085 - Integrating Partnerships Into Products: A Crosspod Takeover with Mark Brigman

What is up PartnerUp!?

The master of methods Mark Brigman joins the PartnerUp crew to dissect the Day 3 of PL[X] and talk product partnerships. Mark is author of PARTNERNOMICS and contributor to The Partnernomics Podcast.

Mark knows that best partner led products tap into the power of the ecosystem. He thinks in terms of designing products in a way that integrates seamlessly partner workflows. When it comes to building products, Mark says:

If you want to play ball, you’re going to have to play ball through partnership.

Isaac announces the PartnerHacker Education Hub is live at https://partnerhacker.com/edhub, and the hosts dive into the courses offered, including a course by Partnernomics! The courses lay the foundation for partnerships. Check them out!

3 Key Takeaways

  1. "1 minute spent planning is 10 minutes saved on execution." - Mark Brigman
  2. Three reasons partnerships fail:
    misalignment of culture, misalignment of strategies, misalignment of deal terms or financials.
  3. "If you want to be seen as a strategic partner, you must be a strategic partner." - Mark Brigman
    To be a strategic partner you have to provide more value than what any organization that's already knocking on their door trying to partner, can provide.

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Full Transcript:

Isaac Morehouse  0:00
Hey what is up partner up? Hey, I just wanted to give you a quick preface to this episode as a really, really brutal because this was recorded live at the PLX summit in a garage slash podcast studio. At the pls house and Jared and I were on the couch, relaxing with a couple of beers having an amazing conversation with Mark Bregman, the doctor himself from partner nomics. And it's such a great conversation. The audio quality sucks, not from Mark, Mark sounds great. And really, that's the most important part. But myself and especially Jared, I think we were sharing a mic, I can't remember we kept having all kinds of crazy tech tech issues. You can hear it, it's good enough that you can make it out. But it's not great. It's not the quality that we've come to the standard we hold ourselves to and that you've come to expect. However, I made the call to run this baby anyway. Because I just think it's such a great combo. It's so real, it really captures a lot of the moment the experience of the pls summit and really some interesting stuff that we get into with Mark in general. And again, Mark sounds great. That's really the important part. You know, you're probably used to tuning out me and Jared anyway, and while our guests say really intelligent stuff, and we blab blab about stuff, so we're gonna let it roll. I apologize for the audio quality. We We did everything we could to try to get that that studio work and in some of the episodes it turned out okay, but this one is rough. So apologies in advance. I hope you enjoy the episode nonetheless and we will endeavor always to deliver you top quality not just content, but production values. Henceforth, talk to you later.

Jared Fuller  2:00
But what is that part? That was a heck of a

Isaac Morehouse  2:06
mark tears.

Mark Brigman  2:07
So is a what is that? Some Coronas or what are we drinking over there?

Isaac Morehouse  2:12
I got Corona. Jared says he won't drink the stuff

Jared Fuller  2:16
I don't know. I couldn't see the comment. Any my friend is saying that this is high noon which is I mean, I don't think I can get possibly any more white right now.

Isaac Morehouse  2:31
Do you have anything Do you have anything fun over there for happy hour mark?

Mark Brigman  2:36
Yeah, so there any bourbon drinkers?

Isaac Morehouse  2:39
Oh yeah, he outclassed us so much.

Mark Brigman  2:43
This is some prize tenure Eagle rare man.

Isaac Morehouse  2:49
So we want to we were talking backstage and I want to start off to this even though we'll probably have the audience and be like I love how we could actually see the whole podcast to go right now. We're supposed to be able to some podcast studio was supposed to just be the backdrop but

Jared Fuller  3:06
we did. We should explain that for a second. Like people can actually see us like we did like a tick tock people. Yeah, the influencer house we've totally flipped the house. I didn't know that was a thing. But apparently that's a thing. Yep.

Isaac Morehouse  3:19
It's a thing. Yeah. Yeah, so yeah, this is

Mark Brigman  3:24
a little bit tighter. You know? I mean, I wouldn't be garage door whatever.

Jared Fuller  3:31
They're in the back totally.

Isaac Morehouse  3:35
Like the third different setup right now we have like a chair laying on its side you can see the little corner of the stool sticking out Mike arm so anyway, well, tomorrow we're going to try yet another setup. But here we are today. We just finished partner LED product day and it kicked off mark with you doing an opening session for us which was like kudos

Mark Brigman  3:54
on this off man. This is so awesome. I've never been a part of anything like this in my life. 20 plus years of doing this partnering thing I've never seen anything like this being attempted let alone actually pulled off my answer. So kudos to you guys. You're gonna sleep good Friday night.

