055 - The Partner Manager Playbook - Managing the Front Lines with Lisa Lawson

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Lisa Lawson is on to talk about partner management. Starting at Microsoft and finding herself at many startups, she recognized one of the biggest issues is role-based training. There are very few companies that provide role-based training for their employees, and even fewer companies for something as new as partner management.

Partner Managers are at the front line of finding and creating quantifiable value between partners.

A repeatable playbook is what new partner managers need, and Lisa has just that with her course at SaaSy. Get a spot while you can.

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Jared Fuller  00:12
Isaac last time I said this I got to do it live. What is up partner up?

Isaac Morehouse  00:17
And you know what? Like, I feel like three quarters of the audience immediately knew what you were talking about. You got it. You had a lot of listeners there at SAS Connect.

Jared Fuller  00:25
That was kind of cool. Like this is a risk. What if no one knows what I'm talking about? So that was awesome, man. It was so cool hanging out with you at the team. We got to hang out on the partner stack boat. Shout out partner stack. We got to we got to release my tabletop speech too, right?

Isaac Morehouse  00:40
Yeah, I think we got some some cell phone footage. We had our launch party happy hour. And we sort of go to Jared into getting up on the table and giving a little little spiel and I don't know he was he was feeling it. You got pretty fired up there. Jared. Do we do this? I think we do. I think we got some cell phone video, Lisa. Okay. Yeah, we'll get that. We'll get that circulated.

Jared Fuller  01:07
Totally. So thanks, everyone that we met at SAS Connect. It was awesome. Having the partner hacker studio there. So if you didn't listen to the last episode, it's the best of sass Connect. We have a whole bunch of people from gosh, did you end up getting Brent on with partner?

Isaac Morehouse  01:21
Part? I didn't get Brent. But I got Tyler. Yeah. Okay. Yeah.

Jared Fuller  01:25
So we got Tyler the VP marketing partner stack. We got Sunil from App bind. We got the partner fleet guys. A bunch of people on the podcast. So kind of the best of sass connect with one person we didn't though, is Lisa Lawson, who is currently gracing the homepage of partner hacker.com. Right now, Washington live,

Lisa Lawson  01:44
right? Oh, yes, my five.

Isaac Morehouse  01:47
Welcome. Your you're the only you're like the only image actually, on the homepage, we have a really minimalist design where it's just like, you know, the text of the articles. And it's you up there, you know, your representative got a billboard for the for the partner manager accelerator course.

Lisa Lawson  02:03
Awesome. Well,

Jared Fuller  02:04
thank you. I appreciate that. It was awesome to meet you in person very briefly, Lisa, we didn't get as much time to hang out as we should have. But welcome to partner up. And we'll give the quick plug to you know, so that if you go to partner hacker.com, you should see that it's in our emails, the partner manager accelerator course, we won't do too much of a infomercial on that. But I'm really excited about it, because I've taken these courses from Matt Cameron. And then Lisa partnered up with Matt, to do the partner manager course. And Lisa, how we kick this off, was actually you mentioning something about like, you know, hey, where's the training for this role like this channel, this partnership, this frontline partner manager role? What got you into kind of leading building a curriculum and a boot camp and a course around this topic? Because so many partner managers are trying to figure this out for the first time themselves? And then heads of partnerships that are like, okay, now I have to hire someone. Wait, yeah. How do I train?

Lisa Lawson  03:00
Yeah, it's a real predicament. Especially for these like, I mean, there's 1000s of fast growing venture backed startups out there who are accelerating their success through the channel and through partnerships, but there's no training for new partner managers. So my career I've worked at, at IT startups pretty much my whole career, except for about three or four years that I did at Microsoft. So I got to see how Microsoft scales partnerships and channel and how they train individual contributors, which is, you know, CliffsNotes version really well. And then I moved on to more startups after that I didn't want to do the big company thing anymore, and moved on to Optimizely. And a number of other startups that were growing and scaling, specifically, their partnerships team really quickly. And I was managing a team, but there was no role based training for partner managers. So here, you know, I have a team of 20 Somethings who this might be their first or maybe second job ever. And they're sent to the sales bootcamp, which is great. You need to know how to fundamentally sell the product, but there was no role based training for how do you do partner management activities that accelerate the partnership through each stage of the partner process? So how do you do a successful account mapping? What does that look like? You know, side CliffsNotes it's not get a spreadsheet of every account your partner has, in every account you have, um, how do you do quarterly business reviews? How do you do mutual success plans? How do you do these activities that help your partners grow with your company and help you reach your sales goals? So that's a long way of saying I saw this need in the market specifically for these fast growing companies to offer role based training for partner managers. And so I do that through Sase and with my partnership with with you guys,

