071 - Size Isn’t Everything - LIVE from First Friday with Kiflo’s Philippe Swamy

What is up PartnerUp!?

We’re busting out the bourbon capping off the first ever First Friday event with this live PartnerUp episode.

Bonus: Isaac shares (for the first time ever) his White Whale Fail, and how he would’ve handled this botched megapartner differently if he had it to do over.

We dive into landing outsized partners, building a program from scratch, and a lot more. Let your hair down and join the fun!

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Full Transcript:

Philippe Swamy  0:12

The champagne.

Jared Fuller  0:13

The champagne to cheers. toast to our first First Friday.

Isaac Morehouse  0:17

I've got right. Yeah. Do we have to get a what is up partner up going in here?

Jared Fuller  0:23

I don't know how you can lead me in with such a lame way of presenting that what is up partner up? Let's go.

Isaac Morehouse  0:30

No, I just took it right out from under.

Jared Fuller  0:32

Yeah, I know. I just took the wind out of my sails, Isaac, but yeah, so we're doing a live episode of partner up here on First Friday. So it's a new thing. That was Isaac's idea because he always has the best ideas as much flack as I give him. So every first Friday, we're doing a virtual event here at partner hacker happy to be joined by our partners in crime key flow. And Felipe, who's from and, Isaac, let's, let's kick off this episode and tell the folks that are listening here. And, you know, after the event, so we recorded this Friday, it will be released, you know, on a Tuesday. What we were just going through why we all gathered here on this first Friday.

Isaac Morehouse  1:10

Yeah, you know that, I, I'm super excited about doing these. And I hope everybody just makes it a ritual, just mark off the first Friday of every month, it's gonna be two to 4pm Eastern, just mark it off. Join us for the block party, join us with your drink. It's gonna be really really fun. Picking up Isaac's dropped him like Adam says in the chat. But for this this very first First Friday, we're super thrilled to have Keith flow join us. And it's really fun and the topic was on. We call it sizes and everything that you can have a huge impact as a small upstart partner program. And we just got to talk through some great stories regarding that. Including Jared, a Panna doc, when panna doc was, you know, very, very small didn't even have an API, as you told us, you know, one, the one, the partnership with HubSpot. So that's kind of been the theme. And I, I have a I

Jared Fuller  2:04

have a I wouldn't hold on hold on, I'm actually going to do this really well. So I get to turn the tables now. Because Isaac always has the best ideas I'm just a talking head is I just gave my story of, you know, partnering up and winning, and then the partner hacker handbook, by the time this is live, if y'all haven't picked up a copy, it's free digital, like just give it out, we're not charging anything for it. If you want a physical copy, we're selling them at cost literally what Amazon literally prints them for so like we're making zero money $0 off this. I gotta tell my story of like, How to Win alliances, like how small programs can win with big partners. Isaac, I think you have a failure story.

Isaac Morehouse  2:46

I do. That one, yeah. As you as you and Kevin, were talking about how you went through and won this white whale. I was like, you know, I did something real similar, a couple years back, and he didn't work out. And I was kind of trying to like dissect. So the previous company was basically a platform for job seekers. It's a little bit different than then b2b. But I saw this opportunity I connected with somebody over at check. I've never told this story before, anywhere, by the way, I connected with somebody at Chegg, which started out as like a textbook rental company, but now they're much much more they're publicly traded there. It's like a subscription service for college students to get like test prep, you know, textbooks, all kinds of stuff. And I learned I went into this thinking, Okay, we're like, literally brand new startup with like, a couple 100 users a month, you know, getting on our platform to use our tools to find jobs. But I got this connection that I had kind of figured my way into, and I thought, Okay, I gotta learn and understand, is there anything that they care about that we could help with in any possible way? And I was, I didn't know the lingo at the time. I didn't know anything about this partnership, stuff that, you know, in a formal sense. But I was trying to get to that black swan. And so in the course of the conversation, I'm like, Okay, first thing I need to understand is I got to understand their business model. So I'm like, Alright, where's your revenue coming from? Let me understand your business model. Let me get underneath the hood there. And basically, I figured out it wasn't that complicated. It's like a substrate like $20 a month subscription. And they are. Basically, when students are nearing the end of university, they cancel their subscription, because they don't, they don't need test prep anymore, or whatever. But they have something like I'm making these numbers up, because I don't remember. But it's like a couple million, like $3,000,020 a month subscribers, something like that. So for them, each additional, like average week of retention is worth like $15 million to them, right? So every additional unit of time they can keep their average user subscribed is very, very valuable. And so I thought students transitioning out of college, what do they do, they go on the job market. If I go to them and say, hey, we'll offer you this job hunting tool for free, you put it on there. And it comes with your check subscription, we're gonna get tons and tons and tons of users. And for every, if it only makes them stay on for an extra couple of days or a couple of weeks, you're going to generate millions of value, right, and we'll get all this massive distribution. So I kind of gathered this intel on the call. And it was a very, like real casual laid back call where I was able to get like all kinds of really interesting information. And then after the call, I sort of followed up with this pitch. And it never went anywhere. I couldn't get any, any follow ups, I couldn't get anything to happen. And I thought, Man, this is like such a brilliant move here. I thought I had figured out something brilliant. And so try to figure out why. And I think there's a couple reasons

