The Partner Experience Weekly: How to Select an Account Mapping Solution

The Partner Experience Weekly: How to Select an Account Mapping Solution

Aaron Howerton 3 min

The overall process for vetting any software vendor is generally the same, with differentiation being heavily tied to specific requirements for features and technical delivery.

We’re entering a time of feature parity for primary platform functionality with an increasing need for integrated access, data insights, and a plan for AI utilization. At the same time, there’s an ever-increasing focus on ungated access for prospects and customers (see as an example).

If you’re a vendor, an open sales process with a focus on meeting customer needs will drive more signatures than a song and dance meant to wow the audience.

If you’re on the hunt, this week is a quick list for vetting an Account Mapping Solution. Looking for guidance on what to do once you sign? Check here.

The checklist

Gather your stakeholders

  • Marketing
  • Partnerships
  • Sales
  • Customer Success
  • Operations (Marketing, Partner, Sales, CS)

Stakeholder groups will vary based on your mainline strategy, but you should give voice to any group you can as you get started.

Readiness check

  1. Ideal Customer Profile (ICP) Clearly Defined
  • Customer Journey Clearly Defined (From Prospect to Churn)
  • When do they enter each overlap population?

2. Legal Compliance - What data are you sharing, with who, and why?

  • Who should have access to YOUR data?
  • Who should have access to PARTNER data?

3. Operations:

  • Who will ‘own’ the platform admin?
  • Who should have access to create overlaps?
  • What are the CRM feature integration needs?
  • What are the CRM data sync needs?
  • Who should see the data within the CRM?

4. Enablement:

  • Who owns the training strategy
  • All audiences identified
  • Strategic owners identified and fully committed to execution with launch

Validate the strategy in advance

  1. Joint Marketing Campaigns
  • Content Commit
  • Budgetary Commit
  • Project Plan

2. Co-Selling

  • Direct Commit + Resourced
  • Process Plan

3. Partner Recruitment/Validation/Planning

  • Pre-signing overlap comparison
  • Quarterly Planning Targets (Prospects, Opps, Renewals, Nearbound)

4. Renewals

  • CS Buy-In
  • Co-Sell Plan
  • NPS and CSAT Ratings Impact

5. Metrics and KPIs agreed on for success validation

6. Onboarding plan and strategic roadmap

Vetting the vendors

  1. Identify your targets
  • Basic Features for overlaps are all basically the same (Prospect, Opportunity, and Customer Overlaps based on CRM sync mappings)
  • Platforms may have regional dominance
  • Dominance within existing ecosystem

2. Sales Team Features

  • Where do they ‘work’?
  • How do any ‘attribution’ tools align with any current process or impact potential future adjustments?
  • Increasingly - the ability to set ‘targets’ with partners for non-overlap customers

3. CRM integration Features

  • “Widgets”
  • Data sync - custom overlaps v. standard overlap visibility and counts
  • Connecting to Partners
  • Insights
  • Other utilization/engagement features

4. Pricing Model

  • By users: Of the core platform? Of the sales tools? Can you self-administer users? Per user or by tier?
  • By overlap count: Is there a base minimum? Does this go by tiers?
  • By all means: Included integrations, Potential up-sells, Tech partner enhancements

5. Technical Validations

  • CRM Integration Requirements and Features
  • Security Model for Access: Direct platform access and CRM data security model
  • Overlap Management: Frequency of updates, Population Shift Tracking, Comparative Analysis (industry, competitors, etc.)

6. Platform Differentiation

  • Is there a unique approach that differentiates their approach?
  • Product roadmap: CRM integration enhancements, Real-time synchronization potential, Inclusion and utilization of AI (short and long term)

7. Support Plans

  • Onboarding Timeline
  • Post-launch support

The wrap-up

The main message for this week is intentionality. Bring an intentional effort to any vendor selection process, and you’ll find better results.

Account Mapping, in and of itself, should be a strategic play, and the process of selecting a vendor should reflect that.

This guide is just that - a guide. Hopefully, it helps, but it may not be all-encompassing for your specific needs.

Find this useful, or are you looking for help managing the selection process? Let me know at [email protected]!

Prefer to listen? Check out the podcast version of this post here:

How to Select an Account Mapping Vendor–PartnerOps Partner

Aaron Howerton 3 min

The Partner Experience Weekly: How to Select an Account Mapping Solution

Account Mapping is a strategic decision. How do you select a vendor?

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