Howdy Partners #11: Revenue Generating Activities

Howdy Partners #11: Revenue Generating Activities

Multiple Contributors 28 min

Let’s talk $$$...

A broad strokes view on building your partner programs has been our focus, but now let’s dive into the actual levers that make the money flow.

We cover a wide array of activities you can focus on for driving revenue with your partners, and some of the finer details of how to win often, win early, and win with confidence with partner rev gen tactics.

3 key takeaways

  1. Build out rules of engagements and templates
  2. Instead of having to start over from scratch, build out templates. Create docs that outline a basic structure of the process, and know your general milestones (what you need to do and when you need it done).
  3. Start where your company already has strengths
  4. If your company has a great content team, start with content. If they’re great with interviews, start with podcasts and video. Don’t do revenue generating activities because you feel like you should. Start with revenue generating activities that play into your strengths.
  5. 3 Common Pitfalls to Be Aware Of:
  6. - Not documenting everything
  7. - Not having data to back everything up
  8. - Over-analyzing everything

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Full transcript:

Tom Burgess 00:20

Howdy partners, part of the partner hacker Podcast Network. It’s fresh off the fresh off the news stream. Well do we want to talk about that at all get into that it’s first off Ben’s not here today. He’s feeling a little bit under the weather. So the will squared crowd is taking over. We have a fun topic for you, Blitz, let’s talk about partner hacker. This is a fun, exciting, awesome thing for us.

Will Taylor 00:45

Yeah, first of all, that’s a tongue twister that we need to standardize partner hacker Podcast Network, the party people partner hacker Podcast Network, wow, I’m really proud of myself for saying that. But yes, we are part of the partner hacker media empire. We are going to be partnering, of course with them. And we are going to have all the great things that they bring. And this is just going to be even more resources for anyone who’s listening. So whenever you are listening to this, we are a part of partner hacker. And we’re hoping that that brings even more tactical resources and people to this party that I just mentioned, the partner hacker podcast party.

Tom Burgess 01:31

I’m not even gonna try and repeat that but but to put to emphasize will. This is super exciting for us because I think our goal has always been to help educate and enlighten and just get get our opinions, our knowledge out there. And I think, you know, with partner hacker, it just amplifies that. And of course, you know, we’re still open for sponsors, we’ve we’re transparent with partner hacker, they are just a lever, and a very helpful lever for us. And we’re super excited to be with them. But anyone out there cowboy boot companies, Omaha Steaks, I know he mentioned that before

Will Taylor 02:04

his leather jackets. Yeah, I need one Canvas branded. Yeah.

Tom Burgess 02:11

Boots, spurs, whatever you whiskey companies will take. But let’s, let’s I digress. Let’s let’s get into the fun topic we got today. I think we’ve discussed a lot of really operational, how do we get strategic partnerships programs off the ground? But now let’s talk about the actual money side, which is revenue generating opportunities, activities? Will you and I both have a lot of knowledge on this? But let’s let’s let’s uncover this to you. What are some of those common revenue generating activities in partnerships? How do we how do we recognize that whether you’re a small shop, a mature shop, you know, companies that are just getting into it or pivoting on rev Gen activities, what are those?

