The premise: Partner teams often struggle in the first 60 days of new partnerships - activating them and keeping them engaged in the onboarding process. We find, in many circumstances, this is because the partner manager did not:
Sell the partner on the track completely.
Review expectations, dates, requirements...
And, they did not get sign off / commitment from the partner to get through the track.
Here is our advice to get your partners activated and through the entire partner track.
Remember who you are talking to / approaching when you are in conversation so you can structure your presentation / incentives / offer to that persona.
Connor, Aptitude 8: <20 employee B2B HubSpot implementation expert agency doubling down on RevOps.
Connor vets every partnership for their use in his stack + how they can help him gain thought leadership/exposure.
Highly technical - Connor and team do implementations so they are touching their clients entire tech stack in many cases.
Connor is asked the technical questions and his advice is usually taken.
Is in a position of transition and needs to be everywhere RevOps is being discussed.
Other agencies follow what Aptitude 8 does / suggests.
Tim, Loop Club: High-growth Shopify agency looking to create courses to build his brand and partnerships.
Tim is all top of funnel - paid media
Tim would be your POC
Tim understands the value of partnering and knows he can go-to-market with tools he may never use because there is still alignment.
Tim also is preparing a course for clients and other agencies on CRO which he will involve partners.
Gray, Zenpilot: Sells to other agencies, "Power Partner" - his entire agency is built on one partnership.
Zenpilot is a “Power Partner” - meaning, they built their entire business off of one partnership (ClickUp).
Grey vets and strategizes new partnerships, but they look for relevant tools their clients already use and create referral funnels so they can simply tell their clients to go to a page that talks about it and how it works on top of ClickUp. They collect the fees.
They sell to other agencies.
Since they sell project management builds, they have discussion with those agencies on how all their data flows through - experiments, onboarding staff, hours tracking, CRM…
They are thought leaders and have a large agency audience.
Ashley, Hawke Media: Does not refer software to clients or strategize services. She works partners into their marketing in numerous ways.
300+ tech partners, 200 employees, and a team of 5 under Ashley.
She may not be your POC - often it’s sales.
You would be vetted by Ashley, and onboarded, but you will then have to lobby their sales team (sometimes even spiff) in order to get them to directly refer clients.
The strategy with Ashley is to create large campaigns together.
Incentives to gain commitment
Repeating: These are repeating so you are able to use them as carrots for every new partner as they onboard, any time. Repeating showcase articles, webinars, co-marketing and training round tables...
Exclusive: In order to participate in these repeating events and articles, you have to meet minimum requirements: Onboard fully, Getting one new account set up, Taking training modules...
Eyeballs: "Make them famous." It's your job to make sure your partners are in the spotlight; Directory, blog, on templates/themes/case studies... And of course, not until they finish onboarding and training.
This is a part of Partner onboarding top tech and agencies use to ensure both teams are not only aligned, but have documented what each are expected to do, when and why.