In this class, we are going to discuss how to formalize an appropriate budget for your partner strategy, and what KPIs to focus on at each stage of growth.
About Greg Greenberger:
Partner Program Specialist at Signavio
Greg is building and managing Signavio’s partner program – creating the incentives and enablement to help scale and ramp-up their team as well as enabling strategic partners.
Well, let’s go ahead and dive in so. The class today is budgeting and kpis. The focus is what to know when you’re creating and planning for the release of either a new partner program or the launch into a new partner persona. A new vertical for your partner program. How do you consider what budget to allocate and then also what kpis to consider in the early stages 0 to 6 months as you kind of hit product Market fit as you hit traction how kpi’s? And then obviously how they change at scale with me is Greg Greenberg and we have Greg on because he has done this at a number of companies and he is very in tune with the actual budgeting and the kpi. Setting aspects of new partner programs for software and Greg has some really interesting experience as of late around this subject. So I’ve invited Greg to this recording to help us illustrate how early stage teams can make sure that they are setting the right expectations internally and getting the right budget and also making sure that they are keeping the right kpi’s as they grow this program. So I’ll turn it back over to Greg to do a quick introduction. And then we’ll dive into the notes and how we’re going to illustrate this topic for you. Thanks Alex a pleasure to be here and thanks for having me on so as Alex said my name is Greg. I am currently the interim Channel director at a company called Sigma vo its business process software. We sell everything. Process Management to process mining to continuous optimization workflow software. I also come from long background e-commerce worked for a company called Striker not too well known outside of Europe, but it’s an e-commerce and for a couple of years before that. I have my own startup best thing. I’ll never do again and previous before that. I work for a company that was also in the e-commerce space and wound up eventually being sold. Telefonica, so I guess I’ve seen quite some forms of Channel programs both how to do them and most importantly also how not to do them. Those are the definitely the ones you learn a lot more from. I love it. And yeah, definitely a privilege and very excited to have you on this class today. So thank you very much for the time and what we’re going to do and I’ll share my screen here is dive into. Exactly the a line that we have comprised for you and we did There’s Greg’s LinkedIn if you want to connect with Greg by the way, some of his experience here. So definitely follow him, but the outline we’re showing this is what Greg and I have Rift on. Over the past two weeks and we’ve gotten some feedback from some people in the course as we speak before recording this class. So it’s a hopefully everything that you would need for a class like this. Obviously. We’re not going to go into depth into each individual use case, but we’ve got a great outline around starting your budgeting what to know when you’re looking at. Regional base budgeting and some of the stuff around requirements and timelines and getting buy-in from your CEO around budgeting. This is really important stuff that will help to cover and the marketing costs and PRM and then all the things that you need to know. As the partner manager dealing with cross-departmental challenges with this new program that are huge and then some specific questions from someone in this course that will aim to answer. So first and foremost the main items to know before you can start budgeting this question here. So what is it that you have to offer your partner that will help you formulate an accurate? So Greg, maybe first we can mention what licenses MDF certifications what these are and and how those impact budget, right? So I guess going through this little bit, you know, there are a couple different things that you can essentially offer your partner which you know is going to effectively have a cost. For you and this is essentially your budget is going to come from Let’s ignore the topic of HR for this because you know in that case, I think this depends a little bit from company to company and I’m also going to assume that probably before you really start looking into doing any sort of partner program, you know, you already have people on board who are responsible for it when you yourself are probably already going to be on the payroll. I’d hope whoever is watching this. But you know talking a little bit about what it is that you actually be spending money on but these Partners the biggest cost that you’re actually going to have, you know one is obviously if you’re going to be giving any sort of discount or commission to these Partners or if you’re going to be giving any sort of free licenses this. Obviously is going to have you know, I think for an early stage company like very little, you know investment that you’re going to have to do on that part. But if you’re not starring in a green field, this is actually what I found in my experience tends to be the most difficult thing to actually get signed off on budget perspective. Let me give a good kind of anecdote for this. So, you know, one of the things when I recently came on board with us Ignacio was we wanted to read. Structure, you know what it is that we’re offering our partners out of our product portfolio in terms of which products they can use how many licenses they get for this for what amount of time what feature sets what discounts they get on resales and things like that. In changing that inevitably since we’re mature organization we decided that we wanted to be granting certain kinds of licenses to Partners made perfect sense because they’ve become educated on them. They help resell this to our you know, or refer this to our clients, but one to give them licenses that were not free before. Obviously we had some Partners who are paying for those licenses before even more problematic, you know, we have a actual forecast where there were some open opportunities where we were expecting that certain Partners. We’re going to buy a couple licenses from us. Obviously. It makes sense from a long-term, you know, profitability standpoint that of course if they just get access to that product, they understand it better. It can be an. That your multiplier. It’s a much different kind of conversation that you have would actually going to you know, your sales VPS and try to explain to them. Yeah. Well, maybe we need to actually lower the forecast we have for the current quarter because we shouldn’t really be selling that deal. We should just giving that to that partner so that can be kind of a politically sensitive issue where. Budget involved and then the larger things that are going to be you know, your expenditures up front. I always find are going to be MDS, you know, your Market development funds. So for those of you who are not into of this, I don’t know Alex if you already have a course on MDF that you’ve gone through with the okay, but essentially an MDF is going to be kind of a fun that you would contribute to with your partner’s where you would use this on activities that you would hope would you know expose yourself into the market and generate opportunities. So, you know at a very high level. Think about this as more or less like a marketing budget that you’re going to be splitting with a partner. So if I say let’s say for sake of the example, we’re going to be spending 50k MDF with a given partner. Let’s say Acme Co, you know, we expect that we split this. Usually I’ve always seen this done about like 50/50 or so where we say. Okay, I put in 25K Acme cope with some 25k and then we work on our business plan for the year. We usually figure out what are the intelligent activities that we should be spending to do with that 50k. Maybe we do Performance Marketing campaigns. Maybe there’s certain trade shows. We identify that are mutually beneficial for both of us. It depends a little bit partner to partner But ultimately it’s stuff that you will put into a fund, you know, hoping that they wind up, you know. Joint business with what you’re investing into that fund. I’m trying to think if there’s anything else I forgot but I you think off top my head. Those are typically the biggest things that you put in with an ndef. I guess. It’s very related also to you know, kind of that license that I was talking about. But also we have any services that you’re renting Partners some organizations will charge their partners for certification. Some don’t even around when it’s not certifications if there’s training involved, you know, wherever it’s basically stuff that you are performing for your partner’s service-wise that you’re not having them pay for, you know, somehow that’s going to have to come out as a cost because you’re spending human resources on that time performing those services so, you know. Do you have to understand is you go into this budgeting exercise? What are the things that you’re spending money on our for those partners? And the other thing that I find being very important to is you also have to kind of have a rough understanding of a breakdown of how do you diversify your partners? Because they don’t all look the same right? You know, you have Partners in different sizes and different regions. Maybe you have a sophisticated enough partner program that you already have various different levels of Partners. Maybe you have different business plan types with partners. Do you have Partners in different regions list can go on but you know, obviously not every single partner is going to consume resources or budget in the same way just because they’re not all the same types of organizations. They’re not all deeply and as you know equally deeply invested in doing business with you as you know, every other partner, so if you can kind of lump them into different. Baskets and go through kind of a rough budgeting exercise, you know more or less understand. Well someone in this baskets likely going to consume X Y and Z someone in that basket likely