that I can think of off the top of my head, one, I think is we needed a way to better demonstrate that we could actually fulfill this. So instead of pitching him immediately, like I'm a very jumped the gun type of person, I immediately sent an email like the next day or even sooner, hey, here's your issue. You want to get people to stay on longer, we have this tool, it's been effective for our users to help them find jobs, blah, blah, blah, you know, here's whatever, like, you join it, you put it on your platform, you're gonna I didn't have any proof that it was helping his users. Like I should have hacked together some kind of way. Maybe, maybe run some targeted ads at Chegg users somehow, or somehow tap into and say, hey, look, we did a two week experiment. Here's what we found, like without waiting for permission of it's a publicly traded company. So it's hard to navigate. It's you know, we were like a five person six person startup. So I think I should have had some more proof points. That was probably a failure number one, and I just didn't, I didn't, I didn't, I just pitched him cold, like it's going to work without any proof. And I think the second problem was, I was talking to the wrong person. This guy was awesome. He was very forthcoming. He was very sympathetic to me, because he was a founder who had been acquired by Chegg. But that was the problem. He was he was rest invest. He was just, he was there for his obligatory two years, and he was gonna go start another company. And he was just like waiting and he didn't care. He was like, he just wasn't that and I figured this out on the call, but I. So what I should have done was be more patient. Take this tidbit of knowledge I had about the value of every additional week somebody stays on after they graduate college, and go and try to put some proof points together, go and research and find who is the right person at Chegg, it would have taken me a lot longer, it would have taken a lot of sleuthing a lot. And I'm like, really impatient, action oriented guy, I'm like, I'm gonna just shoot my shot now. And then they passed. And I did like, my obligatory like, 10 follow up emails over the next month, and it died. So I feel like there was something there. I'm gonna

Jared Fuller  7:56

I'm gonna chime in there and then I'm gonna kick it to Felipe on so he can talk trash on how you bad You screwed this up.

Philippe Swamy   8:03

I've got questions. I just want to learn more.

Jared Fuller  8:07

So I'll go back to what Jill Rowley said it ecosystem week somewhere in my ecosystem week shirt, which that was fun. That's the limited edition. I think anyone's any seen these, there's only like 20 of them in existence. Prove you care. Prove you care. What proof was there? There was your words. There was your emails, maybe I'll be eloquently written. Mr. Copy father, Isaac Morehouse. You know how to frame an idea as good as anyone. But how did you prove you cared? And the reality is, is like shit. That's the difference, right? Like, when we when you write and we write about giving first and all that stuff. That's awesome. That's great. But we got to prove it, then actions speak far louder than words. And I think that's the difference between like, why the panna doc story worked is like, we were just an action mode on like, a suit. Like, we assumed that the partnership was done. Like, oh, the partnership very, we're just gonna go do all the stuff that we were going to do otherwise, like, I don't need to sell them on anything. And then the sale is gonna, gonna happen. Right? So I don't know, Philippe,

Isaac Morehouse  9:09

because because I didn't, I didn't prove that I was invested in making this happen. It's like when someone applies for a job, and they're like, Hey, if you hire me, I'll do all this great stuff. And you're like, maybe, but how much more impactful is, hey, I went ahead and did all this stuff for you. This is one of the reasons you should hire me. Right? Like I went ahead and I made a 30 day plan that's really in depth. You know, I did this I did that. Like, I think there's, I don't know, I think there's a lot there in just doing more than making a pitch because you're not you're not just competing against whatever they don't have now you're competing against all the other companies who could who could try to make the same pitch.

