087 - Ecosystems Expansion and Enablement: The How Behind Growth and Partner Engagement

Jared Fuller joins all-stars, Jay McBain, Cassandra Gholston, Kristine Stewart,and Janet Schijns on stage in Salt Lake City, Utah to discuss ecosystems, the current state of the market, and what the future holds for B2B SaaS companies.

Today’s episode is a recording from ImpartnerCon 2022.

3 Key Takeaways

  1. The Job of the Chief Ecosystem Officer
    "The job of the chief ecosystem officer is to expand the field of view outside the walls of your own company into the walls of the market and go 'where is our ecosystem and how do we play a role in that'" - Jared Fuller
  2. Evaluate your metrics
    If we want to evolve with the changing business environment, we need to evaluate what our companies are measuring. Is what you're measuring in-line with your goals? Do you have future-oriented metrics, or "rear-view mirror metrics?"
  3. Build outside of your walls, not inside your walls
    In the past companies built inside of their walls, in a walled garden. Today, if you're building inside of your walls, you're not playing the ecosystem game and you're missing out.

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Full Transcript:

Jay McBain  00:19

All right, let me bring up Christine Stewart of the Lexington group, she is going to introduce our other panel members. We'll bring Jay back out of the box and have him join the panel. We'll love questions from the crowd. I just want you to recall that as you've seen, there's a little bit of a lag when the question is going to j so so just be prepared for that. But, Christine, you're introducing your panel members,

Kristine Stewart  00:46

thank you so much over to you. I appreciate it. Wonderful seeing Jay. I've seen him in a lot of different scenarios, but not quite this one before. So I'm gonna have my folks come out here and join me.

Janet Schijns  00:57

We're moving Jay. I like going into lightning round.

Kristine Stewart  01:07

It's nice to see so many familiar faces, it's even more nice to see so many new ones and people that I've learned to meet at other events, or certainly in social activity, this past pandemic period of time. So I think you guys have all read the topic that we're talking about just a very brief history on it. When the channel chief advisory board that works for him partner got together at the beginning of the year, we had a discussion about what did we all think everybody should put forward what they thought would be the top topic, that we thought that our partners that our clients or vendors that the the world at large wanted to hear about in this space. And across the board, I think 100% It was ecosystem. So here we are. About two months ago, we released a paper called ecosystems, the new partner imperative, and I think you're starting to get wind of that in the last two presentations. So what we wanted to do was provide you with some amazing thought leadership, looking at this from a variety of angles. To kind of dig down a little bit deeper into this and maybe answer some questions. We're gonna leave time maybe like about eight minutes at the end for each of you to ask some questions. There'll be some roving mics. So we want to leave time for that. So quickly, we'll just get into the group here.

Janet Schijns  02:27

Maybe, yeah. Oh, no, you're past it. Oh,

Kristine Stewart  02:31

there we go. Alright, so again, Christine Stewart Lexington group, I have a channel consulting firm, I've been doing that seven or eight years, my past is working at a lot of different countries, or companies just like you. I worked at Cisco for about 13 years, got into this in seven years, and absolutely fell in love with it. And you can probably imagine why. Because I get to work with a lot of great smart, cool people and a lot of changes in this world. So what I'd like to do is introduce very quickly my group. On my far right, I have Cassandra gholston. She is the CEO and founder of a company called partner tap, that I, in my personal opinion, thinks was quite a bit ahead of their time.

Cassandra Gholston  03:13

Thanks, Christine. And I just want to say thank you to him partner for bringing us all together. We've been a longtime partner of in partners for the last four years. And Chelsea, thank you on the marketing team for getting us all in person, partner tab, we are a data sharing application, we help with account mapping, pipeline sharing, and accelerating co selling for your ecosystem.

Kristine Stewart  03:41

Thank you. And to her left, we have Jared gholston. Sure. Some of you may have just become aware of he is the CEO, and co founder of an organization called partner hacker.

Jared Fuller  03:56

Hey, and partner con, happy to be here. If you haven't subscribed, we have partner hacker daily, which is a seven day a week newsletter. So horrible idea. But there's about 5000 people and it has a 50% open rate every day, seven days a week. So we're a media company covering the era of the ecosystems and happy to be participating in the best time to be in the roles that you all are in.

Kristine Stewart  04:20

If you'd like provocative in the panel, you got it. Yeah,

Jared Fuller  04:24

I'm the most controversial person here. We'll see if we can make some friends.

Kristine Stewart  04:28

We're gonna skip this guy in the middle because I think we all know who he is. And we all know and love, Jay. So I'm going to move to Well, here's the deal. So I originally did not have Janet on this panel. And I thought to myself, Christine, what the heck are you doing? We've got one of the smartest folks attending the conference in here and a friend of mine who knows one heck of a lot about what's happening in the ecosystem and can participate with us. So, Janet shines from the JSW group.

