How Metrics Evolve as Startups Grow

How Metrics Evolve as Startups Grow

This article was guest written by Shohei Narron, Technology Partner Manager at Google Cloud Read more about this series in this...

Updated: Mar 30

This article was guest written by Shohei Narron, Technology Partner Manager at Google Cloud

Read more about this series in this introduction article.

I’ve had the pleasure of sitting down and discussing how six alliances professionals responsible for various types of partnerships on how they measure success, and the road to to achieving it. As always, I’ll be posting one conversation per week for the next six weeks in the hopes of elevating partnerships within an organization, if not to just make everyone’s lives a little easier.

This Spotlight chapter is brought to you in partnership with Allbound.

Alexandre Popp

Digital Natives Business Manager, Google Cloud

Background and context: “There are over 200 partnership titles — it’s the most nebulous field ever. And to make it more interesting, every single role in partnerships I’ve had has been consulting partnership / direct sales hybrids. As an example, I worked with a consulting firm during my time at Xamarin who worked on cosell motions with us, but also bought our product for in-house use. Now I work at Google Cloud as a Field Sales Representative focused on helping startups in the bay area build on Google Cloud, integrate with our solutions, and go to market.”

First things first — quantified revenue metrics: “First, any partnership organization is going to want to (and need to) track revenue. This can be revenue directly sourced from a partner referrals, partner events, and any other partner-related opportunity generation efforts. Then there’s influenced revenue which are deals you sourced directly, but your partner was of material value throughout the process. Partner managers should be CC’d on emails, and make sure your AEs are communicating well with the partner along with tracking partner involvement in Salesforce.”

Other key metrics to track: “Of course, hard revenue isn’t the only thing you should be measuring, especially in technology partnerships. You can look at mutual adoption growth, number of case studies and events, amount of marketing funds invested by your partners, etc. that you could keep track of.”

How metrics change as startups grow: “I’ve seen the following trends in the evolution of success criteria:

  • $0–20 million ARR: partnerships tests hypothesis. Putting anything else but MBOs does not set up the partner organization for success. The partner organization should report into CEO.
  • $20 million — 100 million ARR: Data begins to showcase which hypothesis bear the most fruit. Channel teams should report into the CRO, technology partnerships should either report into product or directly to the CEO as the nature of the role is more long-term and product centric rather than revenue. Forcing it to be a revenue function creates short term blinders when the role lends itself to long term objectives
  • $100 million+ ARR: Partnerships needs to be a profit center. Tech partnerships that require white glove treatment but that are strategic (think AWS, Adobe, Microsoft, Google Cloud, etc.) need to have MBOs and revenue objectives, and still report into CEO. Channel and OEM need to report into a sales organization.”


Partnership Leaders is the industry association for Partnership/Channel/ Alliances/Business Development leaders.

The association’s mission is to elevate the role of partnership leaders at their companies and provides a vibrant online community, virtual events, curated professional networking opportunities, and educational resources to drive success for our members.

Learn more about Partnership Leaders here.


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