Isaac Morehouse  04:59
it's amazing Seeing how you know we talk about we're in the the era of ecosystems or the decade of ecosystems and the MAR tech stack just came out, the report would like almost 10,000, you know, marketing tech things and partnership tech, there's a couple of 100. But we're kind of projecting, hey, this is this is what's going to happen in partnership tech. This is growth industry. I mean, you saw that SAS connect, there's a lot of energy, people are like, Hey, I'm finally like, I'm the cool kid. Now I'm getting attention. And yet, there's no there's a role that's very important growing in importance and increasingly large part of the go to market strategy. There's no real playbook, there's very little trade. I mean, you go into marketing, you go into sales, at any level, the amount of great stuff, boot camps, courses, blog posts, just content books. It's huge. There's like two books about partnerships. You know, there's one media publication I know of, that just came about. So you know, we got that goes for us. But there's very little so it's really exciting to see you you have a course specifically for that role, not just about selling or about marketing, but this this nexus, this role that's emerging and importance in partnerships.

Lisa Lawson  06:08
Yeah, I mean, if you think about it, it makes sense. The, the enablement team at most companies has never been in our shoes, right? Like they don't fundamentally understand partnerships. At most companies. There's obviously exceptions. There's great enablement people out there who have done partnerships. But you're right, like there's no playbook for this role in particular. And so I've partnered with Matt, I've partnered with you guys to create a repeatable playbook and give, you know, relatively new folks who are new to this role and new to this particular space, the tools they need to really get into role on day one, and be successful. And I love I personally love it. I love working with people. And so this is something for me, that's, it's fun.

Jared Fuller  06:57
And you've structured the course like a almost like a boot camp. Right cohort based so like, tell us if this is my maybe more of an enablement nugget. And like a learning nugget that applies more generally across function like partnership, sales, whatever, I've always been a big fan of like the two day like bootcamp style format, where it's much more intensive versus a, hey, here's these modules that you can take over, you know, eight weeks. And it's like, that's so hard to maintain that why was this format, appealing to you? Like a two day boot camp?

Isaac Morehouse  07:27
And and the cohort things? Yeah,

Lisa Lawson  07:30
yeah. Um, so I think adult learning should always be centered around like cohort based style conversations and exercises. So I it works so well, because every single person in the accelerator is in the is in the exact same shoes, they're in the exact same role. They're experiencing the exact same challenges. And so when somebody says, hey, you know, this partner isn't responding, what should I do? Or, hey, how do you guys do territory planning for partnerships at your company, people can immediately step in and say, here are the steps I've taken to either overcome this challenge, or, Hey, let me share what I created to help you overcome that challenge, way more quickly than you would if you had to make it up yourself. And so what it does is it sparks conversation, like real, genuine conversation, and we pair people up to do you know, objection handling activities and role plays. And people get into it, they get into it, because they're living it every single day. And you feel good, when you can help someone else out, you feel good. And it feels it feels good to bounce ideas off of people. That's where really people, when they when they leave the reviews when they give us the kind of feedback on the course. The number one thing people say that they got out of this was just having a group of 1015 people intimate conversations around how to overcome the daily challenges of their role. And so it's actionable.

Isaac Morehouse  09:08
No, it's amazing. I've, I've done a lot of education and career programs over the years for for, you know, slightly different audience some early career stuff. And I mean, almost every different version of learning in person learning online, I've attempted and it's funny, like you have this idea that well, in this digital age, everything can be asynchronous. You can put up all this great content and I had a program we put it this incredible curriculum, and it was all these things. You could go through self guided, and it had little, you know, checkboxes and you could get, you know, interactivity, but it was all it could all be done at your own pace, self guided. And guess what, nobody did it. But he did. And when we said okay, it's not self guided, you're in a group and the magic number seems to be somewhere between like, six and like 25 or 30 cohorts like you can use kind of different types but You're in a group of a couple dozen or a dozen people. And you're going to you have to show up live, even though it's like technically less efficient, when you could go off and do it by yourself, and then maybe only come together. There's just something that happens in that shared learning environment that you don't, that you don't get in those sort of self guided thing. So there's a, there's a magic that happens that you can't replicate. So I think it's always worth, if you're, if you have the chance, yeah, go read and learn on your own. But if you have the chance to jump in with 10 or 20 other learners at the same time, the benefits are always there, it's really hard to quantify. It's like, it's like, you know, trying to quantify influence in your in your channel. It's sometimes hard to quantify, but it's very real.