Janet Schijns  04:59

Well, first of all, Right back at you and everybody up here on the panel and Jane, Michelle says, Could you bring home some gifts for the girls just wanted to give the life update to j. And I'm Janet shines, I lead the team at JSG. We're a group of channel consultants that are a little different. We've all carried the bag done the job had the beating up from the senior executives. And we really pride ourselves on actionable insights and how to really help you to enable your channel to succeed and quite frankly, take more than your fair share from the competition. So I'm really looking forward to having a discussion about the ecosystem. Thanks for having me.

Kristine Stewart  05:37

And I'm trying to get one last move on the slides.

Janet Schijns  05:43

And after lunch, you're gonna see

Cassandra Gholston  05:46

Christie, one more?

Kristine Stewart  05:49

There. That's the one perfectly all right, so let's get into it. And And, Jay, I just don't I know we need to keep moving. Because I don't want to keep you from going to Barcelona Netta Beach, which I know is absolutely fabulous. And there's probably some lovely tapas. It's some little fun spot on Barcelona now, because I've been there before. So we'll keep this moving for you.

Jay McBain  06:13

When in Barcelona, they don't eat till midnight. So I am actually good.

Kristine Stewart  06:17

Yeah. You probably have a siesta involved somewhere in there.

Jay McBain  06:22

Okay, come in about 10 minutes, we'll see.

Kristine Stewart  06:26

All right, here we go. So the first question is going to be focused around. We've heard from Maria, we've heard from Jay, we've heard from a lot of people, right, you're hearing it quite a bit about this kind of new decade, New Era new, you can call it whatever you want about ecosystems. And I'd like to just ask each of these folks, I think Jay has shared with us. But I'm gonna ask these other folks just really quickly, kind of what's the number one they see happening in their business, and particularly with their clients and the people they interact with? It says, this is the time for this ecosystems discussion?

Cassandra Gholston  07:02

Yes, well, what I'll say is, you know, the decade of the ecosystem, what we're seeing is an explosion in automation around partner technology. You know, we're seeing it. Two days ago, we were in the partner day for in partner, there's so many partner tech companies building in this ecosystem. And what that is doing for all the companies in this room is really bringing automation to fuel growth. And so we're going to see teknicks, the growth that we've seen in the past, and we really need that today now than ever, now than ever, especially in the market that we're in.

Jared Fuller  07:50

It's not a great time to be a CMO or a CRO right now, is it? I was talking to the CEO of a about $150 million consulting firm, and it has sales in the name. They have 96 clients in the Fortune 5000. And 100% of them missed their number last quarter. What the heck is going on. And I think companies right now are recognizing more than ever, that whenever you're building your operating model, in your walls, we've gotten too myopic. We have cheap access to new customers through advertising, through social media through all of these different things. And then we pass those things from marketing to sales. And then we expect the service people into customer success to implement and what people are realizing is the funnel isn't working anymore, building inside of your own walls with this myopic model of here's how I put things in and I get things out, you actually need to build in market outside of your walls. And that's what an ecosystem is. An ecosystem is comprised of communities, which are individuals that have a shared professional interest, like all of you here. And then partners, which are accounts with the shared commercial interests. And then I believe media content, things that we're doing right now are we're connect those two things. That's an ecosystem has nothing to do with your operating model. And I think that's why there's so much pain in the C suite right now.

Kristine Stewart  09:09

Thank you, Jen. And I know that you have been experiencing this and talking about it for a while. I'd love to hear your opinion.

Janet Schijns  09:15

So the first thing I would say is we're very lucky to be here at the partner event, Dave and the whole team and Joe, thank you, because we're having these conversations. And the thing is the game changed. And we can all say my game hasn't changed. I'm still playing basketball and everybody else is playing hockey. But the reality is the game has changed. And if you're not playing the ecosystem game because of your own internal organization inequities, or the lack of vision from your CFO because he doesn't want to pay for cosell or any of these other things, get help get someone to come in your input and our customers. We have a phenomenal relationship with JSG with and partner. I'll come in for free for an hour consulting call, and I have never lost against a CFO and I will tell you You're sitting here that the biggest problem you've got with implementing everything you're going to hear at this event is going to be him or her. So, learn the financial metrics of what actually matters in an ecosystem driven world, enable those financial metrics, you are the plumbing, you are the foundation that's going to be built on that's going to empower this future ecosystem, learn it, understand the cost of it, and learn to fight for it. Because if you keep playing the wrong game, you will lose. And then it'll be you who everybody's staring at to wonder why.

