Leverage AI to Build Your Partner Program

Leverage AI to Build Your Partner Program

Rob Rebholz 14 min

There are two facts about this decade. 

  1. The only way to succeed in today’s market is to tap into the power of your ecosystem and nurture trust. 

  2. If you don’t start leveraging AI to build your partner program you’re going to lose your competitive advantage. 

But if you want to leverage both, first we have to get rid of one myth…

 

AI is not going to take over your job. AI only will boost the value you put to the table. 

 

Yes, AI can help you with insights and brainstorming, but who will build the relationship with your partners or customers, you or AI?

 

“I have zero fear of Partnership Managers being replaced by AI.”–Rob Rebholz, CEO and Founder of Superglue. 

Customers are hungry for the human element, and AI can’t give them that. 

 

You need that personal touch to build a relationship with your customers, and getting help from your partners is essential to achieving that.

 

So, to help you better leverage AI to drive revenue, we sat down with Rob Rebholz, CEO and Founder of Superglue to: 

  1. Define the benefits of AI in partnerships

  2. Teach you how to use some AI features to sell and partner better

  3. Some baby steps you can implement if you’re still hesitant about leveraging AI. 

 

 

Why you should leverage AI in your partnerships strategy?

The answer is simple: it can bridge the gaps in your Partnership team. 

 

Given the smaller size and budget of Partnership teams compared to Sales or Marketing, managing repetitive tasks like checking in with people or tracking deals often leads to gaps in areas like finding new partners or enabling existing ones. 

 

AI presents a solution by streamlining these tasks, adapting to your ecosystem’s stage and your partnership program’s maturity, allowing you to focus on bridging the gaps. 

 

As Rob Rebholz suggests, AI helps activate partners and facilitates co-selling motions, enabling companies to generate revenue, regardless of their stage of maturity.

 

“If you’re in an early-stage ecosystem, the partner activation phase is a big opportunity. Getting people to know you, and trust you, and making them feel valued so that they bring the first referral is something AI can help you with.

 

If you’re in a more mature company stage, building a co-selling motion with AI might be the right opportunity for you.”

 

Some gaps you can bridge with AI in your daily partnership routine are:

  1. Finding partners: AI helps partners find the right vendors faster and easier. Smart chat prompts, using advanced technology, make it simple for partners to discover vendors and evaluate potential partnership opportunities.

  2. Creating demand: AI tools, like channel marketing automation, can change how partners and vendors create demand. With AI generating personalized marketing materials and handling distribution, partners, and vendors can better generate and take advantage of the demand.

  3. Lead generation: AI features like Reveal’s Lead Gen AI facilitate lead generation by providing instant insights and data-driven suggestions, enabling partners and vendors to identify and pursue highly qualified leads efficiently.

  4. Onboarding and nurturing partners: AI streamlines partner activation workflows by identifying whom to engage, when to engage, and the required enablement based on the opportunity stage. It easily categorizes and addresses touchpoints by partner type, tier, and contact role.

  5. Closing deals: AI aids in closing deals by offering real-time insights and guidance through chat prompts, enhancing the effectiveness of sales, customer success, and partner management activities during the sales process.

  6. Support and growth: Post-sale, AI enhances customer and partner support by providing access to materials and personalized assistance through chatbots, thereby improving user experiences and creating additional opportunities for upselling and expansion.

 

 

If you start delegating tasks to AI, you can even free up to 70% of your time, allowing you to focus on what matters the most: building trust and relationships with your partners to drive revenue.

 

 

 

How you can leverage AI: Tools edition

We have collected some examples of how companies like Reveal and Superglue, are leveraging AI to help you achieve your goals.

Lead Generation AI by Reveal

If one of your goals is to generate highly qualified leads we have a perfect feature for you: Lead Gen by Reveal.

 

With this new feature Sales and Marketing Managers can see who they aren’t working with, but should! In other words, it shows your partners’ customers that do not appear in your CRM.

 

It’s a great way to find qualified leads and rank them based on the partners they’re customers of. 

 

 

Here’s how you can leverage it:

 

1. Log in to your Reveal account (this feature is only available for pro and power plans).

 

2. Go to the 360 Goals, click on the Lead Generation (AI), and use the filters to narrow down and find New Prospects that match your ICP. 

 

 

3. Prioritize those accounts with more partner signals. Some new prospects will be easier to convert, so sort the list by partner signals to find accounts linked to partners with historically higher win rates for you. 