Jared Fuller  10:45
So tell us more about what maybe some of the, your favorite anecdotes are going through a course like this. And people hop into the classroom, the virtual classroom now. And they start learning in this format that we've been talking about, what are some of the things that people have said to you afterwards? Lisa, like, holy cow, I wish. So you mentioned, you know, doing like, account mapping, right. So first off, if you're not using reveal, or crossbeam, you know, manual account mappings definitely a pain in the butt, I'm sure that's been like, augmented since the rise of those tools. But you mentioned, like mutual success plans, you know, some other components, what have been some of those things that people have walked away with? Like, wow, I was thinking about doing that completely incorrectly? I'd love to hear more to like, you don't know what you don't know. What were some of those moments that stood out to you?

Lisa Lawson  11:36
Yeah, I think so. So a big a big component of the of the course, is actually walking through an ideal, you know, partner, new partner process from acquiring that partner all the way through to that partner becoming really embedded in your organization. And so what are the activities you need to do to continue the momentum throughout that process? Because if you lose momentum, the partnerships over so we go through different activities. And I think that's, particularly some of the aha moments that people have are just around, you know, what? So what is a mutual success plan? And why would I do one with a partner? And what do you do in your mutual success plans? Do you have a

Jared Fuller  12:19
tough pause right there? This is a very interesting thing, because you've seen more people go through this motion front hand firsthand than I have is, are our people getting stuck? Because they keep on trying to bring on new partners without actually going through what a success plan looks like? Is that more common? Or is it hey, I'm actually stuck trying to get this one partner, it's like, oh, you should actually be looking at a different partner type. Because I feel like there's two very different challenges, which is like, I come into this partnership, and I'm like, Hey, give me leads, because my CRO gets said, Give me you know, source pipeline, that's one problem. But then we never really get a success plan done, and you just burn through net new partners, or you're really over indexed on trying to make this partnership successful. That's like, why are you spending time there? That's a complete waste of time. So we definitely talk which one's more common?

Lisa Lawson  13:07
Both to be you know, we talk a lot about like, if there's not value in the partnership to the mutual customer, to the partner to your company, and not just value but quantifiable value, what is that quantifiable value? What is the actual value prop to the partner, and what is the value prop to the end and customer, so we spend a good portion of the first day on just that those mutual value prop exercises and how you have to sell in partnerships and different value props to different people within the organization. So for example, a practice leader lead will have different expectations and needs for a partnership than, say, a practitioner or the product team. So how do you go about pitching all of these people and building a successful partnership? So there's, there's that and making sure you're pitching the right value props, you understand the benefits? It's the right partnership, it's the right priority, like prioritizing your time is a big part of the workshop. Because as you know, partner managers just get pulled into many different directions. So there's that there's, you know, is this the right partnership? Am I Am I pitching the right value props? Am I pitching it to the right people? How do I fix that? But then there's also just this, this lightbulb moment that goes off? That's like, okay, and you know, every partnership at every company is different because their product is different. So their process is is everyone's process is slightly different. And the activities they need to build the partnerships are slightly different depending on type and product. But there's a light bulb moment that typically goes off around whoa, wow. Like, I shouldn't just do a mutual business plan or mutual success plan for the sake of it. I need to make sure it's the right thing to do and this is how others have done it successfully. And here's a template for it. So where does that fit into my process? Or, you know, should I do quarterly business reviews with every partner or just my top tier partners? There's there's a lot of conversations and prioritization and tools that we give people to help them answer those questions about their own book of business and their own partners.

Isaac Morehouse  15:23
So I am thinking to your career that you sort of briefly encapsulated for us before. And I've got to imagine that when you're at Microsoft, there are things you wish Microsoft did well that startups do really well. And there are things you wish startups did really well that Microsoft did really well. I'm wondering if you could give us like a story to illustrate, let's say with your time at Microsoft, like, what's an example of, you know, where, where a company like Microsoft, you wish could could pick up some of the things that earlier stage companies do really well. And vice versa? I always I just find those kinds of comparisons and those kinds of stories and illustrations to be really interesting.

Jared Fuller  16:05
You hit her with a hard question. That is a hard question. But it's Microsoft and startups.