Philippe Swamy  9:50

Perfect. Putting you on the spot is like, okay, really quickly. Now that we're in 2022. How would it how would you have played a different what would you have done right now to Make now that I've learned every Yeah, because I'm sure a lot of people want to hear how would you made it successful now? How would you have done it? Now? If if that opportunity presented itself right now,

Isaac Morehouse  10:09

now that Jared has partnered pilled me so much, and I've learned a lot, just from everybody in this partnership space, right, like, like I was attempting to do partnership stuff as a CEO of a couple of companies without understanding like what it was, and because there's really not much of a playbook for this stuff. I think I think here's a couple things I would do. I think first, I would recognize his point of view more clearly, and just remember, okay, they're aware of this issue, right, they are highly motivated to figure out ways to keep their people subscribed longer. And to keep them on even post graduation or in those final semesters. They're also aware of potential partners they could join up with, who could provide complimentary services to do this. And what's one of the main services, it's going to be in the job seeking and job hunting area, this is not going to be something that nobody there has ever thought of. Right? So if I, if I think of it that way, who might I be competing with? And what might they be able to bring to the table versus me? And if it's just me saying, Hey, you want to keep people on longer, we have a product that is good for job seekers. So there you go. Like, they're gonna have other people coming to them, they're probably going to have frickin indeed.com or whatever, right? Coming to them big, big players. What can I bring? That's more than just my word. So I would start by just recognizing that if that's going to be my pitch, don't even make it. Like don't don't waste your time, right to don't make the pitch after one phone call. With one guy. There was a great phone call and we really hit it off. But don't make the pitch. Like he even was like, hey, well, if you want to get acquired, they're always hiring. We could do an aqua hire. Right? I was like, it was just kind of like lazy, like edge check is hiring. You seem like a smart guy in the career space. Right? Like,

Jared Fuller  11:59

I shouldn't Yeah, 150 grand a year to come work here.

Isaac Morehouse  12:03

Right, right, exactly like so I think I would have, I would have taken some time would have taken that tidbit. And I would have been like told my team, I'm going on like a two week deep dive, like leave me alone. This is I'm committed to figuring out how to make it work with Chegg because if we make it work with Chegg, we instantly are on the map. We're instantly a legit deal. So I'm going all in on this. I'm going to research everything I can, I'm gonna find every person I can connect with there. Who is there? Who is the ideal person whose salary depends on changing that metric? And it wasn't this guy, the person? Yeah, who's whose paycheck is gonna be, you know, increased or decreased based on that metric. Can I find who that is? Can I connect with them? Can I build rapport? I had a career podcast, we had one with a company, I would do that all the time, bring people on the podcast, interview him as a guest, hey, you're working at Chegg, I want to get your insights. Let's come on the podcast, right? And I'd have great conversations, and then figure out from there, how can I connect further build it over time? And then so that's one like really invest in them as if I'm going to do this, whether they officially sign off or not? I'm going to do something with check. And then number two, can we find a way to test? Can we do a test that doesn't require anyone's permission from check? Can we go scrap together some subset of their audience? Can we go fine, we had connections to different you know, students, universities, Hey, anybody who's ever used check before, you know, let's let's put together maybe we do a survey, maybe we do some sort of beta test, maybe we put together a look alike audience from Chegg users. And we run something and we say these people used our platform for X number of weeks and got this kind of results, right? Like, is there something that I can quantify it with? After investing with the right person? So that's kind of that's how I would think about it now. And I would treat it much, much more seriously than like, Oh, this is a brilliant pitch, I should just make the pitch right now. You know,

Philippe Swamy  13:59

I think I think I think the same way along the same lines, as you I would have literally gone on LinkedIn, looked at the connections, the second third, whatever, connected with everyone they know. And try to get another angle in, you know, if some, because you got to think about partnerships as networking also, you got to kind of come in from different angle influence other people so that they can get you that white whale, as we call it. So Shaunie did say why not just give up? I think giving up is easy. Especially when it's such a big opportunity. So

Isaac Morehouse  14:35

that's a good question, though. got Jared, I'd like to hear your take on this too. When When do we give up? Yeah, cuz I mentioned in the chat before that I was recently talking with somebody and was like, who at your company salary depends on this metric. And it was something that we could impact and they said nobody. And then I was like, Okay, forget it. I don't want to waste my time on this person. Because the thing we can help them with they don't even care about as a company. It's not going to When do you know that it's like, don't put any more energy? And like because some white whales are not worth going after? How do you make that call?

