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How to Improve IT Partner Relationships and Increase Revenue

by | Jun 4, 2024

Do you feel like your IT partner program isn’t delivering the results you expected? You’re not alone. In the IT channel, it’s not uncommon to experience a significant disconnect between vendor expectations and partner program performance. This “partnership paradox” often stems from underdeveloped relationships with IT partners like managed service providers (MSPs) and value-added resellers (VARs).

Strong IT business partner relationships are the cornerstone of a successful channel strategy. When neglected, they can lead to missed sales opportunities, frustrated partners and a tarnished brand reputation. Vendors who prioritize building and nurturing strong IT partner relationships are the ones who thrive, and in an industry that is growing more competitive by the day, there’s no room to be left behind.

This blog post will look at ways vendor partners can transform their partner program from underperforming to revenue-generating.

Table of Contents:

  • What is an IT Partner Relationship?
  • Why Are Strong IT Partner Relationships Important?
  • Signs You Need to Improve Your Relationships with MSP Partners
  • Common Challenges in Partner Relationships
  • Building & Maintaining Strong IT Partner Relationships
  • How Marketopia Can Help
  • Conclusion
  • FAQs
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What is an IT Partner Relationship?

An IT partner relationship is a strategic collaboration between a technology vendor and another IT company, often referred to as managed service providers (MSPs) or value-added resellers (VARs). These partner programs focus on expanding market reach and driving sales for both parties.

The vendor brings innovative solutions, while the partner has the expertise to connect those solutions with the right customers. Partners use their existing customer base and sales network to sell, implement and support the vendor’s offerings. This not only benefits the vendor by generating new leads and sales, it also means the partners can deliver valuable solutions to their customers.

Why Are Strong IT Partner Relationships Important?

As a vendor, you don’t tend to deal with end users. You rely on your partners to sell your products to consumers. If your partners don’t have the resources required to sell your products, your revenue will take a hit. If you want your business to excel, you need to make sure your MSP partners are thriving and are supported at every step. When they are, in return, you’ll enjoy:

  • Increased Revenue: By using a partner’s established customer base and sales network, vendors can significantly expand their reach and generate a higher volume of qualified leads. This results in increased sales opportunities and a boost in revenue.
  • Enhanced Market Reach: Partners often have an expert understanding of specific industry niches. This allows vendors to tap into new markets they might not have been able to access on their own. Partners act as local experts, working through the nuances of specific customer segments and building trust with potential buyers.
  • Resource Optimization: Strong partner programs free up a vendor’s internal resources. Partners handle the day-to-day tasks of sales, implementation and customer support, allowing vendors to focus their resources on product development and strategic planning.

Signs You Need to Improve Your Relationships with MSP Partners

Strong IT partner relationships are a two-way street, and it’s crucial to identify areas where improvement might be needed. Here are some telltale signs that your program might be underperforming:

  • Missed Sales Quotas: Are you failing to achieve your revenue goals through partner channels? This could indicate a lack of qualified leads being generated by your partners or a need for improved sales enablement programs.
  • Partner Inactivity: Are your MSP partners quiet or disengaged? Low participation in training programs, marketing initiatives, or sales calls can signal a lack of motivation or unclear program benefits for the partners.
  • High Partner Churn: A revolving door of partners can be a red flag. It suggests a program that isn’t meeting partner expectations, leading to dissatisfaction and, ultimately, partner terminations.
  • Negative Partner Feedback: Are you receiving complaints from partners about slow onboarding, inadequate support or unclear program guidelines? Negative feedback is a clear indicator that your program needs adjustments to improve the partner experience.

Common Challenges in Partner Relationships

If you’re experiencing any of the above, it’s likely because you’re struggling with a certain aspect of partner relationships. This isn’t uncommon; vendors are innovators by nature as opposed to front facing. Here are some of the common issues vendors struggle with when it comes to their IT business partner relationships:

  • Misaligned Goals: Ensure your goals and those of your partners are clearly defined and demonstrably achievable for both sides.
  • Lack of Communication: Open and frequent communication is essential. Address partner concerns quickly and proactively share relevant information.
  • Insufficient Training and Support: Provide comprehensive onboarding, ongoing training and technical support to empower your partners to effectively sell and support your solutions.

So, how do you overcome these challenges?

