What is up PartnerUp!
The field of partnerships is in a major state of innovation. The “go to” strategies, tactics, and takeaways are still being developed.
Kelly Sarabyn, a platform ecosystem advocate at Hubspot, joins the show today to discuss her podcast, Unlearn, with Asher Matthew.
We dive into how she’s been using surveys around partnerships, and we brainstorm how surveys could be leveraged (after using ChatGPT to come up with powered-up questions) to understand market attitudes toward partnerships from non-partner people.
Can those who use ChatGPT get ahead? Can we use it to better understand negotiation, leveraging data to get an affirmative answer about which relationship management tactics are most useful?
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Jared Fuller 0:11
Kelly, welcome to partner up. Thank you for having me love the show so happy to finally get a chance to be on it. I love learning aloud with people like you and I've loved seeing your hate to use the word trajectory, but it's like, I'm seeing you everywhere. Now you just launched your own podcast unlearning. Is that right? Unlearn? Yes, I learned sorry, not the ing I have ing stuck in my head. Yeah. So you just launched unlearn. With Ashran, you've had some heavy hitters on to like I saw, you know, the king of dark social, you know, pop up there.
And you're helping evangelize and lead ecosystems, you know, with the wonderful team at HubSpot with Scott, super active in the partnership leaders community and you're building all of branches to other communities like pavilion, and kicking off a lot of these cool surveys to like, bring some new insights to market. So I've definitely loved like being in the community and conversation with you and seeing the impact that you're having. I kind of wanted to start the Convo today. Kelly with that, like overarching topic is you know, you have you have all these various things going on. And you're kind of giving back and helping first, you know, stuff that we talk about a lot. But look, look back on kind of what you were doing three years ago, and what you're doing now, your ability to have an impact on you know, your career and HubSpot and things that you're working on. I think that presence is increasingly like the stock is on the rise. Talk to us a little bit about like looking through that lens like, Hey, I've been investing in building this. And it seems like there's some compound interest from those, you know, investments. I'd love to unpack that a little bit with you, because I have a thesis that a lot of great partnerships, people should be following in your footsteps, so to speak.
Kelly Sarabyn 1:51
Yeah, I agree. I think that the sort of the field of partnerships is in such a state of innovation, that more we can have people who have gone down the road, whether it's because they've studied particular emotions around partnerships, or LED large teams, if they pass back that knowledge, the more the whole discipline is going to rise within the go to market function. Right. And I think that the more I've learned about partnerships, the more I've studied, which I originally got into partnerships, because I was leading marketing at Pandian, which was marketing and selling to the tech partner persona, right. So I had a very content driven strategy, and also being very active in the community. So that's where I really started to study and learn so many of these components together. And I think that it definitely made me realize the value of the partnerships community and the space and the way that knowledge kind of passes among different stakeholders and people who are new to the field, which I will say I don't feel like my path was unusual and coming from marketing, you see people coming from all different disciplines, often you'll see it from sales, right, but marketing to and on the tech partner side, you also see people coming from product. It's really a space where you have everyone. Yeah, bringing in different skill sets, different backgrounds, and putting it to work.
Jared Fuller 3:14
You know, Kelly, real quick, real quick, real quick. Um, so it kind of made me think like, is partnerships the melting pot of SAS? Are we the America of SAS?
Kelly Sarabyn 3:24
I think that's a good metaphor. Let's put it on LinkedIn and try it out. Yeah, I think partnerships is the America of SAS, that's LinkedIn post that will absolutely be hitting tomorrow.
Jared Fuller 3:37
Well, I think well, so for today, for example, like, I just met a first time partnerships person, because like the, the standard thing that you see a lot of is in SAS companies that are kind of growing, is you'll see that person that was kind of, you know, Agila jack of all trades, that gets promoted into like, the first partner person, and you see them come from sales or CES. And the one that I saw, you might be interested in today, that was the first one I saw is they were the Senior Manager of research. And then they become the the head of partnerships, like the only partner higher and I'm like, that's an interesting one. And I think there's a thread there. You know, like, they started in research, and then they went to partnerships. And I've talked a lot for the longtime listeners about like living in market, like I just I hate getting caught in the cobwebs of like internal politics and our own KPIs. When it's like, Look, what's happening in the market is what really matters, customers, partners, communities. Maybe there's something there that you know, like research, so to speak, is you're thinking about the market first and the community in that and then you're going well, how does my company fit into this picture?
