PartnerUp #108 - How To Get Fired as a Partner Manager with Jared & Isaac

What is up PartnerUp!

Sometimes our greatest strengths are our greatest weaknesses.

To make progress, we must strike a balance between planning ahead and allowing our direction to change as we take in new information. That partner that’s smaller than you, with a smaller marketing team and audience? Your CMO may be onto something when they say a co-marketing event with them might not be useful to your company.

Optimistic, visionary people often make great partner managers. They’ve always got ideas. Always making new friends. These are great strengths that fit well with the responsibilities of partner work. But we must learn to be aware of and compensate for our shortcomings.

There’s such a thing as too damn many partner ideas!

Never miss an episode of the world’s number 1 podcast on partnerships by subscribing to PartnerUp on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or wherever you get your podcasts. If you’re a visual person, sub to our YouTube, and see the full recording of us learning out loud.

Share the episode with your commentary on LinkedIn or Twitter and we’ll highlight your commentary. We love to hear your thoughts on each episode, and always comment back or respond to emails/dms.

Hey! We’re real people.

Subscribe & Listen On:

  • Apple | YouTube | Spotify | Amazon | Google | RSS
  • Or literally, anywhere you get your podcasts. Seriously. Ask Alexa: “Alexa, play "PartnerUp the Partnerships Podcast” and magic…

Full transcript:

Jared Fuller  0:11
What is up, partner up? We're back just Isaac in me in the chair today, Isaac, how you doing? Man? I'm

Isaac Morehouse  0:16
doing very well. You know, Jared, you asked me to ask you this before we turned it on. So I'm just going to confess that so that's not like a natural, not totally natural question. But Jared, what were you doing this morning?

Jared Fuller  0:29
Oh my god, you're to get up your ticket up so bad to get up so bad. So I was, I was in this conversation with, there's over 150 CMOS, which is really cool. I mean, what a unique place to be able to, you know, participate in a watering hole to use Jamie beans language. And we were having a blast. The few folks that I won't call out, this is a safe space where I was invited as a guest. So I'm not supposed to, like go out and talk to it about, you know, to the market and everyone. But, you know, it's actually the addressing topic by itself. I think that these places exists, like, this is the opposite of a community. It's invite only, you'll, you'll never find a website and they meet weekly.

Isaac Morehouse  1:07
No, this is this is it. I know, there's already a ton of them out there. You just don't it's like the first rule about fight club is, you know, you know, talking about fight club, there's a bunch of the right club style, like, communities or meetings. And for good reason. I mean, how many, you just get exhausted at some point with, you know, things are like public forward facing, you're kind of like, you know, it's like, you got to be on your, I don't know, very official professional. Just being able to get together and be like, Look, this is just us, nobody's selling anything. Nobody's marketing, anything. Nobody's sharing this publicly, we're not going to take your highlight reel. There's no need for that. No recordings. Yep, there's no need for I mean, that that's what that's what you would get when you would hang out in, you know, if you had a hub of tons of people working in the same physical place in a city or whatever, you know, you get that when you go to when you go to a meet up, and you're chatting to people in person, you know, nobody's going to post your conversation on LinkedIn later. So just kind of being able to create that as definitely a demand.

Jared Fuller  2:08
Totally, totally. So I was it, we're gonna use this as a transition to I think, get in the area of topic that you wanted to talk about today, Isaac, which is, you know, how to not get fired this year. We're how to get fired this year. Right. All the things to that ain't gonna cut it this year was I got asked this question that I'm like, I'm gonna see if I can end this session with this question. And the question was, Jared, okay, so we're buying into this near bound thing that you're talking about? We get it. And partnerships, ecosystems, but how do we align the board? And our VCs? You know, around this esoteric topic, right? Like, there's marketing stuff, there's sales stuff, there's all these other various things. So how do we get alignment at the board level? Because it's kind of funny. We're starting to hear what you're saying that that we're getting bored pressure to, quote unquote, figure out partnerships, figure out ecosystems figure out in your town. But how do we how do we create the alignment there? I mean, we're at the seat of the table, and I said, Look, maybe I can help you. I think it was Einstein that said, once if you can't explain something simply you don't understand it well enough. And I bashed my head against this question a lot. I mean, a lot, a lot. And I would answer so complex, right? It's like, okay, first off, you got to do this, this, now you're building this narrative, or it's like, they lost you. Like, we're all probably guilty of that. And I think it finally hit me in this moment, I said, look, the first thing that you're going to do is you're going to go, let's just assume you want, you're going to have the mix of your business, a third outbound, a third inbound in a third near about a third partner. So you have $100 million target 100, there's a, there's $100 billion result that you want, where 33% of it, and 33 million comes from partner, right, let's just assume that. So that might be up or down or sideways from that number. But generally, audience can we agree we can start there, like, what percentage of revenue should partner contribute? Yes, totally agree. Okay, now, I'm going to make this dead simple for all of you, do you want to align the rest of the business around that, that means that if you want a 1/3 result, you have to put in 1/3 effort? Here's what I mean? That means that 1/3 of all marketing activities need to be near bound marketing. 1/3 of all sales activities need to be near bound sales, 1/3 of all success activities 1/3 of the product roadmap. And that's how you can take something complex and make it damn simple. You know, what's the third of your activities, each of these departments to contribute to that number? Because presumably, we've already agreed that it's more efficient. So if you want to have 1/3 result without 1/3 input, that's called Magic, not business. You know, and it was like, well, that made it easy. And it is like, that's our job right now. Nirvan to me is about those, those things, those activities that each department does, that's native to that department, right, that is contributing to that you know, you know, outbound inbound near about and that It is a lot of ways Isaac, we can kind of use this as a transition topic to like how to get fired this year. I think that underpins a lot of like the examples that I'll probably give as we go back and forth through this is examples where partner people are the hero. They're the heroes this year. They're zeroes. Like, you better be getting these other departments to contribute to the partner number natively embedded. Because if it's on your shoulders right now, that's the fastest path to the bench.

