SaaS Partnerships Team Lead

What we learned in the first 25 episodes of this podcast w/ hosts Carina and Alex

Carina Shahin
September 10, 2021
Listen this episode on your favorite platform!
SaaS Partnerships Team Lead
September 10, 2021

What we learned in the first 25 episodes of this podcast w/ hosts Carina and Alex

Listen to this if you are interested in skipping to the meat of this season.

We've learned a lot in the first 25 episodes of this show. This synopsis episode will help you skip straight to the episodes which will help you and your team:

  • Align
  • Develop your partner culture
  • Develop the right incentives
  • Co-market effectively
  • Create an implementation partner program
  • Remove barriers to partnering

Resources and episodes we reference:

Creating reciprocity - Clearco's Data-Driven Referral Partner Program w/ top partner EmberTribe

Culture - Jog > Crawl > Sprint Partnerships Strategy w/ Cory and Ross from Maropost

Implementation Partnerships - Building Successful Implementation Partnerships w/ InsightSquared and Aptitude 8

Co-Marketing - The Co-Marketing Flip: Get Strategic With Your Partner Marketing Six Months Into the Partnership

Contracts - A Deep-Dive into the Digital Agency-Partner Persona, w/ Greg Portnoy and John Florey

Part 2 of SalesLoft + JB Sales: How Morgan Ingram and Chris Merrill from JB Sales run Partnerships

Tech partnerships community / training center -

Our sponsors:

Sendoso - The leading sending platform.

Partnerstack - Partner tracking and payouts.

Reveal - A free account mapping solution.

Episode Transcript


[00:00:21] Alex: All right. So we are back with a, another video episode. I think this is the third one we've done. So this is where we'll post it to YouTube. And also to the podcast. This is a unique episode because Korean and I have not recorded a podcast, just us to recap what we've learned and to dig into. Things that we are doing or learning in recording these episodes, Corrina is acts and dosa running partnerships.

[00:00:49] And I am obviously in between a bunch of different partner programs and agencies, running partner and partner hub coming out soon. So we have a unique perspective between the two of us that we'd like to get more valuable type of content like this to you guys. So we're going to run through some of the things that we've learned and refer to some of the episodes that are recorded.

[00:01:12] So you can go and check those out. First thing, first, Corrina, you've got some news and some cool stuff that's happening in your world. So let's start. 

[00:01:20] Carina: Yes. Yes, Alex. Um, so send dosa just recently brought on a new CMO, which is super exciting because now the partner team reports to marketing, we are actually called team Pam partners and marketing, and it's really exciting.

[00:01:38] It definitely is a new change. We're still getting into the nitty gritty of everything, understanding how this is going to change our goals. Um, what our roles are going to look like if they do change at all. But it's really exciting. And I think this like brings us to a really fun topic where we can talk a little bit more.

[00:01:57] Who partnerships should report to and which we prefer now, personally, obviously, because I'm going through this and I have reported to different teams in the past. I love the idea of reporting to marketing. What about you, Allison? 

[00:02:10] Alex: Well, obviously I'm not in your shoes, but my thoughts were specifically around partner teams reporting to sales.

[00:02:17] This is typical. I'd say probably 80% of partner teams are under VP of sales or CRO. You agree. Um, that's what we see most often. Um, this is obviously because it's a revenue operation and also to, uh, set up some avoidances around channel conflict, paying commissions and where they should go. But my opinion on it.

[00:02:40] And this is based on my experience as head of marketing and also experienced with some of these teams that run into these issues around the culture of the partner program itself. So the partner program can either be, and there's probably a middle ground, but it typically is either a very sales driven culture.

[00:02:59] Uh, which means fast tracking partners through a contract signature, incentivizing them with commissions and trying to just, you know, blow through as many leads as you can, and some convert, some don't. And it's a very much a, um, same, same KPIs, uh, as a sales team would have, um, in our experience that type of KPI and sales driven culture, um, creates a.

[00:03:27] Partnership in general. It's just, it, it creates a lot of, a lot of scenarios. Like last day of the month happens and your partner managers are calling all of your partners for what about that lead that you mentioned a few weeks ago? Is can I have them now? I mean, please introduce me and I need to hit my numbers and yada yada yada, when in a real partnership, that partner manager should be taking those partners down a reciprocity track of I'm doing this for you.