Isaac Morehouse  4:14
Yeah, it's it is pretty cool to see these conversations going when we saw this before, like going mainstream. That's kind of a point of this, like, hey, this doesn't have to be something that's relegated to some department that's stuck in a broom closet or under a leaky pipe like Milton from office space. Like this is front and center now, you know, totally, totally

Jared Fuller  4:36
mistaken touching the bike.

Isaac Morehouse  4:42
Partnerships are mainstream. We just can't afford a proper mic and

Jared Fuller  4:49
the shop was supposed to be there. Thanks a lot for everything you've done. I really enjoyed taking your negotiation course. I wrote a chapter in the park. record on strategic alliances partner ever play to win. And I love the perspective that you bring to the table. Maybe from your point of view. Like, you've been doing this doing like 100 million dollar partnerships, why is now

Mark Brigman  5:21
I just think we're at this this awesome kind of confluence where it seems like, up until very recently, we were always waiting for technology to catch up. You know, here in a few years, we're gonna be able to do some really cool stuff together. I feel that now, the rate limiting factor is just us, it's people, it's leadership, it's us being able to make it happen. We're no longer waiting on the tech, waiting on things to kind of be ready to happen. You know, obviously, you know what happened. COVID was, you know, really bad. But, man, it is crazy what it has done to truly globalize the community and, and the world, I never would have believed somebody would have told me two, two and a half years ago, that we would have clients all over the world, and pretty much on a daily basis. I'm talking to people literally early this morning, seven o'clock this morning, I was speaking to somebody in Australia. I didn't even know what the hell timezone these countries are in before. We're talking to them. We're collaborating with them. We're partnering the other our clients where it is, it is amazing, but I think it's the technology piece. It's can more connections, I was just listening into your last session, that you are leading Jared. But, you know, more easy, better, faster, more cost effective, more standardized connections of data. You know, back in the day, whenever we were building product, it was always organic. First, how do we own this? How do we build it? What's the budget going to be? I mean, you never even really considered partnerships, or at least not first, it was always what can we do ourself, and then what gaps are there. And then let's think about partnerships kind of as a second or as an afterthought. And that's one of the things that I really enjoyed about my time at Sprint is just because of where I sit in most of those seats, they sprint TV, for example. I mean, we're not ABC, we're not Disney, we're not Viacom, we have to partner for the content. And we don't have the underlying platforms. We're not mobi TV. mobi TV was was our partner for that. And so we had to be partner first. So I was, you know, it was fun to be a part of that culture. But man, it was so different whenever I would go, have conversations with other executives go meet other teams, go do lunch and learn. So people knew what the hell we were doing. It was like we were a third eyeball, or a third arm growing.

Jared Fuller  8:03
What are you doing?

Mark Brigman  8:05
And you know, and that was, you know, 20 years ago, so it's so cool. Now we're truly Well, Andreessen Horowitz, a16z Super cool. Organization. I love the thought leadership that they put into this, I had the opportunity to go out there a couple years ago and do a workshop for them. But I love their approach where it's very much partner first, and they understand they kind of get the economics of it. I'm, I'm an economist by education. So I just think in dollars and cents and efficiency. And man, the business case has made itself for partnering. I think we finally finally got the recognition for that. And now it's, we don't we're not kind of making that case anymore. It's kind of ready for the next question.

Isaac Morehouse  8:52
Well, shout out to the Aussies out there. There's a lot there's a disproportionate Australian representation. Give some emoji love down there. The Yeah, Canadians, Australian. Canadian Australians. I don't know they might be in bed right now. I'm not sure. But Mark. Your point about, you know, on the show today was your partner lead product. I think the product is like this sacred thing. That's like the thing we, we keep sacred, we keep it in the organization, we build our product, then when we're ready to go out to the world. The company is more comfortable bringing in partners for distribution for CO marketing partnerships are great to extend our reach to the building itself. How do you change that mindset? Like what is genuine co innovation look like? It's gonna be really hard to bring in someone from the outside into those product level discussions during the development. Phase three is strategizing the roadmapping like, what does that look like? And how do you actually do that without just being realistic without making it? Just slow things down too much and get too many cooks in the kitchen?

