Resources / Blog
Subject: ICT / Global partnership

Sebastian Langenskoid
Principal Partner Manager,Salesforce




Many startups consider different forms of cooperation or even partnerships with larger companies at some point during their journey. What kind of a cooperation is the most advantageous for a startup? Here are my tips for startups looking for global partnerships:

      1. Get out early
        Make sure you get customer validation as soon as possible, so that you know your product or service is compelling and exceeds customer expectations. It’s crucial to get objective and realistic opinions in the very beginning.
      2. Understand what it takes.
        Having the app ready is just the beginning. The real work starts with the go-to-market activities. The best app rarely wins – you need a good story and the right people to execute on your vision.
      3. Don’t shoot in all directions.
        Be patient and organized. Focus on one thing that brings the best value and tells the most compelling story. When you’re successful in this, the next one will be much easier to sell.
      4. Don’t build your network from scratch – join the right existing one.
        By joining a network such as the Salesforce AppExchange Partner Program, you not only get access to the Salesforce Platform, but also many other valuable tools and a worldwide community. After building your app on the Salesforce Platform, you can list it on the AppExchange store. As a partner, you can take advantage of a global market through the sales and delivery channels to increase your sales and revenue, and grow your business faster. Utilizing the muscles of a large company enables startups to scale more than ever before.
      5. Jack of all trades, master of none. Focus on your core competences.
        With a strong partnership and the ability to utilize the resources of a major brand, you can also begin to work with a variety of startups as partners. Surround yourself with other talented people and benefit from their knowledge and expertise.
      6. Reach high and pick the biggest and juiciest fruits.
        When you build an app on the Salesforce Platform, there is a world of endless opportunity. Salesforce has the largest enterprise cloud marketplace platform with 5000+ solutions. It’s much easier to reach those large customers with the help of Salesforce. And vice versa, large companies can find trustworthy startups, as they have already been trusted by the Salesforce ecosystem.
      7. Be special – not a duplicate.
        To succeed, you have to be special. Investigate the market and distinguish yourself from the others. Find your unique selling proposition. The Salesforce AppExchange store is an open opportunity for everyone – make sure you know your competition.


But don’t take just my word for it. I asked Kalle Törmä, CEO & Founder of Flowhaven, to share his own top tips for startups considering a partnership. Flowhaven is the only global licensing relationship management (LRM) solution provider for IPR, licensing, and merchandising programs in the Salesforce AppExchange Partner Program.

  1. Look for a win-win-win-win partnership.
    In a successful partnership, everyone wins – you, your partners, your customers, and your partners’ customers. Complement Salesforce’s offering with your solution and work together with other partners to provide an even more comprehensive solution.
  2. Add your credibility.
    By partnering with a recognized company, such as Salesforce, we have been able to benefit from a secure and credible reputation as we continue to build our brand within the marketplace.
  3. Get on the same page.
    A crucial part of a partnership is sharing a common understanding with Salesforce, especially when it comes to your product or service. Expose your business strategy with Salesforce representatives and share the objectives and agree on how to best work together.
  4. Be proactive.
    Not reactive. Enough said.
  5. Find an ecosystem and utilize peer support.
    Ecosystems are more and more essential for every type of company. Through the Salesforce ecosystem, you have access to comprehensive quality training materials and courses as well as a global and local partner network to grow your business unlike ever before.

Sebastian is the AppExchange Principal Partner Manager in the Nordics and Baltic region. Before Salesforce, he was an AppExchange partner himself, genuinely understanding the value of a strong ecosystem and its effect on the success of startups and scaleups around the world.

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