Kelly Sarabyn 4:45
Yeah, I agree. I think you know, if you have someone who's just an account executive there actually have a harder time than that. That person who was doing research to move into that role because if you are the only partner manager at your company, you have to think very strict. directly, and you have to be very close to the mindset of the customer, which is why customer success is another role you see people come over from and can do well, because they understand who that customer is interacting with, what are those 15 partners right in their universe. And I think that partner manager, only one at a company has such a hard role. And so many people get put into it. And they're like, You have no resources, just go partner. So that kind of research mindset of like looking at the problem, even if they weren't researching partners, like I was in my last role. Just applying that framework, where you really say, How can these partners connect to the strategic priorities of my company? How is the customer going to benefit from this?
Jared Fuller 5:45
Usually useful? And in? What do we do at Pandian? Just like kind of that inflection point, when you were leading marketing there, you also had launched a community if I, if I recall correctly, right? I did.
Kelly Sarabyn 5:55
And I still think that that community, you know, when I left as not as stable, it still exists. It's called the SAS ecosystem Alliance. But I think, in order to grow, it would need more like functional resources to be put behind it. But the idea behind that community was actually to capture that intersection on four tech partnerships between product and engineering and, and business development. So I think a lot of us think towards marketing and sales, and how do we onboard them, but the reality is for tech partners, and also, when you think about some of the implementations or system integrators being aligned with product, and engineering is also really important. Like think about a platform, right? If your API stink, then you're not going to be able to no matter how good your business mindset is around on being an ecosystem, you're not going to be able to successfully scale. So that community was the idea behind it is, let's find a place for those people to be in, in dialogue, because the current partner communities are really very focused on the BD persona.
Jared Fuller 6:57
Right, totally. And the reason why I think that that's like, an interesting way into the partner world is like, the fact that you had a communities, all of a sudden, your lens became about what what are these conversations happening over here? Right, not the conversations that are happening. Like, it'd be interesting to know, like, I'm always trying to figure out how much talk time is happening, not on an individual call, but like, in whatever company I'm at, with the people in my company spending time internally versus externally. So like, obviously, Customer Success account executive support, like those roles are customer facing, and they're probably spending 50 plus percent of their time, external, at least they should be. But then there's all these other ones like product engineering, etc, where like, very little of their time is expended externally. And yet the product roadmap is, you know, it's not controlled by customer success or account executives. It's consistently the most argued over thing in SAS is the roadmap, right? There's limited resources. And like how to bridge that gap. I mean, every great partnership, like truly great partnership has some, you know, just just just had Alan Adler here, you know, co innovation, right? Like that's a big thing. CO innovation, co innovation. It's kind of true, like, I mean, look at HubSpot. Like I've seen hub spots API come from literally, there was literally zero API's for CRM. So I had to build a Chrome extension to hack the DOM. So like in, in the browser to send a document to like, show the value. And we actually had hundreds of people download that Chrome extension and use it in appspot. And that helped inform you know, how Matt was thinking about launching API's and like working really close with those people like there was some co innovation there's something to that. I'm curious your thoughts on this because you've you kind of came from the product side. And then now you're helping lead ecosystems at HubSpot with amazing like, it's everyone in the partner ecosystem team. That was what I love. Like I can just start naming people that are amazing there. Are we like in a fool's errand to like, you know, right now we're trying to partner pill and, you know, I'm obviously evangelizing we're evangelizing near boundaries, perhaps this connective tissue that needs to go to market leaders where they are. At the end of the day, though it for tech partners is there's not some great product innovation there. Is there really going to be a great partnership like what's your point of view on that in the because you're seeing a lot more partner activity? You know, with your vantage point and HubSpot? Yeah. I
Kelly Sarabyn 9:27
think if you if you can't influence products and have products take that ecosystem mindset, your opportunities are going to be severely diminished. I do think you can build superficial integrations that can tie tech partners together in going to market. I don't think those are going to have as big of a business impact. So I also think what you see more frequently is bad integrations and then you have a really awful situation of going to market together to drive customers to bad experiences that they then get frustrated with and don't like. And that retention boost that you expect to see from a good integration. You can even see the opposite, right? People will turn off because the integration doesn't do what they thought it would do. It's a it's it's essentially a product feature, right? And the more robust the integration, the more robust of a feature it is. So for scale, I think I think it's key. Do you think you can still have smaller scale partnerships that are nominally tech partnerships, perhaps, and really, just to SaaS companies going to market together? But you then do you run the thing of disappointing like, you run the risk of disappointing the customer, even if you don't have a bad integration? Let's just say you have a really shallow one, it says data one way, right? So then people see your co marketing campaigns, they're talking to both of your sales team, but then they're like, well, this actually doesn't do very much. So it's a challenge, right.