Mark Brigman  9:59
Yeah, great. Big question. And I, you know, there's no I think I was shared in in my session, there's no such thing as a one size fits all. So I think as long as we kind of understand that on the front end, there are kind of these circumstances. And you know, the right answer for me or the right answer for the next company, you know, may not be completely generalizable. But But generally speaking, you know, I think the first question we have to answer is, you know, how critical is this certain piece, or is this certain component, and if it is absolutely critical, you want to try to control it. And so then the organic route is the way to go. But either just because of cost, because of speed, because of expertise, whatever the case is, sometimes it just necessitates if you want to play a ball, you're going to have to play ball through partnerships, you know, and in full transparency with us it partner nomics, we knew from day one, eight years ago, whenever we built the business case, that we were going to put software underneath of this business. But I saw so many times where software companies built their solution. And then they kind of set it out in market, and then they tweaked it and tuned it and tweaked it and tuned it for the next four or five years. And then they may or may not kind of build playbooks and you know, all that sort of stuff to tell you how on the Hill to actually use use the heck out of that software down the road. We intentionally reverse engineered the business, we started off with all of the methodology, got the methodology baked, and then now we're putting software underneath of it. We're not coders, I don't want to be a software development shop. So I was gonna go find the best that I could. We went through a very intense process. So it's, it's single source, you know, single source partner. So if, if they, if they run into some, some some rough waters, I mean, we're going to feel that that's a nice way to say it. Right? And so if they feel and yeah, so we looked at six companies, and we chose one that was 18 months ago, and you know, knock on wood, thank God, our relationship stronger now than ever before. But it's a risk. Yep. But but really, for us, that was kind of the only way to play ball. I'm kind of stubborn, I'm doing this self funded, at least for now. And so we're kind of holding out as long as we can, for better or worse. Yeah,

Isaac Morehouse  12:27
yeah. You know, I love that. We talked about this a lot. I mean, obviously, we're biased. We're a media and events company role that, you know, content community. But I love that flipping of the scripts from the sort of build a product, and then go hire a marketing team, Hey, would you make some guides or some content around this, and it's sort of like this, we do it because we have to, to get people in our funnel, we wish we didn't have to, we wish we could, our product would just sell itself. And so you end up having like, the contents done, because you're checking a box, you know, and that's it, it comes through people feel that when you flip it around, and you're like, we're gonna build the content, the community, we're gonna build educational resources, launch guides, and books and a methodology and thought leadership, when that's all you have, it has to be good, you have to care about it forces it to be high quality, because that's when people are coming forward, then you build the product underneath it, I just think there's something really cool about that, that we're starting to see, you know, a lot more of

Jared Fuller  13:26
its, I click this to multiple people, and you can't compete with me on my content, because my content is the product. Right? Like come compete with us. I'm gonna content you can't put that's our product. Same thing with you, like, am I gonna go launch of strategic negotiation? Of course, as a product, like your content partner now makes it like your coursework is really new. And that really disincentivized from Friday? Well, actually,

Isaac Morehouse  13:54
this is a segue. This is a segue for big announcement that was mentioned earlier that we just launched the shout out to Aaron Olson, who put it together and led the lead the project, we just launched the partner hacker education hub. And you know, from day one, how much demand is there from people saying I want more, I want more, I want to learn more. There's there needs to be more resources. And for us, we looked at it and we're like people are begging us for this stuff. We we are going to build it because there's so many there's we got Ferny Oh sassy and partner nomics, all three of those have phenomenal content and kind of differentiate, they're all very differentiated Absolutely. For different different points in your career, different personas. We're not going to go and build that, because we're not going to we're not going to beat you at that mark. We're not going to build a better methodology than what you built and poured all of your blood, sweat, toil and tears in this thing is proven. It's phenomenal. Right? There's a reason that you're crushing it out there. So we partnered launch the the education hub, which anybody can go see partner hacker.com/ed hub. And like that's

Jared Fuller  14:59
the first person so thank you. Hartford Yeah, offering that to us because like, we talked about like getting first part is like a partner principle, right, like partnership to please. Mark reached out to me and some other people like Alan and I get this course with Alan Adler, Chris and Mila. You know, Lindsay from the cloud software course in this course

Isaac Morehouse  15:22
this is like the it's like the Andy Reid coaching tree over here. Yeah, everybody everybody came through Mark holy buys like

Mark Brigman  15:29
we were gonna pull you into jail I was like, Dude, I can't give up that much, man, we got to have somebody run the show while he's taking on this course. So we wouldn't have

Isaac Morehouse  15:39
been allowed. I'm not ready for that one yet. I need like the baby version first.

Jared Fuller  15:46
Like, what are products today? A million. By the end of the decade, According to Forrester Research, is that really what they're? That's right. That's right. Brilliant. By the end of the decade, can

Isaac Morehouse  15:58
you imagine? Wow.

