This talk was given by Katya Akudovich, Head of Strategic Alliances of PandaDoc at SaaS Connect 2019 in San Francisco, March 26-27, 2019.

When done well, integrating partners improves ROI and maximizes the value of a product. When done incorrectly, it can be a costly timesink.

In an interview with Maryna Hradovich from SEMrush, Katya Akudovich from PandaDoc discussed this topic and more.

Here are some of the key lessons you can take away from this chat for your business.

What can be gained from unsuccessful partnerships?

Even unsuccessful partnerships are learning opportunities. For example, sometimes after working on a project with a partner, they restructure or change their way of doing business, ending the partnership before the project ever finishes.

So, whenever a partnership “fails,” don’t look at it as worthless. Look at it as another building block in the growth of your company, teaching you the lessons you need to be the company that you will become.

Does it make sense to try to build a partnership with a bigger company?

Short answer: No. Building an integration with a bigger partner takes a long time because things get postponed. In the time it takes to build one integration with a big partner, you could have built three with smaller partners.

That said, larger companies can offer a revenue gain that might make partnering worth your while, if you think the revenue gain could make up for the cost lost by the longer building time.

It comes down to opportunity cost. Understand risks, and don’t let this potential partnership kill your company.

Why would a company with a different target audience partner with you?

Sometimes, even when your target audience is different from your partner’s at first glance, there is overlap to be found. Try to find that common ground with potential prospects, and don’t throw them out just because they don’t seem to match initially.

This is a key factor in generating additional streams of revenue for your business.

How do you sell integration?

Understanding the customer is key. Know their target market and where the overlap is. Know their price and model. Know where they are and where they’re going. Know the resources needed to make the partnership a success.

Knowledge is key in any sale, but this is especially true when attempting to integrate with a partner.

How do you get people involved in integration?

Without getting the people in your partner’s company onboard, an integration won’t be successful. So, take the time to get employees excited. Make sure everyone in that business understands the value of the product.

How do you keep partnerships going?

Partnerships are living, breathing things. Things change, priorities change. To keep a partnership going, it cannot get stagnant. Don’t be afraid to try new things in a partnership.