Will Taylor 02:57

Yeah, I think the the best place to start is thinking at the more traditional funnel level, where you have, you know, top of funnel, middle of funnel and bottle, bottom of funnel. And then you can segment these into CO marketing and CO selling. And these are going to be your bread and butter core activities where you know, in CO marketing, you’re going to have a bunch of different types of activities in there, like running events, doing blog posts, together social campaigns, and so on. And then co selling is where you can get very close with the partner and their account list and do things like account mapping, and then start running account based networking campaigns to those specific lists as well. And so what we’ll talk about today is all of these at a high level, but then also how you can add structure to all of these activities. Because there is a process that you can implement that makes it easier to replicate. And of course, better understand the performance of these activities. And so let’s, let’s dive into CO marketing. And let’s list off some of those activities. So you can have things like events. So think about your webinars, your summits, your multi day events, or it could even be the the live streams and whatnot, anything that has that specific date that is going to launch the content. And it’s typically in presented information through video or conversations and so on. So think of events as you know, very top of funnel, and it’ll be great to drive awareness to both of your audiences and you start the cross pollinating process. Same thing with blog posts, so again, getting the name out there and getting the SEO benefit but then also showing the expertise of your partner. And the blog posts are really good because they can typically be a pretty easy lift, you know, events typically take more preparation and lead up and a lot more coordination. Whereas the blog posts are a bit easier because, you know, there’s probably a content engine at the company, either on your site or your partner side. And then you can also do very simple things like, get quotes from your partner and put them into existing blog posts. So again, very top of funnel, so you won’t be you know, getting too many leads off of this, but it’ll at least bring that awareness to the audiences. And then you can start going down the funnel, to things like the email marketing campaigns, and this is where you’d probably start doing some account mapping, where you can understand what is the actual overlap of our audiences? How much do we have, you know, across both of our email subscriber lists, or even, you know, customers, to prospects, and so on. And that will help you get more and more targeted from the other events and activities that you do at the top of funnel. And then of course, when you’re at that stage where you’re ready to get close with the partner, and really understand there are countless, and of course, overlap your customers with their prospects and vice versa, then that’s where you’re going to do those account based networking type campaigns, where you’re really going to focus in on either one specific account or, you know, the top 10 lists that you can go after. And this is typically what you’ll meet with, with your partner time and time again, so that you can have the most up to date information about how the relationship is going. And so the way that CO selling works at a very high level, is you’re going to find that that account or those shortlist of accounts, and then you’re going to build a process for okay, how do we get introduced? And how do we introduce you to our sales team as well. So this is where you’re starting to bring in the other teams on both sides. So that is essentially the top of funnel all the way down to the bottom of funnel. And you don’t necessarily need to start top of funnel, you don’t need to only do co marketing activities, and then eventually do account mapping. You can start with account mapping, and you should always do a variety. But we’ll be getting into of course, how you can focus these efforts as well.

Tom Burgess 07:10

Yeah, yeah, that’s a lot. Which is it’s something it’s something that we know, I think, when you look at a team, whether it’s small or big, well, this is something that you and I familiar with, we I think we tried to focus on. From an enablement standpoint, the the activities that were not necessarily easy lift, I think there’s there’s something to say about being able to replicate. And I know, you mentioned that being able to template ties. And I think there’s a few companies out there that do a really good job of kind of building out the rules of engagement and the stipulations that a lot of these partner or your partners can fit into, which is great, really starting to kind of build that efficiency. But let’s talk about some of the smaller, I want to say smaller shops or smaller companies that that are just starting to wrap their minds around this. But let’s think about companies that maybe struggle or or, or spread too thin, right? Like running running a webinar is tough and, and getting the leads really having that be top of the funnel, like it might be important to the partner work. But as you’re a partner manager or on the enablement side, doing that every single week with five different partners, like there’s a burnout factor. So how do you know how do you know which activities are right to focus on? And I guess to second that is, are there ways or what are some of the ways that you can optimize or efficiently build some of these processes? So you can almost almost sometimes put the onus on the the partner themselves? Like, hey, you know, we would love to do a case study or a blog post, here are the rules, here are the guidelines, like go for it? Let me know if you need help.

Will Taylor 08:49

Yeah, I love that. And I think you touched on something that that is extremely powerful, which is to have the process documented. And the best place to start is focusing in on where does your company already have strengths? Are they a very strong sales org? Do they have, you know, a great blog? Do they run amazing events, and you know, maybe they have a really good brand, and they’re really good on social, focus on the strengths first, because you don’t want to recreate the wheel, you’re already going to be, you know, spread pretty thin, if you’re just the one person or you know, you’re new in the role. And so there’s a lot to learn. And if you get focused, this is really going to help with the testing mentality that you need. And so focus on what your company already does, well take that process that they have already likely documented. And if they haven’t, at least they’ve done it before. So you can, you know, extract that information really easily. And then create that framework for pushing this activity through where you can then repurpose it time and time again, and also have the structure that you would need when you approach a partner or a partner. Our approach is you just like you mentioned, Tom, then you can say, here’s the exact process, I know exactly what you’re talking about, here’s here are the steps that you need to take to action this and make it happen. And that piece I really want to zero in on this here is, is very critical because project management is so important in partnerships, because you’re not just managing your own team, you’re managing the partner, and your partner’s team. And so having this structure is that first step, and it brings clarity, and that clarity begets action, because it’s so simple for them to understand what they need to do next. And of course, this will help the discussion in helping them determine where we’ll actually take them as well. So where do you start, you start where your company already has strengths, what do you do, you create templates, or you create a structure of process. And then from there, you action that process and that’ll give you some data as you’re, as you are actioning that process to then refine that process and make it even better. So that you again, that’s like step one, like before you do any activities, so that it’s not just chaos, and you’re figuring it out as you go.