Jared Fuller  16:00
A lot of innovation or productivity? Podcast talk about knowledge products. Yeah, right. Like, knowledge products are a space that we're not. We're not just a media company, we're creating a movement. And then we're directing people, not just to software, but knowledge products.

Isaac Morehouse  16:19
So here's the like, fundamentally, the partner approach to product knowledge product or otherwise, it's, there's like a humility there, the good kind of humility, right? Because the odds that the person or company who is the absolute best at let's say, creating a strategic narrative or creating a category or getting distribution, the odds that they're also the best at deep level knowledge in a domain are so low. And to think that is pretty arrogant, right to say, hey, look, let's do what we do best. Right? We do this part best. Let's go find everybody else. I think I think you have to to survive. You have to to survive. You can't you can't try to so anyway, on on the knowledge info stuff. I think it's really cool. I'd love to know more on your, you know, the courses that you guys offer, and kind of how that how do you see partner nomics as a whole, you have these courses out of those feed into the forthcoming software product? Like what is that? What does that continuum look like? You know what I mean?

Mark Brigman  17:21
Yeah, awesome. So we kind of have a core core track, it includes three different courses. So it starts off with partnering foundations. And that's the course that we gave away to all the PL X, you know, viewers today. Yeah. Yeah, man, that was awesome, was cool to see so many people jump in there. So that's, that's awesome. The second course, is what we call the operating system SPLM, the strategic partner leadership model. And so you know, there's six different components to it, vision, team's goals, metrics, processes to get to results. And so it's an operating system, right, just like your laptop, just like your phone and your cool watch today have operating systems and um, rights, kind of the roles, responsibilities, procedures, those sorts of things. You know, we believe that all of these partnering teams should have that as well. And then the third course, and really, that's kind of a track, you know, if I have to, you know, take the big, huge world of partnering and only put it into two buckets, I would say one bucket is revenue focused. And I'll generally kind of use the word channel there. But of course, it's a lot wider than that. But it's revenue focused, how the hell can we sell more stuff today, move more stuff, sell it. The second is solutions based partnerships or product based partnerships with let's build it, let's build the today's we can go sell it next year. And so we have learners take on one of those two different tracks. And then whenever they complete those three courses, they have the opportunity to earn certification as PLP strategic partner leadership professional certification that we've done through the University of Central Missouri. Once you've done that, I mean, our intention is kind of that's that's sort of like the the bachelor's degree, at least for a partner and you have a really good foundation, we go through 20 different tools, about 25 hours worth of video based content. So that's a great foundation to start from. Now it's time to build on that. So as Jared went through the strategic negotiating course, we have another series of courses in our catalog where we've worked with other subject matter experts. So Jared had the opportunity to meet Mike millage Mike's traveled all over the world, you know, with his negotiating methodology, but it's all specifically for partnering professionals, not sales that's been kind of twisted, molded and put into a into an armbar. So that works for partnering but it is partner first education. We did an Of course with Nathan for So Nathan is a Stanford PhD, we've all probably heard of Instagram, he mentored the two founders of Instagram for 18 months as they built and sold to Facebook for a billion dollars. He's the author of the innovators method. And so we have a course, which is very relevant for today's topic, in product lead growth, the innovators method, and so it's all about how do you leverage partnerships? And how do you go through the innovators method to to launch products, and there's a nother series of courses that are around people. So rapport building trust, building, trust is a big topic that you guys hit on a lot. Emotional Intelligence, you know, when we were talking about conflict and conflict resolution, and at the end of the day that the common denominator is people. And I think, you know, we our ability to paint a compelling vision, but then also influence people and influence action. That's the people to get stuff done. And what's really important and really unique, I think about the partnering role, and this is why you know, McBain talks about, you know, the partnering professionals probably has the closest DNA to the CEO. It's because of what partnering professionals have to do, you know, just working cross functionally so much working in vaporware land, where it's like, here's the vision, this is what we're trying to do, you know, hopefully you get it, but we kind of were painting this picture. But it's not only working inside of your company walls, which is hard enough. But you have to work outside of your company walls, different cultures, different strategies, different budgets, different timelines, that becomes exponentially more challenging. And those people that are relationship ninjas, super high emotional intelligence, high influencers, people that can get that done. There's there's a special pay grade for people that that can do that. Because most people don't have those skills.

Isaac Morehouse  22:14
I was trying to patrician was like a we can't hear Jared enough. So I'm trying to help you out because

Jared Fuller  22:19
I'm pretty sure that says Patricia because asked me to be louder to chat as far away. So yeah, that'd be as Patricia Yeah, no one.