[00:03:54] You're doing this for me. And we're doing stuff together because it's a true partnership in the world where partner teams exist solely to drive that Crom numbers or that VP of sales numbers, it kind of diminishes and prevents a lot of the true partner qualities and the true partner operations that should happen.

[00:04:14] Like we're going to talk about co-marketing as some of the things that partner teams should look at. So I talk to CEOs about this. Um, I think you can start a partner program as the CEO yourself, if you're developing it and then you can bring in marketing to start saying, okay, how do we partner source a, B and C?

[00:04:30] And then you can bring in sales and say, okay, let's make sure that channel conflict. And you know, if we do pay commissions, this isn't happening and then you can. Create sort of a role for someone that would be managing that partner track, which would be first and foremost, provide value and then get them into, um, a system that ends up in revenue.

[00:04:52] It doesn't start with, Hey, where's the revenue and sign these contracts and we'll pay you some commission, right? That's my team. 

[00:05:00] Carina: I agree. I think that when you start to, and I mean, every, any situation can be successful, it depends on just how you actually move through in organizing how you process your partner program.

[00:05:12] But I think when you are reporting into that sales function, you have such a high priority of, I need to, you know, produce this revenue. You cause a lot of burnout for your partners. And that just in turn is not going to. You're not going to have a successful partner program. Those partners are no longer going to work with you, because like you said, on the last day of the month, you're offering incentives for any referral that they can send your way.

[00:05:35] That's not a part of a partnership. And where I see it being really successful when you do align with marketing is you are going to market. You want to understand your joint value. This partner with anyone that you work with, you need to have a joint value. Um, how do your solutions work well together?

[00:05:50] How can your customers find success with using, you know, partner, acts and yourself, and being able to align with Martin? Have a beautiful, some type of webinars series or something set up where you can present this to your customers and your prospects. You then in turn will get revenue that way as opportunities and leads come in and you can work on them.

[00:06:11] Um, obviously every experience is going to be good and it is what you make it, but that's just my 2 

[00:06:17] Alex: cents. Yeah. And pointing to an episode, you did one with Mike from role works, right? 

[00:06:22] Carina: Yeah. Yes. Mike is amazing. And I don't think he directly reports to marketing. He reports into a CEO. However, he works very, very closely with his CMO as well.

[00:06:34] Um, there is an amazing blog that he wrote, um, with crosses. Oh on the partnership maturity curve, where, and this is specifically for tech partnerships here where you, um, he talks about launching your partner going after that one partner, where you see a, you know, a joint solution. And there is that better together story that you can tell diving into that.

[00:06:56] And then also then at that same time, as you're building out that integration to have conversations, Between your marketing teams to ensure that your product marketing team, your partner marketing team marketing in general is able to launch on that story is the same time that the integration team is building that out.

[00:07:16] You don't need to wait for the integration to be built, to launch that integrate or to launch that story in that partnership, do it as you're doing that. Um, and then start co-selling motions from there. He works really closely. With marketing and gets all of those, um, co-marketing activities set up, mainly focusing on some of those case studies that you can talk about right away.

[00:07:38] Um, we actually did this with Mike when we were launching our integration with them, um, and just found a customer that was using our solution. In tandem and not the integration quite yet, because it wasn't ready. It was able to speak around how they use the solutions together. And that was a great momentum when we were announcing and launching that integration.

[00:07:59] And, um, Mike also, I mean, he's amazing. I'm biggest fan over here. Um, really, really focuses in, on enablement enablement all across. All department wine, but really focusing on partner enablement and why it's so important that you're not only as the same time as you're launching this integration in this partnership, you're educating your team on everything that's going on, the processes that you're in, so that they can have those conversations with their prospects and customers, um, and be on the same page as 

[00:08:30] Alex: you.

[00:08:32] I love it. And I'm pulling up the article right now and we will link to it below this. So look for that. But he says you cannot have a successful partnership without thorough co-marketing and a go to market plan. So we call that our partner track when we are helping new tech companies figure this out.

