Cracking the Code on Alliance Performance

Posted: 11/12/2010 by Norma Watenpaugh

Alliance Management Practices: Performers and Underperformers

All business managers, not just those managing alliances, have been challenged with navigating a stormy economy. We had to make decisions on where to cut back, how to to make the best of diminished resources, and still achieve targeted business outcomes.  2010 may show some glimmers of recovery but the outlook is still far from smooth sailing. PhoenixCG was chartered to do some research early this year to survey strategic alliance managers in the technology sector to learn what management practices were in place. And to learn what alliance managers were doing differently in the current economic climate.  What was working? What wasn't?  What course corrections should alliance managers implement to manage performance?

We segmented the respondents based on whether they met or fell short of their performance goals.  What we found was that in 2008, a year that ended poorly, 73% of the alliances surveyed actually met or exceeded their performance goals. ‘Exceeded goals’ was defined as having achieved 110-130% of their goal.

In 2009, a tough year all around, only 50% of the alliance reporting meeting or exceeding their goals. But a few actually expected to exceed their goals by over 130%.

alliance performance

We found that the performers in 2009 (those who met or exceeded their goals) were not hunkering down to weather the storm. Performers were taking a longer view, making bets, thinking more strategically. They were more heavily investing in joint solutions and offers. They were aligning their offers to government stimulus spending.  They were also measuring more strategic outcomes: market share gain and technology adoption.

Optimism prevailed in the projections of performanance in 2010. 87% of the respondents anticipated meeting or exceeding thier goals. It will be interesting to note if the optimism is justified.

Download the full report on “Cracking the Code" to learn how high performing alliances responded and thrived in a challenging economy.

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