031 - Why This Cofounder Changed His Title to Chief Partnerships Officer - Braydan Young

What's up PartnerUp?!

Let's set the stage for this one. On episode 027 with the CEO of Crossbeam, Bob Moore, we asked "when is the title of Chief Partnerships Officer" coming?!

Well, don't wait any longer, it's here.

Braydan Young is the Cofounder and Chief Partnerships Officer of Sendoso. And while his title of Cofounder will never change, he's the first Cofounder to our knowledge to ever change his title to anything with partnerships in the name.

So why did he do it? And why should every company have a partner chief?

Tune in to find out and geek out with the PartnerUp crew.

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Jared Fuller  00:20
We live with Brayden young, with a title unlike any other titles we've had on the show before. so Braydan Welcome to partner up.

Braydan Young  00:28
Good to be here. Thanks, Jared. Thanks, Justin. Thanks for having me.

Jared Fuller  00:31
Yeah, we were just in the middle of an argument about private equity. Because Medallia just got acquired by Thoma Bravo for $6.4 billion, I believe was the number might be off by 100 million or so. It looks I mean, yeah, they've made some giant acquisitions in the past, I was looking, they made that cybersecurity acquisition for I think 12 billion, but this still seems crazy right now. And then I made this claim, Justin, you said Really? Which was that? I believe that most private equity acquisitions, there's like a big ecosystem hole to fill. Otherwise, why sell? Right? Like why go into private equity? Typically, it's to bring new management chops and to uplevel unit economics to make the business more attractive to public markets or a buyer. Like there is some reason why private equity sees upside in that business that public markets or another public company don't. I feel like a lot of those times there's a ecosystem isn't a core competitive advantage. Justin, what's what's your take on our friends over at Medallia? Obviously, congrats to them, a $6.4 billion valuation is nothing to shake a stick at. But in comparison of like outcomes, you know, I think ecosystem might have something to do with whether or not you might get acquired by private equity.

Justin Bartels  01:50
It could be I don't know, I just wanted to poke I just wanted to poke the bear. I didn't have an example of like, Oh, this company, you know, as an example, I just kind of like that's a blanket statement. Let's push back on that.

Jared Fuller  02:01
I said, Maybe I think they have a feeling.

Braydan Young  02:03
I think that usually private equity, what gives you like a two year clock, it's like, Alright, so now we have these guys. We got to refocus values and goals and management. And they usually spin them out in two years, right? Just basically the timeframe. So maybe just hasn't worked yet. To have one of those.

Jared Fuller  02:18
Maybe I feel like we need to get some people that Thoma Bravo and Vista and all those people, you know, thinking this way about, you know, partner ecosystems, because that's, yeah, that's something you can start to really build on and make a competitive advantage. I mean, if you're HubSpot, if you're marchetto, if you're Salesforce, I mean, sorry, Adobe, Oracle, anyone in the enterprise? Or even the Googles or the Microsoft's I mean, you can look at the multiple on revenue, or you can look at the ecosystem and the community of trust that's already established, and then bring that into your wheelhouse. I mean, that seems like the multiple, a, you can't value it, which is nice, right? Like, look at all the startups that are, you know, pre revenue, that clubhouse, right? Just 3 billion couple billion dollars for community on top of it, right, like you can get six months in, right, you can get a lot of multiples on this, you know, community, you know, ecosystem growth. So it seems like that might be, you know, just saying private equity firms out there, establishing some expertise and practice development around the ecosystem. And you might end up installing this is going to be my segue, your very first chief partnerships officer inside of these companies. And

Braydan Young  03:33
Whoa, what a segue. Yeah, what a segue there. Nicely done.

Jared Fuller  03:37
I think that's what Thoma Bravo. And this done. All these people should do, they should bring in a chief ecosystem officer, Chief partnerships officer. And we have our very first chief partnerships officer on the podcast, Mr. Braden young. So Braden, I'm going to start with the question, which is a very simple one, which will probably take the entirety of this conversation, is why as a co founder of sendo, so did you change your title to Chief partnerships officer?

