PartnerUp #107 - How Nearbound is Different From Channel with Fredrik Mellander

What is up PartnerUp!

Fredrik Mellander, Head of Partnerships at Teamtailor, joins the show to discuss all the ways Teamtailor is leveraging partnerships to get ahead. We discuss multi-way collaboration, internal buy-in, and dividing teams by region.

We also talk about deal registration, intent level, channel partners, and churn. How can we better understand how nearbound is different than channel? How can we divide teams by region and empower partner managers to work with their regional marketing, sales, customer success, and product managers?

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Full transcript:

Jared Fuller  0:11
Alright, what is up, partner up? We're back. Isaac, I was just thinking about standing on a coffee table and yelling from the rooftops remind you anything?

Isaac Morehouse  0:22
It means it's SAS connect season, Jared, that's what it means. And that was the that was the launch of the Parker hacker website, your your impromptu tabletop launch announcement. And this year partner hacker is gonna have a big presence at SAS connects as well. If you haven't already seen our own will Taylor and Adam Carolla dancing in their partner hacker tracksuits on LinkedIn. You're in for a treat. I don't know why I let them convince me to buy Parker hacker branded tracksuits. But they did and they'll be wearing them at SAS connect so you can find them and they'll be doing some on the grip on the ground coverage.

Jared Fuller  1:06
Totally, it's gonna be a it's gonna be a blast, we got like the whole crew rolling out kind of one year anniversary, so to speak. So that's going to be fun to be in, be in person. I don't think it'd be standing on any coffee tables and screaming from screaming this year. But um, I might repost that for posterity sake. What a wild year, it's been. And, you know, kind of from the excitement of calling the moment on this kind of partnerships moment, so to speak. I mean, a year ago, I was trying to think like, what was the sentiment, the sentiment was like partnerships is going to have a moment and I think for like, we've been right. But at the same time, the markets had a moment, right, where there's been, you know, we don't need to drill down into the layoffs, etc. And I've been trying to diagnose and triangulate like, what is some of the differences between the teams that have, you know, managed to pull through and double or triple their investment in partnerships and ecosystems, versus some of the teams that experienced, you know, the sad side of the story, and there were some layoffs that, you know, probably undeservedly, you know, struck the partnerships department. And our guests today. Have Frederick Melander over from Teague Taylor, I feel like we might have come to some sort of conclusion. Further, what's up, man, good to have you.

Fredrik Mellander  2:21
Good to be here. Good to be here.

Jared Fuller  2:24
So Frederick, over the past, you said roughly a year, so you've not just doubled but tripled the partner team, and you got more, so almost quadruple. So from like three to 10, you got two more starting. And the way that you kind of said like at the beginning, you were bashing your head against the wall, and you were trying to fit an ecosystem model inside of, you know, channel partnerships, or maybe channel models of ecosystem. Talk to me a little bit more about that, because I feel like this is a big aha moment that a lot of people are, are realizing is that the channel model of old and this new partner thing, there is some differences. Let's unpack that a little bit today.

Fredrik Mellander  2:59
Yeah, absolutely. I think, for me, that was one of the biggest palette drops when I realized that it's different. Not all partnerships are created alike. And when you actually realize that, you need to have two different types of approaches to the more traditional channel versus the ecosystem approach. It made things a lot more clear. Like when I started doing partnerships, I was trying to research I had no party background was given a partnership role. Essentially, they told me do partnerships. And I started researching everything and just talking about it, I understand what's partnerships with this. What's that with that? And essentially, every child, any of your article was geared towards more channel driven approach. But what worked for us was not channel it was more technology, partnerships and that kind of stuff. So I was just literally trying to make these kinds of partnerships just fit into that structure. And it was like trying to put a square peg into a round hole. It just didn't fully work. Got some results, but never really worked. What year was this? Fredrik? When. So I started doing partnerships in 2018. I feel I feel like the palette sort of dropped in a year and a half ago, somewhere in that range. And that was also when that team started growing some extent because we had been able to showcase some some value and showcase that it actually does work by trying to or say a round hole from something round into a square hole, or vice versa. But it just didn't get the results we wanted,

Isaac Morehouse  4:18
then it's something that I've I've come across a lot in the last year year plus here is people who have been around the channel world for a long time. And we've talked about this before Jared, how there's this kind of there's sort of this dual response to you know, the partnerships moments that we talked about. It's like on the one hand, well, this stuff's been around for forever. What's the big deal? This is just channel stuff. On the other hand, wait a minute, there's something different going on here. This is different than channels. So like, there's things that are the same and there's conversate because we have people in our audience that are kind of more in the channel world. There's conversations that are shared from both of those, but there's things that are really different and that are really unique as well. I'd love to hear kind of, what did you find? When you were, you know, sort of approached partnerships like, Okay, this is channel, like, what didn't work? What's different about it? And maybe Jared, I know you were mentioning before, like some of the ways that you might define the differences. Who's the, you know, what's different about who, who makes up a partner? Who, what makes up the ecosystem, all those things, but I'd love to hear Fredrik, what are like the main differences between sort of channel and ecosystem?

