I have an extensive background in creating and managing business partnerships and all aspects of M&A, with startups, small businesses, and Fortune 50 companies. I help companies grow by leveraging partnerships or by acquiring the perfect company to accelerate growth. I helped a three-person company grow to 350 people by leveraging IBM. Regardless of the type of partnership, I have the experience needed to pursue the desired relationship, sell the desired party on the value of partnering, and negotiate the agreement. I have created many reseller programs, trained sellers how to sell through and with partners, and manage the growth from zero to hero. I sought after and convinced IBM to sell an entire product group and managed all aspects of an incredibly complicated transaction. Many contact me and express doubt in the logic of contacting a larger company. If you are a startup, it is imperative you leverage larger companies to grow. Do not discount the possibilities—the most challenging task in gaining a foot in the door. The art of the leverage.
You have some great advice here. Of course the devil is in the details. We don't know what you are selling. I assume you are working as hard as possible. How do you make your company look and operate larger than it actually is? LEVERAGE. Can you hire sales agents to sell your product? Can you find resellers? Is your product part of a broader solution? If so, can you recruit integrators. Also, are there master reseller opportunities. These are just a few questions I would have. Also, are we talking about qualified leads are inquiries?
Best of luck.
Some really good perspectives here. All a great. If you are determined to leverage a large company, you can try try this approach. I brought several small companies into IBM with big ideas and a couple leveraged the IBM machine to build sizable companies in a similar way.
First, find people who will pay for your idea. Research all sides of the solution. What other technologies can be incorporated in your idea. If your idea requires other software components, professional services, and hardware, you have more points of leverage. Approach a large company with your idea and back that up with a list of people who will pay for a delivered solution. If you present a solid case with paying customers, most large companies, like IBM, have people who can make an investment and prime a solution. Of course, there are many things for you to worry about here, but it can be done; I lived it.
This only works in the enterprise software business. Since we do not know what your idea is, it is difficult to be more helpful. I offer this up because anything is possible. :)
Best of luck.
Certainly finding someone who believes in what you are trying to accomplish is extremily important. From there, test the person through some agreed upon goals. Watch, listen, read between the lines. People are people, aside from the qualifications, test the human side. Is this person committed? Do you connect. There are many ways of accomplishing this without making a business commitment. Take the time. Have several meetings with them. If they truly believe in you and what you are attempting to do, they will appreciate the process.
Building loyalty with clients and creating a situation where you become their trusted advisor takes time, but I believe is the ultimate for a sales professional. Not only does it make you feel like you've accomplished something, it moves you up in the tax bracket.