Kristine Stewart  10:35

Thank you, you know, Jared, or Jason sharing with us a lot about just kind of the changing environment, within people that have ecosystems, titles and ecosystem opportunities at companies and finding out that people have jobs, actually, with Chief ecosystem officer reporting all the way at the C suite level, which I think we all agree with. Because one of the key things there's a lot that we talk about, one of the key things and I, I learned this, when I worked at Cisco, many, many years ago, is that we kept our Technology Partnerships slash alliances, organization, very separated, very separated, and I didn't care for it back then. And it's quite a while ago, from the partner organization. Well, these are the guys reselling, right. And these are the guys that we kind of partner with. And it was really coopetition. So I think that's a big aspect of it for us getting to the higher level understanding of how important it is, and how important is the innovation, not just saying that we have an integration, but actually co innovating solutions. I know, Jared, that you have some thoughts on, you know, this opportunity kind of for the partner organization to make its way through some of the other silos within the company?

Jared Fuller  11:53

Well, speaking to this chief ecosystem officer point, I mean, that's what I titled myself, that's the cool thing, when you start your own company, you can make up a title, so I made it up. I was like, Hey, this is what we're gonna go with cheeky title. That's what we're gonna do. But there's a reason why I did that. And I believe in that sentiment of what you just said, it's that. I think in a lot of ways, what we're doing right now in ecosystems is very similar to economics. And there's this great quote by Frederick Hayek, Nobel Prize winning economist, the curious task of economics is to demonstrate to us how little we know about what we imagine we can design. What does that mean, as it relates to our business, it means that I believe that's the role of the cheeky chief ecosystem officer to sit down with the CFO, the CMO, the CRO, and go, how interesting that you think our business is going to end this way next year. And we haven't talked about the market. We haven't talked about our communities, we haven't talked about the people that live outside of our walls, our partners, etc. So I think that's the job of this chief ecosystem officer, is to expand that field of view outside the walls of your own company into the market, and go, where is our ecosystem? And what is it what role that we play and

Kristine Stewart  12:57

to embed partner people within all the other important aspects of the business, so not just sales, because that's been happening for a while, not just marketing, because it's kind of been happening for a while. But also with customer success?

Jared Fuller  13:11

Absolutely. product as well, it needs to like I've been saying in the partnerships department, stop channel as a business unit, you need to co innovate within your own company, and bring that to every single department. You shouldn't have people with the same roles in different departments, in my opinion,

Kristine Stewart  13:26

agree and, and I know you talked about this, Jay, a bit in your slide and in the evolution of the bubbles, and how many are the transactional partners, and you definitely a couple years ago, toin, the coin, the trifurcation of the channel, which I think at first, everybody was like, wow, that's exactly what is that? And now we're like, oh, yeah, of course. Of course. That's exactly what it is. How do you see that taking place? If I let me ask you a quick question of the people here in the audience. How many of you have like, let's just say, reasonably expanded your portfolio of partners to be ones besides your kind of previous ones of non transactional? How many of you are really looking at affiliates and referrals and partners that are going to need attribution and that kind of thing? How many people in this room? And that's what I thought, yeah, it's a low number. And listen, I want to say this about everything that we're going to talk about this takes time. Don't anybody think they leave this room and like, I got it, I got that ecosystem thing figured out. I'm gonna go get one of those automation tools or whatever I'm going to do. It's going to take us a while, just like we said in the paper a couple months ago. This is a very complex thing, right? It may seem kind of like obvious, it's a complex thing. It's going to take you time. That's okay. He is get going. Just need to get going. Right. And some of you already are I know because I know some of the folks here in the room. So back to you, Jay. What are you seeing when you're out talking to some of your clients or prospective clients? How many of them are Making that motion or at least moving in that direction of getting that broader set of partners. And I know that we're starting to see the bubbles change on your chart.

Jay McBain  15:11

Yeah, the first thing I would say is that we're getting a lot of help top down. And so whether you're a public company or a private company, for example, if you're a private company, there's a high likelihood that your private equity company and your board of you know, venture capitalists, or whatever it is, her writing blogs right now, about ecosystems, about the future of ecosystems and how everything is partner forward. So that's good. The CEOs, like I mentioned, you know, in whatever survey you read, are starting to get this and we spent 40 years in channels where no one above us, you know, could spell the word channel. But when you're into this modern world, because by the way, channel is a short form, for channels of distribution, how to get your product to market and how the money changes hands. You know, the reason for the ecosystem, the reason for this new language, is we're talking about the six other partners. So we know whatever product category you're in whatever industry you're in, whatever country you're in, there's a certain way that buyers buy, and you have to be representative across every one of those layers, have a lot of them by direct, you have to have a very good direct offering. Marketplace is indirect. But after you're done that equation, with your senior leadership team, it's time to have the conversation about the other six partners. Where do they show up? What do they do? How do they influence the customer? What's the role of someone and then at some point, at some point, how do they get us a customer for life? All the metrics of what we look at the cost to acquire customer and these customers for life, are actually, as Janet said, much more aggressive and much more beneficial than doing things in a traditional way.