Lisa Lawson  16:11
Microsoft years was also a long time ago. So I'm gonna have to think about that one. But I mean, I, for me, I'm, I'm a fast paced startup. Now. I like the fact that I can just if I see an opportunity, I can go for it. But the thing that Microsoft really gave me and gives all of its employees is structure scale, like how do you do sales and partnerships and channel at scale, they do it really, really well. They have endless resources when it comes to technology. And, and, and, you know, not having to sit and do really manual tasks. They've automated a lot of that. And so that's really great, because you can just focus on the business. Yeah, and, you know, they taught me how to scale, they taught me what it looks like to work at a scaled company, and the processes and the resources you need for that, you know, startups, they don't have the process. They don't have the scale yet. So part of the fun is building those things, in my opinion, and getting to affect the strategy and the direction of where you're going and why you're going that direction. Yeah.

Isaac Morehouse  17:33
Being able to be able to see, okay, this is what it looks like at scale, I imagine that helps a lot when you go to the early stage company, because then you're, you know where you are today. And you obviously can't do all the things Microsoft is doing today. But you can ask yourself that question, you can hold that example in the back your mind and say, if we go about it this way, is that something that can lead us to that other point? Or are these completely Divergent Paths right to to have had that experience to see what it looks like at scale? I think maybe can kind of help. Help you. I know that I found that to help ask the question is like, is what I'm doing today capable of becoming that? Or is it in the wrong direction?

Lisa Lawson  18:12
Yeah, well, and and you know, what a company like Microsoft really gives you is they give you training, which is relevant to our conversation today, they gave me so much training, not just role based training, and how to sell and that type of just general business training, but a lot of emotional intelligence training, understanding my skill set, understanding, understanding where my blind spots are, which, you know, I'm a firm believer should be incorporated into into all trainings. Because if you can really focus on what you're good at, and scale that, and you understand your blind spots, so that you can come a tweak them, you're gonna be more successful in business.

Isaac Morehouse  18:59
So you get to you don't have to go work at Microsoft, you get the best of both worlds, you can keep you can keep working at your awesome startup. And you can go through Lisa's course. And you can get some of that training jam packed into a nice two day experience. So there's the there's the promo spot squeezed in there.

Lisa Lawson  19:18
Thank you, Isaac.

Jared Fuller  19:19
Yeah, totally. actually want to pivot for for a second, Lisa. So you've been teaching this course. And you've seen kind of like, so I can't really see generations of cohorts. But you've seen, let's say, a year, right, like yearly. So like, there were cohorts pre pandemic, and there's cohorts during the pandemic. And then there's cohorts today. What do you what do you think has been the major shift in terms of the people coming into the these types of classes over the past three years? Because I feel like it's really shifted and changed a lot in the past year. But I'm curious from your vantage point, because you've been teaching these classes for a bit. Like what have been the predominant shifts, like What is different about the classes that are coming in the types of companies? Are they earlier stage? Are they later stage? Are they you know, all first time partner manager roles coming from the SDR cohort or from sales? Like, what are some of the commonalities? You've seen shift over the past couple of years of giving these courses?

Lisa Lawson  20:14
Yeah, that's, um, that's a good question. So as we've all in the industry been talking about, partnerships, ecosystem strategies are gaining a seat at the table. And so with that, in especially during COVID, they gained a seat at the table, because event marketing was no longer happening, traditional marketing and sales channels were no longer working, or they were really expensive. And so people had to pivot. And so people saw, okay, I really do need to invest in my partnership and ecosystem strategy now. And so that means I have to hire people. And so what I've seen is a just more demand for the course because people need to ramp their partner and channel managers quickly to hit their goals. And more and more, I would say, folks coming from like the SDR role coming from partner development rep role. So the more junior partner roles, it's just about acquiring new partners, that kind of first part of the partner process. I'm seeing a lot of those folks get promoted and come into the course. And even some, some sellers, some experienced sellers who've made the shift over to managing, you know, really big strategic partnership BD type jobs come over, and even though they're experienced at selling the product, experienced at, you know, going through an executive sales cycle, they still don't, they still are lacking the foundational knowledge of like, you know, even just just vocabulary, different types of partner strategies, what does OEM really stand for? They might not have ever gotten that. And so

Jared Fuller  21:57
even original equipment manufacturer that applies perfectly,

Lisa Lawson  22:00
exactly. And so why a bunch of SAS startups are using that term and throwing it around kind of loosely and different companies.

Jared Fuller  22:08
We only have stuff all the time. It's like, No, you do you really don't. But oh, yeah,

Lisa Lawson  22:12
exactly. So. So like what so just the fundamentals are a part and an aspect of the course the first day is literally just reviewing vocabulary, and different types of partner models and why you would use each and how each kind of optimizes your company goal. And so just that is really helpful for someone who's new to the world of partnerships, to just get that leg up and get it quickly at the beginning of this this role, versus six to 12 months in when they've just had to you know, baptism by fire, learn everything.

