Finding and focusing on a North Star metric, a priority outcome that signals success, is critical for any business and its leaders. In the Era of the Ecosystem, it’s becoming increasingly evident that the priority North Star is Partner Attach measured across the buying cycle.
For the longest time, the North Star metric for managing a channel was partner-sourced revenue and traditional definitions of Partner Attach focused purely on partner participation in selling. After all, what could be better than a partner bringing net new revenue in the door with zero assistance. The ultimate, right
Today, success comes down to executing across your ICP’s buying journey, from innovation and influence to revenue, and Partner Attach should be measured accordingly.
Partner Attach: A New View
Most people associate Partner Attach as a measure of whether a partner was involved in closing a deal. This is a limited and constrained view, particularly because it doesn’t take into account everything that precedes the actual sale.
GoToEcosystem best practices tell us that Partner Attach needs to be measured much more broadly, including across the following activities:
- BD: Joint opportunity selection and targeting.
- Solutioning: Creation of shared use cases.
- Influence: Shared positioning, messaging, and value stories.
- Pilot Customers: Initial shared customer sell-through and sell-with.
- Scale Customers: Sell-through and sell-with at scale.
- Customer Success: Joint customer upsell/cross-sell.
Why it Matters
The beauty of measuring and managing Partner Attach is that it can serve as an organization-wide measure of Ecosystem business success and an OKR for the whole company across the GoToEcosystem Framework, including:
- Ecosystem Strategy - All GoToEcosystem strategic plans should aim toward driving network effects with partners on one or more sides of the supply/demand equation. If partners are attached to every deal (as in 100% Partner Attach), it is certain they are contributing to network scale.
- Organizational Alignment - The entire organization needs to be engaged to succeed in delivering on the activities in the end-to-end attachment list above. Product has to have a robust integration and roadmap strategy, marketing needs to lead with EQLs, sales with partner assist on all deals, and Customer Success must be folded in on # of integrations per customer.
- Ecosystem Orchestration - The focus for partner planning should be to fully engage the partner in joint customer focused activities. Partner Account Managers (PAMs) should work with their partner counterparts to ensure Partner Attachment in this area.
Partner Attach can be the one ring that rules them all. Establish Partner Attachment as a company-level OKR and go crush it with GoToEcosystem!