Fredrik Mellander  5:27
Yeah, and I think to simplify it, the way I see a channel and ecosystem channel is more transactional by nature, like it's someone doing a transaction for you on oil or on behalf of you in one way, shape, or form, it could be a referral partner or an affiliate partner reseller doesn't really matter, you are, there's a power imbalance in one way or another where you are the provider, they are the partner, and they're their partner to you. Whilst with ecosystem partners, you're essentially both equal. So you need to play on both equal terms and you need to collaborate further down the organization. For channel you need to, you need to collaborate with certain key stakeholders to then take that into the rest of the organization. But if a truly successful ecosystem partnerships you need essentially all of them your entire organization, like sales, CSM, marketing and partnerships to collaborate with each other in order to get the the full, best, full opportunity and the best results. So it's a lot more collaborative, and there's much more layers to it, instead of just you talking to someone who's going to promote your product in one way or another.

Isaac Morehouse  6:27
They're just the as you were talking about needing to get those nodes in the network members of the ecosystem did not just collaborate with you. So it's not it's not just one way, it's not even just two way it's like multi way you got to get them to collaborate with each other. And you're actually on like a network graph, right? Versus the channel is more I mean, what does the word channel imply right a channel, it's like a line from point A to point B, maybe stuff flows two directions, but it's bi directional at most, versus that ecosystem, where you've got these nodes connecting in all kinds of different ways is a really, really interesting mental model to distinguish between them. I feel like in one way,

Jared Fuller  7:03
it's almost narrow and deep, right? So channel going back and kind of history lessons as this is kind of like that one year. You know, from launch partner hacker some of the original Oh, geez, that kind of helped turn me into not just a partner person, but a partner evangelists is Jay McBain, and he talks about the trifurcation of the channel, right? So like this, you know, transacting versus non transacting partners. You know, like, that makes sense, when told through the channel lens, but like, what tech partner has ever been transacting in SAS, right? Like there's never been a transacting check tech partner. So it's almost like they were born of two heiress right now, yes, channel is changing to maybe take some ecosystem like components from the tech world. But at the same time, you know, it's almost like, there's a reason why crossbeam and reveal, you know, partner tap whoever, if kind of had a breakout moment. And that's because of this tech partners or tech partner collaboration, right? Where it's almost, you know, shallow and wide, right? Not narrow and deep channels, very narrow and deep, meaning you have a line of business where the identification of a good fit lead, and that sales process in the transaction is typically served by a channel partner. In other words, what kind of technology would a channel partner use? I would probably say, like a PRM. Right? And why do you need a PRM? You need a PRM to register the deal. Right? So that's the first thing like, Hey, we're registering, that's ours, you know, someone in direct sales in your company is not going to go after and screw up my deal. But at the same time, it also would block other channel partners from going after that deal, right? Once it's an accepted, you know, partner account. But I feel like a lot of people miss what the real reason is bad. It's not just deal Reg, it's to let them know, like, who's the account team that might be on that. So there might be an account manager post sale, a CSM, what people are working in at your partner account, it's to align the internal teams on this very narrow, but deep relationship with the customer, which contacts of the company which contacts at your company and which contacts are your partner who should all be working together on that one narrow relationship. Whereas it's much more shallow but wide on the tech partner side like, Frederick, if you were to go to name one of your top tech partners.

Fredrik Mellander  9:16
Hi, Mom. Hi, Bob. The HR system. Yeah,

Jared Fuller  9:20
right. I was just using Hi, Bob today. Awesome, the cool little platform, very quick and easy compared to a lot of HR type platforms I've used. And let's say you were to ask and you know, an AE at Hi, Bob to register a deal. They're gonna be like, What are you talking about? Right?

Fredrik Mellander  9:35
Pretty much. I think there probably will be one out of 100 who would be actually going out of their way, but their managers will probably tell them stop doing that. That's wasting your time.

Jared Fuller  9:45
Which is very different than let's say like a services agency where a client director, right might be registering a deal for a sales cycle and a full implementation and services project. These are just two very different motions and a lot of companies I feel like We're trying to force ecosystem or tech partnerships into this channel mindset, which results in things like, you know, registered deals or source deals, right? It's like that's just not the world way that the world works. It's much more wide across AES CSMs, and the plays that you're running or not, Hey, where's my introduction? Right? The plays kind of very tough. Talk to us a little bit about some of those plays that don't involve do reg or this stamp that this account came from this customer. How might your AES or CSM is kind of collaborating tech partnerships that don't really match that deal? Reg, co work co sell model.

