The key to a winning baseball season is not the amount of money spent on star talent.  If that were the case then Billy Beane, the central figure of Michael Lewis’ best selling book “Moneyball: The Art of Winning an Unfair Game”, would never have led the Oakland Athletics to the playoffs in spite of the fact that his player salary budget was 1/4th that of the New York Yankee’s $150 million. So what does Moneyball have to do with alliances?  Everything!

In business, as in sports, the objective is to succeed as a team.  And for a team to succeed everyone, not a few or most but all, must perform at the level required of each position on offense and on defense and do so consistently throughout the season and especially during the playoffs.  And the secret sauce in deciding whom to hire for each position and how to manage them on the field is found in the numbers.

A business alliance is composed of players in key positions: Product, marketing, sales, services, support, finance, HR and administration are top of mind.  One under performer can bring the rest of the team – the alliance – down.  An all too often example is a killer solution but inadequate or insufficient marketing and sales capabilities or vice versa.  Another is the right talent but a poor or ineffectively managed game plan.

To better understand the impact of quantitative – the numeric – analysis has on the success of alliances Norma Watenpaugh of Phoenix Consulting Group, LLC, and Keith Gaylord of Partner to Profit, LLC, collaborated in conducting research to understand current practices in the development of business cases within alliance management operations and how those business cases are used to inform decision makers in setting performance objectives and investment allocation.

A key finding in that study exposed the lack of a 21st century purpose-built platform/system, on par with commonly used systems such as CRM (Customer Relationship Management and PRM (Partner Relationship Management), to support the business of alliances.  A capability and feature set of an alliance specific system, Alliance Relationship Management (ARM), was born as a result of that study. Download: Run Alliances like Businesses

Alliance Relationship Management (ARM)

The overarching purpose of an Alliance Relationship Management system is to enable fact-based decisions to better manage alliance-partnerships.  Key business capabilities:

  • Forecast and track resource requirements.
  • Predict and track revenue and profitability of alliance initiatives
  • Provide insight into alliance ROI and breakeven of investment decisions.

As Moneyball is to baseball ARM is to alliances.  CRM and PRM systems provide some of the ARM capabilities but require significant customization to begin to meet the others.

There is one offering that meets the key ARM standards:  Partner to Profit.  In three straight forward steps – Plan of Record/Plan vs. Actual/ Adjust and Perform – Partner to Profit delivers the “secret sauce” that can lead the way to more successful alliances. Learn more about ARM at

Partner to Profit Alliance Dashboard


Keith Gaylord is CEO and founder of Partner to Profit, LLC (, a cloud-deployed business planning, analysis and management tool designed specifically for alliance partnerships. A former IBM Alliance Executive and a co-author of the original Alliance Management Workbook (IBM, 1994), Keith played key roles in creating a “Branchise” business model for IBM and the design of the professional certification program for the Association of Strategic Alliances Professionals. Email: