026 - Building Trust in Channel Partnerships - Matt Quirie from ROI DNA

If you thought you were an expert on SaaS GTM or Channel Partnerships, please allow our latest guest Matt Quirie to have you question everything.


In this conversation Jared, Justin and Matt lay the foundation for everything in channel partnerships: Trust.

And while you probably won't disagree with that statement, the implications to how you manage your business, your teammates, your partners and customers are vast.

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Jared Fuller  00:20
I mean, if you go and you look at the seven logos for some cool logos in there, I'm particularly proud of where one of those logos sits. We we still have some work to do on adjusting that placement but um you were you were referencing ROI DNA. That's right. Just

Justin Bartels  00:39
Yeah, ROI DNA has 7 billion and counting and client revenue generated not to to, not to toot Matt's horn here too much. But I, it's very relevant to a topic, Jerry and I were talking about this week of agencies going from being on retainer hourly models, to, you know, delivering revenue outcomes for their customers, and how that's going to be a shift in the market, which will likely be something we dive into here. But I don't want to steal the thunder of the topic for today.

Jared Fuller  01:04
You just like, you just set it off with a bomb, like the next big shift in you know, why agency should care and you went straight to the heart of the topic of and that's why we have our illustrious guest today. Send your Matt Matt, thank you for taking the time. Welcome to partner up. No problem. Thanks for having me. Of course, so matsa, CEO of ROI DNA. And we thought we'd go to the other side of the partner ecosystem today. We've talked about a whole bunch of different topics as it relates to the wild world of partnerships. And today, we wanted to talk to the agency side the channel side right where I think I'm gonna throw a handful of stats out today because full disclosure, I talked to Jay McBain for anyone that follows this character from Forrester, I happen to be a giant fanboy right now. He has so many examples. For so many stats that me today 78% of creative agencies in the last five years have switched to a digital service model. Right, like so there's this rush of agencies going, ah, I can't do creative anymore, right, like creative is not enough, it doesn't cut it. So people are rushing to this space. And yet there is a what 15,000 b2b, you know, like more tech sales, tech companies that are also rushing towards agencies. And I think there's a lot of talking past each other. There's absolutely a lot of talking to Justin laughs like, yes, dude, observation, Jared. There's a lot of talking past each other because I have a feeling that most people when they approach you, Matt, so technology companies or whatever partnership, you're approached with being an in demand, you know, best in class hypergrowth agency, where they're, they're not solving for you. So I wanted to open up with maybe that question like, what's Matt's take on what it takes to be a great technology partner to ROI DNA or an agency like ROI DNA?

Matt Quirie  03:06
Yeah. So first of all, thanks for having me on. This is stoked to talk with you guys. I think unlike those seven 8%, we've always been a digital services agency from day one for 11 years. And I think what we've always been from, from our clients best interest is agnostic to the technologies, whatever's best gonna suit them and their customers for the journey that we have to get them on is really kind of what we partnered with. And I think there's, I would fully agree with you, I get probably five to 10 inbound one a partner a week from new technologies coming out from extended service companies, but there's, there's almost little to no value in the spam emails. And it's actually hurting their brand as well to what they're trying to put out a partnership. But there's nothing stopping there behind I think, from our perspective, is where you're partnering with best in class services that are also tied to to the technology side. So whether it's, you know, basically conversational marketing, like where you guys may store, whether it's an analytics package, or whether it is all the way through an ABM schema, we're looking for what partner in the industry is going to bring the best value to our clients. And also stand up like from a customer service standpoint, because I think the most important thing in all this is having people on the journey with you that are gonna stand behind what their product is. And so the tool is gonna be best in class in a category. And then it's got to have the best in class type of resources and people surrounding that product, they're gonna stand behind kind of what it does. So for us, our goal has always been to partner with people who also have the same ethos and spirit is our company is doing what's right for the client.

