Just because you want to become partners doesn’t mean you have a partnership
Why partner account mapping is now key
This week Alex Richards shares a partnership principle that highlights the way new technology is changing how B2B companies partner. The underlying theme - quantify the opportunity together before you invest in a partnership - is relevant no matter what sector you’re in.
What is your name and role?
What is one principle that shapes your approach to partnerships?
Just because you want to become partners doesn’t mean you have a partnership. B2B partnerships should begin with Partner Account Mapping. This is essentially aligning data to see if you and a potential partner have mutual clients, overlapping pipelines, and/or mutual opportunities to determine your relationship and its strategic advantage.
Momentive are the makers of GetFeedback, and SurveyMonkey. They are an enterprise customer experience management and insights platform. They help organizations make more data-driven decisions for their customers and employees.
What is a story from your work that illuminated this principle for you?
Back in 2018, I got introduced to Bob Moore and Jess Waldeck at Crossbeam, who I had met through the team at Guru. Bob and Jess were talking about a really interesting way to obtain our strategic partners’ customer lists in a safe, collaborative way. Not only did their approach show current clients, but also sales and open opportunities. It was a game changer!
Why was this so revolutionary for me? No partner is the same as the next – not even referral or integration partners (though it seems like they would be). Think about a about a group of people, let’s use the ever-favorite Guy Richie movie, Snatch. Every person in the group is unique, with different likes, wants, needs, and of course, financial interests. I’m relating partnerships to a sort of dysfunctional friend group, and at times that's how it can feel!
Before you join a new clique, you want to make sure that you are like-minded with the people in the clique. That’s where strategic partnerships are likely easier than being in a British mob.
We found back at Stella Connect (before being acquired by Medallia) that for partners with little access, we could obtain their client account list, then find the correct contact information based off our ideal customer profile (ICP), using ZoomInfo, LeadIQ, and SalesNavigator. From there, we could pre-build messaging templates in Outreach or Salesloft based off our relationship with like-partners.
What that process did was create an inbound partner engine from our own partners’ data, telling a clear story about our existing relationship or integration. About 20% of all inbound we closed, we attributed to this process (with another 25% being sourced by partners).
After implementing Crossbeam, SDRs and Sales Leaders could ask the partner team for help or insight on new/stalled deals, and we were be able to seamlessly connect them with our partner reps at other companies to help them. In return, we would help the partners, too! It created a great, cross-functional, external bonding dynamic, and it allowed us to build really strong partner relationships (where there was previously nothing).
Let’s break it down: with partner account mapping you are able to validate if a partner is who they say they are … and if it’s worth working with them. From there, you can see if they are able to help you with existing, open customer opportunities. Lastly, you can see if the partnership will benefit your future pipeline (e.g. marketing/SDR).
All of this saves you time, money, and makes you a more effective (and a higher performing) team.
Just because you want to become (or are) partners, doesn’t mean you have a partnership. You need to validate what you are trying to achieve and see if the effort is worth the reward. Before you invest your time, money and energy into the relationship and look for executive alignment etc., you need to determine if there is customer and pipeline overlap for the partnership to drive mutual impact and most of all results. That is done through Partner Account Mapping.
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