Isaac Morehouse  22:25
No one ever asks you to be alone.

Jared Fuller  22:32
There is a special pay grade or a special place in whatever. Whatever wherever you are. Mark before before I discovered topics. I mean, literally, I was trying to put together things like I'm not kidding, like Sun Tzu's Art of War. Right? Like, how do I think that strategically zoomed out and I get there's like principles for that book, art or like, every year. That explains a lot. It was like my favorite. Like you you win the battle before you go to war. Right? Like, you have to win first. And what does that mean? Well, that means you have to make better choices. And sometimes, in fact, often times, whatever you're doing strategic partnering, you are in competition, there is a battle, right? Build by partner is not just something that you think of if you're the data platform, you need to think about that if you're the scale up and recognizing that that's what the other competitions and I could find that I mean my store get handed on the spot. It gets crazy or whatever you might actually recognize that this all happened in the national hotspot Harbor Day. And I see Chris Christopher cots T Todd with that time with the Chief Product Officer hotspot unsaved and that's why we're so excited to announce electronic signatures and HubSpot rockpoint roadmap and I'm sitting there thinking What the Buck signature, this is not okay. Because the big problem, right? And I had to figure out all of a sudden, this isn't just a partner in conversation like this is a competition. This is the stakes guy raised immediately Makita my co host your alliance is now screwed and destroyed like this is all over snap, engage and have their own spot cargo told me. Hey, same thing happened to me guys. Like, we were like, top partner that helps buckle chat, you're screwed. And I mean, luckily we negotiated out of it. But that like the content that you have. It's so important for real partner professionals to be able to figure out these things and the stakes are high. They're extremely high occupancy, the strategic partner

Isaac Morehouse  24:49
at a product level, right? Like we're talking about hotspot making a strategic decision on whether or not they build electronics and these are these are 612 18 months plus timelines that are being impacted by investments.

Jared Fuller  25:04
There's cameras on it, there's engineers on investment happening. When I found out about a secret project for more capital markets are broken your startup destroyed your company with strategic partnering or you can make the marketer category and this content DeMarco It's crazy to think how many people are experiencing this? Right. And I thought I was like these people get how high stakes these particular partnerships are, they didn't make or break your company?

Mark Brigman  25:47
Well, the thing that kind of blew my mind when I was at Sprint, huge company, 85,000 employees, and I find my way into one of my first big partnering groups, and there was 38 people. And I'm just I'm an economist, right? I'm looking back saying, Dan, there's a lot of money on this floor. All of these professionals, kind of make people addicted to this damn thing, right? This was our job. And what I found so interesting, Well, number one, I asked my VP, I was like, hey, you know, got buddies in sales. They're doing Sandler got sales buddies and project management, they're doing PMP got buddies over, you know, in marketing, they're doing this inbound thing. You know, where's the playbook? Where's the recipe? What's the methodology for partnering? So I can wrap my arms around this thing? And I literally got laughed at. I was like, Oh, shit, well, I guess that was the wrong question to ask. And so it was like, nothing like that exists. You know, Mark, don't worry about it. You know, you're, you're pretty smart, dude, you'll figure it out. Just, you're gonna make months. Just make those mistakes once sounds like shit, there's got to be a better way.

Jared Fuller  26:57
You can't some of these mistakes. I mean, they can kill. Like, if you're scaling startup, your most important partner to competition where they go build by partner, if you don't know how to go back, then all of a sudden, they just like Bill, and they just cut you out. And it can be even worse, it becomes a paid feature where they're competing with you. These are things that shift the trajectory of your company. Well, I

Isaac Morehouse  27:24
mean, both you and I had a you are way earlier than me. But in the b2c space, you know, something in the in the employment HR tech space where we had our own platform. But you know that some of the big players, the minute they create a feature, it's essentially video resume or something similar. Everything you have on your platform basically is gone. They've already got the network effect. And I think I missed that it was too late in the game before I realized the only real way to win here is to go partner with the people with the existing network of fact, in that market, because I need to prove to them that partnering with us is a bigger win. And then maybe, maybe an acquisition, right. It's like the the move. But if you haven't technology, where it's just the minute somebody else turns that on, you're dead. I don't know, I feel like you got to partner with that person. Right away. What What do you mean? Is there a different? I don't know that they've got the network of this is our conversation yesterday.