Jared Fuller  22:48
You know, I do like that particular approach to learning is just the I call it fit vote. Anyone know what that means?

Lisa Lawson  22:56
I don't figure it

Jared Fuller  22:58
the fuck out. Bikes. So yeah, I mean, I've used that. Like, I've used that a lot. At the same time. I think you need something like this, because like I've been given that I've been that's been thrown at me a lot. And the first thing I tried to do is the way that I approach learning is how do I immerse myself for like, 24 or 48 hours and something? And then I'm like, okay, boom, let me run and mess up and like figure things out. Yeah. But figuring it out by yourself. What you end up doing is you end up spending, like, up to your point so much time on stuff that's like, Wait a second. That's, that's like a nice to have at scale versus I need to figure this out right now. That's why I've always like, it was kind of a leading question asking about do people chase big partnerships, and then ignore the masses, you know, too frequently? Or do they, you know, try to oversell to the masses and ignore the top two or three partners, they should really have a win with I've always ran towards I thought of when my big partner, right, like I have to win that ecosystem. No, that's going to be get me dozens of other ecosystem nodes, right. There's not that much stuff out there strategic alliances, so like, you really do need to have some baseline understanding, you know, get into a place where you're like, Okay, I know what good looks like. And then you can go get that success story that can turn into dozens and dozens of other success stories. So with that, with that in mind, Lisa, I want to kind of go from like, what, transitioning from what you've seen kind of people coming into the core classes we were we opened up the episode with SAS connect, I'm actually curious your take, what was the most interesting thing you saw at SAS Connect? Like, what was the best story or the like topic or thing that you were like, Hmm, this really is, you know, solidifying or codifying something that knew or, you know, in the world of partnerships that might have surprised you even.

Lisa Lawson  24:47
You know, I think for me, what I walked away with was just the sheer amount of energy that is behind the space right now. I can remember I ran like the San Francisco partner Going on meet up. This was pre pandemic, this was four, this was probably five years ago. And you know, we'd get 12 people. And then at the next one, we'd get 25 people. And then we were excited to get 30. You know, so that was five years ago, that was maybe four or five years ago. This is the first in person event I've seen with a, a quantity of partner people all in one place. And we're talking, I mean, how many people attended? There were hundreds, though, I

Isaac Morehouse  25:27
think it was 450 430, something like that. Yeah, somewhere between four and 500.

Lisa Lawson  25:34
Yeah. So to be in a space with 500 people talking about frameworks for partnerships and channel strategies, the importance of partner and channel strategies, how to sell it into your organization, how to build it from the ground up, you know, how to build your career on it was just amazing. So there wasn't really to me a specific, standout talk. It was just more of this, this energy and excitement behind the space that was not there. Pre pandemic that is there now. Well,

Isaac Morehouse  26:10
I'm curious. There was a talk my I think my favorite was, was Brynn from partner stack. And he opened with he was talking about this question that they asked themselves because their company started as something different. And they were basically trying to sell it was like, it was like something for like nonprofit fundraisers or something like as slack for nonprofits, something like that. I'm trying to remember but, but basically, none of them wanted to sell. They didn't like doing sales. And so they were like, they started with this question. What if we had no sales team? The question, what if we had no sales team? And that led them to this really robust partner thing and ended up that partner stack was the better business than what they were trying to sell? But they but that question, I found to be the most compelling and provocative thing I heard there. And so I think that's I think that's maybe a really interesting thing. You know, for people who are going to, we're in partnerships or learning partnerships, of course, your your company is not going to get rid of their sales team. And I'm not saying you should, or they should want to. But I think asking yourself that question. Yeah. What if my company did get rid of our sales team? What if we had no sales team? How could I, as a partner person, make up the difference? What would that look like? What if everything we did had to come through partnerships? How could we be at that level? And that may be is like a really good North Star sort of question.

Jared Fuller  27:31
Yeah, it is those questions. mean, that's, that's, that's us. That's gonna be us. Yeah. No, I gotta give a previous previous guests plug wrote back query from ROI DNA. Do you know Matt query from our white DNA list by chance? I

Lisa Lawson  27:46
have? I mean, I think our paths have crossed. I don't know him personally. But we did work with ROI DNA at Optimizely.