Kristine Stewart  17:05

Okay, cool. So now we're gonna get into a topic I like enjoying about and many of you are probably tossing it out right now. And that's a direct versus indirect. Right? And it's always been a topic. And we know it's a cultural change, especially for bigger companies, right? You know, the the sales organization rules the roost, and why shouldn't they? But, but how does what's happening now with ecosystems with the different types of partners that we have with the innovation, and yada, yada, all of those things? How do we actually see that change being implemented? I want to ask this question, first of, of Jared, because there's a lot of debate about, you know, all of the automation that's coming, you know, with being able to, you know, work across organizations, but how will that also work with just keeping those relationships intact between the organizations and improving them, in fact, and, and I think I know where we're going with this, that some of the new tools that are becoming available are actually tools specifically to help partner account managers or channel account managers, who is whatever you call them work better with their AES.

Jared Fuller  18:16

Yeah, I'm not a fan of the indirect versus direct language. And I'll give you an example as to why even in like b2b SaaS or hyper growth technologies, Bessemer Venture Partners comes out with every year their state of cloud report, best VPS, a top five VC firm in the world, I can also bring up a stat from Andreessen Horowitz. But they said in their 2022, state of cloud report, that indirect partnerships are now table stakes from day one. But what they meant when they said indirect partnerships is just not direct. Right? That's what they meant they meant was What's crazy is VC thought leadership is upstream of typically executives, why that's how you get fired. That's how you get money, you raise money. That's how you get a raise, or you get your next round of funding. And I think the walls are breaking down where I'm seeing executives that are more open to working together than they've ever been before. So I think the forcing function of the market and the timing, it's we need to break down the walls between these different departments, and you shouldn't have, you know, partner marketing, and then marketing and then partner enablement, like separate functions that don't talk to each other to be

Kristine Stewart  19:19

part of the same organization. specialization is for strategically, right? I mean, we're gonna go from the time of like, people bragging, like, Hey, we're 100% partner attached, doesn't always mean the biggest deal. It just may mean that we go out we've already got a deal going, but then we've been told to do this. So we go making sure that there's a partner involved in the deal. That world will change in the next few years, where partners will be sourcing deals our partners will be bringing in leads and your own internal organization, whether it's marketing on a lead or whether it's directly to sales, if it's like a real deal and a real opportunity. If your organization will be working with their organization to more quickly bring that deal through the funnel into closure, typically at a higher ACV, typically quicker than you normally would have done it yourself, typically at a lower customer acquisition costs

Jared Fuller  20:16

maybe. And I think, Cass, you've seen this as much as anyone because all of a sudden you're able to share partner overlap with the direct team or vice versa. And all of a sudden, these conversations are happening, that didn't happen before.

Cassandra Gholston  20:29

I think we're we're seeing some of the walls between direct and indirect in some organizations come down. And in other organizations, they're still up. But right now more than ever, everybody needs to figure out, how do we protect our base? How do we get net new logos? Do we have a large enough direct team to go after all the new new logos? Or how do we get all of these partners together and enable the growth that we need to see, because right now we're going to be doing it with less people. And we are going to be forced to do more than we did last year. And the only way to do that is to enable the ecosystem. And so in some of the most forward thinking companies that have been channel led, are we're now seeing the direct and indirect starting to work together.

Janet Schijns  21:28

Yeah, and let's face it, I mean, it's really good thinking to say direct owns the account, think about how the primary channel sells primary channel sells through a bill of materials, right? They go out and MSP for example, systems integrator, they go out and they sell an outcome. As a vendor, you're selling one little tiny piece of that outcome. Many new vendors, in fact struggle to get end user customers attention. And that's why they embrace 100%, Channel 100% through the channel. Companies that have been around a little longer will say no direct owns these accounts. So the first thing we have to do is say you don't own an account as a direct, you just don't I'm sorry, right? If this is a community collaboration, the second thing you have to figure out is what's the smallest thing you can do for the biggest impact to prove this to people? Because I'm gonna tell you right now, you're not proving to the direct sales VP that he doesn't want to do that he doesn't want to work with partners. If he doesn't want to work with partners, you're not right deep breath, he's gonna go Yeah, channel is fun. So you need to do the smallest thing for the biggest impact. And frankly, right now, that's influencers, Jay talks all the time about the sphere of influence, but you can enact a new channel program smallest thing for the biggest impact, they saw how many people raise their hand, not a traditional referral program, but an influencer program with points and benefits for people that help you influence and get those sales to the team. And money if the sale closes. Now direct begins to have a reset of the expectation of what channel is right. And you begin to tamping down the emotionality. And I truly think that's the problem with this direct indirect thing right now. It's emotional. And we need to understand we can sit here on stage all day, you're gonna go fight that fight. So you got to figure out how you kind of back into it, I think that's the best advice I can give back into it.