Jared Fuller  28:31
Right, right. Like that's something it's something completely outside of your control that can destroy your company, but you have the ability to influence it. Why would you not? I mean, let's contrast a crash for John. Hi, Isaac advice to HR. to something like resume, where I was advised to work after I'd gone through the PD, you know, stuff where I helped advise them that I was like, they basically sold resume generation software. I mean, we kind of both do that. But you won't, like you were the anti resume, but it was still skills experiences, right? It was like the resume in the future. And I have job, video and all this crazy stuff and you know, resume differently. They did arbitrage on ads. Right? So like resume builder, resume templates, arbitrage on ads, and then what they had the job seeker before the job site, right, because they got the job seeker before they hit LinkedIn before they before they hit monster and I'm like, Hold on. Wait a second. Why are you only monetizing the job seeker on behalf? No, no. LinkedIn wants that person monster wants that person. CareerBuilder If so, then they started to bring in these monster Gruber the LinkedIn into the worldview of their user fee monetize that boom, advised the company for a year and a half. It was a 10 person company doing $10 million. And it can go both ways. By the way. I

Isaac Morehouse  29:57
think I've told this story before on a different podcast episode. were, you know, if you go to those partners and say, Hey, we've got the people before they reach you, you can bring them to you. That's one way. You can also go the other way. Hey, you've got the top of funnel. But we have something I mean, this is panna doc and HubSpot, we have something that can increase retention, right. So like, in our case, it was like, we don't have the top of funnel, people are going to jobs boards, but they're leaving because they're not getting any traction, or they're on a check or something like that, or career advisory service. They're leaving, we can keep them longer. Again, I figured that out when it was too late. And I didn't, I was not thinking partner first. So to be perfectly frank, because I'm an impatient guy, and I didn't have the patience to work with other parties with I'm like a dictator, I want to do everything my own way. And I want to be left alone. And I don't like meetings and I don't like

Jared Fuller  30:48
probably have some opinions on patients, patients and partner like, you know, the hacker and all of us wants to go build the same thing. Maybe let's unpack that for a second. Patience.

Mark Brigman  31:01
Man, such a such a such a good point there. I think one thing that I want to reiterate that you guys are talking about is man I love whenever I think about a partnering scenario, the first thing I have to do is think about the continuum. Where are we talking about? Okay, that's, that's the game we're playing, you know, and you guys are talking about putting a lot of due diligence into partner selection, partner management, contracting, that sort of a thing. People that have only lived in the channel, they don't understand that piece of it at all. So I just like to impress upon people know, the game you're playing, and then, you know, understand the playbook to play for that particular partnering. Whenever you're talking about sole source of partner. I mean, you're hitching to the wagon man, you're either going to soar or sync with them. That is super, super critical. The topic that you guys are talking about, you know, have patience. And man, that's really the challenging thing, especially when you're talking about startups, right? I mean, time truly is money. Immediately. I feel this views burning. But yet, you know, I'm going to quote one of my one of my friends, Bernie Brenner wrote an awesome book called The Sumo advantage. He's one of the cofounders of TrueCar. And he said, Man, you might have this kick ass idea, you got this awesome vision, you're calling the sumo or you're calling this company, odds are they're probably bigger than you if you're super excited about partnering with them. But just know that their plates full. I mean, they're their cup runneth over, right. I mean, they have projects, the rest of this year and all of next year. And so you know, that's really where it takes doing your homework, like you'd mentioned before, Jared, you know, 10, or one minute, sprint planning, is 10 minutes spent on saving on execution, without knowing what the hell you're doing, and articulating what that is sharing the value proposition, and ensuring that it's aligned with with your partner. You know, there's three core reasons, there's three big buckets of why partnerships fail, misalignment of culture, speak different languages, misalignment of strategies or goals, you're trying to go somewhere else, somewhere other than where I'm going, you're wanting to go to New York City, I'm wanting to roll out to Vegas. The third is misalignment of deal terms or financials, understand those three things, make sure that you can make them work. But just know that everyone's plates full. And timing truly is everything. But by doing your homework, and being able to describe and paint this picture of how you I talked about like railroad tracks, or you know, these these interstate highway systems, talk about how you are aligned strategically, and that you have great intersections with your prospective partners strategy. If you want to be seen as a strategic partner, you must be a strategic partner What the hell does that mean? You have to provide value or more value to them than what any other organization that's already knocking on their door trying to get a deal with them, you have to be able to provide at least as much value to them as what anybody else can

Isaac Morehouse  34:21
that that value value above replacement right value above replacement. That's really the way that you think about is like yeah, right it's it's I mean this is in sports as well. I always tell early employees this It's not how much value you can create. It's not how much value you can create above and beyond the cost that they incur. It's how much value can you create above and beyond their next best alternative, right because that's their opportunity.