Jared Fuller  04:36
That makes perfect sense. Maybe I can rephrase this back to you. Yeah. If I were to approaching that cold today. And there's, you know, a handful of different ways that we could do this, but maybe I'll talk about two. One would be, hey, Matt, I see the types of clients like a, b and c that you work with, right? So here's how, you know we've helped other companies in this note Relative space that might be like version one, like the junior varsity, but at least it's out of high school, right? Like we're at least talking about the customers that you care about and how we help them. And then the next level would probably be, you know, understanding, you know, the existing clients that you've had, right? Where you've been in the same accounts. Tell me if you ever had someone develop a partnership, or where you sought out a partnership, where you did not already have an existing customer that like kind of educated both parties to Oh, yeah, we're both in here. And we should probably be working together. Can you like sought out a partnership where it's like, this has never been in one of my accounts, and I need to go figure it out? Or they've reached out to you and you've been like, yeah, I need to partner? Yeah, I think I think there's been a couple in history of that. When looking,

Matt Quirie  05:50
it's always come from the mindset of kind of what do we need to evolve the client's business? Right? So there's a couple partnerships, we've actually started with that in mind saying, Hey, we don't have a solution for let's say, augmenting video streams into pre roll for YouTube is there anyone who can take the massive amount of data they have, and do something really cool with it, and then turn that into a usable pieces that we can push out through all the social media channels, and looking for parts like that. So we're partnering with a company that does that part right now. And we went out and we don't have a common, we probably have some common over threads, but we don't have a common client interest in that side. And categorically, we've also listened to partners like drift got introduced for us by another ABM company. And we weren't, we didn't have any overlap yet. But there was a pretty aha moment when we look at kind of what the next step is in tooling in where we're going. And I think that's what drives our partnership ideals, like is, okay, how's the market going for b2b? What are the tool sets needed? What are the newest things that are out there, and then we look at like, what's going on from partnership perspective, I think the ones that have worked the best in the past are ones that come to the table with a deep understanding of what we do as a business and a deep understanding of how they can inflect what we do as a business. And then really like that partnership model, just completely transparent and honest with what they can and cannot do.

Jared Fuller  07:08
I like I like your approach, because it's just it's logical across most vectors, there's a client needs, you're not aware, you have to find something. There's a current overlap or ecosystem to I think that's the emerging trend that seems very interesting to me, over the next, you know, several years, where there will be multiple solutions that work really tightly around, you know, drift in ROI DNA, right. It's not just one, there's kind of like a stack, that's the preferred stack. But you know, there's other solutions that will plug in and out, but you're kind of coalescing around this customer journey, or use case where the agency has developed some sort of practice expertise, a center of excellence, and trust those technologies to work together for the client benefit.

Matt Quirie  07:56
Yeah, and I think I was gonna say one thing to add to that would be, so like, eight years ago, we first partner with demand base, they were just on the beginning of their journey in terms of that category, right. And I think that's similar to where a partner Jeff does. drift is next evolution of what you have in ABM marketing from a conversational standpoint. And you can what, you know, our history and past was a lot of AV testing and going through and really target marketing, the people that we want as customers for our customers. And then these tools have kind of opened up to that very much more specific engagement, we can refine those messages. And now we can test through those messaging with compensation is you see those, that pattern that we've partnered with, across a partnership that we've been across 11 years, has really been kind of that evolution of what's the next awesome stack that's really gonna work from that perspective. And in I was just talking to someone this morning, who's did an interview with us, but the biggest thing, yeah, the question was like, where do you see our partnerships in the analytics stack being in five years, I was like, I see as partnering with something we don't know exists yet. Because five years this is moving so fast that you really got to keep that eye out to what can evolve on that stage.

Justin Bartels  09:00
And are you devoting it kind of, like, I used to work for an agency in a similar space. And I always mentally viewed it as like, you know, you have to it's almost like product. It's almost like service development, like a product company. We do product research agency has to do service development of taking some time to understand kind of where's the customer need going? And what are the potential solutions out there? Do you specifically devote time to that, like looking into new new technologies that are being taught or is it kind of come up organically?

Jared Fuller  09:31
Um, luckily,

Matt Quirie  09:33
someone has been organic. So I got lucky enough to be on the advisory board for a company called armature tech. When we first started the actual agency. We had some connections into, you know, deep analytics text technology, and that turned into Adobe. But I think as we've grown, I think we've our CFO and the operations team operations are looking because we're managing so much for our clients. Like what is the next insight level layer we can add? That isn't over burdensome that isn't some like you know, you got to go boil the ocean. To do, but looking at from a can we get the kiss rule for partnerships? Does this automatically fit into our ecosystem? Yes, no, how hard is it to integrate, what value is going to be value is going to bring to our clients, and what value is gonna bring to a relationship in all three. And so views to keep it simple, stupid rules around kind of just simple honesty around partnerships, that's kind of led us down to some really core ones that we've used across each technology stack.