to consume a b and c this can help you kind of, you know start to really build a budget for those partners and your partner. Yeah, and what we like to do is you know, it being a class in everything instead of just a discussion. I mean some some takeaway some action items homework assignments that we can do say say this sort of, you know, open my mind to some things that I wasn’t considering as the marketing or partner manager. And that’s budgeting this whole new Drive MDS. For example Market development funds if that’s something that hey now, the wheels are spinning and I’m considering adding this to the budget licensing and certifications. Maybe I thought about it, but it’s becoming more of a real scenario that my CEO of a sudden once a budget involve wants to involve those into the budget as I’m thinking about these things. Is there sort of a homework assignment that I can do over the next week where you would say. Yeah, maybe list out all of the items of some stuff that you just mentioned as well as some other stuff that may grossly impact the change in budget or the progression of the budget as you start to release these new things. Is there any sort of. Itemized homework that you would give these parts. I think a good thing to Jumping to see Alex and share with you kind of a rough template of how we go through this Ignacio. And when you start thinking about what you’re going to be offering a various different partners is start to build kind of a sheet that looks a little bit like this. So what you’ll see that I put together here is we. Basically did it’s Ignacio, you know, we wrote down all the various different types of Partners. We have we segment our partners based on either their Consulting Partners, you know, our technology partners and within that they can have different types of business agreements with us and different levels. This is what I was referring to when I talked about the different possible combinations and classifications of Partners list all of these out and then cross that with all the various different things that you think you might be spending money on with your partners. Maybe this is the apps. Maybe this is training maybe this licensing question with training and license budgets visiting that you want to allocate their or services. This is something that I think you can relatively easily just pull from your product catalog to understand roughly what it cost for this is going to be even if it’s a you know software licenses and you know, it doesn’t really cost you anything to provide at least gives you a baseline about you know, what you could add to kind of an incentive for a partner to look like you’re putting some sort of monetary incentive in their services really does have a car. Maybe you want a budget that is the actual cost of the service but then do kind of an analysis jumping to the other sheet within here of all the various different partners that you currently have or expect to have and then try to put them in one of those baskets what type of partner they get to be what region or so and then you can kind of aggregate this so once you kind of figure out, okay, you know. MDS, you know we put in this number for this kind of partner. I have sold so many partners licensing budgets and whatever and this is what I did when I actually came in I really start with analysis here and I can be very upfront. I wound up with completely different numbers about what we were actually able to afford putting into a market development funds and training budgets. Then I initially expected because once we add this all up and once I base things off of percentages that I use previous in my career, I wound up figuring out where at a budget where I went. Oh, I wish I had that much budget but I don’t so, you know, this can help. You also kind of play around with you know, figuring out. Okay, once I build some formulas in here and I can actually calculate what this is going to add up to. You know, how do I play around with some numbers in here to make sure that at the end of the day I’m winding up at a scenario where I’m not going to likely, you know, spend more in supporting my partners with through incentives or budgeting then I actually. Cash got it, and I see some math here. So maybe talk me through. We don’t have to go into detail. But just some of the mentality that goes into 15,000 euros for the global referral logo for an MDF. Arnhem defund what what what went into that what sort of logic when in yeah, it’s so so I’ll be upfront. You know, I came up with this and I don’t think it’s actually 15K in our company. I tried to anonymize this event, but the numbers that we actually reach out I really came down to was a you know amount of experimentation. So let’s back up a second and assuming you’re not starting in a green field what? I you know I have seen in the past is that you know, typically what you do in terms of MDF. Let’s pretend you have a partner you’ve been working with for several years, you typically both put in five percent of what you’ve earned. Enjoy Revenue into. You know your MDF on from the next year because this way, you know, once you’re up and running with your partner is your already generating joint Revenue, you know, this budget is essentially just a portion of your earnings and is very easy to justify this internally on both sides if it’s you know low. Percentage, maybe it’s not five percent. Maybe it’s something else but at least in my experience had worked with 5% before and I started actually by just coming out with something where I went. Okay based on the different types of Partners. We have its Ignacio, you know based on the size of business plans that we’re doing. Let’s just assume that I start with 5%. Of what a business plan we have with every and partner is I put that in a spreadsheet and I found at the end of the day. Actually that was something completely unaffordable for us simply because we’re still very early days for a program here in terms of actually getting this online and having kind of like large business plans with, you know, large gsis around the globe and you know because of that I really had to just kind of play around with this and tweak this and figure out okay, you know, not only what can we actually afford, you know in terms of just. You know across the board lowering this by a fixed percentage actually taking a look into our catalog and understanding okay, you know who are the actual partners that we have and who are the ones that were like, you know having our pipeline that we expect will have next year. In an early enough time period that would effectively being doing marketing with them because I think is relatively safe to say, you know, if you’re doing your budgeting for 2020 any partner that you expect is not going to really be assigned partner until like 2 3 q 4 2020 you’re not going to do any marketing with them in 2020. So they don’t get into the 2020 budget worried about them in 2021. But think about like who do you actually have because these should be logos that you can name already. What types of partners are they maybe you find for sake of example, the majority of your partners are like mid-level in your tier system resellers. And again, let’s say Asia. I don’t know sake of example, then you can kind of play around with the numbers there and you can find okay. Yeah knowing that I have more of these. Even if they don’t necessarily represent the category at the highest performance if I have numerically more of them, I might have to wait them differently in terms of what I give for Budget there just because again, I have numerically more whatever that number is will correspondingly be a larger percentage of the budget that I have to allocate for. That makes total sense. So obviously there’s some playing around with the budget based on you know, you may not have regions. You may just be focused on consulting or agency partners And to clarify here the MDF for those partner managers that don’t have an MDF haven’t considered. It don’t believe that it works with what their model is going to look like. Maybe we can Sanam Sanam eyes that or make it more relatable for someone interested in co-marketing funds and and developing sort of pool or maybe it’s not cooled with your partner or it’s not a combined budget, but it’s a budget for just code marketing. Is that something that we can say is is the replacement for an MDF? Yeah, it’s just perfectly honest. I think of them as almost the same thing. I have heard the term co-marketing quite often interchangeably with MDF. Got it, and the only difference there. I mean when you say I’m DF that seems like a well-defined structured partner Channel Partners typically know that hey if they have an MDF, I’m responsible probably for contributing to that as well. And everybody everybody understand but when you have co-marketing typically that’s all funded by the part of sort of the software or the the organization that’s looking for partners. They typically will do 100 percent of the funding. And then it’s up to the partner to bring audience and to bring exposure to that kind. Yeah, you see what you mean in this case. Okay. So in this case, then I think this comes down a little bit in terms of like how you actually want to structure this. Yeah. I mean, you can very easily also do something in that sense where you know you offer very clear like incentives in terms of. You know willingness to contribute funding exchange for certain activities. But yeah, this this works absolutely to and I can say this is also something that actually done quite a bit of before I was Robbie. Oh I mentioned I work for a company called Spiker when we did International expansion into new markets where we had no presence previously. We do exactly this kind of model. The agencies we partner with on the ground specifically because let’s say you’re a software vendor you go into a new market, you know, you likely don’t really have a contact database there. So you don’t really have a lot of people to do. Let’s say direct invitation management to and you also probably don’t have great name recognition anyway, because you probably haven’t really invested in branding or Performance Marketing campaigns in a region yet when you’re new there, right? I mean, why do you invest