Jared Fuller  27:54
Gotcha. So like he was they were the most amazing drift partner ever. Matt's team was phenomenal. And they were growing double digits, like, actually 100% year over year, like they're crushing it. And Matt has no salespeople, Isaac 120 person agency, and they have no quotas. Everyone is everyone is measured on client success. And it was like the episode to me was I was it blew my mind. I was like, wow, and they're crushing it. Like their retention is their net retention, like everything is crushing it for that agency. It's one of the best agencies in the world. So like asking the question, what we do without sales? I'm like, I don't know, there's a couple of anecdotes out there that, you know, it doesn't mean every model, but I was pretty impressed with what they've done with ROI DNA. It can be done, I'll put it that way can be done.

Lisa Lawson  28:44
Yeah. I mean, there's a couple of partner first companies out there that don't have sales teams. And it's interesting, and it's it keeps them focused, it is a way better way to go to market for those specific products and those specific companies. And that's, you know, I think another thing is that, that the course does is it gives you frameworks for thinking through these questions. Like what what partnerships are the most important to our business? How should we go to market with them? So it just helps you get down to the, to the importance of of, you know, what's going to make the biggest impact that is aligned with your company's core goals. Right.

Isaac Morehouse  29:26
So as a as like a newbie to this space. I feel like I'm observing something and I'm curious if this is correct, that what has been traditionally known as partnerships for several decades now kind of like channel partnerships, that that is I don't know if it's waning, but it's certainly there's something new that seems to be growing much faster like like, what partnerships mean now in a SAS startup is something very different than like the old you know, sort of idea Have the channel partner? What? Like, where do you see that? Because again, I almost struggle with this term partnerships because it means so many different things. It can mean affiliate to command tech integrations, it can mean, co selling or agencies that are, you know, it has so many different meanings in that whole, you know, bundle of different things that are represented by partnerships. Is there an area that you see, that is like really hot right now? Like, what is the what is the new thing? What is the thing that's growing the most? Or what type of partnership?

Lisa Lawson  30:30
I mean, thing that's growing? And

Isaac Morehouse  30:34
you can't say all of them, say all of them?

Lisa Lawson  30:38
No, I would never. I mean, I think there's so let's take

Jared Fuller  30:43
it tech partnerships.

Lisa Lawson  30:44
I think ecosystem has a lot of momentum right now. But I was just gonna say, let's look at it from like, let's answer this question from like a services, partnership type. And then like a technology partnership type, I would say from like, the services kind of models, definitely, like implementation partners are, you know, have always been very important. And continue to be very important for SaaS companies that don't have services teams in house and don't want to build those out. On the tech partnership side. I think it's interesting, I think, what I actually see working like or what I see, I think the the, like ecosystem kind of model and appstore model is, is continues to grow. I also have been seeing more and more companies working through a like, embedded or OEM type strategy. As a way to really scale. Yeah. And scale there. So

Isaac Morehouse  31:51
that's Yeah, that's interesting. I'm trying to think of like, as a, as a customer of many of these products. The way that the way that I've discovered new products has increasingly been through like a, an integration, but not just not just being because I don't go looking, I don't just say, You know what, let me go browse slax directory of integrations and see if I find anything new, right? Like, I don't go searching for them. It's more like, when the integration is somehow part of the flow, right? You're like, you're onboarding to something, or you're using, you know, gusto or whatever service. And right there, they've got try our new x with Company Y, like that kind of where it's, it's a combination of being an integration, but it's more active than just a listing in your app marketplace. There's something more robust there. At least for me, like that is what I keep seeing as Oh, yeah, this is a partnership. And this is how I'm discovering new products.

Jared Fuller  32:51
Yeah, integrated partnerships. I don't know that. Yeah. The powered by the gray label, the OEM the, the big part of what we did the last few companies embedded, yeah, embedded?

Lisa Lawson  33:02
Well, yeah, I know. And see, even just us we are partner professionals. And we there's a million different terms, like there's there's not everyone's turn around was a different embedded OEM. What are the other terms, we just, you know, white label, what are truly the differences between these terms? And how can we standardize? And so I mean,

Isaac Morehouse  33:28
I mean, that's, that's huge. I'm, I'm really interested in that as as being, again, like, Alright, let me get my Crash Course drinking from the firehose here. And, um, I keep asking myself, like, Wait, is, is this the same as this? Why is somebody calling it this, when it seems like there's just so much there's so much overlap and redundancy, but, but I think that's part of the excitement to that we're in a, like, from a very, very high level, it's essentially, your customers are not going to discover your product through you directly telling them about it, they're going to discover it through some other activity or place that they're hanging out. And they encounter it in in the flow of something that they're doing. And it's another person other than you, that owns the real estate or where their customer is hanging out, or the relationship with the customer. And you are entering that preexisting sort of space. Like, if you're going to zoom out from that sense, anything that fits that is like partnerships, and then all the labels that start to get confusing, but there's something that's really exciting about these things kind of being defined as we speak.