Tom Burgess 11:14

Yeah, and I want to, I want to emphasize one of the the points that you mentioned, which is, let’s say you are a solo, solo rider, at this point on your strategic partnerships team, you cannot, you cannot shy away from from asking for help, right, you shouldn’t shy away from using your internal marketing team if they have bandwidth. And I think it’s really pertinent, especially if I look at someone that’s so low, they’re most likely in a position where they’re starting to build that, that that ecosystem out, they they’re in a position that the need to ask for help and, you know, internal power of marketing CX, you know, sales enablement, where all these resources have been established, matured, etc. You need to lean on that team. I’m not saying like, push all the work to them, or, you know, like, hey, marketing, we got this partner XYZ that wants to do a blog post, can you help me write it? That’s not what I’m saying. What I’m saying is, can you establish or help tap into some experts that might have vision over that space? To allow you to build some of these templates or, or build a starting point for your partners? I think that’s one of maybe the I don’t want to say underutilized thought processes, but I certainly am always in the mentality of like, what can I do myself, so I might block that out, transparently, I might, I might not tap into marketing, I might not tap into sales or even the enablement side, as much as I should. But I think it’s worth calling out that in order to scale you know, person, one person or two people, team have to Who else can help you, right, expand your vision on what your team is, and just go for it. So I think it’s just worth calling out. But I You nailed it, right, like the idea of template sizing, you know, revising and building this, this blueprint for your partners to help fit into and efficiently drive is so key. Yeah, and go ahead.

Will Taylor 13:09

On that note, as well, like, lean on the the partner community as well, the partnerships, people, they they love collaborating, they love, you know, giving resources that they have already built, ask those people reach out to people you see on LinkedIn, reach out to us reach out to, you know, your peers, any communities that you’re in, reach out there, they may even have a Slack channel that is like, dedicated to this kind of thing. Lean on the communities as well, and the other people. So a good example, our friend of the podcast, who was on previously, Justin Zimmerman, he makes a bunch of playbooks. And these are, you know, these project management templates for these kinds of activities. So really good example of just what’s out there that’s already built. Because although the space is relatively new, that doesn’t mean that there aren’t things that are already built. And it’s just a little bit more tribal knowledge. But we’re starting to build more of these things. So reach out to the partner community for sure.

Tom Burgess 14:05

I was just gonna mention an example. I was I think it was in partnership leaders, Slack channels, I’m on the job site. And so when someone built out like a, a resume template for partnership professionals, and I thought that’s just so that’s so great, like sharing his knowledge and knowledge of sharing and, you know, intellectual properties, intellectual property, but this strategic partnerships is all about sharing and just working and driving together, and it’s so apparent. So absolutely tap in your resources. When it comes down to LinkedIn, Justin’s great, his templates are killer. So get on that. But let’s get back on track. You’re so talking to actually about resources here. We we just touched on some of the early phases, what you should be thinking about why documentation and building templates where roadmap is so important, but what are some of those resources to help in that Rev. Generating ecosystem How do you allocate? What are those resources? How do you tap into them? How do you find them?

