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Certifications are acknowledgements granted to partners for achieving certain milestones. Usually, they acknowledge that a partner has completed product training and is now qualified to represent the company as a partner. They are most often earned as a part of the onboarding process, wherein the partner must learn about the vendor's product to a degree that allows them to comfortably sell/market/share it. Certifications are usually earned early on in the partner journey, but they can also be earned again after product updates or new releases that require subsequent training.
Example: Luke had received his initial product certification on behalf of his partner program shortly after joining Vento's referral program, but a significant update to the main product offering meant he'd be earning an updated certification to make sure he still knew his stuff.
The partner journey describes each step a partner goes through when learning about, joining, and earning value through a partner program. It can be likened to the buyer journey. The steps of the partner journey can be defined differently depending on the business, as can the order of certain steps. However, most partner journeys generally follow this structure:
Interest > Recruitment > Activation > Investment > Devotion
The interest stage is where a vendor gains the interest of potential partners. Recruitment involves informing potential partners of your product and offering a partnership. Activation represents the first value earned by the partner. Investment is when the partner recognizes vendor value and invests further time and capital in the relationship. Devotion occurs when partners are ready to scale with you.
Example: Jenn found that only a small percentage of partner were making it to the investment phase of her partner journey, so she decided to spend more time and energy ensuring partners hit their activation targets within their first two months of joining the program.
Cannibalism (also called product or market cannibalism) occurs when a product released by a company competes for market share with an existing product of theirs. The new product "eats" demand for the old, reducing sales and profit of their existing product. Some amount of product cannibalism is expected with new product launches, and companies normally consider the financial risks and rewards of releasing new products carefully.
Cannibalism can result in overall positive or negative effects on a company's bottom line, and can be either intentional or unintentional. When it's intentional, it's referred to as a cannibalisation strategy.
Example: Leo's team released a new file sharing software, but it soon became apparent that the demand for their other file sharing softwares was plummeting in favor of the new release. They'd caused cannibalism by putting out a product that ate up demand for their other products.
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