Jared Fuller 11:03
And the folks that you know, are coming from partner land typically aren't coming from, you know, typically aren't coming from a product or, you know, engineering background. There's a couple unique exceptions to that that are very interesting recently. I haven't gone down this rabbit hole too much on the podcast, but obviously, GBT is eating the world right now. I, I was at the Pavilion, cmo summit a couple of weeks back and got to see Kip talk with the CMO of I believe kartha. So it was the CMO of Carta, and Kip Wagner, the CMO of HubSpot, kind of talking about GPT. And it was a fascinating conversation I hadn't seen, I'd seen lots of talk to kip a lot. And I've had lots of conversations with him and then seeing him on like the keynote stage at inbound. But I haven't seen him in like a casual fireside chat. And he just went off for like 30 minutes about AI GPT and the future of marketing, it was really, really an awesome combo. And the reason why I'm bringing up GPT in that context, GE had you looked into or seen Mira, the CTO of open AI for story. Not, it's fascinating, absolutely fascinating. So it's current CTO of the fastest growing product of all time, I won't even say tech company product, like in human history, kind of crazy. Guess what she started at? At Open AI? Head of partnerships. She was that a partnerships that became CTO. Now you think about their strategy, though, right? So they're, how did they get all of that data? Like so I'm like reading in between, I've been obviously trying every which way from Sunday to like get Mira but kind of CTO of the fastest growing, you know, company of all time. So it's probably hard to get out of partnerships podcasts, but it's like, Hold on, wait a second, you started as the head of partnerships. So I'm like I'm pontificating here. But like, let's have some fun with this one, because we're kind of on this topic of, you know, value and product and engineering. Where did they get all the data to train these models? And how to imagine partnerships, right?
Kelly Sarabyn 13:06
I assume they got it from the World Wide Web, but it's a good call out, one would think that they did at least get some proprietary datasets that are not widely available. And I feel like that's something I should know the answer to, but I do.
Jared Fuller 13:22
Write and I'm totally pontificating. Well, it's, you know, it's a closed book, no one knows except, you know, the folks on the product Oregon and George, and perhaps BD. Org, partner org at open AI. So the conversational model, like I know, it's not just indexing, you know, b2b companies and consumer companies, you know, blog posts and website, the model feels a lot more social, like natural, like, easy to talk to. And I'm just guessing that there's some, you know, pipeline of data from the Twitter's or metas or some of those pay walled gardens that they were able to get access to, I mean, and then you kind of go to that next layer, okay. They have some proprietary data. They're launching versions of GPT. And, of course, you know, the other products as well. Dali, you know, for images, right? Like, lots of images do have a lot of licensing and right, so I'm sure there definitely was some deals on the image training for multimodal. And then what happens next, so they get GPT up and running? Well, the headline that blew my mind two weeks ago was GPT connects to the internet plugins. I mean, platform play, right, like so now they're becoming a destination and everyone's trying to get, you know, a plugin into GPT. Their big crazy moment was powered by GPT. Right. So like, that's, that went from zero to 2 million Google search results and like, a month, you know, two months powered by GPT, which is crazy, right? So for me, I'm like, man, there's something there like this was, I have to think a somewhat intentional strategy to where the power of working with other technology Companies and proprietary data being API first, right? Like that was their monetization engine that their head of sales She's kicking butt right now, you know, that sales, massive sales order that she's building with all the API calls and premium access, and then plugins. This is a platform strategy from Jump Street. That is just such an incredible story that like, product innovation is really what drove that success and partnerships hand in glove.