Will Taylor 15:04

Yeah, so I would say some of the resources that you should template out or look for, are again, going to focus on where your business is strengths are. But let’s say it’s, let’s say webinars is your your business strength or blog content, then you should build is the guidelines for let’s say, the blog content, and then also the for especially webinars, you should build a process for intake of information on what is the idea. And then of course, all the other things like headshots for promotion, and descriptions, like create a very standard intake of that information, but then also create something that has milestones and this can go across projects, but create a document of the source of truth for the who, in the engagement. So who on both teams, are we speaking to who’s you know, the project lead? Mark that down? And of course, you know, put this in the template? Where are you going to engage? Is it through slack? Is it through email? Where is that actual activity taking place? You know, if it’s a webinar, you know, what is the platform that you’re using, and the access to the platform process, make it extremely simple for the where, and then the timeline as well as going to be extremely important, what are the general milestones that you need to take action for this activity. So for an example, again, using the webinar as as the front and center one, you need, you know, promotion to start at a certain time, you need the webpage up before that promotion, you need the speakers confirmed at a certain time, you need the, you know, social posts to go the email to be scheduled, get those milestones into the document, which again, can be templated. Because for the most part, these activities can be repurposed over and over again. And it’s not just events, you can also do things like, hey, when we are doing account mapping, maybe it is a one month sprint or one month program that we try and reach out to these accounts that we’ve overlapped. And what does that actually look like? Well, you know, first step, of course, is actually doing the account mapping. Second step is, perhaps you determine what is the value prop that is most relevant, who is going to be engaged, you’re going to, of course, determine that as well, both on the sales side, and then things like the timeline. So we need to make the introduction by this date. You know, after that, we then need to make sure that we’re either following up or we’re preparing ABC resources for that conversation. All of that should be standardized, because, again, you’re going to do these activities over and over again, and the who, the where, and the when are going to be very critical for executing you don’t necessarily need the why and the how is basically the process itself. And so those are the fundamentals that you can apply to any kind of template that you’re building for these processes. And what’s great is, let’s say you hire someone, they now know exactly the process of executing on this activity, again, regardless of that activity, and when you engage, let’s say your sales team, for CO selling, they have that clarity on what are the rules of engagement, you know, what can I expect when taking action here? It’s not just some random ask of, hey, can you make this introduction? Or can you action, this introduction? No, it’s not just that one time event, it is a larger scale project that you can then orchestrate across the organizations, and it’ll also help you stay extremely organized, you can, you know, set up your calendar to reflect it. And so, just to summarize that template, again, whatever your company is already good at and build the process of who’s engaged, where are you engaging? And when do you need to do those actions by and that will bring a lot of clarity for not only you and your actions, but your team, and then also your, your leadership as well when they understand or when they need to understand how do we actually engage our partners, you can say, well, this is exactly the process.

Tom Burgess 19:34

Yeah, yeah. Well, so another really cool methodology, I guess, especially whether you’re, whether you’re an advanced project manager, or even just like you suck at it, right, like sometimes I suck at project management, too. But the RACI model is a really good way to kind of like, break down the process who’s responsible, accountable, consulted, informed, you guys just go to Google and look it up and you essentially take every key milestone in whatever co marketing activity, whether it’s a webinar or blog posts, and set those boundaries and it just makes it very clear as to who’s actioning it, who’s being consulted, who’s accountable, etc. And then of course, some of the you know, like the the technology aspects like we talked about doing some reach out or or overlaps of potential reach out for prospects and customers crossbeams a great technology to use there makes it very easy to see overlaps based on certain aspects in your CRM and your your partner’s CRM, then, you know, the other side too, especially when you talked about CO selling, you know, a PRM, something like a partner stack or an all bound where you you can efficiently build those intake forms. And then it’s still on you to help understand and build that process with your sales team. But at least you’re you’re asking for and gathering all the pertinent information based on how simple or how complex your sales process is to make it very easy for your AES and sales team to help come in and cosell with you and your partner to that prospect. So really good, really good points there. Well, all right, as we wrap up, I be to play devil’s advocate, as we always love to do. What are some of the common pitfalls that you see as as whether it’s in the process, documentation, you know, activities that certain companies focus maybe too much time on? Have you seen any of these pitfalls, and what are they?

