If you're in B2B sales, you should know how important account-based networking is. If you don’t, your company has already aligned with other tech partners and agencies who form a network or partner ecosystem that you can leverage to crush your quotas. Tapping into that network can provide you and your sales team with benefits like introductions, recommendations, and information on who to sell to and when, and more.
On the Partnered Podcast, I, Adam Michalski, CEO at Partnered, sit down to talk to the world's foremost SaaS leaders about the intersection of sales, partnerships, ecosystems, and account-based networking (ABN).
Of course I can’t pick favorites, so I let the listeners decide and these are the top 10 episodes based on you. And each one is a gem.
Before we dive in further, we’d like to thank every guest that has been on the podcast so far and look forward to meeting the future ones.
Without further ado, here are the top 10 podcasts of the Partnered Podcast so far that will provide you with insights to start the new year right.
Jay and Adam discuss how partnerships in SaaS are becoming less of an art and more of a science. Jay also provides an analysis of the current position of SaaS partnership today and projects its future. He also highlights key insights into partner ecosystems, which is one of the main topics discussed in the episode. Jay says that “it’s time to stop talking about the need for partner ecosystems and do something about them.” He says that folks building partner programs should mainly focus on building four elements: its people, process, programs, and technology.
- How many of the 175,000 SaaS companies today are focused on the channel
- Why SaaS partnerships are significantly different than the B2B software partnerships of the past
- The history of co-selling and how it's evolving during the "SaaS renaissance"
- Why the next 5 years are going to make SaaS partnerships look much different than today
- Why 76% of CEOs say their future is wrapped around ecosystems (and why they're right)
Adam and Cristina discuss platform partnership and how to build thriving API ecosystems. In addition, why focus on getting the basics right first (product-market fit, customer pain points, etc.). Cristina also talks about thinking about your overall tech/product partnership strategy to build integrations people love. She believes that building great products and APIs should be the focus of any technology partner. She states that “partnerships are all about creating value for customers and ensuring that both parties win.”
- What Cristina learned from her time building out the BD team at Stripe as the 28th overall employee
- How Cristina is strategically figuring out the API strategy for Notion
- How to think about your overall tech/product partnership strategy to build integrations people love
- Why focusing on getting the basics right first (product-market fit, customer pain points, etc.) is crucial
- What Cristina is up to next at Notion and how you can get involved
Michalski and Biehler chat about different ways to think about partnership organizational structures, and discuss best practices for using partnerships for go-to-market teams. Biehler also breaks down why partnerships will become even more integral for go-to-market strategy going forward.
- The different ways to think about partnership organizational structures
- How attribution is critical; not just partner sourced, but also partner influenced
- The benefits co-marketing can drive for your org at different company stages
- Best practices for utilizing partnerships for the go-to-market teams
- Why partnerships will become even more integral for go-to-market strategy
Oren shares his learnings from leading a vibrant, world-class partner ecosystem, including channel partners, global system integrators, technology partners, academic institutions, App developers, and NGOs. Oren talks about the future of the B2B partnerships where the era of "one size fits all" is over. Today, many types of partners can add value to your product. And every kind of partner brings unique skill sets and perspectives. Oren explains “technology is evolving so fast that companies cannot afford to wait until their technology partner has solved every problem before launching their solution. They must find ways to solve problems themselves.”
- How Oren thinks about the major factors driving partnership success
- Why trust and transparency are the most important variables in partnerships
- How Oren uses the Monday.com platform to manage their own partnerships
- Why ARR is important, but not the only major KPI to focus on
- What the next steps are in the partner journey for Oren and the Monday team
Pete and Adam discuss the early days of building HubSpot's Partner Program and all the learning that comes with it. We then get into Databox and how Pete thinks about partnerships as CEO of a growing business analytics company. Pete explains that “alliances are not just about finding a good match between two businesses, but also about bringing together complementary teams to create better solutions.” He believes that this is why you need to start by looking at what your ideal partner would look like. Understanding your partners' strengths and weaknesses is essential before enrolling in partnership programs.
