Partner Program Strategy
Service partner

Should we be comping our sales team on involvement in partner deals and if so how should we set this up?

4 Answers
Tiffany Dunn avatar
Tiffany Dunn
Aircall VP of North American Channel Sales
Comp neutrality is critical. The partner teams will not be successful, plain and simple. And partners won’t want to work with the sales teams because they will be afraid the reps will take the deal directly. You need the CRO or CSO alignment to be sure it’s written in the rules of engagement and the sales comp plan. This is non-negotiable in my book.
Megan Blissick avatar
Megan Blissick
Signifyd Head of Global Agency Partnerships
This is an interesting question! I do believe that every sales org is different dependent on the size, maturity, and market position of the company, but when partner deals are incentivized or prioritized, the outcomes can include: 1. Increased affinity by the partner (by proving you're easy to work with and provide white-glove service) 2. Increased incentive for sales to participate in partner initiatives (ex. outreach for client-facing events) However, to be successful with a sales team, I find it most important to be able to showcase the value that a partner brings to a sales cycle. We often find that our partner-led sales cycles close faster and at a higher win rate. We're able to gain more information about how the client is feeling and get more clarity on the pain points they're experiencing.
Josh Greene avatar
Josh Greene
Amazon Senior Manager AWS Marketplace Business
Managing potential friction with a direct sales team, that is not inclined or aligned to co-sell is a dangerous proposition that can lead to losing trust. A few factors to consider: Does the sales cycle require touches and engagement from the sales team? Is your direct team compensated at par value for deals that transact via partners? Do you have a process, program in place that protects partner margin aka deal registration? Are your company's sales, finance and partner leadership teams on the same page about the role of partners in driving revenue growth? I would aim for full compensation alignment and clear roles and responsibilities early on. Now, in the case of supporting a geography or vertical that may not have or need direct sales support, you may opt to increase the expectation from the partner and also consider paying a higher percentage of revenue to offset investments that the partner makes.
Kevin Kriebel avatar
Kevin Kriebel
Drata Vice President of Business Development
The best way to get sales reps more involved with partners is to make it comp neutral for them. Example - List price is $100. Partner gets 40% discount off list so $60 is what the company nets. Comp neutral would be the sales rep at your company getting quota attainment and commission on the $100, not $60. I prefer an in the middle approach of splitting the difference as the customer is unlikely to pay list price if they had gone direct so the sales rep in this scenario gets comped on $80.