 

 

 

Now that you know the partners linked to them, but also who to contact. Your next move is to export the data, upload it to your favorite CRM, and assign it to your Sales teams! 

 

Why AI? 

Lead Gen introduces a Large Language Model (LLM) that performs various processing tasks to ensure New Prospects are assigned to categories and ranges coherent with your CRM.

 

The graph below shows how their model processes the industry type of a New Prospect. Same industry type, but with different names. The AI finds the appropriate category in your CRM and lists the account under that name.

 

 

Improve your partner experience with Superglue

If one of the gaps in your Partnership team is the lack of time to build relationships, we have the perfect platform for you: Superglue

 

It’s a digital assistant that analyzes whom you should connect with in your ecosystem and when to reach out, and even drafts things like joint value propositions or emails for you—all in real-time and based on your CRM data and guidelines. 

 

Superglue is not only about automation and workflows, but also allocating the time and dedication each of your partners and Sales reps needs. It’s about sharing nearbound insights when your team needs them the most and reaching out to your partners to build a relationship. 

 

 

For Partnership Managers, one of the most useful workflows inside Superglue is the co-sell one. Let’s imagine you’re trying to get your AEs to start leveraging partner data, but they simply don’t know a thing about partnerships.

 

So instead of trying to get them onboard, just leverage AI to share partner data as a signal to sell better and faster. 

 

Superglue helps you draft a message that uses your CRM data to help your Sales team (or partner): “Hey [AE’s name], [partner name] has intel that can help you unstuck that deal. Want some help?”

 

Or if your focus is to enhance partner relationships, you can build a workflow that helps you remind all the people you haven’t talked to in ‘x amount of days’, and have a pre-crafted and personalized message for each of them. It doesn’t matter if you’re trying to build 2 or 790 relationships, Superglue’s AI can help you with both.

 

 

“The moment we make processes easier for people, without causing them to make a lot of effort, or even learn a new thing, that’s when people can adopt easily any technology. It should be effortless.”

 

Baby steps

“I wouldn’t do AI too early. If you’re just starting out with partnerships, figure out the basics about partnerships, and then you can start leveraging AI.”

 

The problem right now is that those who want to use AI think it is going to do all for them. But actually, they have first to take a step back, look for the gaps in their process, and see where AI can help them. 

 

If you want your team to start leveraging AI properly, here’s what you have to do:

 

1. Assess your status quo: List the activities that they are currently performing (as well as those they are supposed to perform) according to the importance, complexity, and time required.

  • What does your team do daily?

  • What is your team supposed to do but can’t do it because they don’t have time?

  • Which are the tasks your team doesn’t like to do?

  • Which are the tasks that your team doesn’t do well?

 

“These gaps aren’t weaknesses, they are opportunities to improve and get better at what you do.”

 

2. Choose the tasks where AI can make a difference: Identify easy-to-use AI tools or processes that can help you bridge the gap between what you’re doing and what are you supposed to do.  

 

Start by leveraging AI in tasks you’re not that good at, for example, quickly scanning and analyzing data–with AI you can even have data recommendations. 

 

3. Build the business case: Explain to your team and CFO how things are currently been doing, what will change with the introduction of AI, and some results you expect to see. If you’re talking to your CFO, make sure you add the revenue factor (numbers are important) to the equation. Make sure you say something like: 

  • If we add this AI tool to our tech stack we will be able to build ‘x’ more partners to help with [goal].

  • If we add this AI tool to our tech stack we could help to close these ‘x numbers’ of deals due to [a smarter collaboration process] 

     

If you don’t feel like using AI right from the get-go, or you feel you’re not ready, you can start by taking baby steps, for example leveraging ChatGPT for small things like cleaning data or getting ideas for emails. 

 

Just consider that last year, 3 in 5 top-performing revenue leaders considered AI as their top investment. Are you going to be part of those who aren’t leveraging it? 

 

If your answer is no, you have to understand how prompting works–this can give you a good idea of how AI platforms work. 

 

Here are some prompts that can help you take those baby steps:

 

Cleaning data

Imagine you want to create a Gsheet with the people who are attending an event, to find out if it’s worth going to an “X” event or not. Here’s how ChatGPT can help you with that task:  

 

1. Copy and paste the attendees from the website into ChatGPT. Let’s say you have a list like this: 

 

Elon Musk

CEO

Tesla and SpaceX

Jeff Bezos

Founder and CEO

Amazon

Warren Buffett 

Chairman and CEO

Berkshire Hathaway

Abigail Johnson 

CEO 

Fidelity Investments

Sheryl Sandberg 

COO 

Meta Platforms

 

Make sure you use the following prompt: 

“Can you create a table with the following data? Make sure you have one column for first name, last name, company name, job title, and company domain.