Isaac Morehouse  5:26
Oof, I love that. Yeah, I love the the hero language you use makes me think of one of the books that every every company I've built, every team I've built. I always make everybody read two books from a kind of marketing standpoint, play beggar, by category design, and then building your story brand by Donald Miller, which very basic basic stuff, but like, the idea of your company, you cannot be the hero. The customer is the hero of the story, the hero's journey, they're the hero, you're the guide that offers them something along the way to help them but they're the hero. Internally, it's the same. You can't be the hero, whoever, whatever department you're working with, they're the hero, you're the guide that can help them along the way. But how can you make them the hero that's such a good reminder to come back to and just know like, if you do that successfully, if you make other people the hero, you're it'll come at, you're gonna win, you're gonna be okay. So okay, so this is what I want to queue up. Because there's this moment where people are like, okay, we're getting slammed, like, oh, shit, or inbound or outbound. Everything's tough. Maybe we need to start taking partnership seriously. Now, not everybody's company is thinking this way. A lot of them are like, oh, let's just cut partnerships, let's cut costs. But the smart ones are realizing we need to start looking at indirect we need to look at, you know, partners, we need to look at alternate channels distribution. So here's a great moment for partner managers. But it's also a risk a risky time for partner managers, because a lot of the things that are okay, in a booming economy, a bull market, kind of playing around like you can sort of play partner, like play in house and get away with it. If, right, right, if cash is coming in, it's like, well, we don't really know what our partner department does, but they're probably doing something we might as well keep them around. You can't do that anymore. So I want to I want to frame this as you want to know what's not going to work this year, let's say how to get fired as a partner manager in 2023. These are the type of things that are gonna get you canned, or it gets your department budget slashed. I want to dive into that, because I keep bumping into this, Jared, when you and I have these calls, and I'm kind of picking your brand. This is like the typical setup, I'm like, Okay, we got some content we want to do or an event. I'm like, Jared, give me your brain. And I'm gonna tease everything out of it. And then we're gonna go back and turn that into content. And one of the things I keep bumping up against is, okay, so what about XY and Z? And you're like any partner manager who's doing that they're gonna be gone in here. And I'm like, interesting. I've heard you say that number. It's,

Jared Fuller  7:49
I think I've said that a bit a little bit aggressively recently. But at the same time, I also kind of true,

Isaac Morehouse  7:54
you have, right, so that, so that was like, we need to kind of get a list of what are those things? What are the things that a lot of partner managers just sort of do that like default motions, the assumptions like, Yeah, this is what you do, that's just not going to cut it. So where do you want to start with how to get fired this year?

Jared Fuller  8:06
Okay, let's start with maybe like some, like some foundational stuff. These are why I love the Isaac and I episodes is that we get to like talk like from first principles and like, try to learn out loud here. I've said in the past that I feel like the best partner professionals have a lot in common with entrepreneurs, right? This kind of cross functional, but like leadership position, and I think the same strengths also potentially call out very similar weaknesses, Isaac, so if you follow me here, what makes a great entrepreneur is like, having a vision of like, here's this better way forward, and like, you know, damn it, I'm gonna go plant my flag in that hill, and I'm gonna drag along Everyone with me, right? My partners, my departments, my whatever, and we're gonna, by golly, figure this out. At the same time, the same thing that can make you know, a great entrepreneur is what I'll call, you know, starry object syndrome. Right? SOS, right? Everything looks like an opportunity, right? There's this mythical place in the future where you're like, I'm gonna get there. But everything on the path, you're just looking over your shoulder left and right and left and right, like I could do this. And I could do that. And so how many partner pros right now I see that see the opportunity, but they have to make choices. Like not all of these things are equal. Yes, there's opportunity behind that integration partner that's raising their hand. Well, guess what? They're trying to partner up with you. That's a 40 person software company, you have 400 employees or 4000. Like, sure, they might be able to unlock something, but like, okay, that's one thing if you could just list out a list a litany of things but I think the same things that make partner professionals a great ones great and potentially entrepreneurs. There's also some of the same things that can get entrepreneurs stuck down the wrong path, which is everything looking like an opportunity when everything is an opportunity. Nothing is