Kristine Stewart  23:15

And I think that that's what a lot of people are looking at, especially if I look at the titles, a lot of people in this room, you know, from an operational standpoint, it's also going to be, you know, how do we think that compensation models will change for our own sales organization. And again, I know from turning a very large aircraft carrier at Cisco, you don't do that quickly, right, and slowly evolved their plans over the years. So because Cisco people, any people that have been doing this for a while, are used to their targets and their plans being in a certain way. And it's kind of stressful, when all of a sudden you change how those targets work, or you share that. And the implication of that is you're gonna have to double bubble for a while, right? Because of the way that that's gonna work. And that's just got to be part of the deal. And that's okay, that's okay.

Janet Schijns  24:05

We had a bad economy changes a lot of behaviors. Yeah. So in a bad economy, you won't have enough sales engineers, you won't have enough salespeople, you can get away with a lot more. If you run some huge channel programs, you're gonna get away with more, because you have this in partner partnership and the ability to automate and plumb and create these programs that will work quickly. And to compensate for lack of sellers and technical people in the next 300 days, and you've been able to in the past 10 years, so use the bad economy to your advantage.

Kristine Stewart  24:33

And with our time I'm trying to move salon because I think we've got some other great questions. It also leads right into the next question, which was like KPIs and metrics and ROI. So you listen to all this discussion of these different type of partners, and the way that you're gonna pay him is not the way you're used to right the incentives will change. And it'll be about attribution in the non partner sourced, but in the partner influence partner assisted types of sales. How Are you going to look at Attribution? How do you measure there's companies that have been doing it for a while, as Jay has talked about with impact and such. But there's also a lot of new companies in some of those ecosystem islands, he discusses, that are looking at different ways to do that. There's a lot of different types of influence, like you think influences, like maybe one or two things, there's a whole set of categories of influence of, you know, they tell you about this company, or it's a common company, or they make an introduction to somebody or they give you some insight into what's happening in that potential deal, or they reference you, or they actually, you know, provide you SME support and helping to close the deal. And at some point, we will probably give, you know, different levels of incentives to those different types of influencers. Do you have any thoughts on that at Oxfam,

Cassandra Gholston  25:49

one of the I mean, before a deal, registration happens, there's so much that as half is in front of that in front of that, and one of the things that we see is we allow collaboration between partners prior to a deal registration. So if you're using the full solution of partner tab, you can track all of the touchpoints that happened between multiple partners and sellers inside of an organization to truly see the influence all these backdoor conversations, this partner was the actual influencer, now you have the data to actually prove that influence.

Kristine Stewart  26:36

I think that we will have to get over kind of our old school way of looking at ROI. And, and I think that's changed anyway, just because the pandemic and how far the digital transformation is taken to where a buyer is actually interested in buying our products and actually talking to people about them, because, again, they've done all that research, you know, ahead of time and such. But I'm gonna, I'm gonna segue because I need to very quickly into Jason's favorite topic and one of mine, which is just this whole tech stack and automation. And, you know, so we got to hear about some of his in the last two years, his his new islands that fit in with some of the previous work with that he was doing with some of the companies that do various partner ecosystem, or, you know, those types of applications and now to be considered flat platforms. And I'd like to say, you know, starting with you, Jay, where do you see of all of those different ecosystems and those new companies, which are literally showing up every day, right, maybe not as quickly as they were before our market changed a bit, which are the ones that are really taken hold, which are the ones that people are really grasping onto and say, This is the first pilot I need to do?