Jared Fuller  34:33
That was Isaac's promo clip, right? I love Isaac that was that was like onpoint man. There's this new feature in the podcasting app where I can actually mark clips as like the producer. There you go three clips so far, so keep bringing we go

Isaac Morehouse  34:49
yeah, that makes that makes it easier for that's, that's a great feature, by the way. I love. Shout out to Riverside.

Jared Fuller  34:54
Yeah, we got to get some banter in here too. So I love what you said Lisa. out the energy. Confession. I've never been to a partnerships conference or meet up of any sort of any kind. And Isaac, you know what I was really worried about. I was really worried about this conference feeling very similar to some of the political conferences you and I attended. Are the late the late aughts were very smart people, but hard to call them all your friends just like wow, you're you're you're kind of ahead of the curve, but you're maybe too far ahead of the curve. Here, you're off the social cliff. And I never felt more welcome and at home than I did at SAS, and I've been to dozens of SAS Type conferences, sales, marketing, you name it, b2b MX Aster, Dreamforce inbound, like, you know, the big logo conferences down to the, you know, the massive ones and I felt like everyone was really genuine. People were willing to like engage in a quick Convo, realize there wasn't much partner value, like part ways, no big deal, or like, go really deep and like strike up a deal and be like, Hey, we really should work together on X, Y, or Z. And as like a note of trust, I feel like the people that were there and the people that are gonna be a super node in Philly, or, you know, the next partner conference, like, there's a lot to be built off of this early momentum that feels even better than martec did in 2012. So like that energy, combined with the people that are like, they're not socially awkward, partner, people are people, people. And I think they're, they're, like, geeking out and learning ahead of the curve as much as anyone. I'm excited by the dynamic, right? So it's the Energy Plus, hey, this isn't some awkward, you know, group of people like these are amazing folks really willing to help each other grow themselves in their businesses. That was that was a

Isaac Morehouse  36:50
really so that's a good question. That's a good question for your lease. I'd be curious your thoughts on this? The personality attributes of, you know, that tends to be a good overlap with partner people. Because this is one thing that again, I've worked a lot with early career people in my previous companies, and one of the things that we've always found is like helping people kind of understand their personality, and then say, hey, given that, given that you're highly empathetic, and you're have a high attention to detail and maybe customer success or whatever, you can find these different overlaps. I'd be curious what partnership people because I go into this conference, I thought it was really funny. I was actually quite blown away with like, wow, these are like, really high quality people in an interesting way. I've been to like startup comp, right? Where there's a bunch of tech startup founder types, and you have, you have a similar like, there's a cool energy, but there's also this like, really, like socially awkward, sort of geeky nerdy tech thing, right? That can sometimes be

Jared Fuller  37:46
nerdy in this ask, connect, but it was the good, it was the right but then

Isaac Morehouse  37:49
I've also been to like your typical like, like, you know, because I've been in like business enterprise like I was thinking that mean when the guy's saying like, business right? Like, my kids always marketing when I'm on a phone call for work. They're like that was a work call, wasn't it that you use your business voice dad, but you know, so you think of like, business like sales guy? Hey, how's it going? How's it going? Shaking hands handing out business cards? And I feel like this partner the SAS connect, it was this perfect merging of the good attributes of both. Yes, the like, laid back keep it real startup energy, but there's like a professionalism. Yeah. Not like to like a douchey sort of salesy thing. I don't know. So what personality traits, what besides the fact that they're all from Canada? What other attributes do we have that make good partner people, it

Lisa Lawson  38:33
makes them inherently Nice. So I think that's what if you don't choose partnerships as a career path, or ecosystem, if you don't like working with people number one, and working cross functionally across a lot of different roles. So because both internally internally with sales, with marketing with product with, you know, the executive team, you you have to work every day with these different roles. And because externally you're working with lots of different types of partners and and executives at these partners, you know, all the all the way down to the practitioner or to the product team building the product, you have to be good at the soft skills, right? Like you have to be good at relationship building skills, you have to be good at conflict management. You have to I mean, that's partner managers, all they do all day long is conflict management or not, not conflict management, but they're putting out fires and, and working through hiccups. So problem solving skills, emotional intelligence, communication skills, motivation skills. You're like the manager of a whole sales team or partners or kind of your team, you know, under you and so you have to really have strong motivation and communication skills. So yeah, there's there's those kind of the softer skills to partner managers. And then I think there's there's the like core competencies of like, you know, can you do You have subject matter expertise do you have like effective meeting skills? Like effective selling skills? Can you navigate a multi party sales process? You know, there's all those things. And that's also the stuff that I really love helping, you know, newer folks to this role figure out like, what am I already really good at? And what do I what do I, what do I know that I want to improve on?