Jared Fuller  15:08

Um, I'm responding to Adam in the chat is, you know,

Philippe Swamy  15:14

Guy until you don't get a No, it's not over. That's my take.

Jared Fuller  15:19

Yeah, you know, so. Nose are they're deceitful. Like, I've heard the phrase a nose, not a no until it's a no from the CEO, Isaac, you've personally seen me take nose from the CEO and turn them into yeses. I've talked previously about, you know, having conviction and being passionate. I don't give a I don't give a shit what anyone thinks about me. But I can they can never deny whether or not I care. Meaning, when do you give up, you never give up. But you better make damn sure that you're never giving up on the right things. That means making better choices. So trying to figure out partnerships and not having the conviction that you're willing to die on that hill. Guess what, if I'm willing to die on that hill, I'm always going to win, you don't have a chance. Because I care more than you I'm invested more than you, I'm going to do the research, I'm going to put in the work to where nobody can beat me. So if you're asking the question, when do you give up, that means that you do not have the choice figured out, you haven't made your decision on where you're going to play and how you're going to win. And I think the difference between the winners and the losers, the the builders, the geniuses and the professionals is that they have made a choice. And that choice is intentional. And they they've gone so far as to say that this is a strategic imperative, and I'm going to win no matter what. And guess what, there's 10,000 Mark tech companies, or there's gonna be a million tech companies, by the end of the decade. There's this podcast, there's this event, there's going to be people out there, they're gonna go, I'm gonna die on this hill, don't play the Alliance's game, unless you're willing to die on the hill. Because you might find someone like me that's willing to die on that hill. That's my advice is like, when do you give up? Giving up shouldn't be an option. It's called the strategic imperative for for a reason. A strategic imperative follows a strategic problem. Meaning if we do not do this, we do not win. Shit, then that means we have to do it. Meaning when do you give up? It's like, that means death. That means failure. So that's my very animated way of responding to that.

Isaac Morehouse  17:46

That that certainly makes identifying the ICP, or, you know, the, the ideal partner. Really important, right? I mean, because if you're not going to give up, you better be you better have a target. That makes sense, you know?

Jared Fuller  18:06

Yeah, I mean, you have to have the conviction. Like, whenever I'm engaged in a sales conversation, it's because I care about that conversation more than anyone in the world. I mean, that, to me, this isn't a sales conversation, I'm just showing up being like, I care as much as you more than you. And I feel like for alliances to work, how small programs can win big partners, you better kill it, you have to recognize that if they're a big partner, they don't give a shit about you. If you're a 20, person, startup, a 40, person, a 50, person, 100 person 200 500 1000, and you're working with a multi 1000 person org, they're not showing up with the same level of care about that conversation that you are not even close by the very nature of just size. So what makes you so confident that you can convince someone bigger than you? If you can answer that question? Philippe, I'm

Isaac Morehouse  19:02

curious, because you have a sales background, as well as the partnership stuff. When you get on that call, where there's that asymmetrical level of care, right? You care way more about the outcome of this call than the other person? What do you do right off the bat? To get them engaged, to get them to get them to that level?

Philippe Swamy   19:23

Wow. That's a That's a tough question. You know, it's, I mean, you know, at the end of the day, you have to come to grips with the fact that big companies care less. And it's unfortunate that they care less and they just want to do their time and go home and drink beers. So we're not going

Isaac Morehouse  19:46

to run away with going home and drinking a beer or whiskey.

Jared Fuller  19:51

To me and on audio. We are at First Friday, folks, and we do have a

Philippe Swamy  19:55

hydration King. Hydration is king, but essentially Yeah, the moment you come on a call I and the other person, you know, it's just there because they need to, for example, get a PRM. And they're not interested and they just want to kind of see what you're doing. For me, it's already kind of dying. It's, that's why for me and no, is it easier to say no, because there's so much opportunity out there. So it's better to not waste your time on something that you know, and you're not 100% Confident in, because there's so much out there. So coming back to your point, I was like, I think if you nail down your ICP, IPP, you can really optimize your time or not wasting it on the wrong people in the wrong places. Okay, yeah. And it always comes back to that focusing on who the ideal profile is. And then you can essentially just just Gerrard's mentality, I'm going to die until I get them in mind, for example, Partner Program, I'm going to do everything I can, down top of that hill. Essentially, if you don't get the ICP, right, I think you can just spend days trying to nail down things that will never kind of come your way. Does that make sense?