Braydan Young  04:04
So the biggest thing for us is like when we began, I started on the sales side. So it was like, it was like, hey, how can we get as many deals in distress was possible. And when we started doing that, it was this straight forward selling from an SDR to meet to help close it. And then from there, when I jumped over to the partnership team, a lot of what happens in partnerships is you're training the sales team so often on how to navigate a partner into a deal. Like, hey, like, I just want to close the deal. I don't want to have a partner. Like that's, that's too much, because let me close it. And then I'll maybe introduce the partner and then maybe I'll be like, hey, like, this is my guy, just close. Let me make an intro for you. So we started to train the ABS a lot internally here is like how to do joint selling, how to sell to the channel, how to have conversations about a partner when you're actually in the sales cycle. And as you started going through that, we started to bring on more and more partners in our ecosystem. It got really big really fast. It was like We had agencies, we had integrations, we had professional services, we had all these different components. And the big thing was was I had a seat at the table because I was one of the co founders. And I was like, Listen, we need to spend way more time on partnerships, building integrations, training, not just the sales folks, but also the CX people on when to bring a partner and because like, we can make them successful as well. So like, this is the kind of stuff that I started pushing. And then like, let's change my title to actually being Chief cplg. Punish props are one of the CEOs because what he got Chief Product officer, Chief people officer, so let's throw another one in there. And so changes to that. And like the goal was like, I'll run the whole ecosystem from each one of those pillars, agencies, integrations and kind of pro services. And so that's where we are. Now it's been, it's been good. It's really elevated the conversation up to like, hey, like, now when we go and talk to the board, we're not just talking about here's where we ended up at the sales number. It's here's the sales number. Also, here's the partnership number, how many deals are brought to us by our partners and ways that we close together? How many of these are like actually from partners, like all those numbers are really important to look at from an executive level. So you actually know how strong your ecosystem is. Because if it's not, you're going to hit a certain level, and then you're going to kind of cap out from they're not going to keep going to the next level. Because if you look at any of the big guys that are out there, they they have very strong channels. So if you do not you rent a tough spot. So that kind of answers your question, I would say the biggest thing was was like we knew the partnerships, this world has to be bigger, and I had a seat at the table and knew the partnerships and this entire network needs to be stronger and can push that from my seat, which is kind of why I changed my title to CPO and I hope it's a fad. I hope people start changing their title as well to this role. I started Quick, quick segue, I started with Chief chief Alliance officer didn't work alliances, it's an old school term. So always move with with with partner officer instead.

Justin Bartels  06:55
So I'd imagine selling the board obviously, it sounds like you know, source deals from partners or co work deals from partners a big house, are you measuring? and explaining, you know, to the board, this is what we've done an ecosystem. This is how we built it. This is how it's impacting the business.

Braydan Young  07:11
Yeah, I mean, like, I think that that's one of the big things where the space that we're in is there, we're seeing a lot of new software's being developed to help do this. I mean, like, I think partner.com I think CrossFit was one of the first ones there, I think that there's there's tools that you can use to track and there's only new ones coming out, which is amazing. But what we look at from like a board level is every deal that we closed, will see like out of those deals, which ones were sourced or which ones was a partner influence involved? And like Did that make the deal become bigger? Or did that make the deal close faster? So we spend a lot of time on those metrics to speed to close size of the deal. And then source are the typical ones that we look at when we're talking and looking at Salesforce metrics, like there's usually three things that we'll look at. And then from there, our new metric that we just look at is like how many deals are basically influenced by partners? There's one thing we look at

Jared Fuller  08:04
what about the other side of the aisle? So SAS is a game of lifetime value. How are you thinking about aggregating? You know, board level insights, for impact on customer health, retention, etc?

Braydan Young  08:19
And in terms of like, let's say customers with us for a while, how do we continue to increase that value for them?

Jared Fuller  08:24
Right, so let's say, um, you know, what you just presented to me, I think is a, you know, like a bookings, kind of, you know, report of, hey, here's our quarterly performance. Right? So here's the revenue that we brought in the partner impact across source influence, deal size, win rate, and probably time to close. So sales velocity, but then there's this other side. So for example, let's say, you know, what's your most important integration today? Salesforce for Salesforce, right? So for example, I'm assuming there is a probably very substantial difference between a customer that has the Salesforce integration active and is using versus an organization that, you know, maybe not be on Salesforce or but be probably more importantly, is not using but has right, are you are you yet aggregating that kind of retention? And like usage and adoption metrics for the impact on you know, your install base?

Braydan Young  09:24
Yeah, so what we look at is sense for example, so if you're sending something whether that's a digital e gift or direct mail sender cupcakes, like we would call it a send, so on on our world, we have like a running dashboard. So that send that took place, what was the start of the sent like, was it sent through an integration? Like was there a trigger in Salesforce at the Send, or did someone go directly to Zendesk comm log in and send it that way? And so we have a metric that we keep where we want a certain percentage of those sends more than half to take place in an integration because we know if it's an integration is typically in the installed Based there, and someone's kind of fitting it into their workflow. So if someone's sending from outreach or sales loft or HubSpot, like that's a typically they're gonna have a higher NPS score. Typically, they're gonna stick with us for a longer period of time, because we're living in their kind of day to day operation, which was our thesis at the beginning of settings and dosa was we want to fit into where you are all day long not to go and log into an application, we want to live there. And so that's when we look at a ton. We also look in terms of like, if you're using the system like integrations that we know you have that you might not have it installed yet. And that would be like a cx school is like, hey, CSM, you're talking about ABC customer. That's great. We know they're using Salesforce, but they're not hooked up. So that's typically something that we will comp them on as well as to have as many integrations installed as possible. And to have those actually being used as a metric we look at from a cx standpoint.