Isaac Morehouse  9:53
you know, it's funny. An article I wrote years ago, this was one of the more popular articles in A career space where I used to work was called, don't let your obsession with options blind you to opportunities because I would see this pattern in people in their in their career, right where they would say, Hey, I got this job offer or this opportunity to go do this. It's great. It like checks all the boxes. But I don't want to say yes, because what if there's something better, and they're letting this like theoretical idea of well, if I take that that's concrete, and now I have, there's an opportunity cost to it. Now, I can't do other things. But as long as theoretically, my option set is infinite. Boy, I'm rich, basically, right, I have a wealth of theoretical possibilities. But those aren't actual real opportunities. Because, you know, having the whole set of options is having nothing. So like, you have to not be afraid to choose one and stick with it. And the same thing applies. On the partner side. People that go into partnerships are often you ever have that friend who's like, you know, trying to try to get dates trying to get a girlfriend or significant other. And they're just like an amazing opener. They connect with people really quickly and make friends with people really quickly. But then they have no idea where to go from there. They don't know how to, like, get more serious. I feel like that's, that's a common, a lot of pardoned people are great openers, they're just like, let's connect, and they connect with everybody and they have high level current, Hey, we should do something together. Wouldn't it be cool, if we partnered, maybe we could do this. And they keep coming up with ever more interesting, complex theoretical ways that these two companies or these two people could work together. But they've got hundreds of these out there, instead of just one really good partnership that they nail that they roll out an integration, or they do a webinar together, or they did some some commitment together that's legitimate. It's on paper, and they're actually working together, getting it there, instead of saying, look at all the partners that have raised their hand and said, Cool, yeah, I'd like to work with you. Yeah, let's share data on crossbeam or reveal. And that's it. It's like, that's not enough, you gotta you gotta get concrete.

Jared Fuller  11:58
You just said so many things. This is why this is going to be so much fun. It's like Isaac, you know, the best partner managers, they understand there needs to be an art to the possible, right, there is something that is, you know, kind of an unscientific about how some of these great kind of like relationships and things form and there is some emergent qualities, right, like the top partner or the first, you know, biggest partner in the HubSpot ecosystem, Marcus Sheridan with the pool cleaning company, right? Like no one called that that was not on the partner marketing bingo card at the end of the year that like, the old that pool cleaning services company is gonna be the biggest HubSpot partner. There are these emergent things, right. And I think we I think we over index on those emergent things. The problem is, is that we're probably not going to create them, they're going to happen. So what needs to happen today is we need to blend the art of the possible with the science of sass. Pray, like, we can blend these things together. Sass is a science. It's, I mean, I remember what I was building my first Sass company, Isaac, like I was having to follow David Skok and really get access to every single one of his articles, Skok on SAS, because I didn't understand things like unit economics. And it wasn't ubiquitous, right. So CAC, LTV, you know, like, actually trying to calculate things like, how do you do a blended CAC? Like, no one in the PandaDoc team had done that before. I hadn't done that a job hive. And now it's just like, I walk into a meeting and everyone knows CAC. I'm like, you know, we've matured that SAS is a science now. But what we're lacking is okay, what part of the science are we going to impact with partner, I think in a lot of ways, and we're approaching it from the art of the possible not from the science itself. That's why I like the near bound framing and going into that marketing department, and using their words, their language, their numbers, their stuff, to give each of those lanes or pieces of content or channels, a partner lens, right, a layer to layer into the rest of their model.

Isaac Morehouse  13:57
Yeah, it's interesting. And there's this really delicate balance between having definitive, decisive plans that you are actively moving towards, and being responsive to the market and seizing opportunities when they come, as you said, is one of the things that entrepreneurs especially in the early stage face, it's like, you can't be in perpetual pivot mode, where you're just constantly putting your finger in the wind and be like, Oh, we're pivoting our plan to whatever the market says. But you also can't be dogmatically committed, when something comes in. You weren't expecting. It's like, there's actually more opportunity here. You have to kind of go with the current, while at the same time having a course I love this. There's a verse in the Bible. It's in the Psalms, it says I will make my plans. But you direct my steps and you don't have to be religious to get value out of this like the idea like God or the universe or fate or whatever, is going to direct your steps but you're not sitting in waiting, right like a moving object can be steered an object that's not moving cannot be steered. So if you're already moving, you kind of bump into a little roadblock that says go this way instead. Okay, great. You kind of go down here. And then oh, this way is much easier. I'm gonna go here, I'm kind of getting pulled in this direction, but you're taking steps. So how does this apply to this partner stuff? Concretely planning, hey, here's where I'm going to partner. Here's how I'm going to focus my energy on these partners. And we're going to do the following things. It's a concrete plan. I'm focused, I'm not just scattershot. But at the same time, I'm constantly listening and adapting hmm, I keep running into a roadblock with this one, I'm not just going to doggedly keep pursuing it if it's not going anywhere. And this other thing that I didn't expect, it wasn't on my plan. It just came up. And it's just easy. I remember Jared with with us early on with partner hacker, we had our plan of content events, our sponsorship strategy out the gate. And then out of left field partner stack is like, Hey, you want to do this ecosystem week thing? And we were like, We weren't planning on doing a big digital event. But it seems easy to say yes to let's try it. And it just, every step almost took itself. It just had a momentum to it. And we're like, wow, okay, we're shifting plans, because this is working. And these other things are pushing a boulder uphill, this one is rolling downhill. So that that combination of decisiveness planning, but yet allowing yourself to kind of redirect based on where the winds are blowing you in the market.

