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Question

How does your marketing team usually work with your partner team to promote partners to customers?

Answer
How we promote our partners to customers depends on the type and tier that the partner falls into within our partner program. Here is an overview of the different activities that we focus on; 1. Co-marketing - Events, whitepapers, sponsorship, joint case studies 2. Identify signals for each partner to help identify when their solution is relevant to our customers - Marketing creates content for CSMs and Sales, such as 1-pagers or short videos, for CSMs and Sales team to include in their QBRs or throughout the sales cycle 3. Enable the sales & CS team so they are familiar with and trust our partners and are happy to make introductions - Marketing helps with the enablement content 4. Partner Spotlight -every month we feature a partner and push content to our customer base, through social, email and events 5. Partner updates and promotions in our monthly newsletter Promotion of our integration partners within our platform to create more awareness 6. Optimisation of our partner directory (through partnerpage.io) 7. ABM strategy for Enterprise 8.Spiffs
Question

What are the first things you would recommend a partner manager do when building out a new program from zero to one?

Answer
There are 4 pillars that need to be focused on when building a partner program, Culture, Structure, Enablement, Growth The very first things to focus on are culture and structure. Culture: Partnerships are a revenue role and partners need to be in every deal, with every customer. The core expectation must be to seek this out and not view partners as an outlier. It is important to have executive sponsorship and be able to influence the cross-functional leaders from the very start. The second part of culture is understanding what types of partners you need to collaborate with. What is the revenue potential, do they move at the same pace, do their stakeholders align with yours, do they add to your culture and align with your mission and vision. The criteria will change for every program but it is important to know what partners are right for you before you start. Structure: Thinking through the structure of your program will set you up for success. This pillar is really about what you need to motivate and support the partner function This includes laying out the different tiers within your program, feature, and resources available and essential systems such as partner directory or portal. The second part of this is structuring how you will forecast revenue and track and measure the success of each partner.
Question

What partner types do you recommend a partner program consist of? How do I segment my partners in my program?

Answer
Most partner programs have 3 tiers, as an example Silver, Platinum and Platinum plus. Each level should have entitlements/service levels and performance recognition.
Question

What are some common pitfalls to avoid for tech partnership programs?

Answer
1. Spending too much time/resources on partners that don't have the maximum opportunity and/or align with your mission and vision. --> Identifying what a good partner looks like and having clear criteria from the start will help prevent this 2. No alignment between partners and product with a lack of understanding of roles and responsibilities set for all team members
Question

What activities would you suggest for internal partner training to help the different teams and stakeholders in my organization learn about the partners we have in our ecosystem?

Answer
I always suggest having a variety of different themes within enablement sessions. We want to keep partners top of mind and also add value to different roles across the business, going beyond the introduction to the partner. . Here are some of the themes that we have found successful. 1. Initial intro, with Demo (if applicable) and a heavy focus on how our partnership works 2. Joint customers are invited to speak to both companies about what our partnership has meant for their business and impacted their goals 3. How-to sessions ( Set up the integration, optimise integration/use cases etc) 4. Subject matter experts - get someone from within the partner's organisation to come in and talk about a specific subject they specialise in. This could range from a service such as PPC/SEO to leadership or sales skills 5. About my role - get someone from within the partner's organsation to come in and talk about their day-to-day and what matters to them. This helps our teams understand more about the best ways to communicate and interact with our partners to drive more engagement and ensure we always know what matters to them. On top of this, social activities where stakeholders across both businesses are extremely successful. Although not structured learning and enablement sessions, the conversation are invaluable and led to better understanding of eachothers businesses and roles and personalities.
Question

What's the most effective way to scale partner adoption beyond the first few partner engagements that happen?

Answer
My top three are; 1. Mutual case studies with tangible results. 2. Comprehensive documentation and access to marketing resources. 3. Stakeholder mapping. Accountability across all functions to build relationships with their counterparts at the partners organtion. Joint slack channels are hugely beneficial to support this.
Question

What are some KPI's you would recommend for us to track to understand how well our partner adoption is performing?

Answer
Number of mutual case studies Number of mutual clients with partnership use cases set up Number of introductions into clients made / Closed ARR Number of stakeholders involved Number of enablement sessions run
Question

How can partners help the sales team win more deals?

Answer
Partnerships are a revenue role and partners need to be in every deal, with every customer. The core expectation must be to seek this out and not view partners as an outlier. Similar to inbound and outbound sales activity, partner-generated opps need to be at the forefront of the sales team's efforts. It's not in replacement of but rather a layer on top of the sales team's GTM strategy. Concentrated effort in partners should be a no brainer for the sales team as partner involvement increases win rate by an average of 41% as well as deal size by 43%. The question should really be focused on how partners and sales teams work together to build more relationships across the partner's team, run more enablement sessions, attend events with partners etc. This type of activity is what really builds pipeline/
Question

How can I get the customer success and support teams in my company to leverage service partners?

Answer
Good enablement is essential for anybody in your organisation to be able to leverage service partners. The main objective of the enablement sessions should be that the teams have a good understanding of the value that partner will drive to their clients/prospects, are confident in how your teams would work together, and ultimately trust those partner to make them look good. Three things that can be done to help support this and build trust are; 1. A strong joint value proposition 2. Multiple case studies with mutual clients 3. identify the key signals that indicate that client or prospect could benefit from your services partners offering.
Question

What sales materials do consulting partners generally need to discuss your product with their clients?

Answer
Top 3 are: 1. A 2-pager with an overview of our product and our jvp with that partner 2. Mutual case study 3. Use case features and benefits (1 pagers or videos)