Nearbound Weekend 04/06: Revenue Leaders (Want To) Believe In You

Nearbound Weekend 04/06: Revenue Leaders (Want To) Believe In You

Ella Richmond 6 min

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Revenue leaders (want to) believe in you

A few weeks ago, we interviewed six stellar Revenue, Sales, and Business Development leaders to help Partner Managers build better relationships with their Sales organizations.


One of these leaders, Latané Conant (CRO at 6Sense), told Shawnie at the very beginning of their conversation:

“Partnership teams can be a lot like Marketing teams. You don’t know what good is until you’ve had it. And once you’ve had it, you wonder, ‘How did I ever live without it?’”


It’s your job as a Partnership Manager to show them what they’ve been missing.


So how do you do that?


We asked, and they gave us six key pieces of feedback for partner managers. Implement the feedback to earn the buy-in you need and deserve.


Feedback #1: Partner teams are doing too many things at once

“Partnerships go too fast and in too many directions. When you slow down and focus, you see the impact. Stop changing directions so much. You have to let things evolve for at least a year, including pay structures.”  Greg Theriault, Director of Strategic Clients at Alteryx


Feedback #2: Partner teams aren’t focusing on the right goals

“For partner leaders who are respected, what are they doing differently? They are setting really clear expectations. Too often, I see people put a really big revenue target on new programs for the first year that it’s in operation. It’s so rare that a nascent partner channel contributes real revenue in the early days. If you start out by telling the Revenue leader, ‘You’re gonna get 10 or 15% of revenue from this partnership,’ and then it doesn’t deliver, the entire channel gets discounted in her mind and she assumes it’s not working. But if you start it off with, ‘We’re gonna engage 20 Partners. We’re gonna spend the next quarter figuring out which five of them to invest in. Then we’re going to take those five and we’re going to embed them in x, y, z processes,’ and set really clear milestones that are moving towards a revenue contribution figure over time, you can build credibility over time.”  Liz Christo, Partner at Stage 2 Capital 

Feedback #3: Partner teams don’t have the right tools and enablement


“There’s only so much Partner Managers can accomplish if you don’t establish the right processes around partnerships. They will be wildly inefficient if they don’t have the right setup. For example, is your CRM tracking partnership activity? It’s not about the size of your Partner team. It’s about the infrastructure. Partner operations isn’t an extra—it drives the process.  —Latané Conant, CRO at 6sense


Feedback #4: Partner teams don’t have the right relationships and/or structure

“Partnerships are important to GTM. I think what’s even more important is that they should be in the same revenue org. They shouldn’t be standalone, roll into a COO, CMO, or some other function. They should be under the CRO in that same world. Because again, we want to start with no silos so that they can cohesively all sell and work together in service of just really making sure the customers can win, right? If I think about some of the best, most successful SaaS companies out there, that’s what they did. They were thinking and operating in a cohesive, “we are one revenue org” mentality.”    —Maya Connet, VP, Inside Sales at Clari


Feedback #5: Partner teams aren’t telling the right stories

“I’ve seen partner teams do all this great work, but then not share it with anyone else. Teach people! What is the best way to bring a partner into your deal? How do you bring them in super early versus more of an afterthought later? What are examples and stories of deals where partners were involved that were super successful? Highlighting those wins in a big way, I think is crucial.


There’s sometimes a mystique for sellers around partners. They think that maybe they overcomplicate things or they are gonna derail your deals. And so the more we can just show real-life examples and let them know they are still the quarterback of this deal—here are all the ways that they helped to compliment, reinforce, and tangibly progress the deal alongside you—the better. Sellers need concrete examples that are then gonna encourage them to replicate those same behaviors in future deals.” Maya Connet, VP, Inside Sales at Clari


Feedback #6: Nearbound & Partnerships are the future

“Partners are a more scalable channel. When it’s working, it scales in a way that is not linear. It’s not about adding headcount and I think that is actually a really critical thing for people to think about in the long term. Inherently, a GTM motion that relies on sellers gets less efficient with time when you scale from one to five to twenty to one hundred AEs. There’s no way you’re as good at hiring, training, have the same quality leads... It doesn’t matter how many managers you put in place, your efficacy goes down and not everyone hits quota. But actually, when you think about scaling partnership hires, you can get way more productivity if you’re prioritizing and working on the right things.”  —Liz Christo, Partner at Stage 2 Capital 


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Ella Richmond 6 min

Nearbound Weekend 04/06: Revenue Leaders (Want To) Believe In You

A few weeks ago, we interviewed six stellar Revenue, Sales, and Business Development leaders to help Partner Managers build better relationships with their Sales organizations.

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