Truly Giving Before You Get Within Partnerships

Truly Giving Before You Get Within Partnerships

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.

Jeremiah Daon

Technology Alliances, Quantum Metric

Background and Context: “I joined Quantum Metric about 7 months ago, right when COVID19 started to take its toll on business activities. But looking at what we’re producing today, the outputs our partnership organization is creating for our customers are much stronger than ever. Our laser-focused approach has led to most of our partnerships being generated from customers who drive what other tools we need to integrate with, and how they want to see the data we collect.”

Setting up a team for success: “Our partnerships team used work with partners based on geography which caused confusion, and just wasn’t effective overall. Now we’re assigned to a certain list of named partners regardless of geography which has created better team cohesion and better internal partner evangelization.”

The spirit and tactics of measuring: “Sourced and influenced revenue are the most important metrics for us. When a company bases their partnership team’s success on revenue, it often means they’ve instituted individual quotas across partner managers, which usually end up slowing down collaboration across tech vendors and SIs because there can often only be one partner to which revenue is attributed. What we found is that our technology partnership conversations were starting to drive our SI conversations. We also have a strategic partnership with GCP, and they’d often loop our technology and SI partners into opportunities while GCP leads customer conversations and relationships. You can see how individual quotas would hinder internal collaboration (think channel conflict), and how an organization like ours could focus their efforts on GCP while de-prioritizing others. To be sure, our partnership group is measured on revenue. But we’ve landed on a team quota because we’re a better team working together than individualizing what we’re going after.”

Truly giving before you get: “We call our partnership approach ‘51–49’: we’re willing to put 51% to get 49% back on our partner relationships. It’s so easy to get an ego in partnership conversations at a certain size, starting conversations with questions that basically lead to ‘what are you going to do for me?’ Partnerships are a long-term game that can manifest itself in so many different ways that you may not have imagined. It’s not as simple as a sales conversation where you uncover BANT and see if they’re ready to buy. And if you’re not willing to give first, you might as well just assume they’re certainly not willing to, and walk away.”

Quantifying influence: “Just because someone spoke about Quantum Metric to a prospective customer doesn’t mean they’ve been influenced. This conversation, whether it be an email, phone call, or something else, needs to have led to a meeting with us. Partner influence also needs to go beyond one email so that there’s sustained influencing across the deal cycle. The long-term value of making this a rule and enforcing it across partners is that it makes upsell conversations easier since our partnership value will have become apparent to our customers.”

Getting tracking right and educating stakeholders: “The biggest thing any partnership organization needs to do is to nail partner tracking in whatever CRM you use. And not only do you have to create the process, you need to do as much internal enablement as you do with partners. Everyone from AEs and SDRs to CSMs needs to be on the same page — if the customer says they’re looking into XYZ tool, loop the partnership team, and add that information into Salesforce! During sales calls, ask about the customer’s 1~3 year roadmap for adding new technologies — document that in SFDC!”

Showing partnership value during COVID19: “Around March / April, the one thing that was driving sales conversations was partnerships since almost all direct conversations came to a grinding halt. We were able to use our data in Salesforce to show that our executive team should be investing more resources in partnerships. And qualitative information helped, too — one partner told us that their renewal rate jumped from 85% to 95% by partnering with us across all accounts.”

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