Isaac Morehouse  21:09

Yeah, no, I think sometimes. Sometimes this doesn't always isn't always the right approach, being really, really blunt, upfront, like, Okay, I want to know, like, literally opening a call with, I want to know who and your company's salary or compensation, you know, is impacted by x metric. Like, sometimes that doesn't work sometimes. But sometimes it's actually refreshing if the person on the other side of the call is like, Alright, I'm showing up to this call, it's not that important to me, whether it goes well, or whatever comes of it, but I'm doing it, and you're showing up like, this is a big deal. Like, almost shocking them out of that complacency from the get go, can sometimes can sometimes be really effective. I know, I've seen Jared use that tactic before.

Philippe Swamy  21:55

So you just asked them, can you send me towards someone who's more interested than you is that

Isaac Morehouse  21:59

you're not even necessarily ask them to send you to someone else. But to be like, Okay, what would it take to make this be interesting? What would it take to make this call matter to you? Or what would it take to make my company matter to you, right, or like,

Jared Fuller  22:11

a no brainer, right? Like, what would it take to be something that you that this is more exciting than anything else you have going on?

Isaac Morehouse  22:20

Yes, yes.

Jared Fuller  22:23

And the I mean, there's those, you know, like, cascading kind of effects.

Isaac Morehouse  22:30

And that's how it works. He's out. He's out that that Black Swan info, by the way, if you can't find it externally, it's like, alright, what would it take to make us so interesting to you write that your that you would be willing to drop X, Y, and Z, right? Well, we'll make this the most exciting thing, and then they'll start to tell you, and oftentimes, they'll start off with a, oh, you're not going to like the answer, because you don't stand a chance. Look, here's what we're looking at, this is how much money we make. This is how much we you know, you're not going to make a dent. And then you keep teasing it that you don't take that for an answer, right? You don't say you're right, we're really small. I guess it doesn't matter. You're like, no, hold on a sec. Right?

Philippe Swamy   23:07

Wills. Questions,

Jared Fuller  23:09

I have to interrupt you. Because you have to make sure that who you're asking that question with is the right person, you don't get a shot to ask that question to the executive. Right? You don't get to ask the question, what would make this the most important thing in the world to you? It's like, don't you value my time? I thought you had the answer for that for me. Right. So that's a great thing to do with coaches is what I call them, they're not champions, they're willing to give you information down strains, ask those questions, what would make this most important thing in the world for you, for your boss for your company. And then here's the difference between the people that get these deals done. And the people that don't, the people that get these deals done these big alliances, they show up to that executive meeting with, I'm about to blow your mind. I mean, I've said the same thing three times in a row. And I've become zero to number one alliance partner three times in a row by saying this thing. You don't know me yet, but in less than one year, I'm going to be your number one partner globally, and you're going to try to buy me here's exactly why I felt so confident in that pitch, because I have the answers to the test. That's my advices. We

Isaac Morehouse  24:16

got a backup. We got to zoom out for a second, though, because you dropped some that you were saying in the chat when I was telling my story about how I flubbed up six ways from Sunday, you said something about a coach, and I didn't know what you meant. Now I get it. You creating these categories of different types of contacts at these companies in your head. That's really, really key. So like immediately on the call, you might be able to identify it, Ah, got it. This person is a coach. This is someone they're not going to they're not going to put themselves on the line and put in a whole bunch of social capital and Go champion for me. They're also not a decision maker who can make the deal happen. But they're totally willing, for whatever reason, personal report, strategically, whatever. They're willing to give me information and just talk and those people are great, but you can't mistake them see, I think that's what I mistook a coach for decision maker or somebody that I should be pitching.

Jared Fuller  25:08

Yeah, typically not a decision maker, but a coach and a champion are two very different things a champion someone that's going to drive the next step. Right, a coach is someone that's going to give you information. Right?