in marketing in a place that you haven’t yet targeted? I guess that is. An oxymoron kind of I don’t know but you know anyway, but the point is that yeah, you know, you’ll partner with your partners on the ground who do in fact actually have you know, those kind of like contact list the ability to effectively do invitation management the you know, you’ll basically exchange know so I can say hey my budget of whatever to spend on this event is roughly equivalent to your you know able to provide x y and z. In terms of you know invitation management hosting whatever. Yeah, it doesn’t necessarily have to be like actual Straight Cash on both sides. But yeah, however you want to do this some sort of co-marketing whether you consider this a fund you’re both putting in whether it’s a one-sided fun, whether you’re just exchanging activity per activity. It doesn’t really matter. But you know at the end of the day, this is somehow going to be working to a budget where even if you are not putting up cash yourself that activity has an actual service cost on it either because these are actual. Services that you’re offering or is just an HR service cost because you’re having your marketeers work on. Got it, and and that that hits it’s a great point. So depending on the size depending on the region depending on what your what Your agency consultancy Channel looks like MDF may not be the term co-marketing maybe more of the strategy which the biggest change there is it’s not as formalized its it’s custom per partner. You will need a budget for co-marketing no matter what your partner program looks like in my opinion. So definitely allocate that but think of it more in line with a Content marketing budget and an events marketing budget, so you’ll have maybe line items. For events that you want to put together for partners, but that will be more later in the development of your partner program and year one maybe events will occur, but they’ll be more localized. They’ll be more maybe maybe. Lunch and Learn Type events. They won’t be as large as say an inbound type conference, but about you want to go ahead and budget events Budget co-marketing on the content level plan to pay for all of that for your initial partners, and I would have a budget that is almost like a slush fund of of potential cash that’s necessary if you want to sell a very very. Ideal partner an influencer type partner someone that has a lot of clout in the space and they are not sold on your product as of yet because your product is still relatively early on in this situation. There could be a scenario where you co Market with that partner. Sponsor their podcast for example and have some funds of able to do a media by type of partnership to kick things off. Then you co Market the content that you create together, but you are doing more of a media by so that’s that’s a type of budget that I definitely recommend having earmarked at least for when you do come across that that high level I once or twice. I completely agree that I’ve also had great success, you know, so if you’re a particularly trying to work on these influencers, there is nothing better than hiring someone as a you know, public speaker as a way to kick start kind of a you know relationship with them as a formalized partner because as you know, Alex exactly as you said once you actually create that content with them particularly if it’s something that. You know high visibility content, you know something where that Partners going to have a vested interest in promoting it themselves. They will gladly work with you to comb Market it once it’s produced. It may very well start with you having to actually, you know, do essentially that media buys you said whether that’s paying somebody speaker fees whether that is sponsoring a podcast whether that is hosting I don’t know mean if they have or whatever you name it, but you know if. You’re willing to you know, investigate your name attached to content that is it only their best interest to share they will do what’s in their best interest in sharing with you. Yeah, and I’ve done that in the past where if it’s if it’s valuable enough and that’s their business model where they have a podcast that you can sponsor. They’re not just going to go ahead and partner with everybody that comes through because it obviously deters other people from sponsoring the podcast sponsor the podcast but have a really awesome campaign laid out with the content that you to create together that may not be showing them as a formal partner. But obviously to anyone that’s viewing that campaign. They see you to align very well and that is enough to sort of bring in the demand gen from the the partner marketing and we’ll talk about attribution by the way in another episode. I’m sorry another class TCM a attribution. So some of the marketing efforts that you do. There will be attribution necessary from Park partner marketing spend versus your marketing and sales spend that’s a very difficult challenge to prevent Channel Conflict for a lot of partner managers. We do want to address that but that’s going to be in a different class. So look out for that. So again, we talked about Market development funds. KO marketing budget budget for sponsoring those high profile influencers. We touched on regions. Did you want to mention anything else around Regional budgeting a pact forces West so, you know, I think. Hello there people with more experience than me and you know working in, you know markets in the East and get into various specific, you know criteria in terms of how you might need to go about like allocating certain cost differently, but you know, I think when I look at this at a high level, I think where this is relevant is you need to kind of just understand, you know, if you’re active in various different markets whether this is Regions markets, I mean, maybe this is different territories with you. Country. I don’t know this depends a lot on your product. You know, you just need to bear in mind where you mature and where are you less mature? And when that is the case, I think what you know, a lot of people find themselves asking is how much should I be investing? Doing in say brand visibility in a market for as a how much should I be investing in really unlikely generation? And I think this is very very strongly correlated with just a question of how mature are you in said Market when you’re first doing entry into a market where you do not really have significant footprint and you do not have significant brand recognition. You have to invest most of your capital and. One because even where these are things where let’s remove ourselves in the conversations of Partners entirely you have any Direct business arm whatsoever. You are reliant on that brand recognition to an extent to be able to do business in that brand and that’s. Also true when you’re talking about partner branding as well. I mean the better your brand recognition the easier you are of product for your partners to work with and ultimately Cosell. So it’s in your best interest and you probably will only be able to attract, you know, those real multiplier Partners. If you have decent brand recognition in those categories now, I don’t want to say that if you know necessarily one, you know has to come before the other. To extend. I don’t want to say it so much a chicken and egg problem as much as is it really just depends on your business where you have ins. Maybe you have a connection to a partner active in a region that you’re not currently in their good foot in the door. Maybe not maybe you invest more in lead gen even to get the first couple of Partners, or maybe you invest more in. Brand recognition, I mean to get the first compartment is a region you tackle a region before you even have a partner on the ground and there’s it depends. It’s all contextual one way or the other you have to understand whether you’re going into a region where you don’t have a lot of you know brand recognition with or without a partner. A lot of what you’re going to be investing in is making sure that you have good brand recognition. So that those first couple Partners can effectively sell you so that you can find more new partners and as you start to gain more and more market share more and more brand visibility you don’t have to. Quite as much at least proportionally and that top of the line brand recognition content. You can become a little bit more specific especially once you have enough partners that you can kind of cover enough of the pipe you need in a given region to hit your target. You can really start to invest in like what are the very specific activities that will be very focused on generating an Roi. Yeah, and that’s a perfect dovetail into technology and I’ll explain some of the notes that I was taking while you were talking Greg just to recap you’re looking at a region if it’s region where you already have brand recognition. You won’t have to spend as much early on to go ahead and submit your brand for that IPP the ideal partner Persona that you’re going after which means that you’ll have to focus more on lead acquisition and Lead conversion, which means a little bit different of a strategy which means a little bit different of a budget. So let’s just take that the ladder use case there where I do have brand recognition. My company has you know a good significant foothold of the customer base in that industry. Now, I’m tasked with creating the partner program to develop more influence over new audiences and the agencies. They may be in my funnel already. I don’t know. In the reason why this is a good time to talk about technology and we’ll back into PRM and and how we budget for technology. But one of the things that you’ll be you’ll be kind of having to plan for is new technology or buying into other technologies that your Marketing sales department are using to benefit your conversion activities for your partner program. So a good example of that is if you are. I’m trying to convert a specific IP P that may already be in your funnel. You have to find out who is coming across your website that are in that IPP those Firma Graphics, whether that’s marketing and advertising industry related companies that are visiting your site you may have to request for a technology like