Fredrik Mellander  10:37
Yeah, absolutely. I think from our on the reg and that kind of stuff has always been important. It's it's been so nice. We've seen such a great traction when partner recommends us because we know that the intent level is just incredibly high from from those stents, and especially when tech partners similar to channel partners, but we see tech partnership and ecosystem partnerships in such a broader variety, like they can add so much more value than just referrals. Like it could be this type of partnerships that we do have allows us to sell to a new customer that we otherwise wouldn't have had. It allows us to reach their client base through cold marketing and other activities, we can get insights from when we're speaking to a customer who's a customer of one of our partners, he can give us some inside tips, some tips and some tricks to help us get over the finish line. Anything like that you don't really get from channel because they might not be as deep, they might not have as much information. But you can get such a broad variety, they can help you like keep customer collaborate, close rate, the velocity might be higher. And there might be so many other things like brand awareness and like the total addressable market and the total impact on the entire customer journey, not just acquisition is really interesting. We're currently in a project right now where we're looking at, okay, how does tech partners impact and targets majority of churn NPS? These kind of things as well, like we're still early, but we're trying to understand, okay, if we get 12345 partners in, what does that do to the net revenue retention churn NPS? The how does that impact sales? How do we increase just overall sales enablement, through through this and see it assess more strategic alignment that sales use because to burn ships to help increase their own sales, not just a referral bot that sends referrals here and there, we

Jared Fuller  12:12
kind of intuitively know it, Frederick, they're like, partnerships is definitely more than just this thing where we get deals for the sales team. Talk to me, and you mentioned a bunch of things where you're showing value kind of across the customer journey from, you know, even pre product pre market meaning strategy. So Tam, right. So tam is something that's almost like above the marketing department in a lot of ways, right? Like, your marketing department isn't necessarily always deciding, hey, here's this new market of customers to go after. But if you could demonstrate some results, you could put the power of marketing behind that to open up, you know, new channels, cheaper acquisition, new markets, etc. all the way to you know, even things like NPS churn, net revenue retention, talk to us a little bit about how you've been able to get subsequent investment. So like, across this broad remit of impact, you've gone from three and now you're going to be coming up on 12, you know, individuals in the partner organization, how have you partner build the rest of the organization to go, Hey, we're gonna put dollars behind this. We don't just believe Frederick, we're going to invest behind Frederick.

Fredrik Mellander  13:14
Yeah, absolutely. And I think for a long time, we were definitely the bastard stepchild, who had to apply for every single, every single dollar we got. And the sales and marketing team got everything. And we had to buy oil, despite us getting straight A's, they get these and we still didn't get into any anything else where it. But I think for us, it was about really being to showcase worth using data had been one of the key factors like how do we actually prove what we're doing is valuable? And how do we prove that to the individual departments? So for example, like how do we get sales to understand why is partnerships important is important for them to close deals. So these integrations are key in order for us to close and open up this new market or this new customer segment or vertical or whatever it may be? How do we make them understand that this partnership is really important for them to close and getting their internal buy in helps us get that by then we can move on to marketing? How do we have a shared KPI or a shared goal that doing this event will benefit both of us instead of thinking about it from an attribution standpoint, that if we do this event, you get all the leads? And we do this and you get all the leads? Like how do we do this as a top top down so it benefits all of us and moving on to the department department. So what's what's in it for CSM to work closely with partnerships and then you need to be able to have data points if you include a partner you it's more likely that your customer gets happier or the trend decreases or whatnot. So having solid data points that we can rely to them so why they should invest in why they should commit and proving that it works and proving that close rate is twice as high or three times as high as any other sales channel or things like that hassle allowed us to to continue grow plus the fact that park and source revenue and that kinda stuff is just keeps going like this.

Jared Fuller  14:56
So so you're able to triangulate some metrics and KPIs and uplift To partner impact across each department, I was listening to this weekend, the marketing together podcast, so shout out Logan Lyles, also on the partner hacker network with Cory Schneider, he was the head of partnerships in Dosso. And one of the things Corey was talking about was how he he attends every departmental like leadership meeting, right? Like he just shows up to the marketing leadership meeting, the sales leadership, meeting, the success leadership meeting, and really tries to focus on you know, those individual things that impact each department. Talk to me a little bit about your cadence there. Are you also kind of showing up so to speak? Or like, how do you collaborate with each one independently? Because it's like the second that I get in a leadership meeting. And I have sales, marketing and success there. It's like, I can't have a conversation, because each one is different. are you collaborating and showing that impact with KPIs independently with each department? Or are you all the kind of like as a leadership team committing to those three buckets?