[00:08:51] It's. You're not sitting there trying to just define a persona and create an incentive structure and then put it into an account based sales sort of strategy. What you're doing is you are putting these partners through a progressive track that gets you what you want, but at the same time gives them stuff to chew on also reciprocity, immediate value.

[00:09:13] So. I'm going to refer to another episode here, and I'm not going to be able to give you the exact title, but I will find it before this gets published, but it's with, uh, the clear coat team. Um, so I was interviewing the clear co team on what they do around the gap between the partner has given them something or signed, uh, activated.

[00:09:38] I think some of us. And when they will reciprocate with immediate value, and this was Chris quotes, and I'm going to butcher it, but it's in the. Five seconds of the episode, if you listen to it. But he says the first objective he has with a new partner is to immediately get in there and create value. Um, the way he does that is sometimes it's, Hey, we've got this piece of co-marketing content that's coming out.

[00:10:08] We'd love to involve you. They get a back link agencies, also get thought leadership. They need all that to maintain inbound and to maintain their staff. That's great. Or also they have a funnel of new leads that are coming through. So Chris will essentially pick out what that value is before he even joined that call with that agency.

[00:10:29] And he will essentially overload them with value. And then he'll start asking for stuff in return after they've kind of hit that mark of they are thankful and they want to reciprocate and you can kind of gauge that. So that can be a part of your partner track can be built into your strategy. It doesn't need to just be something you hope to do.

[00:10:50] You can build that as a part of your strategy. So the one thing that partner managers asked me around co-marketing. Um, first one is return on time, ROI, but mainly return on time. So if I'm going to, if I'm Chris and I'm going to co-market with one of these agencies that I really want, this one was Ember tribe.

[00:11:10] That's now signed up. You know, I've got to take some value away from my current partner ecosystem, right? Because you're not giving that co-marketing that event, that webinar, that article to your current bucket, you're using it for a net new, um, my strategy. And I'll ask you to give me yours, but my recommendation is, is simply to say, You do not need to make it all about one or the other.

[00:11:39] Uh, you can involve both of course. Uh, but of course you have to grow your partner program and you can't sit there and say, you have to be a partner and you have to join. You know, commit these referrals and get certified before we do anything for you. So it's, it's inevitable. You're going to have to figure out what you can involve net new partners in, um, versus what you can use for your current partners.

[00:12:05] And, uh, the second thing is marketing's buy-in on including partners in the content. So before I talk about the buy-in, let me know your thoughts on just ROI from co-marketing with partners, net new partners. 

[00:12:21] Carina: I think it's so important to co-market with all of your partners. And like you said, it doesn't just have to be one partner at a time.

[00:12:28] And I think it's kind of similar to some of the episodes we've had on this podcast is by having multiple partners come together. Majority of the time your partners probably work with one another, especially if it's an aid agency or a tech partner. So a lot of times you can have a webinar, a panel with the agency and the tech partner and how their solutions work together as well.

[00:12:53] Um, that's something that we really like to do, and it's all about better together stories that you really emphasize, like the better together stories and how all of our solutions can work together. It's not necessarily a tech stack, you know, it's just how all of these different roles and companies, agencies, tech, partners play a huge part in the success.

[00:13:12] So that is an option. And that's something I like to do. Um, I think investing in a new partner and giving them, you know, different co-marketing opportunities straight off the bat, if they're really. Going to be a successful partner there. That joint value is there. Then that definitely makes sense. And this is one thing I learned from you just in general of co-marketing and aligning and getting that buy-in from Marcus.

[00:13:36] It's to make sure you sit down with them and set up a shared calendar. You should have a shared calendar of events and really work through where can partners fit into this. If your marketing team isn't going to want to invest a lot of resources into, um, partnerships, maybe there's a way. It can be very hands-off.

[00:13:55] Um, one thing I'm really interested in right now is almost having like a webinar series kind of already mapped out the dates are already planned. Uh, now I just have to work with partners to understand and identify a topic and audience and get speakers from there. I think that's really easy. It's lightweight on your marketing team.

[00:14:14] And if you're able, the partner manager is able to. Give some resources there help with identifying a topic and work with your partner and their marketing team should be really easy to kick off and just have it be ongoing and easy rinse and repeat. 

[00:14:30] Alex: I love it. I love it. So I'll, I'll, I'll just say this from my personal experience.