Will Taylor 21:22

So I would say, there are three primary ones that are top of mind. The first one is not documenting anything, and just kind of doing the activity. And it’s kind of, you know, chaotic. And the challenge with this is, it’ll be hard to repurpose in the future, you also won’t have the data to back it up as well. And that’s the second pitfall where when you have this structure, you’re then able to understand, we took you know, this time we took these actions, here are the people we engaged, and this was the result. And that data is going to inform what you need to change about the process, and also just how effective the process is, in general. But also, you can understand, across your partners, who does this actually fit best for. So capturing the data, or rather, not capturing the data is another pitfall that can hurt you in the long run, because especially as you’re building these things out, you need to understand what’s working and what’s not. And you can’t just go about them haphazardly. The third one would be over analyzing it. So I think we’ve mentioned in previous episodes, you don’t have to become the marketer, as a partner person, you should become the liaison between you, your partner and your team. And that’s why this project management piece is so critical, because you know, you’re not going to become an expert marketer, or an expert seller, if you are the partner person, because you have all the partner stuff to do, which is partner management, the account mapping, and so on. And so you, when you over analyze these things and try to over engineer them, that’s when there are some barriers to actually getting these things done. And momentum is extremely important in a partnership, especially early on with that partner, because if things slow down, than they are further from that value, it’s not fresh, it’s not top of mind. And so don’t try and become the marketer don’t try and become the, you know, ultimate salesperson as the partner manager, you should become the expert, Partner Manager, which focuses on again, managing everything orchestrating and making sure that everything falls in place by managing the people at the right time, at the right moment, at the right moments and at the right cadence as well. So that would be the third pitfall and so of course to avoid those you listen to podcasts like this and get our

Tom Burgess 24:01

well it’s like so pertinent because you got a quarterback right NFL season starting tonight, depending on when you’re listening to it, you harder partnership leaders or or partner professionals, there’s so much emphasis on being a quarterback and honestly being the project lead. And once again, there’s a lot of easy ways that you can build that into your system. And be confident that you’re you’re doing the right things. I think you nailed it, simplify, right like simplify when you can. I think one of the from like a co marketing standpoint, the other pitfall that I’ll throw in there, and this is maybe a little bit more advanced before we wrap up. But I, I want to emphasize, I’ve been using that word so much and my wife is going to she’s been listening to all these podcasts and she’s picking out my consistent words. I want to strengthen the fact that some times you don’t need to say yes all the time. I would say you feel comfortable saying no. CO marketing activities take time, right and that’s time in your day, and especially let’s say you’re you are comped on on, you know, arr or leads generated, you know, a webinar or something that ideally helps strengthen that down the road. But if you start seeing a lot of time in that, especially with when you start looking at partnerships, and we talked about tearing, and I don’t, whenever that episode launches, like, if you have a tiering model, and you start to look at your top 20 versus your lower to your partners, I’m not saying no to all co marketing activities, the let’s say there’s qualifications for some of these partners to achieve certain co marketing activities versus others. So maybe early on, you’re looking like, Hey, we’ve got templates to share on social we’ve got maybe a blog post even right, but webinars are only for our goal to your partners, and I think a lot of call up SalesLoft from from my time and working with them, they did an exceptional job of building this blueprint based on their partner tears and and really the playbook for their CO marketing activities. And it made it so easy for their partners to just kind of fit in there and efficiently drive everything home. But once again, don’t be afraid to say no, or build out specific co marketing activities for specific tiers of partners. If you have the bandwidth or you’re willing to do that, because I think in the long run it makes it a win win relationship no matter what, especially for your work. Your work efficiencies.

Will Taylor 26:13

Love it. That is okay, great segue. Yeah, we’re in the next episode, we’re gonna dive deeper into CO selling tiering. So tune in to those those next episodes. And Tom take us home.

Tom Burgess 26:26

Yeah. So just to recap, guys, and girls, co marketing activities, revenue generating activities, and partnerships are the lifeblood really it. It’s how you generate numbers. So I hope, Will’s expertise and our expertise and just kind of talking today allows you to figure out are you focusing on the right ones? Are you strengthening your time by by by building templates, and really focusing on documentation and really being that quarterback or that that key partner person to help guide everything home? Any final tactical takeaways?

Will Taylor 26:59

Well, my final tactical takeaway is don’t try and become the marketer. And I know I already said it, but just template, everything that you can, it’ll help you in the long run. And I will say no more. Template, everything.

Tom Burgess 27:14

Don’t be the marketer. Let your marketing team help you by asking the right questions. Maybe give them maybe send them some cookies, send them some gifts. Can you help me out? Just this one time? Yes, I would love to. And now you’re not the marketer but you have all the marketing shops. So with that, everyone, thanks for tuning in to another great episode of howdy partners and we will catch you next time.

Multiple Contributors 28 min

Howdy Partners #11: Revenue Generating Activities

A broad strokes view on building your partner programs has been our focus, but now let's dive into the actual levers that make the money flow.

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