Working with software development partners is a business strategy that more and more companies are turning to these days. It provides them the possibility of gaining access to some of the most experienced and innovative software development teams worldwide while preserving the cost-saving goals traditionally associated with outsourcing. We have already talked about how to choose the right software partner. Still, once you have made that decision, a more significant challenge awaits you: creating a long-term, mutually beneficial, and productive relationship with your partner that will help you drive growth and improve the products and services you offer.
Below, we have listed 5 tips that will allow you to make your relationship with your software development partner stronger, longer, and more productive.
1. Consider time spent with your partner as an investment
Creating a long-term relationship requires commitment, patience, and a bit of time. Helping your partners understand your goals, expectations, and ideas will create a stronger and more productive relationship. Be available to answer all their questions and clear out all doubts through calls or by giving them access to relevant content, such as e-books, case studies, or any other educational material.
Also, remain open to developing more personal relationships through social activities that can create valuable human connections with your partner’s team members. You can organize online meetings that are not work-focused but where you allow them to relax and reveal their interests and goals more freely. Remember, your company’s success depends on them, so spending part of your time with them is not a waste but an investment.
2. Ensure clear communication
Getting to know your partner’s team members better will create the conditions for improving your relationship in a crucial area: honest, open, and transparent communication is essential when it comes to software partnerships.
The main benefit of developing clear and effective communication with your partners is that it allows you to tackle problems before they arise. Meeting regularly with your partner’s team to make sure everybody is on the same page means fewer problems and better coordination. There are plenty of easy-to-use tools available for this, such as Slack, Google Meet, or Zoom, and your team is probably already trained on using them for internal communications.
You should also make sure your software partners are part of the process of improving your communication. Remember that they are experienced at developing these kinds of relationships, and they certainly have something valuable to say.
3. Reference new clients
This strategy is something you can do at zero cost, and that is beneficial for everyone involved. Whenever you hear about a business that is looking for a software development partner and you are in a position to recommend your partner, seize the opportunity to do it. Giving your partner the possibility of attracting new clients while at the same time helping another company find the software solutions they are looking for will ultimately benefit you. How? By improving your status as a strategic partner and by allowing you to create better relationships with other companies.
4. Make sure your partner is rightly equipped
You must make sure that your partner has all the tools and equipment available to meet your demands. In these past few months, the reconfiguration of working conditions and environments forced by the pandemic has only emphasized the importance of helping strategic partners adapt to the new situation. Since software partners are usually smaller, they tend to be more vulnerable to great shocks such as the one every company in the world experienced due to the pandemic. Providing your partners with targeted discounts, access to capital, and special training are all strategies that may positively impact their capacity to sell your products and services more effectively.
5. Share a vision
All the actions that we have listed above aim at creating a deeper bond with your partner. But ultimately, it is the mutual understanding of a shared vision that keeps partners together in the long term. In time, you should evolve into thinking of you and your partner not as entirely separate entities but as a collaborative team that works together towards the same purpose. While each of you is fulfilling your individual goals, you are simultaneously serving each other and helping each other achieve them. So make sure you seize every opportunity to underline the reasons that have brought you together in the first place and to reinforce the shared vision that drives you both forward.
Long-term partnerships can make a huge difference, offering your advantages such as special rates, priority, and most importantly: the assurance of counting with a reliable partner.