lead feeder where. You now have to say Okay. Well marketing and sales. You guys have been focused on end users and those personas coming to our site and getting involved in our CRM. Now I have to find the people that you have now been focusing on which our agencies and Consultants that have been bouncing off our site. So I’m going to add lead feeder. It’s going to be 50 bucks a month and it’s going to tell me all the marketing and advertising and consultancy consultant industry companies that are visiting my site. I’m gonna pull those off into my PRM or my section of the CRM and I’m gonna start tracking those so I want to talk real quickly and we had a little bit lower but let’s talk about PRM budget allocations and some of the other technology that you’ve had to implement. In early partner programs that we should plan for. Yeah, so I want to divide this into two different categories because you know, you hit the nail on the head Alex that at one point, you know, you really have to consider. What is the technology? I need to effectively generate more Partners. The other portion of this is what is the technology that I need to better enable the existing partners that I do have. The types of Technologies you need for those and the way that you go about budgeting for them I think is going to be quite different. So let’s tackle first actually the scenario that you talk about when you are trying to capture more leads. Let’s say of potential Partners from you know, your website whatever it is, but you know, you’re trying to just increase the footprint of partners that you have. What is the technology that you need to invest in there? So this is something that you know, I. Can’t say I worked with lead feeder myself, but I’ve spent quite some effort, you know doing optimization of let’s say, you know Marketo and HubSpot software. I’ve only done this in companies where we already had it previously installed, but nevertheless the years, you know service arm. Combined with when you start working with the agency to build that new kind of poor, you know drip campaigns for you know new different types of personas and such and you know, I’ve also worked with a lot of cold outbound email stuff using tools like Hub sell or Outreach actually to just do cold Outreach potential agencies become Partners as well. And you know this term maybe I’m going to make this up. I like to call it the pack not customer acquisition cost. But the partner acquisition cost. I know you really need to be worrying about okay like. No, so how am I able to actually reduce my effective partner acquisition cost to get more Partners in the door and a really good way to do that is to try to understand what your partner acquisition cost is today based on the current types of activities that you’re doing in the current types of ways that you’re targeting them. So let’s say for sake of example if the way that you have been finding most of your partners today is by just bumping into people at trade shows. Do some basic math to figure out okay, you know how many partners and my meeting at a trade show how many of them wind up becoming Partners how many of them become, you know, someone who actually brings me business and you can I mean it’s going to be very rough number but kind of more or less figure out. Okay? Yeah, what does. Cost me to actually get a partner on board that’s going to bring some business our way and use that kind of as a base line. I’d say almost as a case to go to your leadership and be able to say okay, you know will if we can reduce this cost or for the same cost if we can reach. I don’t know 50 potential Partners instead of five, you know, then this is a net positive game for us. That’s something that I would say. I wouldn’t tackle that so much as an outright. Budgeting aspect as much as I would, you know, kind of more like a cost-benefit analysis type thing out there. You still there. Maybe I’ll just lost your camera. I think Alex left the meeting. No, I’m here. Can you hear me? Yeah, I can’t but I think you turned off your camera. Yeah, I think it just lost the camera. Let me just restart that. Hold on one second tears have done in the middle of but yeah, I was I was talking a little bit about how you make a case in terms of whether its budget or costed, you know bet. A cost-benefit analysis type thing. We know when you’re procuring this new software to kind of bring them toward more new partners because I’m getting less of your in early stages of building a partner program or if you’re just in you know, let’s say early stages and give them reaching. It’s really hard to come up with a, you know, rough number of what your partner acquisition cost is going to be that you can actually multiply. Dale it’s also really hard to tell once you start actually changing the activities that you’re doing and replicating that at scale what that effectively costs you but you can at least you know, make a business case to leadership to be able to say look if I if we know that we’re not going to hit our targets if we don’t bring on board x amount of Partners per year, you know, like what would you rather do it in a way that’s going to cost us X or would you rather do it in a way that cost us why you know with why hopefully being lower thing where technology can assist. That and that’s what I’ve had good success with in my own career doing, you know, being able to say through some tool we can effectively reach out or you can effectively capture, you know, 25% more. I don’t know part potential partner leads for the same price if not less. Where I would say that where it becomes more about budging in the other topic that I was referring to earlier is the stuff like you were talking about with the PRM where you try to understand. Look, how can I use technology to let say better enable the partners that I already have my portfolio. This is where you really work in terms of understanding what the actual budget that you have is because let’s take a PRM for. Or I’d say also a learning management system something which I think the two things which are you know, absolutely indispensable for doing a partner program scale, you know, these are things that you use to effectively reduce the amount of bandwidth that you need to be spending in terms of your personnel to effectively enable a. Or you know to effectively work that partner because PRM should effectively be able to you know, let’s say reduce the amount of work that your partner managers and btr’s need to do because they should just make the actual reporting aggregation. Of let’s say, you know the lead reporting activities and business sporting activities, you know, this should effectively be able to reduce the amount of personnel time required to be able to conduct that Partners have technology can automate a lot of this and a learning management system should effectively be able to you know reduce also the Personnel that let’s say your training or your pre sales team is going to need to. Doing for your partner’s to effectively enable them on your product portfolio and your solution portfolio. So I think the right way to take a look at those is to actually understand based on what the individual things. Let’s start with the PRM for sake of example, you know what the individual product features that are that we’re going to be utilizing for this when we launched such a system are and what are the types of behaviors that will be automating that our Personnel is doing today. So let’s give a very concrete example for here. Let’s say you have a partner manager or even a couple partner managers in your organization. And each of these partner managers is let’s say having weekly calls with your partner’s to do a review of their. You know just discuss the open leads discuss, you know current activities that they could be doing to find new leads in the coming week or so, and let’s pretend for sake of example they do this weekly and let’s also percent for sake of example your partner managers. Do you know manage 10 accounts each if you can use a partner, you know portal or PRM to effectively. Reduce the amount of calls that your partner, you know manager is going to have to do to work that partner to let’s say once a month instead of once a week thinking all of a sudden with the same amount of time. Take care of four times as many partners, right? Because if they don’t need to get on the phone to talk about and discuss every single lead every single time. It’s reported. This can be something you were a partner just shoot something and you know partner portal off you can kind of review it in your CRM or whatever. If you set this up in an ideal way you can actually start to build a budget by understanding okay if I can just work. X percent more partners with the same amount of partner staff or if I need blessed staff to work the same amount of partners because you can you know, then I don’t want to say, you know, you can your partner managers but more you start having them invest their time on other types of activities than. Working leads to those Partners. You can really start to build a business case for what just Personnel cost and if I can reduce that, you know, like how much does it actually benefit me to be investing in a part in partner program or learning management system as well. If we start talking about the training enablement aspect that’s much easier to build a budget in case for and that’s really just based on your personnel salary. I love that. Yeah, that is a huge benefit there. And that’s one of the things that we want to make sure that we’re delivering is okay. Well, you’re going to have to build a case for almost everything in this budget. It’s easy enough to build a case for yourself because you’re going to be 40 hours a week on this project, but when you go and you try to spin up new software. You’re going to have to make a case for that. So LMS and PRM are going to be difficult because they are very expensive and they do require integration with your CRM. So if you’re very very early on there are some sort of MVP PRM systems that you can spin up. We have an air table one that’s in this class. I’m sorry in this course that you can check out which is a free PRM based in are table it does not have. Affiliate link building and tracking but