 

And you will receive something like this:

 

*You need to verify if the company domain is correct 

 

2. Now, all you have to do is copy and paste that table into your Gsheet (make sure you use command + shift + V–so you can keep the column format). 

 

Extra tip: upload that Gsheet into Reveal to know how many of your prospects and clients are going to that event, and who from your team is worth sending. 

 

Quick tips to build a partnership

Let’s say you want to build a very strategic partnership and you need a bit of help so you can win the deal. Here’s what you can do to get that little guidance or a basic starting point: 

 

1. Describe your scenario to ChatGPT, and ask if it can coach you through the process, the prompt you use should be something around: 

 

“Based on the following scenario, can you coach me through the process of building and winning that very strategic partnership?  

 

I’m the CEO of "AI-CRM Solutions Inc.", a rapidly growing startup that has developed an advanced AI-driven customer relationship management (CRM) platform. Our platform leverages cutting-edge machine learning algorithms to analyze customer data, automate sales processes, and personalize interactions, making it a game-changer for businesses looking to optimize their sales and marketing efforts.

 

Our target partner is "Tech Innovations Ltd.," a software development firm known for its suite of enterprise software solutions, including ERP systems, project management tools, and collaboration platforms. They have a large client base of Fortune 500 companies and a reputation for delivering scalable and reliable software solutions tailored to the needs of large enterprises.

 

Our objective is to establish a strategic partnership with Tech Innovations Ltd. to integrate our AI-driven CRM platform with their existing software solutions. By combining forces, you aim to create a comprehensive enterprise solution that offers seamless integration, advanced analytics, and actionable insights to help businesses drive revenue growth and enhance customer satisfaction.”

 

(Make sure you tailor your scenario according to your company, job title, goals, etc.)

 

2. ChatGPT should share with you something like this: 

 

 

It might give you some general points, but you can definitely leverage this as a starting point. 

 

3. Once you have those starting points, leverage Reveal to identify who from your existing partners has Tech Innovations Ltd as a customer, and ask them if they have any intel on that account, if they can influence by putting a nice word, or if they can even make an introduction. 

 

Content brainstorming 

As a Partner Manager, you might need to write a lot of follow-up emails or just emails to “maintain relationships” and to be fair, this gets complicated if (1) you’re not an English native speaker, or (2) you have to write similar emails and your creativity juice just isn’t coping. 

 

So, one of the prompts you can use is something as simple as “Can you check the grammar for the following email?” or “Can you write a couple of versions of the following email?” 

 

 

If you want more ChatGPT prompts, read Partner Fleet’s article here

 

Learning how to use ChatGPT can give you an excellent idea of how AI works. Once you consider yourself confident enough, now you can start leveraging platforms like Superglue, and features like Lead Generation by Reveal. 

 

AI + Partnerships

Partnership Managers must embrace the power of AI in building better relationships and driving success. The era of solely relying on traditional methods like cold calls and emails is fading, and leveraging AI in partnerships presents a significant opportunity to enhance efficiency and effectiveness in partnership management. 

 

Just as Jessica Barker, Chief Program Officer at AchieveUnite, mentioned in one of the Howdy Partners podcast episodes: 

 

“I think gen AI has a lot of power to change the way we work with partners. It has a way of making things more relevant and valuable.”

 

AI is not about replacing human interaction but amplifying the value that Partnership Managers bring to the table. AI can help you action all the intel you have. 

 

By embracing AI, Partnership Managers can unlock new opportunities, drive revenue growth, and achieve greater success in today’s dynamic business landscape.

 

Ready to supercharge your partnership strategy with AI? 

 

Book a call with our experts to learn how you can leverage AI to drive success in your partnerships, optimize your processes, foster better relationships, and unlock new opportunities. 

 

 

Rob Rebholz 14 min

Leverage AI to Build Your Partner Program


Discover how AI can bridge gaps in your Partnership team, streamline tasks, and drive revenue. Learn from Rob Rebholz every thing you need to know to unlock the power of AI in your partnership strategy.


You Might Also Like

X

This is a test comment.

X

This is a longer test comment to see how this looks if the person decides to ramble a bit. So they're rambling and rambling and then they even lorem ipsum.