I was just on a session with one of our Accelerator partner manager participants going through his dilemma: How does a partner manager draw out some level of consistent referrals from the partners without burning the relationship. This is the strategy.
I was just on a session with one of our Accelerator partner manager participants going through his dilemma:
How does a partner manager draw out some level of consistent referrals from the partners without burning the relationship.
*Please read my article on the related topic to get more context: https://www.partnerprograms.io/resources-for-tech-companies/who-should-your-channel-or-partnerships-team-report-to
- First, your goal throughout this entire communication process is not to ask for referrals but to create a communication cadence that (a) keeps them on track and (b) keeps you as a value add to their day/week/month. If you are unfamiliar with "Tracks" please join out training.
- Your partners know your product and are hopefully users. So your agenda is not to remind them you want their referrals, but instead to stay top of mind and keep them wanting to do you favors.
- To do so, you have them on a "Track" which takes 3-6months and ends in "expert" status. Meanwhile, you have an email cadence of all value-add for them. Finally, you have a really strong incentive to get to the end of the track (referrals really).
- And throughout that track you have two cadences of emails; 1 with checkins to ensure they are doing homework and progressing on the track. And 2 (ideally from another person on your team with another title) which is more like a partner newsletter with nothing but that week's opportunities for partners.
- Regarding the "Partner Newsletter" - the strategy here is to NOT MAKE IT FEEL LIKE A NEWSLETTER. This is because newsletters are typically self-promotional fluff, and not of value for the partner (they're updates and articles).
- So instead of the typical newsletter format (HTML + images + fluff), use plain text and get right to the point: "Hey John, this is what opportunities we have for you today as our partner..." Then list URLs for closed lost opportunities you are open to co-selling with them on, backlink opportunities in old or coming articles, relevant events...
- Lay out the track and the cadence of both types of emails (track progress checkin, plus partner marketing opp's newsletter) in a visual for your team to understand (similar to a new user onboarding messaging cadence from a large saas company).
- Get buying from all of that with your boss's and enjoy true "partnerships" where they want to give you referrals after every call.
Happy partnering :)