it allows you to do tracking around co-marketing Co selling stuff. I can also they interjecting here. Maybe Alex you have one recommend. You’re absolutely right the PRM they get expensive because this really doesn’t make sense unless this is connected to your CRM some capacity. Obviously it’s scale you want your learning management system be connected to your CRM, but I would actually recommend for a business first starting out. This is going to be the cheaper of the two to actually procure because theoretically speaking, you know, you could launch it and have it be disconnected from your CRM and it’s workable, right? You know, if the trade-off is let’s say, you know in order to. Do a certification of a partner. Do I need to either sit them down in a room where I fly in a pre-sales guy or a trainer to you know, maybe do a training to 10 people at a time or can I just have them be taking a course online? Dad asked that trainer to or that pre-sales person to spend a couple hours building a course that’s much easier. I think in terms of like just a low barrier of Entry cost investment to make or you can already kind of try to recoup your you know, Personnel Resources there. It’s also just a great way to make a case for your leadership to also prove that hey investing in technology investing in enabling our partners. This is something that clearly the partners are going to have an appetite for and it’s a clear way to demonstrate that, you know, we know how we can do this at scale, you know, and. Also way to kind of showcase that you know you I will also say stay in the favor probably your direct sales colleagues that you know the less that you’re really demanding from them in terms of utilization of their pre-sales resources or their training resources, the Blessed competitive, they’ll be with you, you know, in terms of all overall the overall resources that you’re going to need to pull that they’re also trying to pull the close their deals. Awesome. Yeah, and you have an LMS that you recommend? Yeah, so I’ve worked with a couple. So right now we use one called de chivo I can recommend it well, but I know it doesn’t come cheap. I’ve used one of the path called thought Industries little bit. I’d say more I don’t like using the word but. Product I actually liked it a lot for what it did but it wasn’t as sophisticated in terms of CRM integration. We didn’t need it to be at the time but really, I mean there’s hundreds of thousands of LMS has I encourage you to you know, go ahead and take a look for yourself. And if you really need to start lean, I mean. If it was put it this way, whoever’s watching this. If you know you need to start lean lean is going to have a very specific definition for you in terms of a numerical value use that as kind of your starting point and just figure out what you can work with from there. I’m pretty confident that you can make. Anything work at any level as far as an LMS goes long as you put decent content into it, obviously this works better than more sophisticated of the feature set is and the more integrated. This isn’t the rest your Tech stack but content that you put into their that more has to do with what you have to provide then it has to do with an actual cost in terms of the system itself. Yeah, I believe and I could be wrong about this a don’t quote me but check out all bound. It’s a PRM technically, but they’re built off of WordPress. So they essentially give you your own content management system for partners, which is a lot different than most prm’s out there which are primarily based on link tracking. Check out all bound to a demo with them that could solve LMS for you as well. As some PRM could be light in both areas. So just be aware. Okay, so then PRM I put in some notes in the notes some some recommended platforms like all bounded partner stack. To check out depending on how dependent you are on leaked link tracking and custom link creation. All bound does not do custom link creation partner stack does but just sort of a broad overview of where link tracking is in Channel and Greg. You probably have your own opinions if you are. And very inexpensive lightweight SAS link tracking maybe more of something that you implement and and allow Partners to create those custom links and share them. But as you move up in the price point and move into more scalable Channel systems, you’re going to be reliant on things like example if I TCM a. An LMS to do partner enablement, which link tracking is just not something that you deal with and a lot of Partners these days are just not as willing to just share links and claim that they are show these prospects that they are affiliated with the partner and they’re getting a kickback because links when there is a custom tracking code on a link and the partner is sort of forcing that end-all-be-all client to go through that link. That is obviously inherently biased and shows that that partner is getting a kickback which can change the relationship and it’s something especially as you’re going after agencies and Consulting Partners. They typically want to make sure that they do not show their end-all-be-all clients that they’re getting a kickback if that all from these Partners, so just know that when you’re talking. And a demoing some of these lmss and prms and TCM a platforms, but I put some links in there the last thing that I just wanted to get your opinion on at this stage. Is partners that are interested in Co selling with some of their initial Partners is co selling something that early stage partner program manager should budget for or no bike-o, silly. I want to make sure I understand, you know exactly what you’re getting here. You mean like budgeting for the. Let’s say Personnel costs of investing your sales people being in the field. Let’s say selling with a partner sales people or you mean in terms of the actual Kickback or discounts that you have any Partners on your software or your products when they’re going to Market with. Yeah, so the former so I’m Co selling as a solution is account mapping. So you may be looking at a couple hundred dollars a month for like a crossbeam part of her cat maybe a little bit more but it allows your sales teams to now instead of going and looking at their own databases your now opening up conversations between. Other sales teams and your consultancy partners or your agency partners and say Hey you get what you mean? Yeah. So perfectly honest, I think one this is a little bit hard to budget for now. Obviously, you can take a look and I do recommend really when you’re in early stages of partner program to invest in having your experienced salespeople the doing, you know that act of selling with your partners particularly because especially as you have. You know immature partner program. It’s just inevitable. I mean, you will not have effectively enable Partners every single sales person in the world believes. They’re a great salesperson and I don’t want to get into a you know conversation about whether everyone is or is not good at sales. But fact is people are good at sales, you know, and they are you know commissioned on basically. Are they selling the products of the company that they are hired for just because your partner sales people know how to sell their services and their Solutions. Well does not mean that they are effectively trained on how to go to market with your products. Even if they’re great sales people they need to be enabled on is the best way that you have to do this, especially when you’re in the early stages of a partner program, especially before you have a lot of this kind of enablement content there is to just have your salespeople in the field doing that Cosell. There’s no. The way around that I think budgeting for that is very very hard because what you’re going to see is the extent of time that you’re investing from your own sales people with those Partners is going to be very proportional to what are the actual opportunities that you’re seeing your portfolio. And how long do those sales Cycles last of those opportunities, you know, if something is qualified out very quickly, even if. Look like a large account. You have your large account team on it. They’re investing less time on it and that’s harder to budget for I think in just predict simply because this is really just going to depend on who’s the guy who’s going to own the give an account that a given partner sees and also, you know, like how long does that opportunity actually stay in the pipe? I think it’s really really hard to budget for I personally haven’t tried myself. Maybe Alex maybe the viewers on this maybe you guys are smarter than me and you have a way around. Yeah, and I just put some notes there. So just consider when you’re talking about Co selling I have dealt with a couple early stage partner programs were Consultants were a necessity in that sale because it was such a complex implementation that they found in the found out this later which is why they converted to almost exclusively through Channel sales. They found the Consultants were involved in every implementation because their customers were having so many issues with it and their support team wasn’t. Large enough to handle all those so they leveraged Co selling and some some obviously some LMS and some certification stuff and went with a through Channel only sales process where account mapping can come in handy and crossbeam does have. Free option for sales and sales force and HubSpot users where you can actually just do almost a Venn diagram of overlap and accounts which can come in very handy. So what you can do as a partner manager if you are exploring Co selling and we’ll leave it at this is really just go and spin up a free crossbeam account. Check out some overlap between one of your current partners and then see a couple more accounts and it really just see if there’s enough of. A opportunity meaning that those accounts that your sales team isn’t going after that aren’t in your Salesforce or HubSpot instance that are in your partners and then come up with some integration based campaigns and that’s a perfect example if you do have a new integration. You can go to that partner and say hey, we’d love to do a little bit of account map. Co selling with you and get our accounts