How a partner program will help sell your solutions

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Joining a partner program helps energy efficiency companies capture more value from their solutions.


TL;DR

  • Partner programs reduce the cost of acquiring leads and help expand your sales funnel with referrals.
  • The number of companies in a partner program grew four-fold between 2018–2022.
  • Leveraging complementary partner offerings and expertise improves company competitiveness.

Accelerating the clean energy transition and fighting climate change are huge undertakings. No one company can solve these issues alone, but by working together, we’ll overcome the obstacles preventing companies from realizing their clean energy projects.

Creating a 21st century grid needs “all the players on the technology side, on the financing side […] to come together,” explains Karim Amin, executive vice-president of Siemens Energy Generation.

Bringing all these players together is vital if we want to turn our energy efficiency goals into reality. We need to connect solution providers to each other and the platforms they need to succeed.

Collaboration between energy-efficiency solution providers creates a win-win partnership that helps companies sell more, and their customers save more.

Energy efficiency companies in particular benefit from partner programs because their solutions are often complementary. Collaboration empowers companies to help customers maximize their energy savings by adopting a holistic approach to energy efficiency.

More companies are leveraging partner programs than ever

Partner programs are an increasingly popular way for companies to leverage each other’s knowledge, expertise, and products to generate more value.

More business opportunities and expanded reach mean partner programs “help to open the ‘fat’ end of the marketing funnel and make potential leads more accessible,” explains Chris Rayland, writing for the American Association of Private Lenders (AAPL).

The number of companies participating in partner networks both inside and outside their industries increased four-fold between 2018–2022, according to IBM’s Institute for Business Value (IBV).

Your competitors already have their own channel partners. To stay competitive, businesses can’t go it alone.

Similarly, 54 percent of executives surveyed said they are drawing their ecosystems closer together by creating partner networks. The average channel program is expected to have ten times the number of partners in 2025 compared to 2022, according to Forrester.

More companies are joining partner programs to tap into the talent and solutions of fellow businesses. This means it is increasingly likely that your competitors already have their own channel partners. To stay competitive, businesses can’t go it alone.

Partner program benefits extend beyond higher deal flow

Partner programs provide a range of benefits for companies looking to expand their reach and drive more sales. Agile partners leverage every facet of a program—including other participants and APIs—to generate more value.

As David Park, principal consultant at Forrester lays out:

“Instead of defining a partner by a single revenue stream [companies] are describing the partnership opportunity as a multiplier effect in which partners can enjoy multiple revenue streams, each with corresponding returns augmented by layers of value creation.”

Using a partner program to multiple and amplify your impact goes beyond driving more sales. Correctly-leveraged programs help participants reap benefits across their business.

Partnering with other businesses helps augment (or fill gaps in) your offering with complementary solutions. Access to a wider pool of expertise gives you a better understanding of your company’s operational context. This leads to fewer mistakes and less risk, helping you save time and money.

Partner programs also enhance credibility for all parties, demonstrating mutual trust and vetting. This is important for customer confidence as well—if other companies want to work with you, that speaks to your transparency and reputation.

From reducing the cost of acquiring leads, to expanded offerings and more sales, joining a partner program has many benefits. For energy efficiency solution providers, partner programs offer more ways for companies to help their customers save.

Alongside acting as a seal of approval for inbound leads, partner networks are powerful drivers of referrals. For example, 95 percent of Microsoft’s commercial revenue flows through its partners.

“We had our top four alliance partners [in Q3 2021] account for 10 percent of the total bookings and that’s not 10 percent of the channel book, but that’s 10 percent of the total bookings,” explains Charles Meyers, CEO of Equinix.

Similarly, at the start of the pandemic Zoom successfully leveraged partners to rapidly scale. While most companies were slashing spending, Zoom quickly launched a partner referral program. By the first quarter of 2021, 20 percent of Zoom’s international business bookings were driven by its partners; in Japan this number rose to 40 percent.

Referrals also reduce the cost of acquiring new customers compared to direct sales. Lower costs mean less risk. Moreover, research has shown that referral customers are: 18 percent more loyal, spend 13 percent more, and provide 16 percent higher lifetime sales than non-referral customers.

From reducing the cost of acquiring leads, to expanded offerings and more sales, joining a partner program has many benefits. For energy efficiency solution providers, partner programs offer more ways for companies to help their customers save.

Getting ready to unleash the power of a partner program

In an increasingly crowded energy efficiency marketplace, standing out from the competition is a challenge. That said, companies don’t need to face this challenge alone. Joining a partner program empowers businesses to leverage the expertise of others to create a unique market offering.

From hardware to software and services, a diverse partner network offers benefits like sales enablement, referral rewards, and dedicated marketing support.

There is some exciting partnership news coming to EnPowered in the near future. Interested in learning more? Reach out today to start the conversation, and we’ll keep you updated.

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Patrice Belmonte

Director Marketing & Communications

Patrice joined EnPowered in August 2021. She brings 25 years of experience in the high tech space, having worked for Canadian pioneers EXFO & Genetec, where she built their marketing teams and was an active contributor to their international growth. Patrice’s experience lies in strategic marketing, branding, business development, product and content marketing, with a strong interest for regionalization. Patrice holds a degree in Professional Writing from Université de Sherbrooke. Patrice enjoys reading, cooking, and travelling.