Isaac Morehouse  25:19

Yep. Yep. Yes. This is the thing, Jared, all this stuff. Everybody in the chats like, oh, yeah, this is sales one on one coach blocker influencer. I have never done any. I've never learned anything the right way. I've always gone and done everything and completely failed at it. And then like, figured out through trial and error. And then later, someone's like, oh, you never read the book that just told you how to do it. Oh, there was a book.

Jared Fuller  25:43

Yeah, you. You're the book master, too. I mean, the wrong kinds of books, I

Isaac Morehouse  25:48

guess. Yeah, no, no, no,

Jared Fuller  25:50

you've read more books than everyone on this call. I know, you have. Felipe, I want to turn the conversation back towards you. And like, because I feel like key flow, you can expose to a lot of like SMB programs. Right. And we're kind of talking about how small programs can win big results. And I've certainly over emphasized and covered the Alliance's side of like our first Friday event, I'd love to hear more from you in in the team kind of around where you're seeing SMBs partnering together at the same size. Right. So a small program with many other partners that maybe our other smaller partners, like, I just get laid out in an alliance strategy, which is very different. This is going all in and winning at all costs. Because there's seven figures or multiples of seven figures, I mean, a million dollar deal, a $6 million deal. $30 million in revenue, that's what I'm talking about shifts market, it changes categories. Now, that doesn't mean that you can't have an ecosystem of small partners. I'm just not great at that. So I'd love to hear what you've kind of heard on like how a small program might be able to work with other small partners successfully Have you what have you guys seen,

Philippe Swamy   26:55

I've seen so many things, but I do want to say off the bat, we do have customers with, with small programs, but they have huge partners like KPM, Ernst and Young and it's, you know, it's crazy. And then they come on calls, and they're like, oh, we have this partner, you know, they're doing this, this this. But essentially, if we focus on the small partners, you know, one of the one of the biggest ones we've seen is obviously the tech partners, okay? People essentially have their API, and they want to integrate to other systems. Okay. And essentially, we've also seen a lot of a lot of our partner of our customers partnering with a lot of solution providers, so you know, SMBs, they have this product, but they don't have the manpower to onboard, the customer. They they get from their sales team, okay, because SMBs, you've got to know they've got small team, they've got limited bandwidth, they can't spend enormous amount of times with each customer. So this is where, for me, I think SMBs and programs, I've seen our customers really focus on solution providers, because they have a great product, they've spent so many years developing it, but they only have a team of 10 to 50 people. Okay, that's quite small. Essentially, what they do is they give the partner with solution providers and these partners essentially help their customers adopt the software they have built. They essentially trained their partners on how they should onboard customers, or how to answer the support requests, all these things. Essentially, these partners are really small. You know, the solution partners are just like consultancy agencies, essentially just want to help customers set up a software. For example, if you go to HubSpot, you've got this page called solution providers on the marketplace. And you can see all the consultants that help set up HubSpot. And it's exactly the same, you know, with our customers, they have a set list of partners that they give to their customers and the customers essentially contact them. And essentially, there's a great kind of synergy between our customers and the partners where, you know, the our customer gives our partner all the tools and tips necessary in order for their customers to succeed through the partner. Okay, so the partner essentially is an extension of their company for SMBs Right, that makes sense, Jared?

Jared Fuller  29:20

Yeah. 100% I mean, there's this old advice and I feel like I I'm rebelling more and more against this old advice on like, from the smart people that know how to build partnerships and channels, screw that they don't the VCs that you're talking to. They're getting religion now, but they don't know how to do this. They're like, hey, you need to build the perfect franchise model before you go try and build other McDonald's right? The kitchen needs to be perfect. The French fries, the presentation, all of this stuff. That used to be good advice, it is no longer good advice. It's garbage advice. Perfect the franchise before you go partner. EFF that. Right. So if you're a small All program, you're a small company and you see a couple of agencies like you have, I don't even give you dozens of customers, not hundreds, dozens. And you see a couple of agencies or service providers raising their hands. And they're, they're getting as good as the product. Is anyone at your company? Guess what? You don't you're CSMs? Can't do. I told the story of drift a lot. I was like, how many of our CSM have ever been chief marketing officers? Zero? Like, what are you talking about? We need to control the customer experience. None of our customers have been CMOS, I have two fucking CMOS, right here of marketing agencies trying to help our customers and you think someone two years out of college that has never managed millions of dollars in marketing spend is gonna go help our customers more than this entry level person. Guess what they're like? Okay, yeah, you might be right about that. So in the early stages, when you're like, No, no, we need to control the customer experience, we need to do this, we need to own that. If you have partners that are better at you than something don't feel like well, we got to figure our stuff out first, don't just focus on figuring it out for them. Like why do you think that you need to build enablement hiring a program? A flywheel, a model? And then okay, then I can go to your partner, what have you just skipped? What if we just focus on teaching the partner?