Kelly Sarabyn 15:26
Oh, for sure. I mean, I think I mean, I'm sure the salesperson is doing an exceptional job. But I think the product here was, was so strong that it was, you know, easy to find those partners essentially to roll out. But I think it's, it's somewhat akin to like Stripe, right? Like, there's just so many other companies that want to use the technology for their technology. And they, it seems that they built it in a way to make that super easy with SharePoint means that they were thinking that way from day one. But from from the product side, right, because people like developers don't want to incorporate technology that doesn't work. Well, that is buggy, that causes problems. So building that from day one, you can see this kind of like wildfire expansion.
Jared Fuller 16:15
It's fascinating. I hate to I hate to bring this up here, but we're on the GPT threads of mine as well. I had this fascinating, I have to turn it into a piece of content. I saw someone post something on Twitter, and I'm like, I wonder what that would work like for us. Here's what I did. Kelly, I'll try to describe it is I prompted GPT to do some negotiation training with me. So I was like, hey, I want you to do a series of negotiation training. So you're going to present a scenario where you know, you're selling something, I'm negotiating and trying to get a better price just for like the heck of it. And then I want you to rate my responses once we get to a deal. And then increase or decrease based on my performance, right. So like, I start, I went down a two hour rabbit hole. And here's where it ended. Here's where it here's where it ended up in a it was pretty incredible training like legitimate, like negotiations, kind of like one of my geek out topics like I love to study negotiation. Big fan of Chris Voss never split the difference, because he's always about empathy, right and not trying to get the win win. But having a healthy empathetic negotiation is like how to make the other party solve for your problem is like the key. And what I found was, every time I would steer it towards mutual value, and let's say partnership creation, it would lean in, and then I could start to ask questions about like, hey, how might we do this, and I would take it away from like price and time. And every time my grades started to increase, so I got to a place where I was like an A in the negotiation started getting wild. And partnerships was working every time more than any other just basic sales tactic. And then I was asking GPT, Hey, why are you giving me a high grade when I'm pursuing a partner strategy versus just straight sales? The GPT model was coming back and saying like, well, here's why partnerships is a more effective strategy for the long term. And I was like, Oh, my gosh, this is wild. Like, I'm not telling you this stuff, I didn't prompt it to do anything with partnerships. I just started organically taking it that way. And I was like, There's got to be something. I don't know what it is. But there's got to be something there. And then, you know, the crazy part is I can ask to take that two hour training negotiation partnerships thing and summarize it into a blog post and they can mind blown, right.
Kelly Sarabyn 18:46
And now I've been curious, because I agree, I think that, you know, you do have some partner trainings being spun out more recently, like through fernea and things like that. But especially the more like, the higher you go, or I think the more niche you go, there really isn't much available yet. And you do see people asking the community, hey, is there a course? Is there a certification I can get? And I feel like it would be interesting if someone tried to develop a full on course ad out of that and sort of judge what it's like.
Jared Fuller 19:17
So here's the next thing that I started to do, which I'm not done with this, but it got really interested. I'm like, I wonder if I could take a scenario where I'm trying to win and build a very strategic partnership, and describe it to GPT. And it can coach me through the process. And it's kind of working.