Fredrik Mellander  15:54
I think it's a combination of both some conversations, it's more top level when we're thinking long term bigger picture, that it's more okay to talk about the KPIs during that certain scenario. But oftentimes, in order to get the breakthrough, you need to have the wild one. So just to give you some clarity, like our team said, we have a very regional approach to the way we do partnerships we operate in like all over the world, and from Australia, to South America and North America, all of Europe, and all of our major EU regions, we have a dedicated partnership manager. And they are in charge of making sure that they align with marketing CSM and sales. And now the key stakeholders to make sure that they understand and they showcase the value

Jared Fuller  16:29

Fredrik Mellander  16:30
And I speak to the droplets

Jared Fuller  16:32
so that your ICS your ICS aren't just aren't just, you know, partner sales manager, so to speak, like they are paying attention to the market, they're paying attention to what's happening in sales. And on the retention side, pretty

Fredrik Mellander  16:43
much. At least to some extent, there's, of course different layers of maturity as to markets, but I expect my team to be able to have regular cadence with the customer success managers and the for the for that region, the sales managers for that region, sales reps for that region, the marketing people with our region, to be able to understand how they can collaborate what we could do together in order to get like, grow faster, or keep customers better, or anything that could could be valuable first graders I can reach.

Jared Fuller  17:08
So the segmentation Geo, you know, the strategy of aligning per segment, I have to ask, is the marketing team sales team and success team are they generally, you know, segmented as well being interesting,

Fredrik Mellander  17:23
when you asked me before, like when the pilot dropped, and for us, that was when we fully committed into doing the regional approach as well. But before that, we had someone in charge of tech, someone in charge of referral partners and someone doing everything in between. And when we just separated and you're in charge of UK, you're in charge of this, you're in charge of that, that allowed us to really have a better like, listen in more, and we can understand more, we could be close to the partners and partners sales team, we could influence the salespeople to be able to work closer with their sales team. Because that customer success team, it allowed us to be a lot more flexible and work a lot closer to the individual sales teams and the individual partners. And that has been a big thing for us.

Isaac Morehouse  18:01
I want to rewind a little bit to when you you said when you were first getting started trying to you know trying to get the credibility of your department get the budget going. Getting sales teams in particular getting your sales team to recognize the value of your integration partners, and what what role that plays in the sales process. Was there like early on? Was there like an easy win that you were able to deliver to your sales team to be able to say, to be able to prove that it's worthwhile to involve partners to work with your team on the sales process? I know that's often a challenge. And it's often the partner, the partner person has come into the sales team and say, Hey, you should do this. And the sales team is like why? Why are you just telling me to pull in partners for no reason. But if they can come and say here, let me help you. They can demonstrate an early win and give that light bulb moment. So I'm curious if you had, like, what were your early wins with the sales team to get them to buy in? And I understand the value of working with you?

Fredrik Mellander  19:03
I think it depends on regions and certain things. I think for us there is like it was always about being selfish for the sales team initially. So how do you make sure that they really love you? So how do you make sure that they see the clear benefit for themselves and that it's easier for you to spin up and spin off that so that could be we're missing this key integration in this region, we call close deals because we get that that integration in place all of a sudden the entire pipeline of customers using that that partner is now unlocked, and they're just happy for it. Where it could be honest getting a ton of referrals off an event or just a great collaboration from a partner and they're seeing their quarters being filled up with hardship related stuff and they're seeing holy shit this works. And then you need to piggyback on that to continue continue adding value and continue showcasing what's what's what's in it for them. And I think certain regions are great at this some, some are aren't as great. We are still waiting for like a really far away from where we hope to be like our long term goal, but I feel like we're really progressing fast, and we're getting more and more mature. We had our best month to date team tethered last month, partnerships and teen center and partnership contributed a lot to that. And despite the layoffs and everything going on, we had, we almost had like 50% or last peak last month.

Isaac Morehouse  20:18
So I it's interesting that you mentioned that about regents because not that long ago, we had rich and Stan from smart recruiter and other HR tech company here. And they were talking about, you know, what an awesome job the sales team for, I can't remember which region it was Jared was it? Was it like? Mar, I can't remember which region but one of the regions was just absolutely crushing it working totally in sync with the partnerships team running the nearby and playbook. But the other regions were not. And you mentioned something similar. It's by region. So is it in your right, do you think that has more to do with just whatever personnel happens to be working that region? Is it just the people? Or is there something about the business culture in each region that makes a near bound play more difficult or easier?

