lead to a much stronger joint value proposition.
For example, let’s say your company has identified the gaming industry as a key market.
If you have a strong international sales organization, and want to be a dominant player in that market within three years, you can leverage your partner’s strength in gaming with yours in international sales: your goals are aligned and synergies can easily be seen. Keep it simple: you and your counterpart from the partner organization can simply identify the top 2-3 goals of your organization, and discuss areas of potential synergy. Work with your counterpart in the other organization to refine the value proposition. Spend time on the business case, which will form the basis for the value proposition; make sure this section fully explains how this partnership will benefit you, your partner, and (especially) your joint customers.Increase the probability of success by actively working with team leaders early on, and documenting how the teams will work together.Tip: · I find it’s better to work with the team leaders, in conference calls and video conferences, rather than sending them the draft business plan and asking them to fill in their parts.This is where you will document your company’s imperatives, explain why they are important, and describe the activities that support achievement of those goals.Then, do the same thing for your partner, with a focus on showing how their goals align with your company’s goals.During our conversations, their product team leader mentioned that many of their customers were not able to easily turn instances on and off when running their products.As it happened, this was an area where our product team had made significant inroads, so we were able to align our product roadmap with theirs and bring that feature to market earlier than planned.This not only increased the value of our solution to the customer, it also increased the perceived value of our solution in the eyes of the partner since we could help them solve a difficult customer problem. Identify and assign responsibility to product team leaders on both sides.These individuals will be the key stakeholders in building out this section of the plan. Make sure you document, at a high level, any work that needs to be done prior to going to market. Ensure executive sponsorship for ongoing product team meetings, on a periodic basis, to ensure ongoing alignment on the respective product roadmaps.Product teams need to share their roadmaps at the beginning, and in quarterly or semiannual meetings, to improve their respective products, ensure continued alignment, and foster innovation.As an example, I worked with a large cloud infrastructure company to define potential product synergies.