Kelly Sarabyn 19:34
We actually had a CEO of AI company on our podcast and one of the things that came up right is in business and b2b business, how is AI going to sort of overlay on our relationships and experiences right because one thing she was saying is you can use it to create trust with other parties. And I find it so fascinating because normally we think about trust is coming in part From authenticity, right, but then if you're layering on AI to kind of mediate your behaviors and sort of change what you say and how you say it, it's definitely sort of an interesting hybrid of manipulation, not necessarily in a bad way, but in a very sort of intentional way of how you're interacting with with other parties. So I do think the partner use case for AI, is there and it will be interesting to see, because I don't think you're the only one who is going to be thinking about seeing and I think product companies are going to see this and try to build something and operationalize it, which is, how do you improve your performance in business relationships with guidance from AI. And then when both sides start using it, right, that design a dynamic starts to evolve as well. So
Jared Fuller 20:55
and I think my point of view on it currently is I no longer see GPT as a company level thing. I mean, like, there will be companies that make a lot of money on the backs of GPT and enhance the value of their products, I actually think of GPT as an individual level thing. So being able to have threads where you're utilizing GPT, almost like a coach and assistant to help you and keep you on track and keep you honest and give you feedback. And like that's been a very interesting thing that I you know, want to democratize and evangelize out in the market, like, Look, you already have too few resources partner, partner individual, like, you need to be thinking about creating leverage, like, there's a reason why I remember, you know, going back to the early days of HubSpot, one of my mentors, you know, three times now is Pete Buddha. And Pete was always telling me, is like building the business case for partnerships. It's about the unit economics. It's about CAC LTV. And what that means is, is the partnerships inherently have to be more efficient than other functions, meaning if there's going to be a target on a partner person, their quota needs to be higher, right, like, inherently. So what are the ways in which you can increase that leverage? I'm thinking of GPT in that context, like how do we give more to partnerships, people that doesn't require five more years of tech transformation to get there, like? So anyways, I'm like pulling the thread on this, like, how can I use it to like, give back and tell partner people, Hey, here's how you can do this to eliminate 2030 40% of the dumb work or get feedback where you're not getting it?
Kelly Sarabyn 22:29
Yeah, I agree. And I think the Delmark is a good call out because partner people often are tasked with doing any number of both manual things operationally on their own, but also just back and forth, emailing things, that things of that nature that really could easily be supported by AI to give you more time back so you can focus on the more strategic relationships. So I think the more you can facilitate that and make suggestions around prompts and templates that people can use, definitely would be good for the field.
Jared Fuller 23:02
Totally. I mean, like, I saw Clary wing man, they just did a beta where, you know, you have your call recorded and it automatically sends you you know, your the the meeting notes, the next steps, the CTA, all of that drafted, you know, in Slack or in your email inbox, you review it, make a couple edits, boom, send. And like I even hacked that with GBT in the plugins to where it was like otter, Zapier, boom email. I'm like, okay, that saves me 1015 minutes, you know, like, no brainer. So like those partner hacks so to speak. Are our, you know, they're out there like that's, you know, the early adopters. I like playing with the pirates, right? Like the people that give us a little bit of leverage. I want to circle back now Kelly after the GPT changin it's too top of mind to not talk about it is going back to kind of, you know, what you're doing with unlearn and like your remit and HubSpot, and kind of like living living in the market. I've been saying something that for the past few months, that I just get more and more belief in, the more people I talk to, and it's this statement that the way that we buy, or get information today, how about even more broadly as people humans, is we want to talk to people who've been to the place that we're trying to go to. And, you know, right now that I feel like I'm naturally suited to trying to go after those conversations, because I've, I'm a natural marketing person, I tried it, I've led marketing orgs I've led sales orgs, I've had the partner remit, but then I'll come across someone that like came from customer success, and they're trying to partner pills, so to speak their CRO, and it's like, well, they've never really led a sales team. And that's like kind of a hard thing to like, do and you kind of came from the marketing side and the community side and you're obviously having sales conversations. And I think something interesting that you unlocked that I'd love to talk about is like right now you're doing a survey with pavilion and partnership leaders and HubSpot. Like that's an interesting sort of hack. So to speak on like, you just can't show up to, you know, sales leaders and be like, here's exactly what you need to do there. But Kelly, how many sales teams have