[00:14:34] So before. Partner programs. Uh, and after the agency that I ran, it was a VP of growth and VP of marketing for a couple of platforms. And my number one objective, as soon as I started, as soon as we're able to start using some of the marketing budget. Was to go out into the ecosystem, find those that are already talking about the keywords that I want it to be known for.

[00:14:58] So a good example, uh, I was VP of marketing at Carly's dot com car leaks, right? So it was a, you know, virtual car leasing platform that doesn't matter, but I don't know anything about leasing versus buying and I don't know anything about the car industry at all. So my very first objective. Was to create a campaign that I could involve a number of different people in.

[00:15:21] And I picked out essentially it was a series, right? It was a podcast web series plus articles. And I picked out a number of keywords that we were going after because marketing needs to go after keywords. So my objective as a marketer is to create these and create traffic and inbound around those buying keywords, which was leasing versus buying was our number one.

[00:15:43] So I would do some searches on core. I do some searches on Reddit. I do some searches on LinkedIn for that keyword and on Google. And I picked out someone that ran a blog on leasing versus buying. I picked out a couple investors that had invested in companies that were analogous to us, not competitors.

[00:16:01] And I had picked. A couple of CPAs and a couple of C FAS financial advisors that also can be, um, the experts in that opinion. Right. Uh, we didn't have a partner program. We didn't have incentives. We didn't have any of that. My only incentive was I'm going to make you famous. Make you famous, right. By putting your face in this whole series.

[00:16:22] This is going to be the foundation of a lot of marketing and dollars and inbound. Right. And they had an incentive which was purely, Hey, if my face is there, I could potentially get a client or I could potentially get traffic. I at least at the very least I get thought leadership and. Right. Use Cora for this because Cora is a bunch of people that either want to have their questions answered by experts or their experts that are answering questions.

[00:16:50] You can find most viewed writers on Quora under a topic. Like, I don't know, B2B, ABM, whatever you want to say. Right. So look, look for Cora, like look to Cora. But the reason I mentioned that anecdote. All of that had nothing to do with partnerships. I created, I think, eight or nine advocates that could have easily been converted to partners, but they were just doing something together.

[00:17:16] Right. And they were super appreciative. They sent us a bunch of business. They talked about their episodes. On their social channels, newsletters, et cetera. I didn't require it. I didn't have a contract. I just knew that if I made them look good that they would then share it. So I was a marketer. I was not a partnerships person.

[00:17:38] I knew that experts talking about my keywords is way better. Then me as the content manager or me as the marketing manager or me as anyone on the team talking about that keyword. So crossbeams article with Mike right here. Yes, it was created by Olivia, but it's all about how Mike does this and Mike's a referral partner for CrossFit and probably a user.

[00:18:04] And it becomes this. Awesome thing. So when you have your conversation with marketing all in this rent now, but go to your marketing team and find out what their keywords are for this quarter, what are they trying to get known for? Then go back to your desk and underneath those keywords in the spreadsheet or wherever.

[00:18:23] Start to search Cora Reddit, LinkedIn, YouTube, wherever find thought leaders that are talking about those specific keywords and make them as long as possible and not too long, but in the middle, not B2B, but obviously like account-based marketing would be a good one to start. Find agencies talking about that, find podcast host, talking about that, find whoever, and then go back to marketing with that list and say like, bring up their names and their profiles.

[00:18:50] Show them how many followers they have, how many subscribers who their clients are and what they do and say, Hey, wouldn't it be valuable if this person was talking about. Uh, article title versus, you know, you and whoever else. Right. And they say, of course, yes. And then you start to just slot in like, well, can I bring them into this piece?

[00:19:11] And then maybe we do an expert interview and I bring five of them into that piece. And then maybe instead of this being an article, we turn that into an event. And I bring in a panel and these three people can be on the panel. Would that be, would that be good? And as long as you're targeting their keywords and you're still speaking their language, the conversation should go well.

[00:19:31] And then of course, if that goes well, and everybody's on the same page, that becomes a routine you sync with marketing. Once a quarter, you get keywords, you build up the backlog of experts underneath each keyword, and you do that as a routine. And then it becomes partner sourced, content and partnerships becomes embedded.