Jared Fuller  10:47
I think those are the things that you know, I think a couple episodes ago, by the time this one airs, we had Jay McBain on who is the kind of channel chief at Forrester. So if you're not following Jay, and you haven't listened that episode, go back and check it out because it's incredible. And he talks about this, this different kind of time that we find ourselves in where the role that you just described that CSM, and being consultative in that process of, you know, bringing in Zendesk, for example. Right so like maybe it's a support use case and you want to while your customers with some sort of guests, because they had a, you know, poor experience. There was a bug, there was an outage, and your ability to like work in partner with Zendesk. That's going to determine whether or not you know, your end customer is actually utilizing the tool inside of like, let's say, Zendesk, I just threw that out there because I feel like Salesforce is so ubiquitous and like easy. I'm assuming you probably also integrate with something like Zendesk Britton

Braydan Young  11:51
Yeah, Yeah, we do. So like, I mean, like, I think I Zen is a good one. I think that there's it may think you can even throw HubSpot in there as one that maybe is not used as often. But as a really important integration for us. I think you made a good point, though, because the CSM is one of those roles where they're really customer facing. If we're talking about retention and keeping customers not just like top of funnel, we spent a lot of time but we spend time on retention as well is the sex person has to know exactly what every single one of our integrations do, almost to a tee where it's like, hey, you're not using this, this is something you could use and like it's a lot of education to kind of throw into someone's head. Like when you're in sales, for example, you can talk about, hey, here's what Salesforce does outreach does. Isn't that great? Yeah. Hey, like you should buy it. But then it goes to the CX team, and the sales and the solutions architect has actually set things up. Like that's almost a tougher gig sometimes to basically make sure like, Hey, here's how you're going to use these things. And then we're pushing on our end to make sure they're educated and enable them how they actually work, because the more they know about it, the more successful the customer is going to be.

Jared Fuller  12:52
Right. And that's, that's kind of the question that I was getting to is who has trust with that Zendesk, you know, account manager that might control a big account? You know, it's a joint customer of yours? Are they risk? Is that account manager, let's take this profile am at Zendesk that's responsible for you know, corporate to enterprise account, good logo. Are they the ones that are going to be in the weeds with, you know, your frontline, you know, support users of Sentosa? No, they're probably not going to be in that there's probably help docs and maybe a CSM. But they might have mindshare with like that director of support or director of customer success, or that VP of customer success. And that is what is required of that change management to get that person to change their workflow, right in that support process. Because I'm assuming, like, the organizations that are probably wildly successful within Doe, so they probably have some milestones or key moments, where kind of like strategic gifting is more important than just random, right? Like, they just throw random gifts out of people like if there's a bad experience, or if they reach a certain milestone or like, you know, something inside of the product, like there's a reason for receiving something from you. And then who that probably needs to be built in to some sort of system to surface like Salesforce or Zendesk or HubSpot or some system. And who is going to convince the customer of that if your CSM can't get them to connect the integration and can't train the team. It's your partner, right? Like that seems critical to you having an outsize competitive advantage to your competitors. If you're the one that can convince Zendesk, HubSpot, Salesforce, to have conversations directly with the customer, hey, here's why you should be using this versus let's say a competitor. I mean, who's gonna win out in that situation? I would assume the one of the one of the you know, partners making the recommendation.

Braydan Young  14:51
Absolutely. And I think that's a really important part when it comes to like, cuz like that partner, like let's take the account in this like, like, I don't know, eight You see enterprise client who Zendesk and s both are supporting when they go and they talk to their outreach rapper, their sales loft for app is typically the same person, right? who's involved in like that process. And they're like, hey, the cadence you wrote here, one of your steps should be to send a physical gift, because like, that's actually really good. That's going to increase everything. It's like, you should talk to us in dojo and make that happen. It's like, Oh, yeah, should I do need to make that happen? And so like, all of that kind of like circle of around, like, Hey, this is the best practice of how to do something is why we do so many joint webinars with those guys, because it helps kind of show like, Hey, this is what to send, when to send why you send it because like, the whole thing about gifting and like using the power of gifting as like one's reciprocity, hey, I sent you something you feel guilty, you want to get back to me. The other one is like if I send something to you at the right time I but the relationship and myself, I'm in your head somewhere as someone who I brains a nice guy, like last time I talked to him, he sent me a coffee before sent me that hat after I talked to him, whatever have you, like, that's so important to have all those systems kind of working in tandem. And if they do, our most successful clients are the ones that they have triggers set up. And they have actual menus and when people can just send out at will after they get phone calls, etc. Usually.

Justin Bartels  16:09
Interesting, interesting. So once you start to get kind of hit your critical mass of partners, and what's what's key to making their value prop sticky in the mind of your team, like your CSM, and their customer conversation, you know, how do you go about enabling them and getting them to understand this is the this is the point where I should think about a partner conversation or, you know, a partner recommendation. And this specific type of partner.