Philippe Swamy   31:21

Correct? What's so

Jared Fuller  31:22

bad about that? It's No, there's nothing that bad about that.

Philippe Swamy   31:26

And Jared, I just want to add, you know, like the SMB market, like PRM didn't exist for SMEs before, you know, SMBs couldn't afford PRMS. And that's why essentially, people didn't want to partner because it was so hard to manage them, it was impossible. But now we've got these tools that can help you manage these small to medium businesses, and these partners that these companies partner with. And essentially, in my view, is I think SMBs will be the main kind of business for partners, okay. SMBs are the ones that gonna be partnering the most, in my opinion, because these are the companies that need those multiple years of experience of these agencies, consultants, and these are going to be the real partners.

Jared Fuller  32:13

Let me let me tell you two stories in response to that, that will throw every traditional or conventional piece of wisdom around when to bring partners into your company out the window. Do you know the answer to who HubSpot is number one partner globally was the what was their company prior to becoming a HubSpot agency? Do you know the answer that question Philippe

Philippe Swamy   32:37

Isaak knows Come on, as?

Isaac Morehouse  32:39

I think I do, because because you told me before Jared, but I won't give it away.

Jared Fuller  32:44

It was a pool cleaning company, they cleaned pools. And you're like what? Yeah, Paul writes are now he's the CEO of the AI Marketing Institute. Yeah, kind of big jump and leap from like cleaning pools to being CEO of the AI Marketing Institute. Why is it so why is it so important? Paul was a customer of HubSpot. And he went, Hey, this content thing kind of works like I can kind of like dominate SEO and like a Google results and like kind of own things. And I can franchise my pool company based on owning search and you know, areas a pool cleaning services, and you know, X city, and this is really early. But so he started franchising his business. Guess how good I mean Paul's an entrepreneur. He's a smart dude, right? Like he had to manage a p&l of a pool services company. That's real world. That's not like venture backed startup. That means like you have payroll to make like you have the property now, one shots fired, right? Like that's real world stuff. Like you have a service to provide. You know, have you ever been in a pool cleaning company, you screw up someone's pool, and they're rich, and they have a pool? They fire you so fast, right? Like their tolerance for their pool being perfect or not perfect is like nothing. So he figured out how to do HubSpot as good as anyone. And then he started selling services. And then he became my HubSpot most essential partner. Now tell him what about that scenario? Is a playbook driven Oh yeah, like pool services companies make great agency resellers.

Isaac Morehouse  34:10

But there's an insight but there's an insight into another one that drifts okay. Yeah. Goes drifts? Yeah, well, I was just gonna say the insight in there is just so key because it's who, you know, people will say this, who is the best salesperson for your product, your customers. But that's very real and more than just the like NPS score like oh, well, they say nice things about you or refer a friend. If we say hey, you get a bonus, we refer a friend. That is that pattern with the pool company is actually very, very real. Like, I have many, many examples and people in my own life and even to a degree some of the things I've been involved in where you go start a company doing something and what you started, you maybe don't succeed at all like he succeeded in his pool company, but maybe you don't succeed, but you find that you were like some equally surprisingly good at one element of the business that other people running, other businesses aren't good at. And you go start selling that to them. Like, I've seen that pattern happen many, many times where you go to start a business, you're not good at it, but you were incredible at let's say, the content component, or you are incredible at, you know, the way you ran your back office. I mean, that's my brother's story. So they started selling back office services to other businesses. And, and so like that idea of, you know, looking at, you're looking at your customer as more than just who they are today, looking at your customer of who they may be tomorrow, right. Huge insight.

Jared Fuller  35:40

Yeah, I mean, the second example I had was, what was drifts number one partner globally. What was their business prior to being a drift marketing agency? A hot air balloon company? I can't make this up.

Isaac Morehouse  35:54

Now. You're making it up.