Isaac Morehouse  40:26
Yeah, yeah. Or what do I know? I look, I'm just not very good at that. Now that I know it. When I need that skill. I've got to partner up with someone who can complement that. Right. Right. Yeah. I love I love what you said about needing to motivate. And that I feel like, okay, if you're the head of any department you met, you motivate your team. But when you're motivating partners who don't work in your company, that's a different level of the ability to because they don't have to write like their job doesn't depend on them doing a good job as your partner necessarily, some of them may, but that's like another getting them enrolled and enlisted in the in what they're doing with you and wanting to keep doing it, keeping them motivated. That's a high level of motive. That's the kind of motivation that a company founder needs to have, right? Because it's your baby. It's your vision, and nobody else has the same level of agency. How do you get them to get on board with that? I think that's a really that's a really powerful. Yeah.

Lisa Lawson  41:25
And that's a big question that new partner managers have, like, they're new to roll, all of a sudden, they have to motivate a whole channel of partners. How do you do that. And that's something that like, discussing with other people in their same shoes to hear what works and best practices is really valuable.

Jared Fuller  41:43
It's there's something about the moment and being better together. I think that's kind of been our mission is to create a place in a world where everyone can win together. So going through a course a cohort together, doing partnerships together, learning out loud, that's why I've always loved the stuff that Isaac's done is like he's convinced, you know, 1000s of 1000s of up and comers in their careers to learn out loud right to do it together. I think in a world where we're increasingly like, there's more factions than ever, like there's there's so much like breakdown of like, what normally unites people. It's like, there's a lot of decentralization happening. I think faster. I mean, there's obviously centralization happening at an increasing rate, but there's decentralization happening at an increasingly rapid pace. And I don't know that's what the partnership moment to me feels so beautiful, so to speak, and why I love SAS connect and this course that we're promoting out, Lisa, I think on that note, that's like the perfect spot for us to cut it for today. It was a pleasure having you and it was awesome meeting you. assassinates.

Lisa Lawson  42:48
I know you too. Thank you. I'm I'm glad to know you have a green tinted couch behind you.

Isaac Morehouse  42:56
You will and hey, we got really fortunate that the home repairs at least a TED it might get loud in the background. I didn't hear anything. So

Lisa Lawson  43:05
yeah, they're not back yet. So for folks listening, I'm having new appliances installed, and they've run into as you do issue after issue. And I've been waiting any second now for them to come in. But I'm worried they didn't find the part.

Isaac Morehouse  43:20
Well, maybe to riff off of souvenirs talk about where he talked about what app bind does. Maybe the reason they haven't come back is because they're waiting at the hardware store. They can't buy the materials. You have to drive there and buy them yourself like the way that agencies have to sell software. So yeah,

Lisa Lawson  43:39

Jared Fuller  43:41
They've been texting you at least give me your card number and you're like, Wait, that doesn't sound secure.

Lisa Lawson  43:46
i Yeah, exactly. Yeah.

Jared Fuller  43:49
We just went through years of that.

Isaac Morehouse  43:50
Too much fun. Hey, thanks so much, Lisa. Really looking forward to getting this course cranking.

Jared Fuller  43:55
Absolutely. So check it out. Everybody at partner hacker.com If you aren't watching us on YouTube, come check us out there. We've been growing steadily. And also partner hacker. Our LinkedIn page has been taken off. Oh, we got some social presence everywhere. So we'll see where we see I'll stop plugging channels as much anymore. Because I feel like we're we're doing okay everywhere. But if you haven't checked out partner hacker.com What are you even doing? I might release is a special episode of reading of the manifesto, which is that's that's got a lot of acclaim. I've been really excited about that. Isaac, any other plugs? I guess we'll all see people at supernode in a week and a half that are going to be there. By the time this is live. Anything else?

Isaac Morehouse  44:31
Yeah, I don't think so. I think I think we're all plugged out for now. We're all plugged out people.

Jared Fuller  44:36
All right, partner up. We'll see y'all next time.

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