Braydan Young  16:38
Yeah, that has been probably our hardest thing to figure it out. Because we I mean, we have like, like, I think like, let's say two sides. So if you first heard the agencies, there are a shit ton of agencies and like, they all do different things. And like they and we partner with a lot of them, and all of them are absolutely amazing. But I can't require my CSM to know if someone's asking about, hey, like, I'm really struggling with writing a sequence like oh, we have eight we didn't you that's what they focus on. Like, you should introduce and talk to these guys. So I can't rely on them for that. And like, even though I built these massive menus and like things, you can go in and read about all these different agencies like it's just it just doesn't work. So we've been two things. One, we do like constant enablement to like, hey, like we bring like a partner onto an all hands or even talk with the company. Here's what I do Isn't that great? And like, we hope like that'll sort of, like get in people's minds like, this is what this agency does. And whenever we see that, on the agency side, we see a spike in referrals, which is awesome, which is exactly what we want, and then it kind of falls off again. So like we're hoping to kind of get that ingrained there. The next thing is we use gong to a tee where we can actually catch things and Gong on phone calls. Or if someone mentions a question that we that we know is an actual trigger for us. And we have someone who does that we will email the CSM be like Hey, like listen to your call, or I had a trigger the call take place. Here's something that you know, you could say next time around, or here's where you can introduce who does that thing that they were asking you about? That's on the agency side,

Jared Fuller  17:59
I want to pause you there really quick, because that is something that we do. Like we have filters and Gong and tags, I'm curious, let's go, pullback one little bit one layer there, I'd love to hear a little bit more about some of those Gong tips and tricks for BD people, where you might have some tags or filters set up to where you can like, you know, on a weekly basis, drive more engagement from what's happening in the field. So is this as simple as like you have your partners set up as tags or filters in gone? Like, pull back the layer one? You know? Yeah.

Braydan Young  18:31
So like all partners are tags for sure. Because if someone's like, hey, like I heard about you from rev shop, or like, that should have been that's ours. And so like there's like the we got a tag that. So there's those there's also the tag query.

Jared Fuller  18:45
Quick, quick question, is that just like an ops thing that happens, you know, like, once a week, once a month or something? Or do you just go in and do it?

Braydan Young  18:52
Yeah, we do once a week and like we we go so like this is actually so we've gone back and forth on. We've tried it both ways. Right now we're on the extreme where we'll mark it as like a partner influence lead right away. And at the end of the month, we'll go and we'll uncheck anything that like maybe the partner wasn't involved. But like typically, like we sway towards the model of like, hey, partners, we're involved here. Like let's tell partners like a department that we think brought these guys in about this deal. So like we tend to be very liberal on like piles, like like at the end of the day and like we've done it the other way too. We've gone the other side and it wasn't as good because it's a good excuse to talk to a partner like ABC Company was asking about Yeah, like they use Yeah, and so it's a good thing that we give our Pam's to talk about to our partners. So we mark those we also mark if someone's like, hey, like simple phrases like I heard about Yeah, or I'm trying to do so we have tags like that as well in Gong that will go in and listen to like those snippets of a conversation. It's a pretty big time investment for our partner managers. So like, figure like an hour a day you might spend in Gong like clicking around, like seeing like what's happening across the board for conversations. Is it scalable? No, probably not. I mean, like, that's one of those things

Jared Fuller  20:04
that I love it. Like, if you that's like a tactical takeaway. I mean, let's be honest. In terms of channel account managers, partner account managers, you know, the day in the life where do you spend your time? I feel like an hour a day spent in the field, like what's happening in the field and then connecting the dots with partners. I think that's fantastic. And I bet most partner managers aren't doing that. So I think that's a great takeaway. Like, do things that don't scale was like a drifts. You know, Monica at the beginning. You know, shout out to Dave Gearhart. And David, cancel, I love that, because you're going to see results that you couldn't get from, you know, systems operations, at least not for a while.

Braydan Young  20:50
There is education piece there. So like, if you start calling a ees on that, you're like, hey, like, these guys have this. They said on your phone call that like outreach brought them in? Why didn't you tell me this was happening? Or like, why didn't you tag within Salesforce, like, hey, this was a pile by outrage, then, like, it took us a while to get to the point as to why we cared so much. So we did had to bring data back to the 80s. And be like, hey, the reason we care is because if we involve them in helping close your deal, the deal is gonna be 30%. Bigger. So like, and it's gonna close faster. And so we did have we did, we did have a pushback from the ease at first being like, like, hey, partnership team, like, you're just trying to get over my deals like I like no. So like, there was a model of that where we had at the time, I'm like, Hey, this is why this is important, can you begin to start to mark these things. So the hope is, you get to a point where they just do it naturally on their own. But just know, like that push back did happen. Early on, we started doing the gong stuff.

Justin Bartels  21:41
And I do feel I do it personally. So it was it's part of my daily flow to go in and check for my partner trackers, in Gong, and you pick up good pulse of your raps and their comfortability, and their how well enabled they are with partners and which ones you really have to focus your enablement time on to and, and it helps you identify when new reps come into the funnel, like which ones don't understand that we have these partners they can lean into to and gets you working with them that much faster. And you stumble upon some fun, fun conversations every so often. Yeah, find some, you know, interesting things going on. But yeah, I think all great practice having today, you know, in some capacity.

