PartnerHacker Daily #403: Tough Love for Partner Managers

Partnerships tragedy or pity party?

Stewart Wesley brought up a scary pattern he's seeing in partnerships.

He calls it the Partnerships Tragedy.

Stewart Wesley on The Partnerships Tragedy

People resonated with the post.

But Sunir Shah fired back saying,

Let’s diagnose some problems.

1. If your CEO hired you as the one partnership manager, you had 100% organizational buy-in in the FIRST SECOND your job started.

2. You're giving shoestring latitude. Is that bad? You have the freedom to try a number of things out in the market? Sounds amazing.

3. You need to get the whole organization's support... but you got a big NO. Well, this is how you learn how to become an executive. The organization will always say no by default; they have to.

Sunir is bringing some tough love. Everybody’s job is tough.

The partner pro’s job is tough. The CEO’s job is tough. The sales and marketing leaders jobs are tough. Not a bad reminder.

The solution?

Stewart’s option B: Build it with shoestring and bubblegum (aka Guerilla partnerships). Get traction. Show incremental progress (revenue).

Mobilize option B

I went back to Stewart and Sunir and asked how they’d build their program, get traction, and show incremental progress.

Stewart responded,

Instead of getting the VP of a department to support you, you go to the individual sales reps or CSMs or marketers and you create value for them with partners. You help the sales rep close a deal. You help the CSM solve a customer problem. And then you do it again with the rest of the team. And then you build a process and say "I am here to help you with partners and here is how you get my help.”

Once that’s working to some extent, you point out the success.

"Please give me one headcount and $15,000 so I can buy some software and I can triple my impact."

Sunir added the importance of documentation,

Write standard operating procedures about everything you do. Don’t do something 3 times without an SOP. Every click. Every email. Every button. Record it in the SOP.

Repeat the steps above until you have a Partner-Led company.

Image of the Day

Canalys unveiled the Channels Ecosystem Landscape 2023.

Read the report to see what the data is showing.

Canalys Channels Ecosystem Landscape 2023
Read the report.

Stuff you don't want to miss!

  • August 30, 2 PM EST – TODAY – Partnerships Career Power-Up: Write to Win in Partnerships. Join Steve Quan, VP, Global Strategic Partners at Expedia Group and Scott Pollack (CEO at Firneo) as they dive into all the elements and frameworks that are necessary for effective business writing.
  • September 7, 4-10 PM EST – INVITE-ONLY EVENT – Nearbound at Night – We're partnering with HubSpot for some major fun on the green ⛳️. Only a 5-minute walk from HubSpot's Inbound 2023 conference. VIP guest list. Toasts from industry leaders like Scott Brinker, Harbinder Khera, Tyler Calder, and more. Request an invite here.
  • September 28, 12 PM EST - Game Changers: Isaac Morehouse — Isaac will join Oana Manolache to talk about how to use content creation to define a category. He'll share the 3 elements to help you build brand awareness, drive pipeline, and unite your team. Register here.

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