Jay McBain  27:54

Yeah, it's a great question, because it actually answers your previous question as well. It's actually a technical answer. So and you've got the right people on stage to talk about this. So you know, when I consider in the past, in those 28 moments, it'd be wonderful if I could use them partner and do it through channel marketing automation campaign, I get to see the click, I get to see the activity, I get to kind of measure monitor, great. If that moment happens outside of in partner. Now the question is, okay, you know, I need to go find partners who generate those moments, you know, who recorded the podcast, who wrote the book, the association, whatever it is, but now I have other tools I can use. There's a referral and affiliate tool I can use. And that was one of the acquisitions I mentioned that in partner made, says another layer of watching into those early 28 moments. Then now, there's another layers. So you talked about impact. And there's companies like partner eyes and a win that brought from consumer, this Kim Kardashian, like attribution software, which is like 50%, Art 50% science, but trying to predict these moments and measure them. But now you've got a wonderful tool like partner tap, that solves a really big problem early in the journey. So no partner wants to share their CRM or spreadsheet of customers with a vendor. That's something that hasn't changed in 40 years. But if I could send that up to a protected escrow service where it's double blind, and the my vendor does this well, and I've got a magical tool to do account mapping, maybe sharing of that activity. Now I've layered in for technologies here to monitor maybe 20 of those 28 moments. The company does that the best that realizes that partner tap plus them partner is one plus one equals three is going to be a step ahead of their competitors. And it's going to be given their sales team deals much earlier in the process and you know, you deals if you get them earlier in the process.

Kristine Stewart  30:02

What have you seen Cassandra in, in, you know, the acceptance and you've been doing it a while now, of what partner chap is doing?

Cassandra Gholston  30:10

Well, I'll tell you years ago, we went into a deal. And the partner team channel team said, don't tell our privacy and legal team that we're sharing data, because we're sharing it on spreadsheets, but don't tell them. And fast forward. Five years later, we're still having those conversations. But we've, we now have so many logos in the enterprise HPE, ADP, SAP, they're all have gone through the privacy and verification that it's okay to do this secure data sharing. And they'd rather be in control of the data sharing, to get new logos to protect their base to accelerate the ecosystem play. There's no way to scale the ecosystem, unless we are data sharing at scale in a secure manner.

Jared Fuller  31:15

I want to comment on that real quick to Cassandra, it's also different when you're talking about account data versus, you know, PII personally identifiable data, correct. When it's account data, it's like, who are we harming? Whose data? Are we leaking? We're talking about a domain. You know, it's it's really not that it's not that hard to like, get the legal and privacy team on. And I often refer to that as second party data, like partner data is second party data. It's not third party data, third party data. And it's a little sketchy right now. Right? I mean, Facebook lost what $12 billion in revenue in one day, 270 billion in market cap. It's the single largest stock market drop in world history, by the way, because third party data is dead. Now second party data though, when you're just sharing account information, it's like, I'll go fight that fight with you in front of any CIO or CFO or legal team. Like, we can share account data. There's no law against this. There's no privacy regulation, saying you cannot share account data. Yes, you can.

Janet Schijns  32:07

Yeah, lunch data you share is really important point. So a lot of times and I love by the way, we recommend partner tap when we're consulting with people because we know it works, right. We know it offers the right privacy and security. But we have a lot of these very dysfunctional conversations. First, what are you measuring? So if you're still measuring certifications, and revenue and compliance, that's great. But people are complying with the wrong thing. So if you're measuring revenue and certifications, you're measuring rearview mirror metrics. Now we're here in partner at this event talking about Google ads, and I'm going to be integrated into their platform. What you should be measuring in a world where Google ads is available technology automated? Is what's the website value of your partner? Is it going up or down? Are you on their website? Yes or no? These can all be automated with kind of little spider bots to gather data? Or is their Google AdWords placement higher or lower? Where do they show up in local search? These are, these are instead of rearview mirror metrics like like certification and revenue, their windshield metrics of where the people are driving to how many deals did they get engaged with the direct team on how many new logos did they bring, we have to change our metrics and use the technology to allow us to plumb that in. And that's where I've been so excited, listening to the partner team, with these new benefits that they're adding, we can do that the technology can take to quote J kind of the leading edge here to let us evolve our programs to actually find the people that are driving us toward success, instead of sticking with the partners we've had for the last 20 years, of which a good majority of them will not be your top partners 10 years from now. And that's really the challenge for all of you sitting in the room as we use the technologies to use it for that evolution.

Kristine Stewart  33:51

All right, I'm gonna stop right there. Because I'd like to give you all some time for q&a. My understanding was we have some wireless mics out there. Do we have wireless mics out there? Yes. All right. How about just anybody that has a question. Stand on up and give me that bad boy.

Janet Schijns  34:19

I didn't do this to some of you. Oh, there. Yeah.

Kristine Stewart  34:21

The opportunity of these folks in front of you. You should you should utilize that where we got one right out there. There you go. Hi. Oh, there we go.


Landon Scott with Fortinet. And one of the questions I have is who's what is the recommendation resource for traditional companies trying to change their compensation models to adapt to consumption?