Jared Fuller  10:29
You said not boil the ocean. And what's interesting is there seems to be a big disconnect between I hate to say the phrase like legacy agencies, but maybe let's just call them like global agencies or Si, like the big ones that you go head to head against, because you work with enterprise clients, seeing the customers you work with, it's not, you know, series A startups, these are often public enduring companies. And what I see agencies going in with is trying to Justin, this is where we come back to your point where we see agencies coming in just trying to optimize for hours, right? And what you just said was, Hey, I'm not coming in with a technology solution, go, hey, how can I just backfill a ton of hours, you're looking to drive the customer outcome? Tell me more about that from a business perspective, because it seems logical that we're talking about it from like a marketing one. But as an agency owner, it seems like, Hey, if you're bringing solutions that are narrow, right, and easy and simple, that perhaps you know that our engagement, right, like the totality of what you're selling, is actually less than what other people in the market might be selling and making less money. Yeah, I

Matt Quirie  11:35
think that might be short sighted. For the ones that are thinking about this book of bill of hours, I think what we think about is like, every time we do what's right for the client, especially, we're bringing a partnership with the technology, even if it saves us hours and clients not building as much the clients can trust us more as a partner, because we brought something that's valuable to them, we can prove out the value, like the exact value in terms of the ROI back on it. And then there's other things to do. So we have a full service shot from Digital everything from building the strategy, to implementing analytics to running those paid media, building websites, and all that side. Really, every time we partner, you know that our business evolved to become strategy first. So almost with every category that people hire us now we're like, Hey, we got a bucket of reasonable bucket of hours to point you towards the technology that matters, the user flow that matters, the communication that matters. And from there, we work together with the clients to actually build out, hey, what resources do you have internally, that we don't need to duplicate so we can focus on where we can really add gasoline to the fire to help you move faster, rather than worry about our hours? I mean, we bill hourly for GTM stuff, we build percentage wise for ad spend. But really, at the end of the day, for us, it's really about Hey, what's going to affect you the fastest? And how can we leverage the combined resources of your company and our team, which in the long term, we might miss a few hours in the beginning, you know, from a billing perspective, but from a partnership perspective, that that trust and building that that really open communication, I think is key. And I think we look for partnerships, and partners on that side that also do that. Because we're we're transparent, we set them up with their own accounts, we want them to be able to actually feed themselves at some point, you know, in our goal is if we grow with them, you know, it's it's not gonna be a big deal to like, just do small startups of ours to start and then move into some bigger projects as we grow together.

Jared Fuller  13:18
What, what do you think is the is the thread here around how you sell and like what's valuable to your business? So some companies are optimizing for kind of the engagement. And it sounds like you're optimizing for, let's say, lifetime value, right? Like the customers to get around recurring business and the the size of that engagement might go up, down, but over time, you're continuing to engage. So if you were to look at a technology partner, and you were to sit down in the QPR with me, right, or you'd say, hey, Jerry, this is what I've seen in my account, and it's yielded me, you know, longer, healthier relationships that is that your Northstar?

Matt Quirie  14:01
Yeah, yeah, exactly. So, you know, how is what so what are the combined goals of the partnership? Right? So, you know, it's, I think both sides have to win on that side. So we, we want to suggest that the best in breed kind of like invest in and show in terms of the abilities of the technology we partner with, but we were looking long term, like we're, we're looking long term from the perspective of two so we kind of have this like, you know, three way relationship between the customer us and our partners, because we're completely transparent. We have no opaque back brown technologies. And I think we'll look at that. Yeah, yeah. So in we just in honestly, you guys know, partnership, we just basically, hey, here's our partners adrift, start having conversations, we'll catch up. We can do this consulting part. But really, for us, it's for that trust model. And I think when we're thinking of the lifetime value, you think about we build that lifetime value as a partnership with our customers from every level from the sea level. It comes in our VP that wants to use us all the way through the actuators in the whole team's kind of know each other and say model, we have partnerships, right. So as you start getting to know more people on our team, from your partnership together, you've got access to everyone that's there, it's working. And we actually have the best part one of the best partnership relationships is kind of like how we've got things organized, we're going, Okay, here's the top 20 accounts, here's where we are on each one from both, and we're just basically transparent cuz it's, it's helping our customers out in the CO customers. That's the most important part. So when they feel that the partnership is kind of supporting them in that way that grows both sides are all three sides.