Jared Fuller  16:11
100%. And that's, I mean, to get to the, what are the things that you can't do this year? That will surely get you out the door, than before, we should dive into some of those examples. I mean, you mentioned you know, just connecting with all the partners on crossbeam, a reveal a prototype, whatever, like, that doesn't do much for the, you know, the science of SAS, right, like, I think what, like, my, my, my premises is like, this is we're sitting on for a second. If we're really honest with ourselves, how many of us, you know, come together and community in these conversations, listening to this podcast in partnership leaders on LinkedIn, and we're producing content, where there is a little bit of some victim? feeling like a victim? What do I mean by that? Gosh, we've been in those board meetings, or those exact meetings where you're like, you just feel you're like I'm being treated as an inferior, the other party isn't trying to understand what I'm what I'm trying to accomplish. They're not even meeting me halfway. It feels so hard. Like, and I relate to that, because I've certainly felt that way. Going back to like, you know, not all choices are equal. I think, my general sentiment is that you better, you better so well believe in something this year, like a specific strategy, a path forward, that you're going to hang your hat on that you're going to be willing to risk your career on this year, like, this is the year of career defining moves for a lot of people. And those career defining moments could be career ending, or career blossoming, where you go. This is the plan. I think lots of people have to call their shots right now. And like, go like, hey, instead of being so upset by the fact that I'm not being treated as an equal, I need to go into this other department and help them solve their problems, right, by using partners like, kind of invert the problem, instead of like, looking at it from our lens, like going and looking at it from the marketing lens, from the sales lens from the success lens. I think that's what's fundamentally different this year is that you better be able to move the needle fundamentally, quickly, and call your shot not look at endless opportunities, just like what are we doing right now? It better be something that works.

Isaac Morehouse  18:31
So you know, I'm thinking about this, this need to like prove that you're valuable. So what are you going to show as a partner, manager, partner, leader, hey, you know, here's the proof that you should keep me around, keep my department around. And when there's an conditioning paradox here, and we talked earlier about making other people the hero in your role as a partner leader, it really the best thing you can show is what you have helped other people achieve. I've seen a couple of great partner leaders in the last couple months, say things like a, I am too much of a bottleneck. I want my sales team to be able to work with partners gaining access to partner data run in nearby and play without me being the bottleneck. That's kind of the opposite of if you're like afraid of getting fired, you're like, I want to be the bottleneck so that I can say, look, I did all of these activities. But that's actually not going to like that's going to drive your sales team nuts. If you're able to say, here's where I used to be a bottleneck, I removed myself from that bottleneck. Now, look, our sales team is accessing, you know, he's utilizing a near bound play without me having to run the whole thing. Like that's one of those counterintuitive things where I think you can you can get yourself into trouble by trying to be the linchpin to everything. Can you talk about that a little bit? Like where where would you see a partner person doing something where you'd be like, You need to stop doing that. Get yourself out of that mix, or you're slowing everything down?

Jared Fuller  19:57
Well, this is why I think the Anala You being an entrepreneur is so important because you have to realize that anything that you're doing as a partner person is not the end state. What do I mean? You've, let's just take a middle of the pack partner that's moving from like, hey, we were doing stuff to like, we're doing more stuff, right? Like, this is a partner that you're investing in for driving more, you know, business, whatever. Let's say you're sharing some data. And in the beginning, you know, the introductions or the partner overlap is coming through you, as a partner manager. Any person that thinks that's the end state of a partnership is clearly thinking wrong. It's not the end state, that's an interim state. That's a better state than not sharing data and not having conversations. But that's not the end state. Please don't ever think of anything that you're doing is the end state. That's where again, like the innovative entrepreneur has to come in to know that the end state might look like something else entirely. You know, think of that six star experience on Airbnb, there's a famous piece that Brian Chesky wrote the six star experience and kind of walking up what what does great look like? Well, great, kind of might look something like this, Isaac, great might look like getting to a place where you know, with some top partners, your ease, are collaborating so well, that you have a joint Slack channel. And you're not just sharing the overlap information on the account level, you're also sharing, let's say, maybe some key specific fields, like buying initiative, right? What was the thing that you know, helped drive that purchase through closed one meeting notes, Ooh, interesting. Like, you can start to get to a place where you're sharing information that would never be in a website, you would never be in a marketing email, it's not going to be on, you know, some data platform, this really is that second party information to where you go, ah, they were really focused on buying my partner's tech this because of this business initiative that like, well, we're totally not speaking to, nor can we impact like, we need to come back to this account later. And vice versa. So I would say like, that's the, that's the starting point is recognizing that there is a journey, and you can improve things and like get to a place with each partner that is fundamentally different than maybe the next one. think like an entrepreneur, you're here to make things better.

Isaac Morehouse  22:10
One of the most magical moments is when you when you discover your team is doing something without you. Like, you know, Hey, we should I recently had it's a we should we should be doing a little bit of something. We haven't done anything with this partner for a while. And then the team's like, oh, no, no, we're, we've been talking to them all week, we already got some that we're working on it. Like I'm talking with my counterpart over there. You're like, oh, wow, that's like, wow, that's a great thing. Now the challenge is, is there a way that you can? Can you measure that? Can you show that that's one of the big things with partner activities? And if they're, if they truly are embedded across every department, and everybody's kind of leveraging a sort of partner LED or near brown approach? That doesn't always get measured? attributed? How do you how do you struggle? How do you deal with that, right? Like, who's? How do I put this, you know, the idea of like, Hey, you get a lot done. If you don't worry about who gets the credit, or just focused on the fundamentals, a score takes care of itself. That all sounds really nice. But if you're a partner, leader, and you're worried about you know, getting axed? How do you truly just focus on making others the hero deliver value to those other departments, and not obsess over proving that you should get credit for it?