are situated with this new integration. So check that out. I completely agree and just because they say that it’s very hard to actually budget for this before you you know, really understand who your partner is one of the actual opportunities that you’re looking at. How long are they actually in your pipe? That doesn’t mean you don’t do it just means it’s very hard to establish a. Budget for it at the beginning of the year until you’re actually working on those opportunities. But yes, I can’t recommend enough you have to do this code telling me their Partners. Also, I mean honestly even as you scale, I mean the most mature Channel organizations that I know the places where even when they’re well-oiled machines. They are spending most of their Human Resources isn’t pre-sales. What their channels it’s injecting that very, you know, in-depth qualification have you know, very specific customer use case scenarios and how this integrates into your. Got it, and I want to be cognizant on your time. So I want to get through some of these really important ones before we get to kpis kpis will rattle off some early stage kpis and late-stage kpis to track and why some are more important than others, but let’s talk back again to the marketing. Discussion around to to fold I mean one of our students had a question about overall budget to allocate to this early stage partner development. So you’re in this product Market fit phase for your partnership program. Your CEO is asking you for a budget you’re coming from marketing or say wherever you’re coming from you’re used to. Sort of flat numbers around 30 percent of overall Revenue goes back into marketing whatever those numbers are and now you are dealing with that sort of mentality and you’re developing this budget for a partner program. How do you sort of come up with your mind set on? Okay. Well, we’re going to pull. This much budget out from that thirty percent that’s going to mark them because there’s not more budget for this you have to sort of pull from sales and marketing in order to create your budget. So let’s talk about some of the mentalities and then and what sort of initial early kpis are under that budget mentality so that every Department as well as the CEO. Can buy into this budget as well as be on the same page for what we’re doing in these early stages. So, you know before I get into numbers and I think actually there’s just some death practice numbers that have seen how to go about this. I think the easiest thing to tackle your when we start talking about like marketing budget and how you extract this is to talk very specifically about. Who’s actually responsible for the outcomes of these kpis and I think it’s really really I would almost say vital to the success of your partner program to make sure that your direct and partner, you know, not just marketing but sales teams are very very well aligned and not in a position where they feel like they’re competing with each other. So one of the big mistakes that I’ve seen organizations try to do when they try to come up with his partner marketing budget, is this a okay? Let’s say. Ten fifteen percent which by the way are pretty industry standard numbers have seen me allocated of an overall marketing budget to partner marketing. They say 10 15 of this this goes to partner marketing. Yeah, all everything partner marketing its own lead Source. It’s coming from Partners. It’s not the direct marketing stuff. That’s a really really bad way to look at it because you’re always going to have a huge overlap and use cases. You’ll have let’s say. Trade shows that are both relevant for you to go do by yourself, but nevertheless a partner becomes involved in this because it’s relevant for them to and then all the lining becomes fuzzy where you draw the line between this or you have you know leads which might convert on your website sign up for a demo only to find out that guess what the go there because partner told you about it. It’s a really bad idea to try to. Segment that you know, you have partner marketing as a very specific let’s say obviously it’s going to have its own budget, but you shouldn’t look at it as something where that’s is a independent. Let’s a stakeholder then the overall let’s say, you know direct marketing team because then you’re only going to wind up in a scenario where you have two individual people not to different departments or teams. Fighting over what the actual source of these two different, you know, things are so I would say the best thing that you can actually do is make sure as you’re starting to put your budget together from, you know, Marketing in terms of what you do with partner marketing work with your head of marketing work with them to make them understand that investing in partner marketing is something which is only going to come back to the bottom line. Anyway, it’s still going to be reporting into them and eventually as you scale make sure that the market here is that you hire. Reporting in to your SVP of marketing or E director of marketing. Whoever’s running a CMO back up to the original question and the premise that one of the. Course students present it to us before recording. This class was the mentality of hay that the CEO the Departments are all looking at marketing is this percentage of overall Revenue? They’re looking to me to carve out a percentage of that which is inherently conflictive or creating conflict between marketing. And Partnerships because partner marketing early on will always lose to customer marketing. So if you are sort of trying to peel off budget from customer marketing as partner marketing you are going to run into issues where stuff will come up marketing will spend all of their budget and look to the CEO to get more budget. And then the CEO will obviously look down to the percentage of marketing budget is going to park our marketing and that will then get may be taken out from under you how you can nip that in the bud or come at this differently early on is to work closely with your CMO or VP of marketing. And make them understand that the budget that you’re using for. Your marketing activity is going to directly impact their numbers as well. If you are allowed to spend it. So get that buy-in so that there’s no going around Partnerships up to the CEO and asking for more budget from Partnerships to come back to customer marketing or any of those sort of scenarios. Is that what. Yeah, I would agree with that statement and it’s that way if you get your let’s say CMO to buy into let’s say that you know, there are also you know accountable for let’s say the success of that like partner marketing. They’re also involved in making the you know criterias in terms of where these MD after getting allocated. That’s the other thing. I mean, they’re marketing. Can I have one? Steak and making all the decisions about where marketing is being allocated not just for a budgeting perspective, but natural activity standpoint the decisions that you’re making them where to go into an MDF one way or another these have to involve marketing. I think that you should absolutely make sure that your CMO understands at the end of the day whoever is going to be actually going about that. I mean eventually higher individual partner marketeers, but make sure your CMO understands that they were important to them. They don’t report in your partner, you know director or sales director or whatever. That’s the right way to devise that because that way they’ll have an inherent kind of you know, incentive to say well, yeah, you know, I’m not going to be nipping or you know, I’m not going to be pulling up budgeting out of undermining my own Personnel so that way when you get into that scenario later in the year where of course. Somebody in marketing is going over budget become back to the CEO. They start asking for more. They’ll try to find the budget elsewhere instead of pulling it away from you if they also have some vested stake in their God. Okay, so get on the same page with your CEO that backs into the sort of allocation of marketing again. This is going to be custom you’re going to have to build into this by dealing with everything that we spoke about around the region. The types of Partners the funds that you’re going to set up for co-marketing with your partner’s the SAS that you’re going to need to enable Partners as well as track Partners early on you’re going to build into this budget. So don’t look at as a flat percentage or you know something that is industry standard. It’s going to be unique to you. So unfortunately, we’re not going to give you a percentage. But we give you all the tools that are necessary to understand what you need to back into that budget. Now that you have your budget in place and we reach that position where you understand how to approach your CMO with this budget. Let’s go back to the CEO the CEO maybe a little closer to some of these people than others, but the CEO is going to have to sign off on some of the stuff. So making sure that the. CEO and let’s do the Devil’s Advocate role play here. Or maybe I’m a CEO and I don’t believe in Partnerships and maybe you as the partner manager of really sold me on this test. So it you’re going to have Flack against everything that you’re trying to budget toward until you get to product Market fit with your partner program. So let’s talk about early kpis and let’s talk about making sure to get on the same page. With both your CEO and whoever is leading this partner or overseeing the partner program. Maybe it’s a cro VP of sales or CMO VP of marketing of let’s talk about early stage. Kpi’s 0 to 6 month kpi. And what to look at and and how to get buy-in from those leadership people that may be against the idea of a partner program. Yeah. Okay. So it’s a good question now, I think there is one kpi that I’ve always seen as being the best kind of indication as to whether or not your partner program is really doing anything that you weren’t doing through direct sales organization itself and that’s measuring the uptick that you’re going to get in. From working with Partners what I mean by that is that you know, effectively the cell that you should be making to your leadership in terms of why you work with Partners is that they are compared to internal sales