Fredrik Mellander  21:13
I think it's all about the people and then thrown by and the people can doing it. Like we've seen similar processes where some regions have not succeeded and the same as are some what's still in play. And then we have new management or some things new change of environment. And just new approach to it doesn't necessarily mean anything, anything different or change in management or leadership, people, just a different approach. And all of a sudden your clicks and their works and people understand the value. So I think it's definitely like what you need to take things case by case basis. But the benefit of working with sales from that perspective is if they start seeing that this region is performing like crazy, it's partly because of partnerships, and they're not doing partnerships and they're struggling, then they're gonna be like maybe I should do partnerships. And try to force that, of course, that collaboration for is why it's a good thing. We'll want them because you can't really motivate anyone, but you can inspire them. And if you inspire them that I want to work with partnerships, rather than try to brute force it down their throat, it's gonna hit a lot a lot easier.

Jared Fuller  22:12
Yeah, that the FOMO has to be real, right? Like, you can just be like, Oh, partnerships, you're not working with us. Like there has to be a role model where it's like, shoot, I'm now behind, right? We're not where we need to be. There is this other example, the deal told through the lens of their experience that actually generates that FOMO that fear of missing out? Yeah. Talk to me a little bit about those. Some of those moments, you know, Fredrik, where you feel like, I guess like the anecdotes. I always find it interesting. When you're hearing someone's program that finally took off, there's these inflection points, or these moments, they can point back to like, Okay, whenever we did this, this is when some sentiment started to change. Was there sort of specific deals or reps that might have been detractors, that you kind of partner pill? What are some of those moments that stand out where you're like, okay, the pallet drop, but there was some story behind that. Each time I find there's like a VP or rep deal, something that kind of unlocked that first thing. There was like a before and after state.

Fredrik Mellander  23:14
Absolutely. And I think I've already touched on the regional approach was a big thing for us, because that meant we could actually spend time with the sales managers and that kind of stuff to get them engaged. So regions, like France, for example, is a great example for us, our purchase manager for France is doing more than one to create a crazy job. He's contributing like 50% of all the revenue in France, and the French team is like a top performing team, a team setter. And that's partly due that assess, not because he's great, but the sales manager and Country Manager committed to getting prompted early before we hired him for partnerships. She was doing partnerships, and she understood the value of partnerships, and we just spiraled on to that. And when she started communicating to other regions, why it's succeeding, what's working, they started getting into it, and she had internal investors speaking about partnerships and getting multiple people probing and talking about how you might have a senior or different different level really helped elevate the progress of like, the partnership virus, but then teams that are so busy,

Jared Fuller  24:16
the, the manager threat is worth pulling here, because in the whatever we launched here, and said, like, Hey, we're gonna go build out this industry around near bound and kind of define some of these plays and what, why near bound is different than channel, right? Or kind of this indirect model where it's sitting across each department, and there's plays for each thing, in that we dropped a guide. So like the ultimate guide to driving revenue with near bounds sales. In that guide, I think there's one thing that Kevin and I really harp on more than anything, and that's the role that the manager plays. And so many people forget about that they they spend time fighting leadership, and then they spend time fighting fires on the frontline. And at the end of the day, if you don't have manager who's bought into coaching that rep working with that rep, you know, talking about their deals in the context of what partners involved, what partner should be involved, why isn't a partner involved what happened like that coaching, if you're, if you don't have that manager level buy in, it doesn't really matter to me at the low level or at the top level, like you have to have manager buy in. I think that's the hardest part to hear you say like, Hey, is whenever we had a general manager for the reason, this isn't your CRO, it's not your total VP of sales. It was someone that was committed to like looking at that book of business, and saying, Hey, partner needs to be a part of this. And my reps need to understand that.

Fredrik Mellander  25:37
Yeah. Because that created such a great scenario for my team member when he started, like he had a difference opportunity to come in, because the sales team already understood that partnerships is important. So he might not have had the same hill to climb in order to get there for when we get there when and yet their engagement. And then he just took off with that. So now he's doing well, like incredible. And I think it's partly like, when you look back on it, the roots of it is the fact that the person in charge of that region fully committed to tell everyone partnerships is important. And you need to spend time speaking this person speak to the partners work with these partners, because that's going to benefit you and looking at the in hindsight now looking at the last 12 months or a 15 months. Like it's incredible what what this region is doing with partnerships, and one of the key structures, combination with marketing and sales and everything else.

Jared Fuller  26:32
So if you were to go Frederick to let's say, another company, and let's say you didn't have the same geo or regional opportunity. But let's say you had a, you know, field of managers, right? Might you say that your approach, instead of like, Hey, I'm going to try and partner pill like just a seller or the leadership, your approach might be in order to create that FOMO, I need to really get this manager or subset of managers on board with them getting, here's what I've been saying. It's like, look, you're gonna count on a third of your revenue from outbound, you're gonna count on a third of it from inbound, you need to count on the third of it from near bound. Like, if you're not committed to 33% of your sales team's activities being partner activities, we're never going to win. So like looking for that manager, where it's like a third, a third, a third, right? Like, would you start with a manager, if you were to go into another company, and another role, like for those listeners out there, maybe that next tactical step is you better go get a manager that inspires FOMO, across the other managers