Jared Fuller  15:29
Yeah, and you're tying yourself to like the business outcome for you, as the agency owner is lifetime value, your customers are sticking with you longer if they trust you more, it always yields more business long term, right? Oh, is that how do you think that you're being measured by your customers that you mentioned the intangibles, right, like, you know, trust and believability and deliverability? But it seems like, you know, in the renewal cycle, and in the part of the engagement, where you have to hunt for the next dollar, because it's coming to an end? Right, you are probably trying to sell them on something, which is, what is that outcomes? Is that pipeline? Is that dollars revisit a project? No, I

Matt Quirie  16:12
think so we've got a couple buckets of projects, most clients are on retainer, and we've got a very pretty open 90 day rolling, like most people know that. So it's, we really have to prove ourselves out for you to keep us and really that partnerships got to grow. So for our our goals, you know, we don't really we grow 100% with inbound references, we don't have an outbound sales team. So for us grown to almost 100 people now it's really been about the work product. And our average enterprise client stays about five plus years, with with just 90 days. So really, that the I think the trust build, and that partnership, complete transparency build allows us to grow naturally, without kind of that, we got to keep them on the hook for something what's coming up, this is about to run out, you know, when things actually run out with us, either the clients grown from 40 people to 800, which has happened several times, we've built a bunch of unicorns, or the clients, you know, like, has had five shifts in sea level, and they're no longer fit. So we those kind of run themselves out. But when more often than not that happens is the people we work with together to through driftin ROI, they're going to have their next job. And they're going to basically have felt like, Hey, this is what transparent open communication with a partnership means. And they come back for that. So for us, our goal is when you think lifetime value, I think lifetime value the people we work with not just the company that they're working for today, and that is really grow.

Jared Fuller  17:29
That's a quotable right there that we got a snippet that one right, Justin.

Justin Bartels  17:33
Well, I just I applaud you. Those are I'm sure anyone that's not familiar with agency where those are impressive results to, you know, have a team of 100 completely fed by inbound referrals and a five year you know, average lifespan for your customer relationships is that's about as good as it gets.

Matt Quirie  17:52
Yeah, it's all it's all the great teamwork. And I'll be clear, it's almost 100 we're gonna cross over that next couple months. Yeah. You know, it's it's really, really, really just good transparent people. And the hard work of the team. If you build that honesty, I think it's a team thing. Because it I do think like, like you said, Jared, they could have we are our long term goal is, you know, our some of our contacts that our biggest companies, I've worked with three companies for nine years.

Jared Fuller  18:14
Right? Do so your account teams, without having to do the particulars of how you structure your engagement? Is there anyone that has a quota on mass team? Just me, but that's just because for fun. So

Matt Quirie  18:32
I've got goals that we're having as a company, we've got those together, but the top is working together, no one on our account management team has number on their head. And we've built the account management team is actually one of the largest teams in the company now. And we've built that out, we spent the last, the first seven years for b2b and b2c, the last four years we've been like, Alright, we're 100%, b2b account based marketing schema of growth over that strategy over the digital analytics now over the digital marketing point. And then we built an account team layer around that to actually really become like, one with the clients, we become an extension of what the clients are doing. And so now we've got, you know, at any given client, we probably have four or five touch points in, we've really built out the communication layer so they can get access to everyone that's working on their team. They feel like that's part of their team growing with them as well, too. And that really is build those long term communications.

Jared Fuller  19:24
That's interesting. I feel like we're interviewing Matt, to some degree like this conversation is turning into an interview of like, how to build a better agency. It's like, Wait a second. Like, you can't go in if you're if you're on the tech side of the house. We have listeners from both kind of like the agency consumer side and the tech side. I think it's difficult to go in from the tech side and try to like replicate what you just said to a large degree, right. like Justin, you've. You've talked about some of the challenges of You know, what did you say the other day on the call, you said, you'll find the person that has to sell the follow on retainer, and you'll find the pain. Yeah. Right. Because like there is a number that Lastly, he got it right, like there's in a typical agency environment, just maybe explain that a little bit for the people that might not understand that dynamic, and how what Matt just said, is not normal.