- The founding story of HubSpot's Partner Program
- What the early days of building HubSpot's Partner Program were like
- How did the evolution of partnerships come about at HubSpot and how did they scale
- How Pete thinks about partnerships at Databox given all his experience
- Where Pete sees the future of B2B partnerships heading
Jay and Adam discuss the SaaS partnership landscape and where it's going. Jay talks about the most exciting trends among B2B SaaS companies adopting partnerships and how he sees the partnership role and career path evolving. In addition, there is an element of size and investment that companies make; there are cultural differences.
- What's happening in the world of partnerships for over 175,000 SaaS companies
- What is going on with the investment in the partnership space and how that impacts the role
- The most interesting trends Jay is seeing among B2B SaaS companies adopting partnerships
- How Jay sees the partnership role and career path evolving
- Why 76% of CEOs say their future is wrapped around ecosystems (and why they're right)
#07 EP 48: Microsoft's Partner Program with Dan Rippey, Director of Partner Programs & Experiences at Microsoft
Dan and Adam discuss how Microsoft runs their best-in-class partner program and lessons learned. Dan breaks down the most common mistakes to avoid for folks looking to scale up their partner program. He says that the biggest mistake is doing too much in one go. You have to start small and grow from there. Another mistake is forcing everyone to use the same tools or processes. Instead, Dan recommends beginning with a few key partners and slowly expanding your network. He also advises against using a sales funnel approach to onboard new partners.
- How Microsoft structures their partner program
- What are the main KPIs Microsoft focuses on to manage their partner program
- What are the most common mistakes to avoid for folks looking to scale their partner program
- What's next for the Microsoft Partner Program
- Where Dan sees the future of B2B partnerships heading
Brad and Adam discuss best practices for building a partner program specifically focused on startups, VCs, accelerators, and universities. They also dig into how Startup Ecosystem Partner Programs differ from traditional partner programs and avoid major pitfalls in building startups. Brad says that building partner programs for startups require patience and understanding of the startup culture. He also talks about the significance of having an open mind when evaluating potential partners.
- What are best practices for companies building partner programs for the Startup Ecosystem
- How Startup Ecosystem Partner Programs differ from traditional partner programs
- How to avoid major pitfalls in building for startups—what not to do if you want to succeed
- The key things Brad has done at Zendesk for startups to succeed
- Where Brad sees the future of B2B partnerships heading
#09 EP 47: Partnerships and Go-to-Market with Jill Rowley, previously at Salesforce, Oracle, & Marketo
Jill and Adam discuss building partnership ecosystems from a go-to-market perspective and why "surrounding the buyer" is critical now to success. Plus, Jill talks about best practices learned from her experience working and advising at companies like Marketo, Hubspot, Oracle, Salesforce, and more. The guest thinks of partnerships as cross-functional teams that solve problems. She explains that the partner's role is to help the customer find the right solution. This requires them to think outside of their silos and collaborate across departments.
- How Jill thinks about partnership ecosystems and the role they play in the broader go-to-market strategy
- The best practices Jill has learned from her experience working and advising at companies like Marketo, Hubspot, Oracle, Salesforce, + more
- Why "surrounding the buyer" is critical to success for SaaS companies today
- Why the reseller partnership doesn't work well in SaaS
- Where Jill sees the future of B2B partnerships heading
Bryn and Adam debate reasons why most SaaS companies fail to get to their desired distribution stage and why partnerships are the key differentiator for those who succeed. Bryn explains that companies need to understand what they want out of their relationships before entering into any agreements. You must earn trust first, then build it progressively. They discuss how partnerships make operations more manageable and allow companies to focus on growth.
- Why Bryn and his co-founders started PartnerStack
- How to maximize your distribution by focusing on your partner program
- How to avoid the major pitfalls the most SaaS companies make when focusing on distribution
- What's coming next for PartnerStack and the exciting Series B announcement
- Where Bryn sees the future of SaaS partnerships heading and how PartnerStack fits in
There you have it, the top 10 Partnered podcast episodes (so far).
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