people a exponentially more exponential Revenue growth potential driver. I’m. Thinking of a port I’m not thinking of a very concise way to phrase this but theoretically speaking because they’re not on your payroll because you can go out there and you can find new partners much more easily than you can hire people you should effectively be able to you know, exponentially increase the amount of market share and visibility that you get so if you can stay at least establish some kpis around the actual generation, Pipeline in terms of even understanding even before your first Partners close deals. Just when you’re getting Partners in how many opportunities are you actually seeing being generated by those Partners, even before you really working about optimizing how you close deals with Partners just be able to make the case to your leadership. You can say look if we bring on board Partners, I can guarantee that we can produce X percent more pipeline than what we’d be able to just throw out. Sales self obviously, you’re going to get some feedback there even playing the devil’s advocate for myself here without you Alex. Your leadership is going challenging. Oh, yeah, but Partners can’t close like our salespeople. We got the best salespeople in the world. So just because we generate more pipeline doesn’t mean that we’re going to actually close the same percentage that were able to close just the direct sales. That’s where you have to be ready to really challenge them and say look for the midterm kpis that we need to focus on that’s where we need to start worrying about certification of Partners, but they enable partners and actually focusing on the closing rates that we’re getting with those partners because it’s not only enough to build a revenue generation machine you need to be able to prove that that rather that sorry. It’s not enough to build a pipeline generation machine. You have to prove that you can build a pipeline generation machine that is still capable of clothes. You and if it’s not closing at the same rate that your own internal sales people are I mean the dream would happen to be even in a higher closing rate than you have with your internal sales people. It’s that you should effectively be able to generate more pipeline that closes at a high enough rate than it is still a better Roi than it is to pour that into your direct sales machine. That’s the way that you’re making a case for this is real I’d say, you know starting and kind of mid-stage partner organization and then long-term. This is all about ARR. It’s just all about how much recurring Revenue are you generating and what basically your customer acquisition cost is through that. Obviously, you’re going to have different budging calculations that go into this because you need to worry about partner commission’s payouts. You’re worried about the certifications. You know, but you’re also not hiring people. It’s a very different way in terms of how you calculate your customer acquisition cost versus direct sales, but the end of the day, that’s still what’s important once you have mature partner program. An increase in pipeline. Yes, that’s going to be something that everybody is looking at day in and day out. You know, where’s our pipeline at we started partnership marketing we poured some money into it. Let’s look at it in a couple weeks in the month has pipeline increased or not. And that is going to be something that sales and leadership are all looking at what I like that’s even more interesting in my opinion than pipeline uptick early on a pipeline velocity and one of the things that. They may not be looking at initial is how fast time to close the time to close changes in pipeline velocity absolutely shortened down that pipe line velocity. I mean, you know without even, you know necessarily him to reveal the dirty secrets to you know, your c-suite is because you’re not entering the sales cycle at the beginning of the sales cycle when this is coming through a partner. So let’s say your average sales cycle six months. It may be in your industry. I don’t know let’s pretend whoever’s watching this you’re selling. I don’t know car buying software Let’s Pretend. That’s the thing. That’s probably a thing. Right and let’s pretend that that’s an average six months sales cycle regardless of the product, you know, if you’re bringing in a partner and they refer you to a customer that customers probably already been in their sales cycle for a couple of months already you so by the time you’re effectively seeing it may be there three four months into that six months cycle. So you’re absolutely right Alex. You’ll inherently shave that down and you can really show that off very quickly to show. Hey, we’re making some quick wins here. Yeah, I know you can even have a go to some ajai mcbain’s articles on on what’s going on in Channel and how Salesforce and Microsoft our onboarding 80% of their channels knowing Channel Partners knowing that they’re never going to transact. And the reason they do that is because of influence and these partners. Whether they’re your partners are your competitors are going to influence those buying decisions whether you like it or not. So make sure to have a that ammunition those statistics with you when you’re going into this kpis meeting because everybody is going to want you to agree to initial uptick in pipeline. Whereas if you can change the focus to pipeline velocity in my opinion, I believe you’ll be in a better situation to keep your budget growing because a pipeline uptick may not increase as quickly as pipeline velocity, or maybe it does in your favor, but I think keeping the kpis the mentality here. You know as a partner manager, you don’t want to be pressured into setting kpis for yourself early on that are just unattainable and unrealistic. So let’s talk about that real quick and talk about which types of kpis are realistic that you and your leadership can buy into for the. Three to six months of your partner program. Yeah. So this is a really good question and something which you know, we experiment with a lot in like comp plans especially for like partner managers and I think this is where KP eyes get really important, right because you know what? It’s the kpi that someone’s Compass based on you know, You can be sure as hell. There’s the kpis that they will spend the majority of their time debating over and focusing on so we find in really early stages of partner programs. You should be setting just kpis for your partner program and your partner managers actually based on an overall market and what I mean by that is that you know, let’s say we have a partner who is working or a partner manager working in a specific region we base their comp and their performance reviews really based on the overall Regional Target that region has. Not even specific like partner generate stuff is just over our regional targets because well, of course, we have some kpis for a partner program to be able to like measure like, you know interim success there, you know, in terms of those things like PUD line velocity or pipeline uptick we recognize that at a very early stage where we’re really just trying to invest in. Not even as much just lead generation, but also just kind of that market development that everything you do in terms of having partners should be going back to the bottom of the like business maybe comes back in terms of influence of other deals that aren’t necessarily what you would consider a channel influence deal. So it doesn’t wind up in your pipe. Maybe these are spending time on you know, educating other people in the market so that you know, you just have more brand visibility if you just in the early stages of this. Admit, look, it’s very very hard for us to pinpoint. What are going to be exactly the right way is to develop some kpis your bit specifically around Channel and just tie this on region performance and trust that everything we’re doing for channel ties back into the benefit the region it’s easy way to get around this I’d say. Got it. So tied into the region that helps you sort of focus that kpi on things that are attainable in that region and some of the non sort of revenue-based kpi. So if I’m trying to obviously keep my team in the rational area of hey, you know, we may not convert our first deal from a partner for six. That’s going to be a hard pill to swallow for any CEO pouring in 10k 20K a month into this new program. What can we do to make sure that they are comfortable setting non-revenue non conversion based kpis in the first three to six months. So the other thing is that you should be looking at me. We talked about pipeline generation. So that’s obviously a good thing to look at, you know, just whether or not you know, you’re even before you close those deals. Do you at least see something that’s an indication that you’re going to close these deals, but also a really good thing that I found is kind of a, you know basing some KP is really on your partner enablement whether that be a certification whether that be like before, you know number of campaigns run with Partners. This just helps you understand look, you know, And I’m trying to think of a good way to phrase this if you were to go to your leadership make the case. Look let’s pretend we weren’t been doing with Partners here Let’s Pretend We’re talking about direct, you know business model if we enable our internal employees if we go out and we do marketing events. If we go out and we do like, you know sales campaigns. We know that this eventually leads to closing business right now if we do that we’ll partners and we can show some things that I guess. They’re getting enabled on our Solutions the getting certified. Yes, the doing marketing things of those whether they’re not these have, you know, been like executor or not. Let’s at least say, you know x amount of trade shows booked or x amount of campaigns that you know, we’re at least in the works of putting together. This is enough of kind of traction to be able to say look we know we are at least. Doing the activities that we have some historical precedent to prove eventually lead to business. So even if that first deal isn’t coming for six months as you said with that partner, we can still show we have some kpis that we know