Justin Bartels  20:23
Yeah, I think, you know, sometimes you see agencies getting the challenge of retaining their customers, right? Because either they're not able to tie what they're doing to results, because they're, you know, they're selling hours and those hours and the work is, is kind of commoditize, and they're not connected to a revenue outcome. And at some point in time, you know, you have somebody in finance saying, Hey, we're spending this much with this agency, like, what are they doing for us, and if you use an agency comes back and says, Well, we did this many hours of work, you know, it's not going to land, you know, with anybody outside of the person you're directly working with that understands that

Jared Fuller  20:59

Justin Bartels  21:01
So, you know, we were talking about how agencies have to move to time what they're doing is purely marketing agencies to revenue, because the marketer is not beholden to revenue, which is a shift that's occurring in the market. And you guys have adapted and jumped on ahead of its time. And we're talking about, you know, if you're like, if you're in the marketing technology space, and you're appealing to agencies, if you can help them make this jump to, you know, there's probably a lot better routes for your partnership. And really, the person that owns that challenge that that it is the account manager that has to sell on the fall on retainer, because they're the one that has to have the conversation with the budget, or, you know, the person approving the budget to, to say, Hey, this is what we've done the last six months, you know, this is how much it costs. Oh, and we're now proposing another six months, nine months, 12 months. Oh, and, you know, we're, we're pitching you maybe a bucket of hours to do these projects. When in reality, that person probably wants to say, Hey, we're gonna do this project, it's gonna drive you 3 million in incremental revenue, and it's gonna cost 200k. Like, is that a no brainer? You know? Yeah. So we were just pontificating. And I was, we were mulling through how do you build a value pot hypothesis for a partner? And that's kind of how the topic came up. But because I'm not an agency role for two years now. So yeah,

Jared Fuller  22:23
well, quick question about the way that you saw the world before Matt tells us the way he sees the world that that account manager Justin, in pursuit of getting that retainer like that follow on retainer? Were they ever involved in the initial implementation? Or are they kind of like sicked on the account after the fact like meaning was this person typically an am structure, I think it's the quarterback of the account like the true quarterback. So like, they are responsible for the CSM engagement to some degree, or were these people coming in really at the end of the game, right, and trying to save the last couple plays, or they assigned at the beginning and just didn't check in at the end, because they were chasing the number.

Justin Bartels  23:02
Yeah, and the each agency is a little bit different. Some, you know, bring an account or Relationship Manager is calling just Relationship Manager on at the beginning of the relationship, and they'll own the first project, or maybe even the initial sale all the way through. Whereas some will have, you know, like myself, I was selling the first project and any contract in the first 90 days, because we kind of would do sounds like similar to Matt, we had like an assessment. And like an initial offering that was part scoping part, we're gonna deliver strategy to you that that would lead to a fall on retainer. So some, some agencies will break it out, you know, kind of net new develop the relationship in first couple months, and then pass it off to account manager, some will have that person on the entire process to mitigate any loss and information handoff. So it, I've seen it, it depends on the agency.

Jared Fuller  23:53
The reason why I asked that question. The reason why is that question, Matt is like, do you think quota is a difference in function between what Justin described and kind of your world? Right? So like, if that am that someone's selling the pahlawan retainer, Justin has that quota hanging over their head? It seems like they'd be more interested in driving a better client experience. And yet at the same time, that seems to not be the case. Right? To Matt's point, right, like trust these intangibles that you've been talking about that I can't put it in a spreadsheet? Like I said, hey, what was your perspective on on that quota actually being a barrier,

Matt Quirie  24:28
I think the my perspective, the quotas it actually creates a perverse incentive for a real relationship, because what you have is someone's who's bonused. And like, they don't get the client to do this next thing doesn't matter if it's good for the client. They're gonna try to push it because their own individual worth is is basically be hampered by not doing that. So we have we have a much more just, hey, building relationships with the client. And there's things that as we run these these engagements, we're Of course looking for what we can help them with next time and that's obvious and so Our client account managers and our private program managers and we're looking at the whole team is geared towards, okay, look, this whole umbrella of ABM and all these services. There's obvious things that come up as we start like designing website running paid media, building GTM strategies. So you start with GTM Trojans, there's five things that come out of this. But I think, if you allow the am or they come after whatever relationship person to really be relaxed, like they don't have number on their head, but they can say, Hey, we heard these five things you What do you think they should do in strategically and Matt, or bizdev, or VP of ABM, you guys want to come and talk to him about this next, and we build really from a what's the best next step for the client. And you know, of course, we have people that are trained, like, hey, you've got feelers, here's what to look for, here's what to see if they if they need help, but also taking that in those first steps of communication, having a sit down for the next step with the client from a biz dev or sales person on the team. But then moving into what resources the client has to saying, hey, we've identified things, you guys got these resources. So let's say, SEO, for example, you need a strategy, but you actually have great content writers. So let us build the strategy for you. We'll give you the playbook you go, you go hit that, or for ABM, for instance, like, hey, you've got the person who can build all the content after this, you don't have the right ABM mix of tooling will set the tooling and run whatever what parts you want to run for there. But every time we do that, it lends to more business here. And also you have a more relaxed structure for the account managers, where they've got a full salary. They're not like, they're not trying to make it to full salary by having some sort of like you got to kill quota by this point. And it creates a much more, I just like their goal. They know their goal is to make the client grow. But they're they're also not stressed out about, you know, making their their ends meet every quarter to hit a quota, which I think creates a healthy, trustworthy environment that's been successful for us so far.