Jared Fuller  22:26
I'm curious if you've done dug into if you've had enough at bats with partners, either across the a vector or the CSM vector, where you've looked at productivity per Rep. So when I was leading sales at panda Doc, I mean, the name of the game and going from, you know, living in an apartment in San Francisco to you know, actually building a global sales work was PPR, right? Like how do we continue to raise the performance, you know, per rep, and any stories that we could share about account executives that were just way more productive in copying what they did seem to land at 10 times the effective rate, right of whatever, you know, management training came up with right like so me here, you know, some outside trainer. So if we could say, Hey, here's how you know rep x, over the last three months or six months has done a B or C with their sales funnel, right? And it's because of partners have you looked into anything like productivity per rep in terms of like getting manager buy in VP buy in or rep buy in, in terms of partner engagement or the deals kind of to spread across to really get a good understanding on productivity on a per app basis?

Braydan Young  23:35
I think we don't look at anything official. I think we spent we do know to a tee like which reps of ours are the ones who are the most effective to work with when it comes to partners. I think those are the ones we probably spend the most time with but we have not pulled I mean we do have a dashboard showing like every rep and how many of the deals they close are actually like like partner and like PL deals. We the end like what's nice about them is like my Pam's like to work with them the most. And so like, at the end of the day, it's important that like, it's kind of a two way street there internally, but like the holy grail, like what you really want to get to and I would do a couple reps at that point is where x he has done so many deals with a sales loft that like they're just passing leads back and forth. And then we just become someone to basically help facilitate that. And like let everybody know, like, hey, like a sales loft sent this a deal because he knew that Sentosa was a good fit to have them going out together. So like those ones, we can just be shepherds to help make just facilitate like that's the piece that I want to get to we do have some reps there. I don't think you get all reps at that point. But that's like the holy grail of the being a salesperson and being able to like have that relationship with different teams.

Jared Fuller  24:47
I think this was shared in our kickoff this year. by one of our you know, top partners, you know, fortune 500 company came in and spoke at our you know, a couple All hands and said, you know, the best sellers of 2021 and beyond are the ones who are best at leveraging their ecosystem. Yeah, and he just said that so Matter of fact, just like look, Adobe in their trend in our transition to really being an ecosystem company. If you think of Adobe as ubiquitous, right, I mean, Adobe is bigger than Salesforce, it kind of blows our mind to think about it that way. Like they're significantly larger like Salesforce is growing. But then Adobe's continued to grow at a very similar clip. And most of their effort has been focused on building from top level alliances to Microsoft, which is the only software company in the world bigger than them down to their smaller ecosystem partners. If you think about everything happening there, it's been around sharing rep stories, right, of how having partners involved or what partner was involved in telling those customer stories of what happened in this account that otherwise would not have happened had we not involved these service partners, or these technology partners. And I think, surfacing that productivity per rep is something that we haven't done a good job of talking about, because I think we all like from the very beginning of like, partnerworld you'll hear from the Oh, geez, like Bobby napal. Tonia, like Bobby created the Salesforce app exchange and you know, their enterprise channel. Bigger deals, right? Higher win rate, faster time to close. And that all makes sense. But what does it do for me? Right, like, okay, I kind of get what you're saying, but it's like, Hey, no, the three reps that are doing this, here's their earnings. Right? Here's their commission, here's how much above quota that they are. I think that that spells wonders for the organization. I think, what I would love to get your perspective on, you know, given some of the stats that you've seen, you've obviously been an evangelist for this, as in Dosso is how that was received from other, you know, managers, executives, you know, kind of like counterparts or colleagues within the organization, that you feel like you being in your position were more able to influence and maybe what your advice might be to someone that is kind of pushing up, right? So they're in that head of director VP, and they're trying to get that C suite buy in. So you might have saw it from the other perspective, what would be your advice to the person that's trying to escalate or elevate that profile around all these great metrics that you've been talking about?