Jared Fuller  23:21
Again, I like just using this lens to think of ourselves right now. You know, what a great leaders do and a time of turmoil in their company, Isaac, they take, they take responsibility, right? whenever something goes wrong, a great leader stands up and goes, I screwed up. But then whenever something goes great, they tend to give credit away. Right? It's kind of inverse, right? I think that's the same thing for partnerships, like, we are put in this position where we're trying to defend ourselves. And by virtue of us defending ourselves, we're exhibiting behaviors, that the very leader who's judging us is told themselves not to do, right. So we get defensive about just a that's my win. That's my partner, I did this thing. It's about me here, look at my contribution, but it's like, as a leader, the person you're telling that to you realize that, like, they're just calling bullshit, right? Because they're not supposed to present themselves that way. So how do you do this? I think you need to go build some champions that will talk that way for you. And that's those champions names are VP of Marketing, CMO, CRO, VP sales and VP success, Chief Product Officer, and you have to go to them and go like this is the quarter where we, where partners help solve marketing problems. This is the quarter where partners help solve sales problems. This is the quarter where partners help solve, you know, retention problems, and I'm going to help you, I want to give your team 100% of the credit. I want to take responsibility for every single thing that one of my partners screws up and I want to fix it. Anytime that there's anything that goes wrong in anything that we work on this quarter. It's on me, it's my fault. I'm gonna give you 100% of my heart. Wow, what a what an interesting way to start off that relationship right in that kind of this New quarter where you're going, we're going all in and I'm going to help you, if things get screwed up, guess what? I'm going to take responsibility. Whenever we knock it out of the park, I want to give you credit. Shit. Okay, it sounds to me like this is the person I want to go into business with, versus showing up to that conversation with a lot of like, you know, Lucky, lucky me, lucky me, inverted. Jared,

Isaac Morehouse  25:21
I want you to tell me three things that a partner or leader can do this year that will get them fired?

Jared Fuller  25:27
I think the first one that comes to mind just know, right, in no particular order. Is this these random acts of like partner marketing? What do I mean? It's like going to the marketing team with a partner. And being like, we should do some co marketing, like wasting your marketing's team team's time on these one off, like partner things where like, we should do some co marketing with his partner, it's like Hold your horses, I think you need to, you need to enter into campaign planning. Right? So you you start your marketing planning the way that your cmo plans, her marketing, right, where you're, you're helping build the strategy for how partners contribute to each of those things. So like, you're looking forward into the things that they're already doing. And you're bringing a partner Pio view to let's say content, to social, to events, to ABM, to like each of those buckets, and you're bringing a partner point of view and you're ready with partners, like you got to prepare, right? You got to have a plan. You know, like, the opposite of that is, hey, here's this partner, like let's do some co marketing, and you're going to your director of demand gen on that. And if she might, here's this crazy part, Isaac, this is why it's so pernicious is they'll take the meeting, why? Because the director demand Jan's already down on her number, right? And she's like, Okay, so what's this partner? Like? How many leads? Are they going to drive? That's the only thing she's going to care about. Right? Okay, so you want to do something? How many leads? Are they going to drive is going to be that first question because she's behind on her number. And she's thinking, Oh, Hail Mary, here might be the the partner opportunity I've been waiting for to help me get to my number, maybe it's here. But guess what, this partner that you're trying to bring in, there are no buddy, they're not going to bring any net new leads. In fact, they're smaller than you the audience size is smaller than yours, they're looking to leech off of you. So what you've just done is you've just proven that marketing leader, right? That the partners are there to take from you not to help you. You've just facilitated that you've just drove your nail in your own coffin. Again, not all choices are equal. What this is demonstrating to your marketing team is that you're not capable of of making better choices in advance, right? That you're opportunistic. You're jumping at the first thing that comes to you. And you don't know how to be an executive, a strategic thinker or a planner. So like if you're an IC, you know, I want you to listen to this conversation the same way and thinking about okay, I'll offer a shout out to probably one of the scrappiest sales easiest partner managers I've ever met. His name is Bennett Boucher. He was a drip Bennett's just a dog like Isaac. The way to describe Bennett is he's the fullback you want it in your team that's just gonna like plow through anything to get the thing done. Right. bull in the china shop like this is is a partner manager, not your your typical, like partner manager, I loved working with Bennett, why? He instead of going to marketing and asking them for that stuff, he would just run his own partner webinars, right. So he'd show up, he'd help them prep the deck. And he'd start building some stuff with them. Just one on one, I'm talking him and his partners, no marketing support, and then eventually start to stack some of this stuff on top. And guess who always got pulled into drifts? Best, you know, marketing was the partner that Bennett had kind of warmed up and done stuff with, you know, like Isaac, I see you posting this in Slack and in part of our values a lot, you know, I did is better than we should. You know, like, boom, there was a perfect example. It's like Ben, it wasn't going to demand gen and being like, Hey, we should do this thing with his partner. He's like, Oh, I did a webinar with him last week. You know, we had 40 people. There's a good little thing helped educate their base and a few drifters showed up as well. And they drove a couple of things. Yeah. Oh, that's awesome, man. And we didn't even realize you were doing it.