Mark Brigman  34:47
Yeah, that is absolutely

Jared Fuller  34:49
huge. You just talk about economic partnerships maybe there's a reason why the biggest A lot of people I can barely I can barely hold.

Isaac Morehouse  35:03
So I'm gonna ask you this question on patience. Because like, I know I'm a super impatient guy. And most entrepreneurs, I think, have that right? You're super impatient. So that's why when you when you were like, hey, partnerships is

Mark Brigman  35:15
never negative, though. You're like, Wait, we're applying for jobs that say like, you know, what's your what's your greatest fault? I feel like what shit? I think this is actually great, but I'm impatient as hell. It was like a compliment. But I could see where it's both?

Isaac Morehouse  35:31
Well, it's a comment. But I'm just wondering, Jared for how did you succeed in partnerships, given that you're impatient, because partnerships inherently, you're bringing more cooks into the kitchen, you're waiting for other the ball is in other people's court more than if you go it alone? And that's a really hard thing for an entrepreneurial person. How do you How did you make that work?

Jared Fuller  35:52
Of what I mean? So in a lot of ways, there's some serendipity and some luck and some religion, I was like, I don't think I've given coquina Mikado, the CEO of Pandoc, without credit, like, over the years for his pushing me. And then how much I need to put that like accent, push, I would have made it. So I did partnerships prior to that. But whenever I came and joined the door, it was it was literally living in his house and putting him in his office. He's like, just focus on the CRS just focus on the CRS, I wanted to continue. This takes forever, forever. Like, they don't want to do this, like just figure it out, you're gonna get sales. So I'm like, Okay, well, I need a compelling reason why we need to get this done now. So I started to like timebox, these things in Greek. Don't say artificial things. Events worked really well for that. But I started to realize that I needed some framework to say, hey, I can dedicate X amount of resource to open up an API for why our roadmaps full, we need you to do the same time box things and like really worked closely with product management where I started thinking quarters, that's and get them to commit that hate they have to make a decision by x or y. So it's certainly true partnering is almost like a deal. Like for the smaller integrations. And then I made a strategic bet on HubSpot without knowing that the implications of how big of a bet that was. I mean, how crazy how crazy is that? I've said this story before, but I don't think people realize how crazy is that I actually leaving office to Belushin co founders. These are not they immigrated to the United States, but I'm cold calling Chief Strategy Officer of HubSpot, I finally get to him. And I said, Don't hang up the phone. Because in one year, you're gonna apply to fell rivers, and you're going to try to buy us up right before I called it. A year later, I was on a plane to Belarus, negotiating m&a. And I think it wasn't until after that I realized like, why wouldn't I just go through? How did I stop hutzpah from building the signature? How did all that happen? I didn't do it on purpose. It was a little bit of luck, a little bit impatience, a little bit of calling the right shot. And then I actually read the superweapon and talked about I was like, Wait, there's a formula here. Like it's not perfect for b2b SaaS and startups. So I kind of give it like a three out of five stars. But if you contrast it to any other book, which there's like, like a really great, there's not much else out there. Wow, well, it makes a ton of sense. And then here's where it all clicked for me. I reverted back. And then I read plank for when and I don't know if you've read claim to word mark. But when he said strategy, its choice. I was like, Wait a second. Now I get it. We're talking about some ethereal thing. I have to force my partner to make a choice and the default choice 99% of the time is I don't care about well I make that choice. insanely easy for that patient person for me was like I'm working against 99% Right right now I'm nobody understands how do I infer that for it's a 1% chance that they say no? And I got this I get this aren't working on that fast. It's just choice strategies out this weird thing How do I make sure that they're making me and that preferred thing is strategies towards replace your strategy replace it with the word choice? Because

Isaac Morehouse  39:57
that's what I was gonna say the impatient you can work it to your advantage in I'm sure I'd love to hear your thoughts on this that, you know, if you're listening, like how to how to find how to win the partners, it's all about getting those partners staying with them. But I imagine a huge part of the job is when to say no to a partnership. And that's where the impatience can come to your favorite, like, get me to know as fast as possible, right? Like, get me, let me figure out. And if you're not going to play ball, like I got to know where to cut bait and move on. And I think sometimes that's a trap and get caught in like, well, I have to partner with everybody. I have to keep trying, and then you just end up getting strung along. So I'm curious mark, have you seen like, what's the most effective way to help people eliminate people that they don't want to partner with, so they can really whittle it down to those who they who they want to focus on?