Jared Fuller  35:55

Now you're making it up. Elliot Cohen, Elliot Cohen, right, Seattle ballooning. And you go look at his company, ultra cool bots. And he's like one of the top draft. He's like the master of bots. But si le of was retired in hot air ballooning. He was actually a sales director for medical healthcare technology company and like you do sales really well. He knew marketing really well. And you know, the ballooning company was kind of his retirement. And then he got addicted to the bots that were automatically booking meetings for his ballooning companies, like I'm gonna go sell this to all the ballooning companies in the world. And then he's like, wait, I can sell this to everyone in the next thing. You know, he's causing 50,000 $100,000 retainers on building drift bots for the world. And this is a sophisticated, you know, 25 year plus entrepreneur heads up against my CSMs. It's done. That's had the ownership of the outcome of the tech being implemented.

Isaac Morehouse  36:48

drifting away into the clouds, there's got to be a lot of good oh,

Jared Fuller  36:51

there's no headquarters, there's a picture of like, Lea of drifting in a balloon, hot air balloon in doing drift conversations. Like it's a giant blown blown up picture, right? He used to record videos like, Hey, I'm answering sales calls in my hot air balloon today, you know, like using drift? I think that's the point, you know, go back, tie this back to Felipe, your question around all of this is like, it doesn't mean that you even have to have, you know, KPMG or Accenture in your program. What it means is that you need to have a commitment to partners from day one, how small programs can win big results? Like, if you see, it almost goes back to the the gardening platforms conversation, Isaac, like when you start to see those seeds, like pop up when you weren't expecting them? Like pay attention? Get close? Because I would have, there's no way you could have told me those two examples. When I knew nothing about partnerships, hotspots, number one partner global is going to be a pool services company. Hey, Jared, when you go to drift, your number one partner is going to have a hot air balloon company. Like you're full of hot air.

Isaac Morehouse  37:57

And when anyone has any amount of success, especially like if you notice it, or especially if they come to you and say hey, this is really working for me like no matter how small they seem at the time. That's where you'd like show love shower love on them, right? Because they could they could turn out to be to be the white whale, right? Maybe you don't maybe you don't have to catch the white whale, you can grow them in your fish tank, you know. There you go. There you go. I want to before we end, we got a few minutes, I wanted to tie back to our the first session with with will and Adam and Ben about going from zero to one, I thought it was really interesting. Because it was almost like a like a mirror of the second session, how to get a white whale all the tactics you guys talked about with going and winning that partner, establishing rapport finding the right person showing that you care developing, understanding the metrics that matter to them, showing that you can prove those is almost like the mirror version of that in that zero to one about internally. That's what you got to do as a partner person with your own team figure out who in every department, like what what are they accountable for? What are they going to have to be reporting for what impacts their salary? Right, figuring out those things and figuring out how you can help them it's like, that's what's crazy about this partnerships role is that you have these two audiences that you have these mirror tactics and approaches that you have to use. I just thought that was a really interesting takeaway from that. I think it was Ben that said, No, I'm sorry, it was Adam, who said I shout out Adam, who said like every department has a partnership play. And so you got to go learn and understand, you know, what, what's, what is motivating to those people? What are their incentives and in getting to that and figuring out as quickly as possible, how you can help that and then you win them, you win them in? So I just wanted to connect that because I think that's really interesting that the symmetry between external and internal audiences.

Philippe Swamy  39:45

This before we end I do have a takeaway, you know, after hearing everyone's conversation and everyone's inputs, you know, our title is How small partners win big or how small programs win big partners, but for me, essentially the the essence of this All journey we've had together for the last two hours is how small programs win valuable partners. Because it doesn't matter how big your partner is, it doesn't matter if it's, you know, Ernst and Young doesn't matter. It's the value they bring you and how valuable they can be. Even if it's a pool cleaner, drift balloon company, it doesn't matter. It's the value of that partner that matters. And that's how you will kind of succeed in partnerships.

Jared Fuller  40:26

I love it. I love it. Thanks, everybody, for hanging out with us on First Friday. And partner listening from afar on the feeds the YouTubes the Spotify is an apples where we actually dominate.

Isaac Morehouse  40:40

Yeah, joint joint future first phrase you get to say you're here for the first one. You're here today joining this webinar. Yeah, keep keep flow, keep flow making it happen. Thank you so much. We're gonna hand it off, handed off to Shani. She's gonna bring us home. So all

Jared Fuller  40:56

right, partner up, peace out. We'll see you all next time to

Philippe Swamy  40:59

build the bike.

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