Fredrik Mellander  27:24
100%, I think the internal stakeholder buy in is the most important thing, in order to get partnerships to work, if you have more of that you would get so if you if you can find the ambassadors to people, helping you fight the battle with you, that's going to help you so much. And that's going to create the ripple effect in the film was back that allows you to grant to get that broader reach throughout the rest of the organization, finding the one then the second, and the third, will instead of just trying to fight all fronts at once. I think that's sort of probably a mistake I've done in the past, trying to fight all fronts straight to everything, and keep myself short, instead of just I think I want to do the channel approach with individual managers, so they can have ecosystem approach, if that makes sense. Oh, I love that. I love that. So I want to spend 100% on that person and make sure he loves it, and then just broaden

Isaac Morehouse  28:11
that that's a that's a great quote right there. I want to go back to you mentioned it early on in our conversation that you're starting to try to pull some data around what happens on the retention side on the customer success side with partners. I'm curious, is that something? Is that project more about? Hey, we know we're involving partnerships in the success of our customers. We know that it's working, but we want to measure how it's working, or is that more about, hey, let's look for opportunities that we can start to get partnerships more involved on the CST right? Is it? Is it kind of trying to measure what you're already doing or trying to pioneer some new activities?

Fredrik Mellander  28:49
Both has probably the simplest answer. We know that it's impacts some we know the general terms, having integrations, having partners involved with existing client base typically tends to have a positive upward strength. But we want to see exactly what it is for us how we can impact that to the to like increased exponential currency to increase impacting and things like that. So I think in order to do the second step, and be pioneer and do new things, you need to undermine the status status quo. So I think we need them to sign a status quo in order to take next step.

Isaac Morehouse  29:21
Does your does your CS team, collaborate with the CS teams of your partners for you know, can like your clients success? or to what degree

Fredrik Mellander  29:34
do they some more than others, some regions more than others, but not as much as I would have hoped? And I think that's like integrations has always been something we've been doing. We've been we've been have haven't had a lot of struggles, we still have a lot of struggles with how we've managed integrations have documents or integrations and that kind of stuff. So there's there's been friction between partnerships and CSM. I feel like our sales and marketing collaboration is getting really good. Our CSM is the one that is lacking, and I think we need to be able to put prove this, what's in it for them in order for them to be able to collaborate more with us. And we haven't been able to prove that what's in it for them with the same extent. And once we know that, until it tells you, if this happens if a partner gets included, that will make your life easier.

Jared Fuller  30:15
Quick follow on Frederick, do you have product usage data in CRM, like, integration? X is active. So like, Hi, Bob, let's say that's an integration. Does the CSM know in the account record in CRM that that integration is now active?

Fredrik Mellander  30:30
In so we have the data on that on customers, but we're trying to make sure that that is mapped and more and more effectively as well. So to some extent, yes, but to some extent, no.

Jared Fuller  30:39
Yeah. So like, there's a, you know, sometimes it can be a little bit messy using, you know, CRM, like custom fields on the account record, we had, like, I remember, you know, active integrations, which was just a string, right. So it'd be like, you know, Mark Marketo, comma, you know, Salesforce comma, six cents, comma, right, then we'd have to build filters for like, you know, active integration contains, you know, the name of the integration partner. So it's not entirely, you know, perfect, but at least what it allowed us to do. And what I've seen in the past is, you know, kind of having that reverse dashboard. So for example, you know, the CSM sees their book. And because you're using reveal, you can see like, Okay, we know, that's a customer of the six integration partners, that CSM knows that that act of integrations versus is customer of their six that's missing. So as part of that onboarding plan, right, like right away, we know that these six integrations need to be a part of that onboarding journey. Or you can have those kind of like activation campaigns, you know, like, it's interesting. I mean, I've never met an organization in SAS, where the number of connected integrations did not directly correlate to, you know, let's call it gross retention in almost every situation, but the net dollar retention in almost every situation as well, right. So like, I think we all kind of recognize that like more integrations, the stickier the customer. At the same time, it's where do we inject that into this CSM story, I feel like it needs to be at the beginning during the onboarding phase, which ends up becoming it's funny, we're talking to sales, marketing success, whose job is it to get product, you know, which integration is active into CRM? Well, shoot, now we're talking about the product team, right? Like the, the the VP of Customer Success probably isn't going to get which activation you know which integration is active from the product in the CRM, you probably have to go to the product team, and whose responsibility is