Justin Bartels  26:51
Knock on wood, imagine that saves you a ton on just operations overhead of tracking commissions and margin on projects and all the other things that are associated with incentivizing and am to sell I'm so curious question, will you actually share that information with your customers and saying like, hey, are, you know, as I am, I'm not, you know, I don't have a quote overhead my head. So if I'm proposing a project, it's because I actually see a need there. And not just because I'm trying to fill this retainer with projects coming up, or you know, sell the next one.

Matt Quirie  27:23
Yeah, every every client, I think, knows from the first pitch, because they're all they're all. Luckily, like inbound reference right now where we are is, we tell them my case. So we really don't have an outbound sales team, right. And so the like quota is really what we want to take in right now. And so really, the team you get to work with in the group of experts is focused on helping you grow your business. That way, they're not, you know, like, in the back of their head thinking they got to get you to sign something Next, you know, we encourage people to dig up those gems of the next client and get one for sure. But it's created. It's worked for us so far, you know, and actually is, it's created, like you said, I know you're surprised by it. But it's interesting, we get someone who get comms account manager from another firm. They're like, Okay, how much is this is quarter? Nothing. And that, that that is like, I mean, the relief on their face, if they're a good fit for us as a person. It's pretty amazing to see when you do this interviews.

Justin Bartels  28:13
Yeah, well, I feel like a little bit of chills, like a dog let off his leash and he doesn't know that he can run around the product. You know? There's a way there's a world like that out there.

Jared Fuller  28:25
I don't think there's much of a world out there. I've heard this debate a couple of times in, in transactional sales, where they're more like, assist, right, like help a person make the right decision for themselves and you don't have a number over your head. That that can kind of work in value based sales. I haven't I haven't seen that debate come up whenever you're talking in the enterprise. And then I've definitely never heard that from an agency perspective. At least not one that's servicing larger clientele. Yeah, I feel like that where I thought this conversation was gonna go Justin was kind of the the slack message you put to me right around, you know, hey, helping agencies move from hours to value and I think what Matt just did is like what David cancelled in a direct is like, you went to like, the long term principles though. Right? Like Yeah, truck. Right. When trust trust is, is there everywhere like it is it is one of those things in b2b b2c ah ah, relationships that are that is so intangible that you can't measure it. But if you have trust in your competition doesn't in a deal, you win every time. Yep. Like it's not a question of like, capabilities or value or outcomes or hours. It's like, I trust Matt deals.

Matt Quirie  29:44
Yeah, and luckily it's gotten away from the first couple years was trust Matt, because they built I do realize it built a network of good friends through running on turtle, but but now it's like our robot, which is awesome. Yeah, that's what I wanted, because it's I wanted a team of really smart people working together enjoying work. together in the trust factor, it's nice to see it flourish. It's it's an also, I came at it from a non agency perspective, because I was internal. So it was easy for me to have that kind of it's a complete different thought process didn't have that, you know, agency number my head.

Jared Fuller  30:14

Justin Bartels  30:15
I love to pivot the conversation a little bit to improving the the partnership conversations between agencies and tech partnerships. So I'm really curious, Matt, from your side, like, what are that first conversation say, somebody approached you and said, Hey, you know, we have a, we have a current client, they're using us, we'd love to talk about potentially a partnership. What do you wish that

Jared Fuller  30:38
partner talked about? On the first call?

Justin Bartels  30:39
What do you what do you wish they asked about? You know, what should they know about your agency?