Isaac Morehouse  28:57
If you're if you're outsourcing the mental work necessary to figure out what is working with this person look like? Then you're then you're attacks on everybody not to help Hey, here's a great company, we should do something with Here you go, I drove to you to figure out what that something is. That's a massive, like, existential over a cognitive overhead, if you will, if you can write next steps and be like, Okay, here's how it lines up. Here's what I do. Here's what I already did. And this is plug and play. Hey, marketing, how about can I have your help support on this? Or hey, here, I'm going to help you. Yeah. Okay. So that was a great one. Number one, we're going down the three ways to get fired this year as a partner leader, number one, conduct random acts of CO marketing. Number two, I'm going to

Jared Fuller  29:41
stir some controversy with this one. Because I'm going to I'm going to take issue with words that we've said on this this very podcast, Isaac, okay. And things that we've helped promote into the market. So the freezes give to get I realized that I no longer like the word give and I've Seen, like I've actually talked and had conversations and witnessed this and the front line of this behavior happening. And in some ways I feel responsible for using this language and for promoting it. And it's not resulting in what they think they're getting. Right. And let me explain what I mean by give to get is like, Okay, we need to seed this partner with, you know, love and blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, in order to get sales leads out in source partner revenue. So the way that they're staving off their CRO, is kind of through this lens. And then what they're doing is they're trying to go to their field team, and like, generate referrals from in order to get referrals to. And, Whoa, what a myopic picture this paints in it, it just puts you into a hole where you're not going to get to the number at quarter after quarter. Like, yes, as a principal, there's something here. So I want to describe what that looks like a little bit. But I would say if you are approaching it give to get. And that's the strategy with your team. And that ends up coming with your partners, I don't think you're ever going to get there. So I can unpack that a little bit more and talk about what I think replaces it,

Isaac Morehouse  31:09
but I'm with you, I don't like to get to get language. And by the way, I've never liked to give to get language for this reason, because I think, the real value and givings why I still love the first giver advantage concept. The real value in giving is transforming the way you approach relationships, and you understand relationships, if they're worthwhile, not every relationship is investing in that relationship. Giving first is actually going to help you win more in the long term. So I like that but give to get is a little too mathematical. And it kind of implies, okay, let me give you three leads. And then I slip Proflow for three leads to pop out the other side, right? And, and it's not that the like give first and invest in human social capital, etc. It's not that it's like, Oh, you don't ever worry about what comes out the other end, it has to produce value. But I don't think thinking about it as an equation that's like a one to one. And that's that's certainly not that immediate, is the right way to go about it. But that also I'm not quite comfortable. Like it also doesn't mean just go dropping love out of a helicopter and being like, Oh, well, then you know, it'll come back to me so so get into this. What does that mean? Like, concretely, what's the version of this you've seen? That's, that's really bad. You kind of mentioned it, but I'd like you to get a little more like, give me a really hard example. And it could be hypothetical of someone using this gift to get in a counterproductive way. Okay, so

Jared Fuller  32:33
you finally have a shot with an SI. So let's talk service partnerships. So you got Accenture, Deloitte PWC. I don't even care if it's a tier two or tier three. Si in terms of size, I mean, it could be a vertical. That's a part of WPP like it awesome. demand gen si with about 1000 employees, whatever the size is, let's just say it's a big dawg Si, they can bring you those mid six figure deals, you know, done right? It could be a seven figure deal. And then what do you do to build that relationship you give to get? So you bring them into a deal? Right? And that's the tactical what I see happen all the time. It's like, well, let's get them involved in a deal. And no, absolutely horrible. Let me explain to you what, why I want to remove the word give and replace it with the word help. Have you ever been to a conference, Isaac, and you got a bunch of tchotchkes stuffed stuffed in a bag? Yeah, those were given to you? Did they help you with anything? No,

Unknown Speaker  33:25
definitely not.

Jared Fuller  33:27
Right? That that no pad, that bag, that water bottle that cracked? And I threw away after? You know, one one time of putting it in the dishwasher on accident? Oh, this wasn't dishwasher safe. Shit. That logo now looks like 70s hallucination video, you know, like the there's, there's there's something fundamentally different between helping and giving. And I think helping implies a shared business objective, a much more mature look at this thing. Like you know, what I've been saying trust comes from helping people reach the promised land reach their promised land, that that word is actually kind of intentional in their right, helping implies you're going to get them to a better place. And I think helping, that's the thing that gets people locked in. So for example, you can give lots of pointless things. Oh, I gave you I'm going to bring, haha, bringing Accenture into this next meeting with you know, a big enterprise pipeline account. I'm the big dog. Guess what's about to happen. Accenture is going to blow up your deal. It's going to blow up in your face because it wasn't helping Accenture. And it wasn't helping your ad it was giving. Right you're having your ad give this stage to Accenture that has never really pitched this. They're not going to really influence the customer. They're trying to sell a seven figure deal unrelated to yours. You know, so there's a very specific example and I think the counter to that is helping helping implies what are we trying to get done together? Okay, let's align on a current customer, right? With the CES team, where we both already have our things sold and then how do we get that better together and then you know Just having a much more mature strategy like we're growing up, I think is a profession and SAS like we're growing up,

Isaac Morehouse  35:05
man that clicked when you said helping not giving because I'm thinking about you know, there's certainly ways in your personal life where people can we've had people you know, give us Oh, hey, here's some hand me down clothes. Here you go we're gonna give these close to and there are there are times where that could be helpful. Oh yeah, we really needed some winter clothes for you know the kids whatever. Great

