As a graduate of Y-Combinator, PartnerStack has been rooted in helping some of the world’s fastest growing SaaS companies scale. Companies like Asana, Monday.com, Unbounce, Intercom, and Intuit all use PartnerStack to manage and scale their partner programs, and onboard thousands of partners into our platform.
There are a few unique aspects to PartnerStack, which has led us to becoming the #1 platform on G2.
PartnerStack is the only solution that has both the PRM and a B2B focused marketplace that connects vendors with partners. On average, our marketplace drives a 30%+ lift in revenue for customers.
We are extremely focused on partner experience, which is a big distinction for us. Most PRMs are focused solely on the vendor experience. But if both sides of this equation are not having a good experience, then it becomes a problem.
And with PartnerStack, all of your channels can be managed from a single platform - affiliate, referral, reseller and ambassador. We see a lot of companies, agencies, and resellers choosing our platform to help them consolidate their channels into a single view.
How is your partnership team structured at PartnerStack?
Our team is still relatively young, as we launched it in April. The majority of this year has been building relationships and working with both agencies and resellers.
I lead the team, and we have an incredible Account Manager that works closely with our partners, as well as a partner marketing manager that works on any co-marketing efforts we run with partners.
Our partnership team is currently focused on two core areas:
We often work with sales when one of their SaaS prospects wants to launch PartnerStack right away but doesn’t have the internal bandwidth. In those cases, we connect them with an agency partner who we know can do it right away and do it well.
Technology partnerships are also on our radar. We have recently built a number of integrations. One of our goals in 2021 and going into 2022 will be to further build out our technology partner program and our own integration marketplace.
We also plan to enter the app marketplaces of other SaaS vendors, especially CRMs like SugarCRM or Hubspot. CRMs are good partners for us because, with the exception of Salesforce, no CRM has a PRM as part of their product offering. So our software is complementary rather than competitive. And it benefits our customers to have those systems integrated.
“If you’re planning to scale your partnerships at all, you need the infrastructure in place to do this.”
<center>- Nikita Zhitkevich<center></center></center>
What advice would you give for organizations trying to think through who their ideal partners are?
Ultimately, everything has to come down to revenue. Whether you’re pursuing referral, reseller, or technology partnerships, you have to tie them back to driving revenue.
Especially since you need the support of other departments in your organization, whether it is collaboration with the sales team or the product team to help build integrations, the benefit to the business needs to be very clear.
For agency and reseller partners, I would advise looking to see if they power similar products to yours. I’d also think about whether the partner will continue to evolve over time in the direction you are going and whether they truly understand your product and space.
Over at the SaaS Ecosystem Alliance, we held a virtual roundtable event focused on partner marketing for technology ecosystems.
We spoke with Mark Lafrate, Product Marketing Manager for Apps & Partnerships at Intercom, Katie Rubak, Senior Manager of Partner Marketing at Talkdesk, Briarley Laban, Global Director of Partner Marketing at Trustpilot, and Morgan Rochofski, Product and Partner Marketing for Salesloft’s ecosystem.
During the event we discussed traits of good tech and co-marketing partners, best practices for internal and external reporting structures and org charts, and how to tie partner marketing KPIs to larger organizational goals.
The panelists discussed how partner marketing can often be mispositioned or misrepresented as a supporting team to partnerships. Ensuring organizational structure and KPIs are designed so partner marketing, marketing, and partnerships are all supporting each other and working towards a shared vision can effectively combat this.
Panelists discussed the different executives that partner marketing and alliances teams report to within their company, and how they collaborate within these structures.
For example, Briarley Laban from Trustpilot explained how her Partner Marketing team sits under Marketing while the Partnerships and Alliances team works under their Commercial team.
Morgan Rochofski noted that both Partner Marketing and Alliances work under Marketing at Salesloft. Briarley and Morgan explained the pros of these two different structures, as well as the synergies that they unlocked.
When it came to the discussion about KPIs for partner marketing that tie into organizational goals, Mark shared the three “north star” KPIs they use at Intercom, which are opportunities, lead generation, and app adoption.
Panelists also shared that along with KPIs tied to generating revenue, they also have KPIs around marketing activities and ensuring other internal teams are leveraging partner opportunities.
They thought it was useful to frame KPIs in different buckets: marketing to partners, marketing through partners to their audiences, and marketing with partners.
In addition, panelists discussed the importance of collaborating with other internal teams on partnerships, including having KPIs tied to other internal teams' engagement in co-sale opportunities. They described some specific actions they have taken within their organizations to engage and invest internal teams in external partnerships.
If you're interested in hearing the full discussion, join the SaaS Ecosystem Alliance to gain access to members only resources and a recording of this event.
You can also register for more upcoming roundtables on interdisciplinary topics relevant to those working in technology partnerships.