are the things, you know are tracking and monitoring those activities that we know will inevitably lead to business. How much business with who and what timeline these are all the things that you’ll figure out over time and you’ll begin to optimize but you can at least base some, you know, Intelligent Decisions on kpis by just monitoring what those things are where you have historical precedence for doing those same types of activities for Direct business. Oh and you just hit something that I think is a really good takeaway for this section is when you’re dealing with kpis early on try to steer the conversation around goals and Milestones less about kpis more about sort of certification setup timeline. We want to have a certification program inside of eight months or inside of a year have that Milestone as a Time? Get your CEO and your head of Revenue and your head of marketing to to agree to that move on to the next Milestone, maybe an integration of PRM and the next three months maybe proving your persona in the next two weeks by having a certain number of conversations with those personas. And and giving them the incentives giving them the description in the value proposition and having them sort of sign off on on that as the partner program that they are eager to resell. So try to create those milestones and have the first six months to a year be more about a cheating those milestones and sort of checking the boxes to continuing to product Market fit outside of kpis. Now the kpi discussions are forced. Greg’s recommendation, obviously keep it Regional make sure it’s around Regional performance as opposed to macro or overall performance. And then if they do sort of require you to buy into certain kpis. I do like the idea of. The pipeline velocity mentality of hey, I’m going to create a partner program that’s influencing the customers that are in our pipeline as we speak. It may not be a sales-related partner program to start meeting. Your job is to enable them to influence your partners and incentivize them are sorry influence your. Pipeline instead of incentivizing them to close your current pipeline meaning they’re not going to hold the ticket. They’re not going to resell they’re not going to hold the the proposal and the actual client account for you. So then your job is to make sure your CEO and Leadership on the same page that the early stage of the partner program are more about enablement. More about influence which means pipeline velocity and setting those milestones in achieving those as opposed to Pure revenue from the attributed partners and again attribution attribution. We touched on it a little bit but that’s going to be something that we cover a little bit more detail in. Our through Channel marketing automation class that is being edited as we speak. So that will come about the same time as this class. So anything that we met that we missed before we jump off we do have. Oh, sorry. We do have some sort of a scale kpis that I wanted to touch on. So maybe we just end on some of those after traction and then a scale kpi. I only have a couple more minutes myself, but you know I would say is you really start to have a mature, you know Channel organization. You really have to be basing the same kind of KP or monitoring. Very similar kpis and targets that you’re going to have is direct sales even targets because ultimately what you’re going to start to really wind up with once you have a well-oiled machine in terms of your channel. Is it going to be you know held accountable for what is this actually producing the end of the day because there’s enough Capital being flown through this. You’re Expecting it’s a well-oiled machine and you’re expecting is your organization continues to scale. You’re always going to be, you know, fighting for more, you know budget increase whether this be in terms of hiring more partner managers before any more partner activities, you need to constantly be making the case to your leadership that you are a good investment of those resources and you as a channel organization and not pouring this back all in, you know, all of it back in the drug business. So really you need to be monitoring things like, you know, how much are re producing. What are your sales Cycles? What are your customer acquisition costs? Love that. Okay. Perfect. And we had some some ARR customer acquisition cost and noted those I like the idea of as you are proving the concept of a partner program and you have trash and you’ve got those initial Partners sort of bringing you leads may be uploading leads to the PRM that you’ve set up which is all good. So that’s the pipeline number. So we’re increasing Pipeline with those activities. But before your PRM is set up before you have traction. You may just be focused on influence now that you’ve got some traction though. How close is your Revenue reflecting the business plans you set with your partners. So you’re trying to add an onboard partners, of course, but at the same time you have to get the partners that you’ve on-boarded to contribute to pipeline. Meaning hopefully give you leads meaning. Hey load your leads to the PRM. If you have one set up and add this link to your site do whatever you can’t and last note here just is become more mature as an organization. I think this depends a lot on your business and what your Solutions are, but likely your your partner is wants to become mature tend to have a. Take in your let’s say renewals and turn mitigation as well because they essentially become an armed customer success so long as they’re doing ongoing engagement with your customers. So in this doesn’t only to be net new error when you start dealing with the channel organization at scale, you might very well start, you know monitoring the recurring Revenue targets that you have, you know your upsell opportunities expansions. You know churn mitigation. This is also something which can deal with your partners as well. But again, this only starts to be relevant not only has become an organization scale. I think this has less to do with the fact that you’re a scale more than has to do with, you know to the fact that Partners have an influence on this means that this is an engagement. They’ve had with a customer for a significant period of time that doesn’t happen till your channel business has been around a while. Yeah, and I just added a kpi to the traction component because it’s just like any product Market fit you’re going to do things that maybe don’t scale. So you’re going to be working really closely with lots to say your first 20 Partners. You’re going to onboard them. You’re going to get PRM or some sort of tracking set up you’re going to show them how to add leads and at that point you want to start to co Market with them develop some campaign that scratches both of your backs. But at the same time you’re going to want to start to track the number of New Leads per partner on-boarded in the first three months six months and that’s a number that you’re going to want to increase. So if your first 20 Partners overall cumulatively on. Contributed 20 leads in their first three to six months or even 510 whatever. The number is maybe a thousand you’re going to want the next 20 Partners to be ready to go sooner which means they’re going to contribute more leads cumulatively over the next six months. If you’re going after the same type of partner meeting the same size of company that has the same customer base. Obviously if you’re targeting, Multiple types of partners that are dealing with different customer bases the new leads per partner maybe something you’ll have to fly low and I think this gets back to what I was saying about, you know, you want to be measuring relatively similar kpis that you have with your direct sales organization, and I think we are getting a hero. That bring you got to focus on ramp as well the various different things involved in ramp in terms of how quickly someone ramps terms of velocity also in terms of the actual amount that they’re generating within a certain period of time, but you’re going to be to be making a case again as you go to your leadership and you tell you to make Arguments for why you need to be investing more in Channel than direct sales. It’s that you know, you have to prove the ramp is effective, you know in Channel and it’s a more effective spend than if we were to just put it all in direct sales. Yes, perfect. Sometimes my words Escape me ramp is the key word. So I’ll use sales people and see our Rose out there. That’s something you’ll be very familiar with. So we touched on Pipeline velocity. We touched on overall pipeline. The time to ramp is another one and again the biggest stress. I can I can provide new partner managers that are dealing with creating the budget is making sure that you are not. Caving to the agreement of kpis that are just. Irrational and don’t have anything to do with what your first six months as a partner developer should look like because that can kill your partner program. If you are if you are onboarding Partners getting them enabled but dealing with a ton of pressure to get them to convert customers or send you pipeline that can kill the relationship. So you don’t want to have to have that be looming over you for those first few months six months, maybe even a year. You want to deal with partner enablement get them ramped up sooner make sure they’re happy with the partnership. And also with you you are their friend. You need to be there in ableman expert. So make sure to keep that relationship intact by establishing the correct. Kpi’s at the correct stages and get buy-in from everybody on board before you start. Otherwise it may kill your program. Thank you Greg for the time. You’ve been gracious and I think we’ve unloaded that’s it. Yeah, this has been huge. I’ve learned a lot. So I hope everybody learned a lot and Greg. Why don’t you sign off with where they can find you if they need you should they go to LinkedIn? Yeah, if anyone was getting touch feel free to connect on LinkedIn, I guess Alex you when you distribute this you can put a link in there or something. I love it and Greg is awesome. Thank you so much for the time and we’ll talk soon. Take care see Alex
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