[00:19:50] And the content operation, anything on that before we go to culture is the next, 

[00:19:55] Carina: I love that. And I just think it, it makes a lot of sense. If you are struggling with a marketing team that doesn't have resources or bandwidth, this is just a little thing that you can do as a partner manager. It's not going to take that much time and you can come to them as an expert in the, how you're showing that you can also help them in their role and hit their number.

[00:20:14] Love it. Perfect 

[00:20:15] Alex: summary there. Okay. So, um, culture, we have a couple topics around making sure. I think marketing was the first culture aspect, but like we're talking, I think to the teams now that want to have a successful partner program, but there's typically one person that has been tasked with partnerships and they're just kind of on their own island floating around, trying to make partnerships successful.

[00:20:38] I see that a lot and, and the culture isn't there. So that's kinda what I want to, I want to talk to these people that are listening, that you could be a CEO, and you're trying to figure out how, or when, or what to think about culture is enormous. And when I say culture, it's not like, oh, everyone's happy.

[00:20:53] And you know, the mission and vision and value I'm talking about, like, is partnerships a part of, uh, your departments, not KPIs or KPIs or, you know, their numbers. Doing, but Ty from would be able to frame this better, but you have your OKR and then you have your things that you're going to do to hit those.

[00:21:14] Okay. RS, then you're going to have your projects that help push those OKR over the top with partnerships. It's like yes, product has their OKR is, but where, where is partnership? In that equation. And if, is that embedded? Is that something that you guys operationally have put in place or no, that's what I mean by culture.

[00:21:35] Same thing with marketing and same thing with sales is everybody have the mindset that, that operation with partnerships. So that project. Is going to benefit my Mike. Okay. Ours are my KPIs. Yes or no. That's what I mean by cold, you did an episode with Terminus and mojo media. Maybe we use that as the example and I'll link to it again.

[00:21:55] What did they do? Yeah, so, uh, 

[00:21:57] Carina: Kaitlin, uh, from Terminus, she is the one of the partner account managers there, and she's also responsible for building out all of their enablement. Um, but she, you know, was working on a smaller team where there was no partner marketer, which is. People listening, you probably, you might not have a partner marketer, all of these other roles that can really help make a partner program and, uh, communication across departments very easy, but she was able to really have that buy-in from not only her marketing team and from the sales team, but from CS as well.

[00:22:30] And her relationship with mojo media was one of my favorites to talk about and really highlight because they have such a great partnership where the. CS team at Terminus believes so much in how the agency mojo media can really help their customers and help with their usage of Terminus and make the CSMs job a lot easier when renewals come from there, that their partnership was a huge success.

[00:22:57] And so I talk about that. In that episode, but it really started off to making that partnership successful by having all of the, um, onboarding and training material that, that agency mojo media needed. But it also wouldn't have been successful without the buy-in from all of the different teams. And how you talk about culture is really like in my eyes, I see it as do all the other departments.

[00:23:24] In your company, believe that leveraging partners can help them find success in their own roles. Does your sales team understand and believe that if I bring in this per they can help me win this deal. Even if it goes a little bit longer in a sales cycle, that's okay. We're going to win this deal. And it might be this much higher in ACV.

[00:23:43] And do your CSMs understand. You know what maybe my customer is having a lot of issues. I might not win this renewal, but I'm going to bring in this agency who can talk through all of these different strategies that can then help me maybe when this renewal, um, that to me is how I define culture. And I think Terminus did a really great job at it.

[00:24:02] That is what made their partnership with mojo media really, really strong. 

[00:24:06] Alex: So that's why you're an awesome co-host because you can take everything that's I kind of pieced together and you make it actionable. And what is actually happening in the seat? Someone that's running partnerships. So thank you for that.

[00:24:20] I'm going to point to another episode here. Cory Snyder and his CEO at Morrow post, they launched their partner program. Corey, uh, was not on an island, uh, but he was a one man shop. Um, I think still may be his, he may have hired some people by now, but has had a ton of success. Um, and it started from the top down.

[00:24:40] Ross said, not only do we need a partner program, but we're going to go all in and we're going to honestly let the partner program change some of the SOP that we have mainly around customer success. So listen to that. It's called jog, crawl, sprint partnership strategy, where Corey lays out what he did day one through 90.