Jared Fuller  35:27
here let me take this to Goodwill for you

Isaac Morehouse  35:29
usually usually it's that right? It's like no, we're trying to get rid of stuff we don't want more that's that was good you gave to us but it wasn't helpful, right? Sometimes what what might actually be helpful is, hey, I'm going to Goodwill, can I take a bunch of your stuff with me? Right not not dump it off. So just just framing that intentionality. And and even you know, we've talked about this before sort of an unusable way to offer help, Hey, how can I be helpful is is often not very helpful, because again, you're putting the cognitive load on them. It's like, Hey, how can we work with this partner? If instead you're like, let me understand what you've got going on. And then here you go, I did this, this thing that is specific to you, that's helpful to you. It may not involve me giving you do something, but it can absolutely right. It may involve that, but it's like helping first I get it, I get it, it clicked for me. I like that. So. So number two way to get fired, is go out there and just be randomly giving, giving instead of helping, right. Number three, what's the third? Bringing home, I think we

Jared Fuller  36:30
have to take this to the product side, there's two things on the product side, there's the the service partner side that might be trying to meet the need to service your customers inside of your application. And then there's the tech partner side, you know, the ability for you to publish your built integrations or how people build on top of you. I'm trying to think like, what's the one thing behavior that would drive me insane? On the product side right now that I would be like, shut up, Jared, don't talk to me about that. It's not worth my time. Um, I think I think the one thing is like number of integrations. So like, there's been lots of talk about your number of integrations, connected per customer, number of integrations that we have, like a lot of a lot of success is measured on like the quantity. And I think that if you're in a position right now, where you're trying to get a bunch more integrations built internally, or you're trying to get a bunch of people to integrate with you, you're not going to have the product support if those integrations aren't activated. So what do I mean by that? Is that I'm going to really make sure that I have my, you know, see, like my near bound success, right? If I'm a great partner leader, right now, I want my near bound GTM kind of dashboard shows me my nearby marketing stuff that's happening with a marketing team nearby and sales stuff that's happening in the field with the sellers, mightier bounce success stuff that's happening in the field with my CSMs. And then like, kind of like a near bound product dashboard. Right? And what does it what I mean, by that that new brand product dashboard? Is that going to tell you every analytic about the product, Isaac? No. But what it's going to tell you is, okay, we have, you know, 37 integrations, right. And then there is what potential inside of that, you know, integration. So let's say you have 10,000 customers this integration, there's 1000 accounts that use this product, and there are 127 integrations activated. Right? Is that trending up or down over time, compared to the rest of the product behavior? Right? In What's that delta, like, I think, more and better, like you better have a sense of what better looks like, like. So advocating for more integrations, trying to build that special one, before you have your house in order. Like that's the first thing you need with product right now is like showing and then getting access to that data. So you can have your dashboard. And then product team once you can have access to that, they can start to spit out things around like cohorted, churn analysis, right? By integration partner over time, by successive integrate, you can get all crazy with the data for the product team to really, you know, make them go, oh, this is what drives activation or adoption or retention, or whatever that number is, is get your nearby product dashboard in order, like right now, like, what are the integrations Do you have? How activated Are they out of the potential that's there. And our CSM is acting against that like, but just going in pitching another integration right now the limited product resources is like, without that you're in a world of hurt.

Isaac Morehouse  39:27
I love it. So let's recap that three ways to get fired this year. If you're in partnerships, number one random acts of CO marketing that you're throwing at your marketing team. Number two was giving instead of helping, and number three is begging for trying to build more integrations before you understand what the hell's going on with your current integrations. And if they're actually activated.

Jared Fuller  39:51
I'm going to keep saying it folks from now until I'm blue in the face a year from now two years from now. It's the time where you go help the other departments with their activities. Now that's the next layer down, I'm trying to drill with y'all is, go get it go help them do 1/3 of their activities near bound, right, use that language, it's landing. It's working. Okay, what plays like that's the stuff that what I'm excited about? Because that's that that is what what it feels like Isaac in the midst of all of this, like, you know, from the How to the WHO language that you and I are geeking out riffing on to, you know, like defining nearby and sales plays like, by the way, I think I came up with the three that we're going to talk about later, I think I can just drop them right here, do it. So there's, there's like three that I was trying to define for these common buckets, for like building or accelerating pipeline, just just to get people understanding, it's not all about the referral. So one is Intel. One is influence and one is intro. So Intel is a play where you're sharing information to collect information, right, and he can do that without the partner person. An intro is, hey, I'm talking to these people. And for this reason, I'm looking to talk to that person for you know, another Geo and other business unit and other initiative, whatever it is just getting that intro to that other contact when you're already in contact or somewhere else. That's a much more specific ask. And then you can say, hey, here's the email I wrote to write that intro, could you do it for me? Right? Making that really easy. All these permutations of those plays or influence, which would be like, hey, next week, I have a meeting with this, you know, VP over here that bought from YouTube, you know, two weeks ago or a month ago? Could you shoot them this note in advance of my meeting, just to kind of like cosign some of the stuff that I'm going to be talking about, like that's like an influence play that smart your guess what's gonna happen. So using this play, the influence play, like to actually name it kind of like that. Your show rate on your meetings is an AE skyrockets. And then guess what happens every time? Oh, I just got this note from such and such about you that like you actually wrote in, like had them send, saying such nice things about the integration and how we'll work together. So I was really glad to hear that. Nice to meet you, Isaac. Right. Like, we didn't so great to walk into a meeting that way. So like, these are the things that I'm talking about that go help your sales team, like, write these templates and go put up an outreach SalesLoft, whatever, and, you know, take some of the load off your back, help them do near bounce stuff. We're maturing man, that's, that's what I'm realizing is we're maturing as an industry.