you led? You know, it's kind of hard, but you can actually go and survey? I'd love to unpack that with you. Like, do you think that like we're moving from this trend to summarize the shift in? Let's call it the eras? Like, what is facilitating the partnerships era? Here's my statement, we're moving from how questions how do I do this to who has done this? Right? Like, they're looking for who? And I think your survey approach is like, Hey, here's 500 People who've said this, right? It's it's not the how it's the who, and you're using instead of an anecdote of one, like, you know, maybe a conversation in partnership leaders, which is totally valuable to like an aggregate, like, oh, there's some value in the who in numbers. Talk to me a little bit about that kind of phenomenon, like your propensity for like surveys and things I've started to see you start to do a bunch of those that I think is a great answer to this question. Yeah, I
Kelly Sarabyn 25:59
agree. 100%. And, while running that survey, I've also ran an internal survey of the HubSpot sales and CS team and was able to get 318 people to, to respond to it for very similar reasons, which I think, if you want credibility with with people and other orbs, I mean, there's two reasons. One, you have to make the effort to make sure you're not just going anecdotally and understanding the where people are coming from. And it's not just the squeaky wheel, right? Because if you interact with a few people who are very vocal, you might think, Okay, this is what the majority of the sales team wants to do and what what they value, that may or may not be the case. And I think that that's where this more quantitative data can really help to supplement what you may have heard qualitatively. And so the pavilion survey, similar thing, right? Like, let's talk to actual marketing and sales leaders in enough number to get like a cross section of perspectives. How do you view partnerships? What do you use them for? Do you think that they're going to lower CAC? Do you think second party data is more accurate? Those kinds of questions and I think, as a community partnerships, needs to do more work to get more data on those questions, because that's what is going to empower you to go to those leaders. And as you mentioned, one other form of authority is to say, Hey, I used to be a CRO. And that is going to give you a lot of credibility with the CRO or the VP of sales, or whoever. But I think another way to establish credibility is to say, Hey, I, I surveyed the people, I got the data on the community, and this is what they are saying, like, you don't have to take my word for it. Here's the data. And I do think that that's going to be powerful, because leaders are going to take that into account. And they're going to say, Okay, this is this is what reps prioritize, this is what they're trying to go for. This is where they see the value.
Jared Fuller 28:02
Totally, totally, like, in context, in helping any organization build their partner program, like, I don't know, I was giving a speech at a kickoff, a few weeks back, and it was about 65 marketers in a room. And I asked, Hey, someone in the audience. Who do you sell to? Who's your ICP? And they said, CIOs. Okay, great. How many of you in the audience have been CIOs before? No one. Right. And it's it was obviously, right. Like, it's a roomful of, you know, it's a 2000 person companies 65, marketers kind of like, trying to like partner pill them. So the CMO is very, very partner friendly. But like, she's like, how do I like get my team to understand what I'm trying to articulate? And I was like, let me try to make this as simple as possible. It's like so all of you here, what gives you the right now you actually kind of mean, what gives you the right to write about becoming a better CIO. It's kind of like, you're not a subject matter expert, you've never done the thing that the customer is trying to do. And that's okay. I'm not saying you shouldn't have a job. Obviously, CIOs are not going to become content marketers write their C suite had an enterprise tech company that like there's a lot of money on the line. And that's okay. But might you want not might you not want to, let's say write content with like, so like data box play, I've talked about a lot like That's why P got partner led Company of the Year is how they did surveys, and went out to you know, marketing leaders and like got that perspective and highlighted them in their content. You know, that makes a lot of sense to me. And I think that what you're doing with your survey approach makes a lot of sense to me. How might, let's say a partner, you know, partner, individual or partner leader listening today, like think about designing a survey for their own stuff, because like survey design is kind of its own, you know, art and science unto itself, but I feel like getting a pulse on the current state of the union, you know, internally and externally and being able to use that data for answering the who question, right? If it's not me, I haven't been that CIO. But I have, you know, I, here's 15 CIOs that are fantastic customers or partners, whatever, and what they're saying, you know, that's much more credible content. But I haven't seen people necessarily using that for their own internal partner programs. Is there an opportunity that that we're missing that like, we should be evangelized and saying, like, hey, this survey play is not just something we're using in community and out there, like, you know, P go to the Data Box, I've seen you do this now? Like, is there a path for partner people to maybe use this in their own programs?
