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When and how do you prioritize partner enablement?

4 Answers
Nikhil Balaraman
Nikhil Balaraman
Roofstock Senior Director Product MarketingJanuary 5
  • It's going to be hard in the early days becuase you'll have a lot to do, and the partner channel probably is non-existant until ~20m or so in ARR. If you're selling into regulated industries this might vary/be sooner, but your main focus should be on enabling your internal teams.
  • Good news is that once an official partner person is hired, you should already have some assets ready to go! Most of your existing assets can probably be lightly customized so that your messaging and positioning stay consistent, but speaks to the new audience. Maybe a few new assets that the channel can use if more of a sell-thru relationship vs. sell-with. 
  • After a few deals materialize, hopefully a pattern will emerge and you'll see if it's more of a downmarket partner motion (e.g., Canva or Hubspot; selling thru marketing/brand/design agencies to SMBs) or more of an upmarket partner motion (e.g., Microsoft, Salesforce; selling thru GSIs to F50 companies). If you're seeing especially fast channel growth (say something like 20%+ of pipeline coming thru the channel), then definitely dedicate a PMM to that channel!

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Lizzie Yarbrough de Cantor
Lizzie Yarbrough de Cantor
AuditBoard Director of Product Marketing, RiskOctober 27

This is a great question. If you are referring to a strapped product marketing team, I think dedicated resources for areas like partner enablement and competitive intelligence are a pretty big luxury.

If you have the ability to hire someone specific for partner or channel strategy, then go for that. If not, I truly think this falls lower on a priority list. The way I’d recommend handling partner enablement is to take a look at materials you provide to your reps. Is this collateral you could give to your business development and/or partner team that they might be able to adjust slightly to meet their needs? Start there and see how it goes.

Also, in general, good priority is set at the company level. Is partner and channel growth more important in a given quarter than your general sales strategy? If so, then it’s worth prioritizing. Look to your managers and leadership team to help you understand what business outcomes are the most important if it isn’t clear.

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Hila Segal
Hila Segal
WalkMe Vice President, Product MarketingApril 12

When a significant part of your business/pipeline comes from partners you need to prioritize partner enablement. Here are a few suggestions:

1/ Try to find creative ways to repurpose your core sales enablement programs and materials and how you can adjust them to the partner audience. 

2/ Look for opportunities to train and trainer in the partner org and create a network effect for scale

3/ Identify key reps within the partner team that have been successful with your product and build a case study around them - turn them into your advocate 

4/ Make sure the partner selling team understands how they make money from partnering with you

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Roopal Shah
Roopal Shah
Snowflake Head (VP) of Global Sales EnablementJanuary 24

I think it depends on where the company is in its growth trajectory and how important the partner model is to hitting its growth targets. For some, it's their primary revenue model (e.g. resellers) and if so, that's critical. For others, it's more about ISV/SI enablement - in which case, I would definitely prioritize it but do it after your internal sellers that you are paying commission to are ramped and representing your products/solutions best in the marketplace. 

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