Fredrik Mellander  32:27
that? I think we're fortunate, a team center, we have within our finance team to dedicated developers to build integrations between our platforms that we have teams better. So we build connections between our product and our customers, CRM and or our customer, like both mercy arounds and all the tools we're using to be able to get that data which allows us to be able to get more leads for these things. But we're still very early in that journey and have a long term plan. And we want to be able to understand exactly what happens. The first time we a customer hears of us till whenever they leave, and everything that happens, how partners and marketing and sales and whatever happens. And for us, it's been beneficial that we've been starting to take that step to become a very data driven organization at Team Center, which has also led to us understanding more what we're doing and what's what's succeeding. And we've been able to piggyback on the fact that the company is wants to get more data more labeled data as well, because we probably wouldn't have been able to get that data if the company wasn't willing to actively search for that data. And the company didn't invest in getting the resources to make sure that we have all the data about

Isaac Morehouse  33:32
Jared, as you were talking about, on the retention side, having that having that integration active integrations data in front of your CSMs little teaser for everybody. There's an ebook coming out. One flow HubSpot reveal is participating, which is what made me think of it because there's a chapter in there about near Brown, but in ebook, I think it's gonna be launched next month specifically about keeping and winning back customers. So retention and going and winning back lost customers. And I know there's a lot of other a lot of other people participating in putting together that that ebook, I've seen a preview of it some pretty cool stuff, but that's one of the things specifically mentioned is some of these, some of these ways to utilize your partner information, your integration information in your success process to to improve retention. So just gotta give a little teaser. I don't have a date yet for when that's coming out, but I know it's coming out. So shout out to HubSpot in one flow.

Jared Fuller  34:29
Yeah, I remember. I remember walking I think I was he was walking around the hospital during a fun family visit to the hospital and I was talking to you about writing that ebook. Isaac. You're like, going back and forth. Yeah, no, that's gonna be a good piece. That's gonna be a good piece. kind of circling back to that retention and product side. I'm curious. Like, it kind of begets an interesting kind of conversation to the degree to which, you know, we directly work with as partner leaders, the product organization, and maybe how we can Have you utilize each department leader to you know, push or evolve the product towards kind of an ecosystem approach? Like, it's one thing for you to go to the product organization and say, Hey, we need this act of integrations data inside of CRM, it's another thing for the VP of CS to go there. Maybe at the same time, there's something to be said for that about the sales leader, or let's say the marketing leader, right, like going to product and helping evangelize this. I'll give you an anecdote. It doesn't really matter the department but here's here's a great one. I remember getting the idea for conversational ABM. So this is the name that Dave Gerhardt and I kind of came up with for integration with Marketo. That was it. We knew the use case because of a dope Sales Engineer shout out Joe Barna, he like surfaces use case I'm like, that would be sick. And then Dave Gearhart got, and he's like, Oh, my gosh, this would be amazing. And what we did is we ended up getting Marketo like really excited about marketing that feature. And then Dave took that to product and product went off with it. Like if it had been my idea to build that in product. Instead it was Dave's like, it was like, no, no, we're gonna go market this with Marketo we're gonna blow it up, we're gonna take over the main stage product was like good to go. I feel like for each department like that's really probably some secret sauce to working with the product organization is just is not just trying to like get our partner stuff through. But getting you know that counterpart, whether it's a success leader for activation, retention data, whether it's the marketing leader, getting the product team excited that marketing is gonna go push this new integration, or the sales team, you know, what they need to service that customer. Have you utilized that as a strategy like kind of partnering up with the department leader to influence the product direction at all, Frederick

Fredrik Mellander  36:42
100% I think internal stakeholder management's change management and the leadership level that you need. The leader level you need us project manager is really difficult. Like to be a leader in a partnership role. There might not be you might your direct contributor, you're leading others, you need the other surgeons who are leading others leading a function in some sense, you need to balance between these things on a day to day basis, one meeting, you're one thing one meeting, you're the other. But you need to make sure that you have the buyer and the seller, and the other people promoting in pocket for you as well. Because if you get sales to buy in on it and contribute and work with it, the likelihood of you getting something through will be a little higher. So I think that that kind of stakeholder to like the politics around it, in some sense, and being a very skilled into an internal role that pronounced that right is really important. You need to be able to really know how to almost leverage your stakeholders and work with your stakeholders internally in order to get things things done, because partnerships are so reliant on other departments in for your own success. So you need to make sure that they're reliant on on you for their success. And if you can get that kind of connection where they're aligned on you, and you're reliant on them that it's easier to go to the board or the CEO, wherever it is. Last position where the product team to be like we need this in order to make this happen.

Isaac Morehouse  38:08
So we've talked about almost every department, I love how you kind of describe your, your partnership team, you know, everybody's kind of a full stack, right? They're working with every department in their region. We talked about working with the sales team, we talked about working with the success team, we just talked about the product team. I want to know about marketing. So for those regionalised C's, how are they how are they working with the marketing team? Is that Is there a good relationship there? Where do partnerships come into play on the marketing side?