Braydan Young  27:27
Yeah, I think the way that most companies look at partnerships, whether you're big or small, like this is an old school thought process is purely lead generation. It's like, hey, like, I'm gonna get as many referral agreements as possible with as many partners as possible. And the guy I'm not going to say that we didn't start there, because that's how we were all training partnerships. Like let's just get as many things signed, like like if someone signs up and they bring us one great and so basically, you have a team of usually like three people against a team of like 900 SDRs are doing the exact same thing. And you're like yeah, this is this is makes total sense. Like this is like everything partner brings us top of funnel is fine, but it's not it's not as you know, like that's yours or bringing us more How can you increase that so and then you look at comp plans for a lot of like partner managers like hey, how many deals were part of the qualified leads that you brought in that were closed by the sales team? So basically, like those years you're bringing in from partners are closed by somebody else so you don't have a lot of control of your destiny there. It's like yeah, like hey, like here's a deal like partner brought it in and like he like totally bogged you didn't do well on the demo at all. So like, they didn't buy us so like there's all of those things that make it really difficult. So the first thing we looked at was like how can we one change commission plans to not only incentivize pipe cuz I think it's important to have like, hey, like to ask for referrals, like that's never going away. But I think the more important piece of partnerships is the partner influence side. So how many deals are you bringing in and then helping with the 80, facilitate an actual close and then helping out and helping the CSM find upsells like within that account, those brought to you by a partner helping your partner's like figure out professional services and like getting kickbacks on that so like partners need to spend a lot more time internal than they do just trying to source actual pipeline and the way that we proved that was by showing Hey, we're able to close deals faster we're involved and deals that are brothers I partners have better rates of sticking with us for longer periods of time. So I think that you need to look kind of internal the downstream and the pull report from Salesforce to say, like, hey, out of the last couple years, like the deals that were sourced I partners like where they have they stick around longer have they spent more like do like, like, what are those look like is like the first place that we started. And then once you have all that data, to go back to your CRM to go back to whoever you report to marketing and say, Hey, I think pipe is important, and we'll keep doing that. But secondly, I think if we look internal, we can produce even more revenue, ourselves is a really important piece. And then like there's other pieces there too, like there's the channel as sort of stuff, which is a different conversation, but that's kind of fun to see if you can separate us here on revenue at some point but That's where I would start breeding.

Jared Fuller  30:02
I had no idea how good this conversation was going to be, I thought we were just doing this because you know, we've known each other for what I don't know, going on, we're gonna date ourselves a plus years. Back it, we were in HR tech, and you just articulated something, I think that was incredible. Most, I think partner leaders have this really difficult time articulating the difference between because I think I've just succinctly been able to articulate this to my organization. So maybe I'll try to summarize. Yeah, there's there's two different funnels, once you sign a partner, there is partner pipeline. And then there is partner activation. So partner pipeline to me is understanding their account map, talking about specific accounts, doing an account review with the you know, like our field counterpart, partner, account manager, and partner to go, Okay, here's how we're gonna approach this account. And then you're engaged in some sales activity, whether it's demo or your later stage. But the partner activation funnel is very ambiguous if you're a partner account manager. I mean, there's like literally 100 things that you can do. But they're not directly related to the sourcing pipeline, right? It's all about building trust. And I think really like buy in mindshare of like, why this technology or this other complimentary company, I want to bring into my net new deals or into my install base. So they need to understand like the monetary opportunity, they need to understand, I think the context, to feel confident to approach the account. And if you're looking at these 50, things that you could do to activate partners, there's really only one that stands out, which is get in accounts, right? Like get in there, see the technology working, like participate in that. And no partner is going to just source you that first deal. And just be like, I'm so bought into the deck that you pitch me on partner account manager, I'm going to bring you my best customer and source an opportunity for your account executive. That doesn't happen.

Justin Bartels  32:07

Braydan Young  32:07
Yeah. You know, that's, that's not the way that we're like something like no one's gonna be like, hey, like, this is like spent a long time but this great relationship with this account, here you go, go use my name and go sell this account. Under my name. We like maybe like the habit once a while but like, what's better is like the the model like working with them to do that is going to be the straight up referrals is not the future of partnerships. It's more joint selling, it's more growing with an account, it's more a trust takes time with not just accounts with partners as well, I feel like especially

Justin Bartels  32:39
at sight as the like, just the customer journey has gone completely digital. And like the start of the customer journey has become so blurred between Was it a partner referral? Was it a visit to the website? Was it a webinar that source them? Was it, you know, an event that happened? Like, in reality, it's the cacophony of all these touch points. So why are we focused on this one particular one, where they went from not being known to known and we have their email addresses as like this crucial step and just focus on making that journey as fast as possible.

Braydan Young  33:16
Yeah, I think like a joke I was making internally as like, there's not a lot. There's not a lot of people that are clicking through the nav exchange in Salesforce or whatever have you that are stumbling upon this. And they're like, Oh, God, damn, I was looking for like, like, like this platform. Yes. I'm gonna go, I'm gonna go ahead and request time to go ahead and take a demo of whatever it is like, let's start up people by basically like, especially is like the

Jared Fuller  33:39
people that they know and trust.

Braydan Young  33:41
Yeah, right. Or like they're finding a kick ass webinar, like maybe they're listening to like on the grid or gym. Or maybe there's like, like case studies, like maybe someone's skimming on LinkedIn. They'll be like, cool. Or maybe their friends are joining a company. They're like, Oh, like, what is that? Like, what do they do? And like, then they would inbound, which is a whole nother problem with partnerships, like, the whole world of attribution of partnerships is a show, which is one that like, I think, is interesting that a gong has helped. But I'm sure we all know

Justin Bartels  34:08
why we're on Gong for an hour every day. Yeah, taking through for referrals are

