​​Why great businesses are never built in a vacuum

Matthieu Gombeaud, VP PartnershipsLast updated on June 12, 2024
4 min

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Every business lives and breathes competition. It’s a fundamental part of the world we live in and dominates leadership priorities. “How can we provide a better product, a more engaging experience, or offer clearer value than our competitors?” These are the questions that keep many of us up at night. 

Yet while competition is important, it isn’t everything. In fact, in my experience, the best businesses stand out not through competition, but cooperation and people.

Recognizing the power of partnerships 

Community, ecosystems, and networking are easily overlooked in highly competitive markets. However, it’s important to recognise that in an era of global and digital business, we’re not just better able to compete—we’re also better able to connect. From channel and tech alliance partners to suppliers, customers to employees, engaging with people and nurturing connections is fundamental to success. 

This is particularly critical for the sales department—the engine rooms of most organizations. Whether they’re within solution integrators or solution providers, sales departments gain significant benefits by being plugged into a supportive ecosystem. 

Here’s why: as essential revenue drivers, our sales teams are often imagined as a microcosm of business competition. They have targets to chase, leaderboards to climb, and competitors to displace. But ultimately, people buy from people. Truly understanding customer needs—their integration requirements and how different tools work together—can enable your team to offer an end-to-end solution. 

For SaaS channel sellers in particular, this full-stack approach to how a solution fits into a prospect’s wider tech stack helps salespeople provide stronger direction and ultimately close (and retain) bigger deals. 

Meanwhile, for solution providers, co-selling partnerships can transform sales strategies by demonstrating a joint value proposition. It enables multiple companies to showcase holistic solutions that address the bigger picture together—rather than going it alone and only solving one pain point. 

How, then, can businesses and their sales departments untap this ecosystem-mindset internally, while building a community of partners externally?

Sowing the seeds of community 

Successful communities thrive on mutual interests and support. At the same time, those interests and motivations aren’t always uniform. That’s why it’s important not to treat your community as a monolith. Instead, recognize that it's a network of individual bonds—all of which are a little different.

Approaching your relationship with partners with this nuance will help you to cultivate an ecosystem that works for all. It’s all about balancing a shared vision with the flexibility to address individual needs. Getting this right will lead to partners who are more motivated to support your business in return. For channel partners, that might mean offering attractive incentives, like lifetime value, that bolster recurring revenue. 

In parallel to channel partnerships, you should also incentivise technology and alliance partnerships. For those in SaaS—with customers that demand integration—this is vital. Co-selling can be motivated not only through revenue-boosting commission, but also the fact that it builds trust among shared customers and can even lead to product innovation. By sharing customers, partners can better understand pain points, play to one another’s strengths, and reveal intelligence that drives product refinement.

In short, when your business–whether as a solutions provider or a solutions integrator—is part of a community firing on all cylinders, it’s not just your salespeople, but your customers, who will feel the difference. Solutions will be better targeted, communication more aligned, product features improved and—most important of all—their needs met.

Introducing The Aircall Partner Collective 

It’s clear that partnerships and ecosystem relationships are critical for every business. At Aircall, it’s no different. In fact, they might be even more important—because relationships aren’t just important to selling our product, they are part of our product. Aircall is all about helping businesses to build more meaningful connections. For that reason, we wanted to practice what we preach and do something special for the partners helping us to reach those businesses.

The result is The Aircall Partner Collective, a community where partners can connect, learn, and earn. It’s made up of a range of tiers, offering everything from foundational documents and great ARR, up to co-marketing campaigns, access to experts, and lifetime value commissions. 

Alongside these incentives, the Partner Collective also offers a bespoke curriculum of certifications and enablement training, to help partners master the skills they need to thrive. Whether you're a large channel partner in LatAm wanting assistance at a live conference, or a solution provider co-selling in APAC, our flexible benefits and rewards have you covered. 

Ultimately, all of this underpins our mission to build a community that unlocks great commission rates, grows your business and improves your profitability.  

Building a foundation for future partnership 

Boosting revenue and driving sales isn’t easy in today’s market. Just as pressure is increasing on sales teams, leads are becoming harder to pin down and the pipeline of MQLs (Marketing Qualified Leads) is drying up. Forging paths to new relationships and strengthening bonds with existing customers isn’t a nice to have—it’s essential.

In other words, in a world dominated by competition, it’s the strength of your community that will give your business an edge.

As The Aircall Partner Collective launches—and in the spirit of community—I’d love to hear what makes a great partner program in your view? Drop a comment on LinkedIn.

Or, you can join The Aircall Partner Collective today.

Published on June 12, 2024.

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