Kelly Sarabyn 30:40
When you're saying what I like? Are you mean, internal survey, like survey the other teams within your organization and not the customer? Or both? Well, maybe,
Jared Fuller 30:49
maybe, perhaps both, or the partners, for example, like, you know, survey design is probably, you know, a good chunk of the game, right? Like, what are we trying to do a survey for, but if you're a partner person that hasn't, let's say, you know, lead us sales organization, and you're bumping up against, let's say, that sales leader that's like source pipeline, or that's it, I don't really have time for you, whatever. Because they don't know they don't trust you. They don't understand. They don't believe that, you know, the challenges they're going through, how might survey design like help, you know, demonstrate the ability for partners to like impact, you know, their own company's pipeline, maybe a pulse of their internal sales team? And like, what is the current state of the union that partnerships, not the CRS perception of it?
Kelly Sarabyn 31:35
100% I, like I said, that's something I just did in my organization, I would highly recommend doing it for a couple of reasons. One, I think it's great engagement, right? So you're engaging those reps, getting them thinking about partners, because the answer might be that they've never even thought about collaborating with partners. Or maybe there's a blocker that you don't know about that you can easily fix, right? So getting the information itself is going to be an act of engagement with that org, that's pretty widespread. And the other thing is, you can take the information, and most likely, there's gonna be information you can utilize to talk to the leadership in terms of why this matters. But then the other thing is, you can frame your initiatives and programs around whatever those KPIs incentives are like with a really fine understanding of where each individual's coming from because any program you design has to take into account individual incentives, right, and maybe you can get those incentives change over time. But often, you can't get them change in the short term. So you have to work with them. So I love that idea, I would definitely recommend it. And I also don't think it's a heavy lift, which is a good thing, right? Like, I don't think you need a lot of resources, you can do it on Google Forms. You don't have to go out and buy fancy survey. Um, I do think you should do minimal due diligence around questions like understanding how you ask survey questions, so they're not like horribly leading. Do you love heart? Yes, I did.
Jared Fuller 33:04
Maybe you could use GPT to coach you on how to design, you know, the best survey for this, you know, hey, this is what I'm trying to do to help me design a survey for doing it. That's objective. And that would get a high response rate. Like you, you can add those qualifiers. And then it's going to like, it's like, okay, now I'm thinking about, it's for your sales team, they're more than likely not to respond, and then it'll help you like, Hey, here's the best way to promote it and make sure the had the highest completion rate and you know, design some of your questions, and then kind of grade it, because I'm sure it's index, lots of publicly available, you know, surveys and you know, results and things like that, where it's probably pretty good at as a coach. So like, boom, there's a takeaway right there that you could go do right now. Because I think this is actually really important. This is actually turning out to like, be a phenomenal topic is, you know, we're out there trying to help these marketing leaders and sales leaders, like drink some of the partner kool aid, but doing it from the go to market and their perspective. But as a partner person, like, imagine sitting down, like with your CRO, and you're having those hard conversations, it's really your opinion, versus theirs, right? Like, they just have more credibility, they're making more money than you, they're more senior than you. It's just the reality unless you are at the C suite with them. That's just not where you're at. So how do you make it not about you, like shoot, like, Hey, I did this lightweight survey of the sales organization, I want to talk to you about what the sales team is talking about. All of a sudden, you're no longer at the table. Right? If you're like, what a better place to be starting the conversation than that. Like, I'd love your input on this. Kelly, like the the talk track that I've been using recently with CROs is I've been trying to simplify it a ton. What's your revenue target this year? 100 million. Okay, great. Where are you gonna land? 90 million. All right, you know, everyone's kind of missing their target this year. What's your current partner attach rate? like, Ah, I don't really know. It's like, give me your best guess then it's probably 10% Okay, are you trying to drive that to a certain number 20% 30%? We know it needs to be a part of my mix about 25%. Because we're just not going to generate the marketing volume budgets down, blah, blah, blah, and how bounce not working. Okay, so you'd like to be at 25%. So here's the question CRO, are 25% of your sales team's activities near bound partner activities? And then it's just the whole worldview shatters, like, like, literally, it's like, well, you just made that incredibly simple. And like, it's really that simple. At the end of the day, if you want to drive your partner attach, right, your revenue up, then your sales activities need to match correspondingly at minimum, right? So you're probably not tracking partner activity with sellers, like, genuinely, you're not looking at that you're just like, where's my partner revenue, but you're not looking at is the output or yours the inputs there for that output. And if you're a CRO, that is your job, it's not the partner person's job, like they can't track sales activity, it's your job, you have the Reb ops team, you have the sales ops team, get on that, and that way, you know, oh, shoot this segment, about 5% of their activities. Is our partner partner related? Oh, shoot, there's your problem. There's not enough activity, like you can't expect to partner people. And literally that three minutes snippet is like, okay, yeah, it's on my shoulders now is the CRO, I don't know, I'd love your kind of feedback on that.