Isaac Morehouse  42:25
I love it. I'm gonna, I'm gonna, I'm gonna leave a final thought here. And then you can you can wrap it for us. You know, we've been talking to your point about, hey, the world has shifted from you know, how being the dominant question to who? And that's not just the market, that's not just your buyers and customers asking, Who do I ask to help me with this? Who's been where I want to go that I can, you know, fall on Who do I trust that can tell me what I should do to solve this. It also applies to you, as a partner leader, it applies to you internally with your team. And here's a cool question I want you to think about we talked before about, you know, making others the hero, and you're the helper. But there's another way to think about hero like, you are going to be somebody's hero, right? If you help them be the hero in their story, they may look at you as a hero right to them. Here's a question somebody, somebody asked me and I used to have this written on a sticky note on my computer every single day? Who do I want to be a hero to today? Because you can't be a hero to everyone. You can't, you can be a hero to maybe a handful of people. And I and it's kind of like a rotation. So by asking today, so some days for me? The answer would be my team, my employees, I need to be your hero to them today. Some days it will be my customer. Some days it would be right there's ask yourself this, who do I want to be a hero for today? And if you use that lens, it's going to help you evaluate some of your activities. So if the answer is my CMO, great, you've got you know what that's going to guide you toward that day, if it's my CEO, great if it's this particular partner that I'm working with, if it's my customers, or this particular customer, here's, here's why I'm framing it like this. Because one thing that is easy, and I'm all about learning out loud, living out loud, being public, building your network using LinkedIn, whatever, but there's a danger. There's a way that you can get fired, that may surprise you. Because those things generally are going to help you and they're large, largely going to help you do your job better. But there is a way to be a hero to your LinkedIn following while being zero to everybody inside your actual company, or the partners you work with. It really is it's a real danger today. And the people who are the best at LinkedIn are the most susceptible because you get that hit you get that dopamine and you feel like you're doing something like you're winning. Ask yourself who am I being a hero to today? If I spend my time doing this, who am I being a hero for and it's okay to be a hero for your network and stuff from time to time and typically those things are not bad those are you generally useful in your career. But there is a danger in this attention to attention economy in the WHO economy. You can be the trusted who to all your life. He didn't followers, while being totally useless to everybody at your company. So be careful watch for that ask who you should be hero for today.

Jared Fuller  45:07
beautifully well said Isaac, maybe that could be if you're a first time partner you know person that just got thrown into this and you're like a partner team of one maybe you need to take the PL x approach. Today I'm doing product today I'm doing marketing Sam doing sales today I'm doing success I want to make you know someone else a hero across those different days. Speaking of which, pls summit preregister open another nothing else released yet, but just want to keep that out there. We got cool new brands, all sorts of stuff come in. I've started to work on the pls 23 playlist, which I have to say, is phenomenal. It's going very well.

Isaac Morehouse  45:45
Oh, I can't wait till that drops. Yeah, pls. we're gonna we're gonna be over time releasing more and more information details. It's going to be gonna be absolutely, absolutely awesome. In fact, I'll give you this teaser. I made our team. I assigned them over the weekend to watch the Terminator movies. Because that's kind of, you know, a necessary part of building out the pls branding this year. So just just give me a little little teaser there. Yes, Jared. By the way, as I as I was on that little little rant, I was like, Okay, if somebody posts that as a clip on LinkedIn, me saying, Are you trying to be a hero for LinkedIn? And then like being zero everywhere else? Is it like there's some paradox? There's a world right? Like if people like that a bunch, if that makes me a hero on LinkedIn? You know what I mean? Is it like disproving my point proving my I don't know, it's like, we're trapped in a web. You know what I mean?

Jared Fuller  46:34
That was that was Schrodinger, his LinkedIn post? Something like that? I don't know. I don't know what weird phenomenon you're tapping into there. But I completely agree with it. And I know that's there's definitely, I won't even say this on the partner side. I am aware of really big thought leaders on LinkedIn that were fired due to abysmal performance and not only that toxic culture, and their last one, and they're, you know, 50 75,000 100,000 followers. And it's like, everyone that worked with you in the last gig said that you were just an asshole. If you got nothing done and everybody hated you. How are you? How is everyone following you? Like, no one's speaking for you? So yeah, there's some there's definitely risk to that across the spectrum. Here. Here's the

Isaac Morehouse  47:20
great summary of that. We should have a bumper sticker. That is a slight alteration of one that I saw in a church parking lot of all places. It said Jesus loves you, but everybody else thinks you're an asshole. We should have one that says we should have one that says LinkedIn loves you, but everyone else thinks you're an asshole.

Jared Fuller  47:37
Oh my gosh, please make that a part or accurate bumper sticker. I will buy one right now. That is such a good one. Oh my gosh. I'm gonna go post out on LinkedIn right now. Oh my gosh.

Isaac Morehouse  47:53
Oh, this is a fun episode. Man. I'm gonna I'm gonna peace out to everybody can't wait to see it the next. Next you bet.

Jared Fuller  48:01
All right, peace out. Partner up. We'll see you all next time.

You've successfully subscribed to PartnerHacker
Great! Next, complete checkout to get full access to all premium content.
Error! Could not sign up. invalid link.
Welcome back! You've successfully signed in.
Error! Could not sign in. Please try again.
Success! Your account is fully activated, you now have access to all content.
Error! Stripe checkout failed.
Success! Your billing info is updated.
Error! Billing info update failed.