Mark Brigman  40:45
Yeah, I love that man. So just to kind of break it down. This is what I'd recommend. This is really just kind of, I guess, kind of summarizing what you guys are talking about, number one, figure out what the hell you want. As simple as that sounds, like you're out if you want from the beginning. And it's not just you, the partnering executive, you got to talk to the boss, you got to talk to the man to the woman that's kind of in charge running the ship that's going to be running air cover for you. And they're also going to be the ones you know, that's kind of paying the bills as we go. So get get alignment with your senior executives get clarity on what the hell you're doing. What does success look like? What are my my requirements? What do I need? What's funding? What software What's all that stuff, get clear, get give it get that plan, get that nailed down, and then cheat. accelerate the process what I mean fish in a frickin barrel. Do your homework, it just like we talked about, you know, if, if Jared would have went out and had been, you know, working with trying to court people that's not even in his target. He's just wasting his time and everybody else's time it's doing the homework and understanding that you're working with a company that if they say, yes, it's going to take you where you need them to be a new understand the right picture, the right vision to share with them, you understand the strategic path that they're on? Be the easy button for them. Right. That's what I talked about earlier. Today, in my session, partners can be the easy button for each other. It's not only building easy buttons for our clients, but be the easy button for your partner and get that for them have have very specific criteria on what it is that you're trying to do. And lay that out there. That is that is a part of your vetting criteria. How many times have you guys seen or heard of partnering agreements that don't really spell out any explicit deliverables? What the hell is a partnering agreement for anyone?

Jared Fuller  42:53
refer to these as partners on paper. There's no commitments. And I think that what separates the strategic partnering professional from the rest is there to be a revenue commit on that you start putting seven figures, eight figures, nine figures in your TV, I mean, the second you start putting a seven figure commit into partnerships agreement, things start to change, like Accounts Payable needs to know that that value their account receivables, expecting it right, if you do it the right way. It's actually bookable revenue. I mean, yeah, sure, you can have a generalized partner agreement that says, Hey, hold on 20% revenue share, there's no commitment there. There's zero commitment to those to those

Mark Brigman  43:39
don't go based on hope, right? Hope, the city strategy, it never works out. To pull that down. Even if somebody can provide you two or three qualified leads, right? Let's just say it's even an input. It's not even turning to revenue, but at least that's some damn value. So many of our clients and different folks that I talked to literally around the world, I mean, I would throw out there 10% Is whenever you're talking about a big channel network, a big revenue focused partnering program, my number is 10% are actually providing are worth their weight. The other 90% are anchors, they're just sucking up oxygen. That's, you know, they're they're providing no value. And, I mean, there's a better way.

Isaac Morehouse  44:28
That's the quote, that's a call right there. Hope is a shitty strategy. That's it. You heard it from Martin Bregman himself. That's where we're taken away. Man, I mean, this is a great place to wrap this day this session. Huge, huge shout outs to obviously our marquee sponsors for the whole event, partner, stack and reveal. And today's gold sponsor Paragon. We had an awesome session with him earlier by embedded iPass and really just talking about this explosion of integrations. This is a daemon I'm in partner

Jared Fuller  45:01
and the crazy people that are

Isaac Morehouse  45:04
still here still hanging in the chat.

Jared Fuller  45:08
Oh my god. Yeah. People are special people. I want to get a cup. My empty is piling up. Someone in the partner hacker team, please give it give it a screenshot of who the heck is still here right now? Because I'd be surprised if it's over 20 people. It's madness. I think there's actually still over 100 people by right now, which is why they stay for the partner on podcast live and partner. We've had well over 1000 people live with this. And tomorrow things get real. Yeah.

Isaac Morehouse  45:36
Yeah, it gets crazy tomorrow. Tomorrow. Tomorrow is gonna ramp up even more with marketing

Jared Fuller  45:43
session. Yeah, partner lead marketing day. Oh, it's

Isaac Morehouse  45:47
gonna be wild. We have the partner lead product leader, the your sales Uh, sorry, awards today sponsored by Ellis tomorrow. It's marketing. So we got the awards. We got more one on one speed networking, which was actually a lot of fun. We experimented with that today. Tons of incredible sessions. So definitely be there mark. So awesome to have you present. morning keynote today, doing this podcast, launching live in our ad hub. today. Our dynamics we're huge fans and where are we going to where do we get those baseball jerseys. That's what I want about

Mark Brigman  46:20
it. Let's go just let me know what size but it will get you hooked up. Thank you. Great job for you.

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