[00:25:04] I think by the time we record. And, um, his metrics, his goals, but mainly I thought the really interesting thing was how customer success at Maropost interacts with partners. And then I'm going to dovetail that into one more episode, which was the integrations, or, sorry, the implementations partnership episode with Connor Jeffers and his insight squared partner, Ben Turner at insight squared has done a lot with Connor and all their implementation partners, insight square.

[00:25:32] Requires a lot of expert level guidance to get the implementation done. Insight squared made the decision to, instead of trying to do that as a CS department, they're bringing in partners and this is a very tough decision for a lot of SAS companies is like, Do we hire more CS people to take on that load?

[00:25:54] Or do we try to warm up and generate and enable implementation partners send DOSO? I think you guys are in this bucket as well. Anything that's like, you need either a lot of creative energy or you just need a lot of potential hours, but you also need the stress. To get the implementation done to success.

[00:26:16] So I want to hear your feedback on implementation partners and what it's been like acidosis, and some of the partners that you work with. I think role works is in this bucket. I think Terminus is in this bucket. Um, but anything on implementation partners. 

[00:26:30] Carina: That's a huge topic that definitely we're having internally at Sunoco right now.

[00:26:35] And that goes back to just the culture of partnerships. Does everyone believe in how partnerships can benefit their current roles and overall obviously ultimately benefit your customers? Um, this is something we are introducing here. We're trying to better understand what does this process look like? Um, when we have implementation partners now work with our Sindo.

[00:26:55] So customers, what does that pass off look like? Um, it just takes a lot of. I truly believe in it. There are experts that are doing this stuff right now, and they're doing it very successfully. And that, that is those implementation professional services types partners. So we should really be looking at how we can resource them a lot more rather than hiring internally, trying to figure it out on your own.

[00:27:19] These people are experts. They've been doing it for a while. They can make it very successful. I'm sure at a lot of different companies, it's probably hard to prove out right away, especially if they're already doing it. They probably see it as maybe this is just another outsource of money. How am I going to get my return?

[00:27:35] It just tested out maybe with one partner at first to see how that goes. Have, I don't know, six months to a year contract with them and how that will actually work out. What do those customers look like? Are they renewing at a higher ACV? All of that. It's important. And I think you, you might as well try it.

[00:27:54] Um, and this also, especially with my, and this is kind of like a little bit of a different type of partnership between J Barrows and, um, sales loft, but this is very similar for them as well. They're like professional services type of agency, but they talk really deeply into their sales strategies and they work very closely with the sales loft CX org.

[00:28:17] By getting involved with their customers and really being able to strategize on their sales process, how they're setting up their sales, loft, cadences, maybe where they're fitting in different touches, like CIN DOSO and all of these other tools. And they're able to do it in a very professional, um, strategic matter that may be we at Sandoz.

[00:28:38] So in sales loft just couldn't do it the same. So definitely check out that episode. It's with Chris Merrill, Morgan and Graham. Um, and then my friends at sales. That's wow. 

[00:28:47] Alex: A lot of good points there. I think the main thing, uh, in both those episodes, uh, the idea of adding an implementation partner will better your KPIs around the attrition, reducing attrition, uh, increasing customer lifetime value, uh, first and foremost.

[00:29:02] But I think just the idea of like how. Scale successful implementation, you know, how do you scale successful onboarding without these types of experts that are out there? Right. Uh, listen to those two episodes and then just keep in mind if you are still on the other side of the fence, on this argument where you're thinking.

[00:29:22] Yeah. But you know, it's tough to control what they do. And do we really want to like outsource that, that really important job of getting our customers onboarded fully. You know, you think about it like this. Like if you and your CS team will be experts in your product, great, that's going to be needed for support, et cetera.

[00:29:40] But what your end users do with your product, the only people that are experts in that outside of your customer's marketing department eventually are these agencies, these consultants, these digital strategists, because someone like John Barrows and his team can say, yeah, and sales loft. Great. What you do with the tool is what makes or breaks your success with the tool and option one, if you and your CS leader fully onboard your partner and leave it at that, send them some drip sequences and some videos and all that.