Kristine Stewart  34:49

Think I'll go to you

Janet Schijns  34:51

got it. Alright. So first of all, everybody's trying to adopt to consumption right. So what we need to do first is you need to go back to your framework and say, How does my framework change for the behaviors that I need from a channel in order to drive consumption? And I think when you think about that, and you think about how you plumb that answer, it's very different from how the majority of companies, I know your program are going to market today. And so when we map the behaviors that drive consumption, we can map that into our channel program. And then we can automate those journeys. If we don't, we're just kind of hoping that people do can consumption. And I think the key here is flipping how the channel thinks about engaging with us in that very same framework to actually drive that consumption and make more money, the compensation models are going to change when the channel makes $6. For every dollar they sell of your product, we have to change how their view of compensation happens and how our view of compensation happens. And I think you're gonna see some forward thinking vendors even lean into shared compensation, where the partners are compensating back to them for services. So it really needs to be something that we start to think about and change our compensation schema. And understand kind of my final comment that today, you probably have a couple for big companies, a couple of million dollars of compensation gaming happening in your program from your channel, have somebody like the team at JSG, or someone else here, come in, find that rip that out, repurpose that money to drive consumption?

Jared Fuller  36:24

I might, I might hop on there with a little bit more of a inverse take in that I think, what a lot of companies get stuck doing his they design compensation models to help meet company goals. And I would say to invert that the best programs and communities that I'm aware of what they do is they go what do our partners need? How do we help them? And then by virtue of that, what does that mean for our compensation model? Not the other way around? Because no one cares about your 10% rev share your 20% rev share. No one cares.

Janet Schijns  36:53

Now, no one cares. Yep. No one cares about.

Kristine Stewart  36:55

Alright, I'm gonna give somebody else a chance, because then we're gonna have to close up. Where was the other question back there? Right here. Okay, bring it on.


So you talked a little bit about startups and building out a channel program, but the indirect side to direct side enablement and having them all separate, and how that's kind of problematic. Well, it's problematic for me right now. And getting everyone on the same page and on the same team, instead of butting heads with marketing, right? So I want to hear from all of you, how would you go about getting everyone on the same page, getting more channel centric, and really thinking about all together instead of us segmented? You know, directions and ways to run a business?

Kristine Stewart  37:42

Our thoughts on that, but I'm gonna go to Jared, if you want, because I know you know a lot about marketing.

Jared Fuller  37:48

Where's that friction coming from? Is that friction coming from a plan, like, Hey, here's our marketing plan, we need to generate X and traffic y and MQLs Z and pipeline, like, where's that friction coming from? And then I would just simply say to invert that what I mean by invert is, those aren't the goals. That's to Janet's point. That's the rearview mirror that's behind you. That's like, what are we doing to get alignment on the things that are completely untrackable? Things like dark social influence communities, media content? What do our partners read? And what do they want? And what do they need? And that's the thing to get alignment on? Not the thing to get alignment on? How are you going to hit this MQL number that's about you. That's not about them. And I think now, here's why it's the best time to be in channel or in partnerships. Because guess what, your counterparts in marketing are hurting, they're hurting bad. This has never been a worse time to be in marketing, true, honest statement, the average American gets 400 to 10,000 advertisements per day. That's insane. I can say that 100 more times. So go to your marketing counterpart and go it's not about how we solve our own problems. It's about how we solve the problems that are created by things like dark social and influence, help them there.

Kristine Stewart  39:03

All right. I'll close that one up. I'll say one other thing is that you're seeing some companies now that are actually finding common goals that they can set that sales, marketing, customer success in the partner organization all own I'm not saying they're the same goal. Sometimes they are. They might be person or source revenue. But that they each have and and the technology, folks, so how many integrations are we doing? How many adoptions of that actual integration are occurring? It's one thing to do an adoption. So it's another after you launch it, to see if it's actually or to do an integration to see it actually being adopted. Alright, so we have a few minutes left. What I'd like to do here because we promised that you guys would get things to take home and I hope you already have but I'm gonna go through each of my amazing panelists here and give them about 3045 seconds to just give you if I can tell you one thing to take home and then Jay and you and I will go last. So first I'll go to Cassandra, what should they take home? What should they go back and tell their teams because I know how these things go, when I've gone to these, you get back and you get put in a staff meeting? It's like, what did you learn in a partner con?

Cassandra Gholston  40:12

Well, I think the next generation is, it's a different type of salesperson, they have to have a partner mindset, I would say, in the marketing department, we have to have a partner mindset. And from sales leaders to channel, it's an ecosystem mindset. And potentially, the people that we have today in place might not be the people that are right for the next journey. And so we have to think about

Kristine Stewart  40:43

that, and let's get some revenue.

Cassandra Gholston  40:45

Absolutely. Go Download your free version and partner tab.