Fredrik Mellander  38:41
Overall, the collaboration is really good. I think Mark, our marketing team works really well with partnerships overall, because they we made them aware in some extent that hey, we can piggyback on other partners existing reach existing network existing ecosystem that they have in order to, to get that success. So some things were there, we're doing entirely separate, separate. But if we're doing web or webinar events, or a case study or blog, or an e book or anything like that, the benefit of bringing in the partners expertise, his partner's perspective and their reach and their network has been monumental, to partnerships and partnerships, his bed and marketing has been very intertwined for a very long time at euteller. Because every event we did that, or for eternity for a while was partnership driven, that we only did events or marketing and that kind of stuff, if partnership partners were involved. And of course that's goes back and forth. But that collaboration is key. And we're fortunate to succeed.

Isaac Morehouse  39:41
I love that. I think there's kind of a there's two different approaches in terms of getting partnerships into the marketing strategy. And one is okay, we all have marketing initiatives, we, you know, have to like, come up with them together with partners from scratch. Now that's great. If it works, but it's really hard, and as a lot of, you can get overwhelmed and not be able to know like, what's going to end up being valuable, what isn't there's a lot of logistics involved. The other approach is marketing is going to do the things that they're already planning are already going to do. But every single one of those, they're going to make sure that there is some form of partner involvement. So that way, you don't have to wait on partners to keep your initiatives moving forward. But you always have to say, you know, okay, we're putting the case study out, do we have a partner involved? Are they are they in it? Do we interview them? Do we get some intel from them? We're doing this webinar, can we pull in a partner? And do it together with them? Like, if the answer is no, we're still going to move forward. So we're not waiting on them. But can we add that layer on top? I find that to be easier. And then sometimes you'll get a partnership that's so tight, where you truly can create an initiative together from scratch. But it sounds like you're kind of doing both. Your marketing team is doing both?

Fredrik Mellander  40:55
Absolutely. So some some things are taking full ownership on I think, I think one of the reasons why partnerships and T and marketing are so intertwined is because realistically, up until early 2020, or 2022, we didn't really have a marketing team, a team center, we were a hyper growth SAS company growing like 100% year over year, but our marketing team consisted of like two or three, quite Junior marketers, or one way or another. We really grew the marketing team with our newest hire of our CMO like last February, or something in that in that range. And then we can start to do more of the other things. But before then, like any marketing event related things was driven from hostile partner wanting to do something with us. We did that. And then we think that thinking about it. But I've had so many conversations just now earlier today out of Calico say so relational, with Jason previous drifts from what used to be a drift about how he essentially managed to get every Parker involved in the go to market activity. If they did did a go to market activity partners were involved. You're talking

Jared Fuller  41:57
about yarby? Yeah. Oh my gosh, how's he invading everything? There's gonna be some special news involving yarby. Like, what's hilarious is this guy, man. yarby is back. Right. So yarby is like back in the community. Literally. I've had like a dozen conversations like in the past week, where they're like, oh, yeah, just talk to yarby for you know, for drift. He's everywhere right now.

Fredrik Mellander  42:18
Yes, yes. So I just had a conversation before I jumped on this call. And he's he's met. He's been always been in love to live in San Jose. But I think that's where the piggyback on where we're going as well. Like, you need to get a get partnerships and mold and go to markets and go to market activity you do. Because there are so many benefits to it. And we have a very core go to market strategy in every region where marketing sales and partnerships collaborate on how do we succeed, what our goals were, what do we want to achieve? And what resources do we take from all these departments in order to get that success?

Jared Fuller  42:50
Totally. Frederick, this has been a heck of a conversation and thank you for walking us through how you've kind of like PL flexed your way to Forex partner growth across product marketing sales success, right, like so for each department that you figure out how to like build with and work with and in partner pills, so to speak, and make their job easier and work with them like your partner growth goes up. It's been a fantastic conversation. I'm super excited for next week, or I guess this week, whenever y'all listen to this, and this drops it's when Isaac Do you remember you were editing? This is when trust is the new data dropped? Right? Yeah, that's it was kind of crazy like that the launch article? Which I feel like no, I was

Isaac Morehouse  43:29
I was literally editing it. Moments before it went out. And I do remember also, for those of you who are super super OGS to the Parker hacker newsletter, I mean, we're talking like the first few 100 people. When we announced the launch of the website. I was writing shell in a hurry right there at SAS connect. And it said we're announcing for the launch of partner and Jared immediately went bought that domain. Yeah, and we still haven't done anything with it yet. We have big plans in the background. So yeah, partner

Jared Fuller  44:03
jacker is going to be the opposite of reveal. You, you connect your your CRM and we steal all of your partners. Oh my gosh. Frederick, appreciate you. Partner up. Peace out. We will see you all next time.

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