Matt Quirie  30:44
Yeah, I mean, I think any of those things like frickin take some time to know the business, take some time to see who our clients are, take some time to see what our services do. Take some time, check out our clients besides the one you've got, in really, every I mean, I mean, only one out of 100 Desert, ever a partnership reached out with us direct that I'm like, Oh, they actually took some time, I'll take that call. Because most of them are just basically, they've got a very myopic view of what you do in the world, they've taken two seconds to fling in 10,000 emails out a day. And I think from from that conversation thing, it's just like, it's, it's just start with a genuine perspective of like, take some time to figure it out, takes time to tell me what you can provide. In that example, if it's a common client, you know, how well are you working with them? You know, what, what things can you improve for that client, it'd be good to partner for other things going moving next. But when there's really that, that lack of pressure, I think most partnerships that are that are coming from an approachable standpoint that I get it, it's always about, you can tell they need to close a number and they want our agency to rep their product versus the partner shipping valuable for both sides.

Jared Fuller  31:54
One thing that you just that just reminded me of is Episode 21. Chris Jenkins, like right person, you know, like right conversation right person. Justin, do you remember that loop? From workfront? I feel like in a lot of ways, probably because you mentioned this to Matt. It's like how we ended up talking to each other was through an existing relationship. Right? Like BD to me. This has been something that I feel like I've done intuitively, like haphazardly then Chris said this on 21, where he's like, right person, right conversation, right? person. It's a feedback loop. Meaning Yeah, people are relationship people, they are trust people. That's all you have a partnerships game, meaning if you want to work with ROI, DNA, or ex partner or y thing, then you should find right, the trusted path to that person, right that the note in the market where it's like, Hey, you know, let's say for example, someone wants to partner with ROI DNA, like I don't know, maybe it's a self engagement platform, like outreach yourself luck, right. And they know that drip has a very strong partnership with ROI DNA, and that, hey, we have an emerging partnership here. You know, I might make that connection. And you know, that we won't name the vendor, but I actually made that actually, that's funny. I made one of those introductions. Recently do a mutual tech partner. That was a much faster path to trust, then, yeah, that reaching out cold?

Matt Quirie  33:22
Yeah, I think I think that's it. So it's relationships, it goes back to trust again, right? The whole thing like, yeah, leverage, and it's leveraged to the relationships you currently have in a value based way towards what's going to be there because it always focus on what's the best outcome for my customer. So our IDs customers, every partnership I have is what's the best outcome for those customers, we really want to make sure we're dealing with the like the best. It's not just the technologies, the backing of the technology, it's the value of the technology, because you get to talk about the hourly based, you know, which we have some of but it's more so we're judged and measured on everything we do constantly. So that CFO can already see that because we're like, Hey, we spent this per quarter, we got this many IQs, this made SQL and this much kicked in to our CRM for close deals. And every time we look at that, from a partnership model, you know, it's it's from our perspective, and the trust built through another partner. It's how we found demand base found is when our partners and we got drift partnership through that, because it was pretty obvious when start talking about like, Oh shit, this is next level, in terms of CRM abilities to return optimization on, you know, on steroids, like, let's go for this. The next one is, you know, looking at other, you know, basically third party layering data stuff or looking at other things that are going to work. But I think those trust models of figuring out someone, not only you just have a connection to but someone who can help you craft a story about how that partnership could help that other company and collect as well to spend some time doing that because you're going to get that trust relationship a lot faster than some cold email, or, you know, basically just 1000 reach outs.

Jared Fuller  34:56
It's it's that feedback loop. That's that partner feedback loop. That that is pervasive. I think Bobby Bobby nap is an mp3 and like I call him back all the old episodes he said he's in our intro Justin right? partnerships are about trust and sacrifice, right? Like, that's from the O g, the D in my opinion of the like b2b SaaS, business development, trust and sacrifice. And I think max just given us a masterclass today and partnerships on, if we're not focused on trust in these relationships and everything that we do in partnerships, there's nothing. I think, those intangible things like, we have to probably have more of these conversations in the in the partnerships world, like, if you look at the best marketers in the world. Now, best marketers in the world are not the ones trying to think through the most technical challenge, or the challenges of like, how to orchestrate a company or an operation or a thing. The best marketers, in my opinion, are the ones obsessed with the basics, right? that our students have like LD, right, and like principles of influence, or Crossing the Chasm, or some of these classics, these, these principles of relationships that don't change for how to market to people. And there's, there's a component of that in partnerships that we could probably all reference in the best partner people we know. These are people we can trust, right? They're, they're people of their word, they do what they say they're going to do. And I know that I can rely on them and and their company, there's a brand there, that they're not going to have a bad incentive, that might harm my relationship. So whenever we bring our y DNA into an account, I know your accountings have no bad incentives, right? Like, you're not going to come in there and try to make a recommendation to throw some hours in when they don't need it in like potentially competing for budget against my account, executive. Customer, and you're so smart that my ad will probably even listen to you. They've actually they know what they're talking about more than me. So wherever they recommend, I'll take I'll take what ROI DNA say.

