The Secret Sauce, Ep. 12: What to Consider Before Talking to a Strategic Partner.

Today account Manager Allison Manley is joined by Alex Brandt our Sales and Operations Coordinator who walks you through the top four most important things you should consider before starting up a conversation with your next strategic vendor partner. Considering these things first will set you up for a higher rate of success in finding the best fit for your selected vendor.

Today Account Manager Allison Manley is joined by Alex Brandt our Sales and Operations Coordinator who walks you through the top four most important things you should consider before starting up a conversation with your next strategic vendor partner. Considering these things first will set you up for a higher rate of success in finding the best vendor fit for your project. Related: How to Write an RFP to Attract the Best Response

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We'll be back next Tuesday with another episode of the Secret Sauce and a new installment of our long-form interview podcast On the Air With Palantir the second Thursday of the month, but for now subscribe to all of our episodes over on iTunes.

Transcript

AM: Hello and welcome to The Secret Sauce, brought to you by Palantir.net. This is a quick podcast, just a few minutes long, that offers a quick tip on some small thing you can do to help your business run better.

I’m Allison Manley, an Account Manager here at Palantir, and today’s advice comes from Alex Brandt. Alex works on our Sales team and fields a lot of our new business inquiries, so she has some thoughts on how to best prepare yourself for your next web project.

AB: Hi, I’m Alex Brandt and I’m Palantir’s Sales and Operations Coordinator. Are you in the planning stages of a new web project? Today I’m going to walk you through the four important things you need to consider before you’re ready to start up a conversation with your next strategic partner.

First, what kind of internal resources do you have? Are you a web team of one, or do you have a few developers who are just looking for some guidance? Maybe your design team is looking for a development partner who can implement their designs. Whatever the case may be, knowing what kind of internal resources are available can help your strategic partner frame the scope of your project to be most successful, while staying within the constraints of your timeline and budget.

Second, who else will be involved in the decision making process? Do you need to get anyone else on board with the project before you can get started? Do you need to get board approval or stakeholder buy-in? This is important to know, because there’s nothing more frustrating than being really excited and ready to start a project, and then realizing there is a long formal process you need to follow for selecting a partner agency. Also, the agency you’re hoping to work with might be able to provide you with some tools that can help you frame your argument for why the project is important.

Third, what deadlines are driving the project? If your website is your prime lead capturing tool and you have a major conference you are sponsoring at the end of the year, you’re going to want to make sure your new website has launched by then so you can hit your marketing goals. Alternatively, if you are a large university, you want to make sure your website is functioning properly by the time prospective students are clicking through your course catalogue. Another thing you might need to consider in regard to timeline is that you may need to split your project into different chunks of time to span multiple fiscal years.

This brings us to the final question you should be able to answer: what kind of budget are you working with? I know, your first inclination is to say “we have no idea, we’re asking around to figure this out,” but, if I were to throw out a budget in the range of $1 million, you might think that is way more than you were thinking and if I were to throw out a budget of $1,000 that might be way less than you were thinking.

So what’s the rough number you have in your head? Maybe this project is the largest rebranding effort for your institution in the last ten years, and you have a budget of $500k set aside for its undertaking. Perhaps you are just looking to fix some things that are broken or make your website responsive, and you have a budget closer to a high five-figure range. Whether your budget is expansive or modest, having a rough idea of this number will help your strategic partner scope out a project that will be successful and hit your goals.

To sum things up, here’s a quick checklist of questions you should ask yourself when planning a new project:

  1. What kind of internal resources do you have?
  2. Who else will need to be involved in the decision making process?
  3. What’s driving your deadline for launch?
  4. What is your budget?

So, do you think you’re ready to start a project? Let’s talk!

AM: Thank you Alex, and thank you all for listening to this week’s Secret Sauce! For more great tips, follow us on twitter at @palantir, or visit our website at palantir.net. Have a great day!