Kelly Sarabyn 36:24
I love that conversation, I think if, if they're at all committed to the 25% number, which, in my experience, it will, we'll see what the survey we're running says, I think that's gonna be it on both cases, a week commitment, if it exists at all, in which case, the motivation to move to action, often, it's just not followed through. But I think if they are already bought in, essentially not to the exact number but to a number magnitudes off I feel like your response is very powerful and spot on. And, and that type of like, cognitive simplicity actually makes it much more likely that they're going to act on it. Because once you try to bog people down with 100 different data points and frameworks, then they're just gonna block you out. So, so I like that.
Jared Fuller 37:13
Totally. So I think you could take that they take take, you know, hey, here's what the sales team saying. Here's the reality of let's say, our partner activity, we don't know, like, where are we going to start in order to get us there? So that 25% number to call to respond? Because like, you're definitely calling out like that as soon as by in totally, that's probably an aspirational number to most CROs not a like, we're gonna get there no matter what, right? Like that. 25% is, yeah, that's where I think it should be. But even
Kelly Sarabyn 37:43
that is rare, right? Like, I think a lot of zeros are not even bought in that they need 25%, or whatever the number attacks are just like, yeah, maybe like, maybe that's gonna benefit it, because a lot of them aren't tracking it very well. So they don't really know. But it'll be interesting to see what the civilian survey says when it when it comes back. How many how many of the sales leaders are already say, saying, yes, that would be a good thing. I just don't know, or I haven't gotten there. Versus I'm not even fully convinced that having 25% partner attached is gonna make me better off, because those are two different people you're talking to, right?
Jared Fuller 38:26
Totally, totally. When is that? Do you have a public data when you're going to come out with that or not yet?
Kelly Sarabyn 38:32
We're targeting to release it early June at the Pavilion CRO Summit.
Jared Fuller 38:39
Nice, nice, that would be fantastic, good spot to unveil that. I have an assumption that a lot of the conversations that I'm having, I think that propensity is going to be there the likelihood that they're they wanted the the desire, so to speak a lot more so than last year, that's for certain. So this, the results of this survey are definitely gonna be something we're going to be talking about for a long time. Over here at partner hacker because it's phenomenal, like insight in aggregate because I have a ton of anecdotes ton of anecdotes from individual conversations. So Kelly, this has been fun way too fun. So unlearned go check it out awesome podcast with Kelly and Asher has had some amazing heavy hitters on so far always love seeing more in the community. And yeah, some takeaways, like, get a survey going internally of your sales ORG or you know, whatever, have GPT help you design that. And there you go. There's your partner hack of the day. Kelly, thanks so much for joining me today. Isaac is traveling back out. I'm not in the studio. So you see me at a we work because I had a couple people from the partner hacker team in place here and he's flying back out because I've convinced Isaac to move to St. Pete with me. So like we will be doing some we will be doing some scheming in person and video content production. So it was a blast having you today. Thanks for holding down the For with me as a fellow podcast hosts,
Kelly Sarabyn 40:02
thank you for having me. It was it was definitely a pleasure and I'm glad we got some hacks to distribute to the community.
Jared Fuller 40:08
Absolutely, absolutely. Learning out loud, the best. All right partner up, peace out. We will see you all next time.