Jared Fuller  34:14
I think your we need to productize your partner influence pitch, though, basically Braden is, is my point. And that's, that's where I'm going to do a shameless cloud software Association plug, a mid roll, I throw him in wherever. So if you're not there, come join along a slack group got about 4000 people there. And that I think, should be a masterclass. So they do these things called master classes where they do a deep dive on a very particular topic. I think building the partner influence business case, you know, for a board for C suite for management for VPS. I mean, I feel like that's something that probably needs to be delivered at minimum in a QPR type setting. Like, you know, some executives saying, Hey, we're going to get partners involved in our deals in our accounts. Yes. They didn't bring you there. But here's why. Right and explaining to them, for every time we do this, the likelihood that they bring us into the next account, they speak more favorably of us that they actually engage us. Here's what happens, right. And in those situations, we still win more we do this getting everyone bought into that, you know, influence motion, I think is critical. Under the lens of partner activation, at the end of the day, you know, you did partner influence for a year or two years, and you never sourced anything hard to report that to the street or to report that to the board. But I think we all know, I mean, I've seen it we had, what can I share, we had that query from ROI DNA on the podcast, right, Justin, and a fantastic podcast about trust. But we built so much trust with Matt and ROI DNA, that I believe that whenever we recorded that, I think we were in like 10 accounts together, I believe we're in 16 accounts now. And these are enterprise accounts, he's bringing us into every single net new deal. Ever, not one, not like one and a blue, every single deal that is sold by this, you know, partner there, if they have drift. They're going to service it with some of their special sauce. If they don't have drift. They're bringing us in. Why? Because they were active inside of accounts prior to ever selling or sourcing now they source all the time. So, you know, but that original account executive, imagine they had a poor experience, that first one that he was really standoffish, didn't want them involved was a jerk. You don't have that 16 deal partner sitting next to you, right? So like, you have to get in front of that you have to build that business case, I think stream, you know, stream it throughout your organization. And most organizations don't do that. I mean, I feel like I'm guilty of that right now. Whatever you I want to go back to the beginning. This, I think this is related. You said that, you know, you realize these things is whenever you changed your title. So you brought up some metrics. Some bets that you were making. Matt said no. So when was this communicated? Was this like a slow drip over time with like social proof? Or was there a you know, specific event? Like maybe a title change sales kickoff, a QPR where you presented this to the organization as like a strategic imperative, a core company objective. And the reason why I asked is Bobby Knapp from Salesforce said that everything changed the day that Benioff put in the company kickoff, one of three bullet points for the year, which was partner love. Right? He said, everything changed, because I had benioff's Executive creed that like, no partner experience matters. Was there that moment? Or was it more of a slow burn for you?

Braydan Young  37:40
No, there there was like the I have kind of a cool job internally here where I get to jump around to teams that need help. And so this is like my I did like sales. And then I jumped over to naval and kind of rebuilt, how we do our RNA. And then I jumped in when we were doing it when we noticed quickly that a lot of the CX team and a team, they knew our partners, but they didn't know how everything functions and work together. And so it's one of those things where I was like, this is kind of the light bulb went off. So like, Okay, how many partners do we have? We have a lot of agencies, we have a lot of integrations, are we working with them to help educate us, and we can talk with them more effectively. And I bet they don't know a whole lot about us either. And so like, that was a kind of that moment where like, we need to revamp partnerships all together. And I will go in and basically run that team, revamp the team, or we'll focus on agencies or focus on integrations. And then we'll not only educate our staff internally as to what all these guys actually do. But externally, we'll work with these partners to actually go to market together and actually sell our products jointly. And because I knew the sales side and the ammo side, it made a lot of sense to kind of go that direction. The piece that we're still working on is like marketing support is massive in partnerships. And I don't know if everyone really understands that, like how much work you actually do with the marketing team, but like that has been one where when I made the switch, it was Hey, we're putting partnerships on their own island. They're gonna be like run by Braden. And they're going to work hand in hand with marketing or sales to make this work. And the other lightbulb moment was we saw that our sales team, this was a new muscle they needed to develop like how to Cosell was one you're not typically taught when you're being taught to me and he like you're not you're typically Hey, push your product. You're not typically like one of your first questions you asked me how about a demo right is like, great, what software's Do you use and someone's like, I use Salesforce and the I use this thing and this thing. And they're like, basically, the only reason you're asking is so you can write it down into Salesforce and like you never forget to ask about it. Like why don't ask how you have those systems hooked up together. And so we needed to make our sales team more consultative. And like that was a piece that's kind of my motto for why we jumped

Jared Fuller  39:41
or why I feel like in. In SAS, it's pretty common for you know, everyone's doing some sort of event campaigns, webinars, something where they're trying to produce some I think higher level content other than just the you know, Product Marketing page, right. Like people are Trying to educate people in their space more and more I would go so far as to say it's fairly ubiquitous. Meaning, if you're trying to educate an audience, you're more likely to bring in, you know, counterparts, other experts from maybe tangential spaces. So technology partners, in some cases, solution partners. I feel like from the beginning, I've never had any pushback around doing partner marketing when it came to those types of things, right, like, you know, an event, right, so a virtual event or something like that. Yep. But when it comes to like, actually maximizing the effort, and developing, you know, some sort of, I hate to say attribution model, because we'll go down too far of a rabbit hole, but marketing planning around partnerships, how have you partnered with marketing as an organization to do partner marketing? How is that formed? Because I feel like most marketing, ORS are like, Yeah, that's great. Bring in these six partners will do this event will all share leads. Awesome. Thank you so much. And then there's zero, like Association in the marketing model that like, technology partners, brought stuff to the table. I feel like a lot of companies are kind of there because it's more organic. How do you like build that partnership? Where marketing starts to think, okay, here's how we report on partner, you know, impact, or here's how we leverage partner impact. Yeah, I