Building & Maintaining Strong IT Partner Relationships

Here are five key strategies to build and maintain successful partnerships with your MSP partners:

1. Strategic Partner Selection

Not all MSPs are created equal. Invest time in identifying partners with a strong track record, a demonstrated understanding of your target market and a culture that aligns with your own. Marketopia’s Partner Program expertise can be a valuable asset in this process. We can help you develop a partner selection framework that prioritizes the qualities that contribute to successful, long-term relationships.

2. Streamlined Onboarding and Training

The onboarding process sets the tone for the entire partnership. Provide new MSP partners with comprehensive training programs that equip them with the knowledge and skills they need to sell your solutions. Use a Partner Relationship Management (PRM) tool to automate onboarding tasks and provide partners with easy access to training materials and resources.

3. Open Communication and Collaboration

Build a culture of open and frequent communication with your partners. Schedule regular meetings, establish clear communication channels and encourage them to voice their concerns and feedback. Use your PRM platform to facilitate information sharing and collaboration on marketing initiatives and sales opportunities.

4. Develop Joint Marketing Initiatives

Collaborate with partners to create co-branded marketing campaigns, webinars and content that showcase the value proposition of your solutions to their target audience.

5. Mutually Beneficial Programs and Incentives

We offer a variety of program options, including creating assets you can distribute to partners and MDF (Market Development Funds) programs. By tailoring your program to align with your partners’ goals, you create a win-win situation that motivates them to actively promote and sell your solutions.

6. Ongoing Support and Recognition

Your commitment to your partners shouldn’t end after onboarding. Provide ongoing technical and sales support to ensure they have the resources they need to thrive. Recognize and celebrate partner achievements to show your appreciation for their contribution to your success.

Are your partner sales stagnant but you’re not quite sure why? Speak to one of our vendor sales experts today. Talk to Us.

How Marketopia Can Help

We’ve helped countless vendors in the IT channel achieve significant growth by building and nurturing successful partnerships with their MSP and VAR networks.

We use insights from our global network of peers within the marketing and sales enablement space to stay ahead of the curve and develop winning strategies.

We don’t offer a one-size-fits-all solution. Instead, we work closely with you to understand your specific goals and tailor our proven strategies to create a program that creates win-win partnerships with your IT partners.

We offer a comprehensive range of services designed to help you throughout the entire partner lifecycle. From identifying and onboarding the right partners to developing co-branded marketing campaigns and providing ongoing sales enablement programs, we equip you with the tools and expertise you need to maximize the return on investment from your IT partner programs.

Here’s how our specific services can benefit your IT partner relationships:

  • Marketing Services: Our IT marketing specialists will collaborate with you and your partners to develop targeted marketing campaigns that leverage our global reach and industry expertise. We’ll create co-branded content, execute lead generation initiatives and use data-driven strategies to ensure maximum impact.
  • Sales Enablement: We go beyond basic training. Our sales enablement programs provide your partners with the ongoing support they need to master your solutions and effectively sell them to their customers. This includes in-depth product knowledge training and sales methodology workshops.
  • Global Connections: Our established network of partners and industry connections allows us to identify the ideal partners for your specific needs, regardless of geographical location. This opens doors to new markets and maximizes your potential for global expansion through your partner network.

By partnering with Marketopia, you gain access to a team of experts dedicated to helping you build and strengthen your IT partner relationships.


By investing in building and nurturing IT partner relationships, vendors can unlock significant benefits like increased revenue, expanded market reach and optimized resource allocation.

Ready to transform your underperforming IT partner program into a revenue-generating machine? Contact Marketopia today to schedule a consultation and learn how our proven strategies and specialized growth services can help you build strong, lasting partnerships with your MSP and VAR network.


What is an IT partner relationship?
An IT partner relationship is a strategic collaboration between a technology vendor and another IT company, like an MSP, to expand market reach and drive sales.
Why are strong IT partner relationships important?
Strong partnerships can significantly increase revenue, improve market reach and optimize a vendor’s resources.
What are some signs that my IT partner program needs improvement?
Signs include missed sales quotas, partner inactivity, high partner churn and negative partner feedback. 
What are some benefits of using a Partner Relationship Management (PRM) tool?
PRM tools streamline communication, automate tasks and track program performance. 
How can Marketopia help me improve my IT partner relationships?
Marketopia offers services like partner programs, marketing campaigns, sales enablement assets and global partner connections to help vendors grow their network and improve their partner relationships. 

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