Kristine Stewart  40:49

For a Jared,

Jared Fuller  40:51

I would say in the partnerships department and kill the channel business unit, it's time that we integrate, and it's partner led everything. And then if you want more opinions on that, go to partner hacker.com, you can sign up for our newsletter, it's free, you get the partner hacker handbook, it's 100%, free, our events are always free. So we're here to give back and make you all famous, contribute, right, consume. And happy to be a part of this partnerships moment, because it's very real, it's never been a better time to be doing

Kristine Stewart  41:15

what we're doing here. We appreciate it. Of course, Janet,

Janet Schijns  41:19

take a deep breath. Culture kills channels, good or bad. Go back and kind of partially answer the gentleman's question in the corner, go back, and determine how your culture needs to evolve to embrace this ecosystem. One of the exercises we do at JSG with our clients is we look at the framework and how the framework is gonna have to change over the next three years, because this is a long journey for all of you, right, you can't just snap your fingers. And then we write a credo, a mission statement, I'm looking at Scott Jones from T Mobile, we did that work with the team, and you take it throughout the entire organization. And I actually am so you know, ridiculous and make everybody sign it. This is our channel credo. This is how we're going to work with the ecosystem. These are the promises we will never break. Get that on paper. It sounds old fashioned. It's not make that the lesson you take back from here at the channel is changing the ecosystem, we have to change our framework, let's get the cultures that are going to drive that change, Jared and I agree on that they're going to drive that change to make your organization truly outcome focused, which is channel neutral.

Kristine Stewart  42:30

J because I'm standing now, between you and probably some fabulous Topas. I'd like to get your last advice to all of the folks here.

Jay McBain  42:41

Yeah, if you haven't already, build a team, build a personal team, build a community build your own little tribe. You know, for example, Janet is my mentor. I learned something every single time I hear her speak. Christine, I talk to once a month. And we you know, they're the most wide ranging conversations ever. Jared is one of the smartest people in ecosystems, he's running an impressive community, there's 5000 People go into an event in about a month. I mean, it's somebody you want to hook on to. And you know, he's tapping into the best minds in the world in this space. And then I talked about cast and partner tap. You know, there's a technology element to this, the decade of marketing was about technology. And building that tech stack and building that marketing motion. The decade of sales was about Salesforce, and that started that sales tech, you got to be thinking about the pilots, you got to be thinking about the work, you can do one plus one equals three. And every time you're in front of your executive start to show the tech stack and think the areas of innovation. And think how you can take you know one step further than your competitors. Final thing I'll say is last year's, actually this year's CRM channel chiefs list, which has 650 channel chiefs on it, now have an average of 2.5 years in their jobs before the pandemic was 4.3. So if you're looking for a multi decade career, and really build yourself forward, it is your own network, and choose wisely.

Kristine Stewart  44:24

Thank you. Thanks for joining us today. We appreciate it. I'd like to say first of all, thanks to how lucky am I to get all these Smarties on the panel with me. I'm very fortunate. I'm very fortunate that I get the opportunity to talk with these folks. But there's a whole bunch more of you out there. And I know you're out there. I'll a couple of these things have been mentioned. You know Canalis. They also have a survey that's going to be out in about two weeks that they did with HubSpot and partnership, partnership leaders that's about you know partner OPERS operations and pro grams, you'll be interesting to find that the number one reason that people are buying partner technology today is integrations. And that shouldn't surprise many of you. It might surprise some shameful pushers, I'd love to if you haven't read my, my partner imperative paper on ecosystems give that a look. We've already talked about the partner hacker newsletter, I think it's fabulous, because it's an easy read. It's the one thing that I get, and I get way too much stuff that I read every single day. And he also has a mentioned but pls summit, I think Jay mentioned is coming in in November, it's free, there's going to be five days, there's gonna be a focus on investors, they're going to be a focus on sales, on marketing on products. And the last day will be on success. You can sign up for one day or can sign up for all, but it's all free. And I'm telling you, you're gonna have some wicked smart people talking to you out there about each one of those topics, including and including partner as a sponsor. And there's an organization if you haven't come across it, go find out about it. It's called partnership leaders, and you can join on partnership leaders.com, it's very minimal to join. The Slack channel is like nothing you've seen before, you can ask the kinds of questions that you're wondering about. Nobody makes you feel embarrassed. Everybody's happy to help you. People will DM you, they'll answer you right there on the Slack channel. I've never seen a Slack community quite like this place. So check that out. And then blast. If you haven't done it, go get the free version of partner tap and start understanding what account mapping and CO selling really looks like. There's some major stuff out there. You know, Janet and I do similar things and then some things we cooperate on and I've got various other friends out there that do consulting, come visit us come see us. There's a lot to learn about ecosystems. Thank you so much. Awesome. Thank you so much.

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