[00:30:14] Now their job is to figure it out. All of the great things they can do with your product, with relation to the full fund, how do they connect it with Salesforce and what do they do with that? And how, what messages, copywriting, all that stuff now in that option, hopefully they get over that and they push it through to success, but it's going to take them a while and they're not going to know what they don't know.

[00:30:37] John barrels and his team are working with hundreds of similar companies. They know the optimizations, so they can fast track the implementation, which yeah, they're going to charge for it. But imagine if that company didn't hire that consultancy, they would be spending countless hours trying to figure it out.

[00:30:56] Then they're going to run into walls and they may never even get it to the point that a John Burroughs could get it to or Connor at a aptitude day could get it to. Because they just don't know what they don't know. So you're saving your customers a mountain of time and energy by suggesting strongly, even that they work with an implementation.

[00:31:17] I'll say one last. Uh, one of our clients figured out how much it costs his CS department to implement in terms of hours and wages. It costed him about 2,500 bucks to get a full implementation done. What he did is say, well, I'm going to take that 2,500 bucks. I'm just going to give that to my agency partner.

[00:31:36] I'm going to say, I'm going to pay you 2,500 bucks. You don't have to tell the client that I'm paying you. It's up to you. But you are going to do the, build the implementation for our user, our next user, instead of my CST doing it. And that created a much better relationship, the client or the user, the client of the agency became a client, of course.

[00:31:57] And they were super blown away. Excited. They loved their builds so much because it was fully baked. That they stayed on estrogen. So I don't want to take up any more of that topic. Any last thoughts before we try to squeeze it? Couple of roadblocks that we want to make sure teams don't have to ensure success of their program.

[00:32:18] Let's do it. Let's get 

[00:32:19] Carina: to 

[00:32:19] Alex: roadblocks. I gotta stop my rent. So, um, I won't rant on this one. This one's pretty straight forward. Some of the roadblocks that we heard from. Some of our interviews. Um, so any that come to mind, I've got a couple here, but contracts is the main one. Um, but let's start there. Let's just say around contracts.

[00:32:40] So is there anything, both in the process of delivering a contract and forcing a signature. Or asking for a signature versus even clauses. Um, what have you seen, what is your experience around contracts? 

[00:32:53] Carina: Yeah, I think that you can definitely start, um, working on your partnership and doing a whole lot more before that contract is finalized.

[00:33:01] Um, I know we talked about, um, exclusives too, and I think that is. It's really difficult, especially in this space and the technology, B2B SAS space, especially that I'm in right now. It's kind of, you know, people are going to partner with who they're going to partner with. It's really all about what you offer them.

[00:33:22] You should not try to prevent someone from partnering with someone. If I were to look at it from a friend scenario, if someone told me not to be friends with someone, I don't know if I would really just want to be friends with that person that told me that. So what do you think there? 

[00:33:38] Alex: That's a good analogy.

[00:33:39] I mean, um, I'll just tell you this. I mean, it's talking about exclusivity in a partner contract, which essentially means, you know, I am, let's do a, uh, a. Point specific tool like drip for email. I don't know if they're doing more stuff now or not, but they're an email provider. MailChimp. Perfect example.

[00:34:00] What if MailChimp said, Hey, you're a MailChimp partner. I don't know. They may even do this, but if you want to be a MailChimp partner, you can't use an email marketing platform that competes with MailChimp. Okay. Uh, say I sign. Right. Let's say I don't even read it. And I sign it, which is most key. Most of the cases, you know, you should see you just gloss over it and they won't read it.

[00:34:22] Um, and then I go and partner with active campaign. In my mind, marketing automation. I use it for different things than my MailChimp rep sees me partnered with active campaign and promoting it and talking about it and all the stuff. And then they'd come back to me and like, oh, my boss saw this and they're really kind of.

[00:34:39] Questioning me. I'm wondering if you sign and I said you signed it and now they want me to kind of ask you, can you just stop that program? And I'm sitting here thinking. Okay, well, active campaigns off the table. And then HubSpot's off the table then drift that launched their email marketing component is off the table of Zen desk has an email component.

