01 Sep Overcoming the Homelessness Problem in Tech Partnerships
September 1, 2022
I just got back from attending the first Partnership Leader Catalyst conference in Miami last week. The conference was amazing, as is some of the data that is coming out on Partner Ecosystem performance. Reveal is calling this the Nearbound effect. Their data suggests that account mapping and other tools help B2B SaaS partnership teams to crush it with their tech partnerships by:
-Boosting their win rate by 41%
-Increasing their average deal size by 43%
-Generating two times the revenue
Not to mention, there are some pretty amazing statistics showing a causal relationship between tech partner integration deployment and the virtual eradication of churn!
What is Your Tech Partner Program’s EPS?
Peeling back the onion a bit reveals that, while there are excellent examples of success, ecosystems as a whole have yet to generate very good EPS. This means that our revenue engines, particularly in the all-important category of technology partnerships, are not an E – Efficient, P – Predictable, and S – Scalable source of revenue.
The lack of EPS is pretty easy to explain. Across most B2B SaaS companies’ partner team goals, revenue models, org structures, activities, reporting, trust, and connections, there is misalignment and disconnect.
It’s ironic that while going to market with an integrated set of technology partners, the partner team behavior, GTM processes, data, and capabilities are fragmented and lack effective integration – a problem that’s multiplied for every n+1 partner relationship.
Where does this leave these super-powerful tech partnerships – partnerships that can boost win rates, increase deal size, generate more revenue, and put a fork in churn?
The answer: it leaves them homeless.
Tech partnerships, like a marriage, are unmanaged. Unlike a marriage, the two partners are mostly self-serving narcissists, focused 99% on self (we sell, market, and support our stuff), not the stuff the integration partner has, and vice versa on the other side of the partnership. The partnership itself is unmanaged and left to massively underperform its potential.
Homeless Joint Solutions Lack Acceleration
What doesn’t happen as a result of treating the tech partnership’s joint solution with care and concern is that key GoToEco checklist items, shown in the diagram below, are missed, and we don’t get to EPS revenues:
-What is the Opportunity? The joint solution is typically not pressure tested, validated, and formally launched. Is there a validated use case, how big is the TAM, and is there a solid GoToEco value proposition for us, the partner, and the customer?
-Is the Joint Solution Ready to Market? Have we pressure tested the use case? Is there a customer testimonial? Is the Bill of Materials (BOM) in place for both partners? Who maintains the BOM?
-Is the Partner Willing to GoToEco? Is the partner willing to support referrals? Does the partner want referrals, and is there an agreement to leverage a proper account mapping cadence?
-Is Marketing Ready to Co-market? Will we do ABM in-house and design ads and campaigns to execute, or will we outsource the demand generation work?
-Is Sales Ready to Co-sell? Are our AEs and CSs aligned, as well as those of our partner, and are both RevOps teams on board?
Go Get Yourself a Partner Sourced Revenue Engine
If tech partnerships are an important part of your company’s ecosystem strategy, and we certainly hope that they are, you need to find a way to overcome the EPS revenue problem. Our recommendation is to go find a Revenue Engine. We have a few suggestions to get you there.
-Pick the Right GoToEco Partners and look for joint solutions. Follow the checklist above and map out your process as shown in the diagram below. Spend the time to get ready because if you are going to put your badge down to ask for money, you had best be sure that you are picking the right first set of partners for your GoToEco. As the first three columns of the checklist indicate, you need a completed product–validated integration and use case, a big market opportunity/TAM analysis, great top prospect overlap, and a great value proposition. You also need to have the materials needed in customer references, stories, and a BOM. Finally, the partner has to be willing and able to play ball with referrals and account mapping engagement. It’s a good idea to focus on 3-5 top partners out of the gate and then, as you gain EPS with these partners, expand from there.
-Get Sales and Marketing Alignment. No matter if you drive the ABM campaigns in-house or outsource to an agency, you need to align with marketing. After all, we are generating demand with the joint solutions to go after their prospects, so they have to be on board. You also need AEs who will be willing to work referrals from your partners’ customer accounts and CS teams who are willing to support referrals from your customer accounts. Your partner needs to do the same thing as the best GoToEco results happen when both partners participate reciprocally.
-Ask for Help. There’s a reason that tech partner joint solutions are orphans, and most in-house marketing, even with great partner marketing resources typically only build for their side of the partnership – back to the narcissism problem discussed earlier. New managed services (we call ours Revenue as a Service) are now emerging to drive turnkey ABM campaigns to turn orphans into superstar EPS contributors.
DM Allan Adler if you’d like to learn more. Either way, build an EPS GoToEco Revenue Engine and rescue those orphaned tech partnerships.