Braydan Young  41:22
think it takes time with marketing. Like one of the big things with them is you're absolutely right. It's like the question they always ask you is, hey, alright, who are your tier one partners, and you're like, well, it sort of changes depending on the month because like, these guys used to be tier one. But now they just got acquired by Vista, or like, hey, these guys used to be fantastic. But like, now, they haven't gotten back to me in two weeks, and they've got the new integration with a competitor or whatever have you. So like, that's a very changes, like, when you go to marketing, you're like, hey, I'd like to do an event. And I want to do it with this partner. And we need to make it happen sooner rather than later. Because right now we're both crushing the market together. And we're both gonna go target a Mia together. So I think it's really good marketing to kind of like, open up like the, the eye the phrase, like open the kimono is a horrible one. But like, like show, like what your game plan is, like, show what your strategy is, like, why you want to go down the road of that partner and why it's important, then to introduce them like to stick with marketing the whole time, like throwing it over the fence being like, hey, I'd like to do a webinar. Here's the partner, I want to do it with, make it happen, like no, but you need to stick with it the entire time and kind of share, like, what are the goals you're trying to get out of it? And why is this important? And like how does this help the sales team? How does this help what their mq ELLs are? What is marketing trying to get to in terms of their number, like you always have to sell internally with the marketing team. And to kind of help them out a bit, which is really important to get to that level? with

Jared Fuller  42:44
one final question kind of pivoting from the marketing conversation around planning for your fiscal year. So most companies have an operating plan, right? You say, Hey, here's the top of funnel to bottom of funnel and what falls out and what grows? Here's what we send to the board board goes great, awesome, you know, go get it. And I feel like the partnerships, you know, line item in there, it's not a full partner operating model for most organizations that have not reached, you know, ecosystem maturity. Did you before you have this title? I'm just curious. So we're in July right now. Were you participating in the kind of operating plan for you know, the, the fiscal year that we're in? And did you have a partner operating model? Whatever you did or not yet, and you're going to for this next year?

Braydan Young  43:30
I would say not yet and go into this next year? Like we're not we're working on it. We're not there yet. I think like for us it was, I mean, a lot of the stuff that I've talked about, like the looking at partners is more like a pile model more like not Pico, like private generation, like all that's pretty new for us. Like this is definitely a hypothesis as to how we see it working. And like this worked really well, these past two quarters have been in the role. And the goal is it continues to so like I would say like now I have a seat at the table to look at like, Hey, what are we doing in terms of a partner landscape? How is partners? How are the partnership teams going to influence like the product, actual roadmap, which is massive, and so like being involved in those conversations is really important. So we're getting to that point, we're not there yet. But hopefully, another six months, more companies, we push in this as well.

Jared Fuller  44:20
And that's how I close Braden on coming back on the podcast, again, to tell me how he, you know, implemented the partner operating model at sindo. So, so, right, boom, we're gonna have to have you back on Braden. This was, yeah, absolute blast. And thank you for sharing so much insight around this. I have a feeling that in the future, we're going to have more chief partnerships officers on and hopefully you're the Sentosa has a fantastic outcome. And your

Braydan Young  44:51
Yeah, absolutely. Thanks for the invite. Appreciate it. All right.

Jared Fuller  44:55
Well, last final shout out cloud Connect cloud software association or SAS Connect sorry, SAS connected with the cloud software Association. In person event we're back. So go check it out. I believe early bird tickets are all sold out. But we'll have six 700 partner people there as my guest. And it's going to be a blast. And we'll do something special with partner up there. So we will see you there. Justin, what are they supposed to do with the socials? Five stars, all platforms?

Justin Bartels  45:26
Drop the fall platforms.

Jared Fuller  45:28
Oh, you know, one thing too, I didn't want to give some shout outs we should start doing this. We get so much Amazing love from people on LinkedIn. Just saying thank you so much. Shout out to Carly. So shooting us a nice note saying that. She shared it with a bunch of people it's been really helpful for her taking her first formal leadership position in partnership. So thank you, Carly. For the shout out. And if you really like it, tag Braden on LinkedIn, and share the post, so please get a way to raise the profession. So share these things on LinkedIn. That's gonna be my new CTA.

Justin Bartels  46:05
Passive aggressively send it to your superior C suite.

Jared Fuller  46:10
Now this one's gonna get in front of some C suite people I guarantee you that because Yeah, because of Braden. So Alright, we'll see y'all next time. Peace out.

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