[00:35:01] Maybe they do. Maybe they don't. But what if they come out with one now? I can't partner with Zendesk. Okay. So what you're doing. Is you are creating a very tumultuous sort of like scenario where it could become very awkward for both of you. Right. That's number one. Um, and then number two, you know, is, is that point of like, you don't know what the other platforms are gonna come out with and all of these platforms that I mentioned, active campaign drift HubSpot's Salesforce, Salesforce, maybe not so much.

[00:35:30] Zendesk is a big example of this. They are creating. Basically full suite solutions. Right? The third thing I'll mention is if you do get a partnership with an agency, they are not going to choose what tools to recommend based on any sort of contract. They are always going to recommend. The solution that is best for their customer, no offense or maybes about that.

[00:35:55] So what is an exclusivity clause going to do to change the agency's mind about recommending you versus a competitor? Absolutely. Nothing final thing. I know. I won't name names, but I know of a company that decided to add an exclusivity clause in their contract, sent it back out to their partners. And three of the agencies that I know that received that updated agreement that read it.

[00:36:22] I'm sure a lot. Didn't even read it. Immediately exited the program and were very upset about what they had sort of subversively done because they didn't email it out and say, oh, by the way, we added an exclusivity clause. They said, we've updated our partnership terms. Please sign the new one. They didn't even mention it and they slipped it in.

[00:36:41] So don't do that, whatever you do. So that's what I'll say about agreements. Anything 

[00:36:46] else? 

[00:36:47] Carina: I was just going to say, you know, you also doesn't allow your partners to flourish and grow in the way that they need to. And we obviously want our partners to be successful if you're in it. Have a partnership so you can get referrals.

[00:36:59] And so you can be successful. You're looking at the wrong reasons. We should want our partners to be able to work and grow their business with as many people as they possibly can. Um, until you are actually able to prove out that value, if you are able to get. Your specific partner, X, Y, and Z, and do all of these different co-marketing activities.

[00:37:18] And you can send them 15 leads. Then maybe you can put in an exclusivity, but you have to prove out your value prior to even doing anything like that. If that's what you're thinking. So maybe wait six months, see what it looks like after that. Um, if you have to do an exclusivity. Stairway 

[00:37:39] Alex: and many, many agencies will have multiple partners for each use case because you could be the best SMB, but that other platform that is a loose competitor is better for mid-March.

[00:37:50] Great. The agency's gonna need you bowl. So, uh, that is a huge one on roadblocks. Um, there's plenty more so we'll have to do more of these, the feedback and anything that you guys need from us. We are continuing on with make them famous. It's been hugely enlightening, I think for both of us. And hopefully you, if you've listened to some of these other episodes, very unique premise of getting.

[00:38:12] Three sides, essentially us plus two partner, uh, people on either side of the partner program, either agency and had a partnership. Sometimes we get CEO and head of partnerships. So we want you to get the full grasp of what that specific program is all about, how it's working, what is working, what maybe isn't working and hear it from multiple people.

[00:38:35] The partner manager. So hopefully that's been valuable for you. Um, if you have any feedback, contact us, it's under contact. Make them dash. And leave your feedback on that form, or just hit us up on LinkedIn and you can chat with us there and, uh, give us your recommendation on guests or what you want an episode.

[00:38:59] Carina: Yeah. And if anyone listening wants to be a guest and talk with us a little bit more about how they're growing their partner programs, maybe some of the things that we've talked about today, some things we've missed. That'd be great. I love my favorite part of doing this is learning. From so many, uh, professionals and leaders in the partnership space and ecosystem.

[00:39:19] So I'm always happy to talk to 

[00:39:21] any 

[00:39:21] Alex: people. Okay, great. So thank you very much. And we'll be back with another one of these after our next, I think we've done 25 episodes or so, so far, so maybe after our next 25. We'll do another recap for you. If you enjoyed this. Thanks like subscribe and leave. Any comments, comments.

[00:39:38] Thank you, mutually beneficial.

[00:39:44] Carina: Welcome to make them famous. The podcast about partner enabled 

[00:39:48] Alex: the only podcast uncover both how partner teams enabled their 

[00:39:52] Carina: partners and how other department leaders enable their partner teams to achieve success.

Thank you for listening to our podcast. Make sure to also check out our services at and the new product for managing partnerships in one place: