7 Thoughts on Building Your First Partner Program

Salesforce announced this past quarter that its partners were the #1 source of its new bookings. Wow.

What that exactly means, and how it’s defined is unclear, but the point stands.

Partners are a key part of getting to $100m for most of us, maybe even almost all of us.  But they rarely get us to the first $1m … usually you are too small or nascent for anyone to really want to partner with you.  I’ve seen some companies like Talkdesk get to their first $1m leveraging partnerships, but even there it still takes time.  In any event, partnerships almost always work.  But our expectations of how quickly they deliver, and how they deliver, are almost always not met 🙂

A few things to think about:

7 Thoughts on Building Your First Partner Program

Salesforce announced this past quarter that its partners were the #1 source of its new bookings. Wow.

What that exactly means, and how it’s defined is unclear, but the point stands.

Partners are a key part of getting to $100m for most of us, maybe even almost all of us.  But they rarely get us to the first $1m … usually you are too small or nascent for anyone to really want to partner with you.  I’ve seen some companies like Talkdesk get to their first $1m leveraging partnerships, but even there it still takes time.  In any event, partnerships almost always work.  But our expectations of how quickly they deliver, and how they deliver, are almost always not met 🙂

A few things to think about:

SaaStr Podcast #152: Lars Nilsson, VP of Global Inside Sales @ Cloudera on Why SDRs Are The Most Important Role In The Sales Function

Lars Nilsson is the VP of Global Inside Sales for Cloudera, and with over twenty-five years of sales and operations experience, Lars Nilsson is a global leader in enterprise software and selling solutions. As one of Lars many incredible achievements, he and his team at Cloudera built the sales methodology Account-Based Sales Development (ABSD), which has transformed how businesses approach high-value targets. Prior to Cloudera, Lars founded SalesSource, a business services consulting firm specializing in CRM customization and sales process development. Lars has also served in sales executive roles at ArcSight/Hewlett Packard, Riverbed Technology, and Portal Software – all three of which achieved IPOs, in addition to Cloudera (2017). As Special Advisor at True Ventures, Lars helps True portfolio companies develop sales compensation plans from the ground up, implement best-of-breed sales technologies, and rapidly scale sales teams to meet demand. In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

Where You’ll End Up in SaaS If You Do Nothing About Gender Inclusion: 81%/19%. If You Are Lucky.

I hope everyone reading this is thinking much more about taking action re: diversity and inclusion than they were 12 months ago. It’s a big topic, but there is one piece from SaaStr data I thought it might be helpful share. We have a small “list” (our SaaStr Newsletter).  It is “only” 32,000 readers.  But … it’s a high quality list.  How do we know? Well, it will sell almost all of the $5,000,000 in tickets to the 2018 SaaStr Annual.  Our list is almost the only attributable source of ticket sales.  So by definition it’s pretty high quality, and very on point for our industry.  And probably reasonably representative of a material segment of it. And what we’ve learned, unfortunately, is that both our list and the attendee ratio at the SaaStr Annual will be 81/19 if no action is taken.  81% Continue reading "Where You’ll End Up in SaaS If You Do Nothing About Gender Inclusion: 81%/19%. If You Are Lucky."

Lessons Learned: How to Land, Expand, and Expand Again (Video + Transcript)

Needless to say, every company wants to grow their client base. But what’s the best way to do it? You’ve probably heard of land and expand, but what about expand again? Yello CEO Jason Weingarten and EVP Michael Mergerain talk about the importance of expansion and how to best extract the most value out of every customer. Some of the things Jason and Michael suggest doing are starting a one-year pilot during the Land stage, equipping your account managers so they have products to upsell, and the importance of building and maintaining relationships with your clients. You can view the slide deck here. And if you haven’t heard: SaaStr Annual will be back in 2018, bigger and better than ever! Join 10,000 fellow founders, investors and execs for 3 days of unparalleled networking and epic learnings from SaaS legends like Eric YuanTomasz TunguzChris O’Neill, and 
Continue reading "Lessons Learned: How to Land, Expand, and Expand Again (Video + Transcript)"

Field Sales: When Domain Expertise Does Matter. Just Don’t Over-index.

Imagine you are selling a $100,000+ product and you yourself as CEO/founders have limited knowledge selling to the customer base. You’ll be very tempted to hire someone with a seemingly magical rolodex.

What doesn’t work for sure is hiring someone with (x) no domain expertise who also (y) has also only sold small (e.g, $10k) deals. That’s a Double No.

But as the deals get bigger, the value of domain expertise in the early part of a reps tenure does go up.

Because reps with a lot of industry experience in bigger deals don’t always quite have the rolodex they claim — but they often can bring you at least 1 or 2 strong leads. At $1k a year, so what? But at $250k a year, those two ringer deals can more than justify the hire.

Rarely have I seen a sales rep’s enterprise rolodex from past jobs really Continue reading "Field Sales: When Domain Expertise Does Matter. Just Don’t Over-index."