Matt Quirie  37:03
Yeah, and also the trust factor has to go across. So even so there's a couple examples. So there's a couple of ones I've had, they're pretty massive companies in the multi billions, where we had partnerships, and then they introduced us to, you know, a group of partner managers that have key accounts. One of the two went in full partnership with, you know, three MBAs under multiple companies, they actually started trying to take consulting out, like back channel two, so that blew up that partnership, but also the secondary one, which is another failure. It's like, you know, so having the right people that you trust across every level, especially as you guys are growing, because you get what's drift now? 500 people 400? Yeah, I'm really looking at at your sides, we had a couple partnerships in the last seven years were one in particular, really awesome, great sea level, really good VP level, really manager level, and then their partnership marketers. The unfortunate thing is, it didn't have enough knowledge base of what the partner offered to actually accurately talk about the combined power the two. And so they actually used end up using us as kind of like a pitch buddy, and would would call our way DNA back saying, Hey, what do you think that's going to close with? That's your client, we're happy to the consulting, but we're not closing your sales funnel for you. You know, it's it's interesting, like, I think at every level, as we as you grow fast, it's kind of, you know, drips done a really good job of this. It's, it's really been, everyone's on the same marching page. And everyone's on basically, the basics of, you know, what we're doing together, how we're doing it, once partisanship established, and how the communication channels going. That's a super important next step of that. But I think, if we were rewind it all back, it goes down to trust.

Jared Fuller  38:42
That's, it's incredible. I think that the takeaway from this conversation is, we really need to think critically about how we communicate with executives inside of our companies, if you're inside of an agency, or if you're inside of a technology company, on what incentives are standing in the way of developing trust in your ecosystem, right, like you were able to do something try to replicate what Matt has done inside of ROI DNA, I think you're far ahead, you know, loving beyond where a lot of companies are today, in their in their ecosystem maturity, and that no matter what they do, like, whatever, hey, here's the secret sauce. Here's this thing, those intangibles, again, that you can't measure that might make or break you.

Matt Quirie  39:21
Yeah. And that's, that's all team. It all goes on team. It's not what Matt's done. It's what the team's done. And I think that's a important part of it, too, is if you can basically keep that honesty across the team and keep that that that the first goal is we're doing with do what's right for the client across these relationships. The partnerships just flourish.

Jared Fuller  39:40
Amazing. I, I'm, like inspired now to like, go out and be on a mission of like, you know, the trust Buster within the company, right? Like, where are we? Where do we destroy us huge in our relationship and to like, that be my new buzzword that everyone's gonna get really annoyed with and then I will send this episode Got no Listen to this. Listen to this. This is the real deal. I want to I want to bring up one thing because I feel like this is it's too good of a stopping point, Matt, we're going to have to have you back on. Again. So a quick shout out to the cloud software Association for those of you listening that have not plugged into the CSA come join slack group cloud software association.com big bands, 4000 partner people in their learning, Matt, we have to get you can't do the senior there to do a masterclass if you will not do where we're where people can kind of learn from the sensei. It himself is actually lots of agency owners in there as well. But actually, in technology companies that are interested in like paying for like kind of consulting around this stuff, so it could be an interesting opportunity. And for those of you listening on the road on the go, click that like button and Spotify. Quick little overview inside of Apple podcasts podcast. I don't know that we got any new ones since the last one, Justin so you get a C minus just

Justin Bartels  41:05
got it. We got an upper offers, you know, classic market talking about classic. Like, will offer a free cameo video to your partner cam T.

Jared Fuller  41:17
We got to do the swag right. We might have some announcements coming later this summer that just tonight. It could be interesting. You might get a refreshed brand and some new things that y'all might not have thought of coming. So stay tuned. Swag might be a part of that deal. I'm excited about it. And if you haven't checked this out, you can see wonderful people like Matt on YouTube as well. So give us a like or subscribe there. Man. This was so long. Thank you. Thanks for coming. Thanks a lot. Alright, see you next time around

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