SaaS CEO or Co-Founder

Enabling your partner team to succeed quickly with product and marketing!

Alex Glenn
February 22, 2021
36
 MIN
Listen this episode on your favorite platform!
SaaS CEO or Co-Founder
February 22, 2021
36
 MIN

Enabling your partner team to succeed quickly with product and marketing!

“You can't set a goal of saying, Hey, in 2021, we want our partner revenue to be a third of our revenue mix and then not support it through product investment, find creative ways to include them in your marketing and allow them to understand your customers because that's going to make them really excited.”

Enabling your partner team to succeed quickly with product and marketing!!

It’s not easy for a small team of a new tech to have the sort of confidence and trust in each other to achieve success in the channel at this early of a stage. This is the perfect team to record on this topic. Grant hired Zach in 2020 and gave him the runway and support to get their new agency-focused partner program off the ground quickly. 

Main sections: 

[00:04:06] Introductions

[00:05:41] The current state of your partnership program

[00:06:57] The state of the product with regards to the agency's dashboard

[00:11:16] The strategy for getting people into your calendar

[00:13:42] KPIs, goals, metrics 

[00:18:54] Incentives 

[00:22:13] SOP’s

[00:29:59] Product and marketing resource allocation

[00:31:13] Big realizations and words of advice

...

Resources: 

Sendoso.com - The leading sending platform.

Partnerstack.com - Partner tracking and payouts.

Sharework.co - A free account mapping solution.

Unstack.com - our guests.


Episode Transcript

Zach rego: [00:00:00] It also allows them to make an offer that's super simple for a client to understand. That seems really well-rounded. And what we found is that it's going to lower churn. 

[00:00:09] Grant Deken: [00:00:09] You can't set a goal of saying, Hey, in 2021, we want our partner revenue to be a third of our revenue mix and then not support it through product investment, find creative ways to include them in your marketing and allow them to understand your customers because that's going to make them really excited.

[00:00:30] Welcome to make them famous. The podcast about partner enablement, 

[00:04:06]  Alex Glenn: So Zach grant, the unstack team, we want to get some introductions out of the way first.

[00:04:30] So the way we like to do introductions, obviously introduce yourself your role product, but then talk about who the partnership team is today and who your 

[00:04:39] Zach rego: [00:04:39] target personas are for partnerships. Cool.  I'm Zach Rigo, VP of sales and marketing with unstack. I also lead our agency partner program.

[00:04:48] Grant, I'll let you do the introduction for yourself. 

[00:04:50] Grant Deken: [00:04:50] So I'm grant deacon, I'm the founder and CEO of unstack. I also run on a product and help to support the partner program and our ecosystem 

[00:04:59] Zach rego: [00:04:59] and the team right now is just me, obviously with support from one of our customer success managers, he's really dedicated to onboarding and coaching.

[00:05:09]And then our marketing manager, she handles a lot of the content creation and obviously a big part of the eighties that we're reaching out to most of them are content creators. So she also helps with, supporting them and giving them opportunities for guest posts or exposing new opportunities for them to become a part of our ecosystem.

[00:05:26] Awesome. So 

[00:05:27] Alex Glenn: [00:05:27] agencies. Is the focus right 

[00:05:29] Zach rego: [00:05:29] now, agencies that are looking to be more tech enabled in their not only web dev services, but really adding monthly recurring services to, things like landing pages, CRO AB testing, SEO, and content. 

[00:05:41] Alex Glenn: [00:05:41] The question I always like to ask is what are a few words to describe the current state of your partnership program and that's act.

[00:05:51] Zach rego: [00:05:51] Two words to describe the current state of our partner program. Right now, I would say value for you. We are 100% focused on providing as many agencies value through our blog. Yeah. And guest blogging opportunities through our podcast and letting them come on and talk about their amazing expertise in certain areas that can help our audience and our community by getting them engaged with our Slack community.

[00:06:15] And yeah. Really trying to give as much as we can to them. We know that agencies have a ton of choices in the landing page space and AB testing space. We know that they probably have some level of bias and how they build websites today and have been doing it one way for a long time. And I know we can convince them that we are the best tool to make them scalable, profitable, and allow them to expand their total addressable market.

[00:06:38] But really. Only way I'm going to get them into our world is by providing as much value as possible on the front end. And that's my ultimate goal right now in over time, hoping that they will bring us more and more clients introduce us to other agencies they know, and it will start to really grow organically just by building these really solid relationships.

[00:06:57] Alex Glenn: [00:06:57] Thanks for that. Zach, that's always good to know. And it gives us sort of a place to start and kick this conversation off. And now I heard you guys are doing a number of things on the product to make it easier for partners to manage their client accounts. So this question is back to grant. Can you give us the state of the product with regards to the agency's dashboard?

[00:07:19] Grant Deken: [00:07:19] Yeah, I think a big focus for us right now is just making it. Very easy and fast for agencies to get their clients what they need and get them control once they've delivered work. So what Zach's talking about is, a lot of our multi account capabilities for agencies to spin up new instances for their clients build on those.

[00:07:39] And being, making all that, turnkey. One of the other things we're really excited about is giving agencies a home base to create their own assets, and then being able to use those, based on different client needs. So having an internal agency library of tools that you can then use on a per client basis to accelerate your work and deliverables faster, 

[00:07:59] Alex Glenn: [00:07:59] hiring Zach and wanting to do this partner program, maybe what was your mindset then and what are some things that really progress quickly and changed and maybe a couple of things that you think now that you didn't.

[00:08:12] I think then that you're optimistic for in the 

[00:08:14] Grant Deken: [00:08:14] future of your program. There are tons things. Zach and I got to know each other for, I don't know, probably close to eight months before he joined us full time. And prior to unstack SAC was building an entire business around agencies. So very early on, we were committed to building a thriving partner program, Be it, both agency and technology partners and other channel partners as well.

[00:08:37]I think if you look around at some of the most successful startups and companies today, ecosystems a hugely important part of that success. And I think the way we look at it is, one building. Or world-class platform that enables agencies to do the things that are gonna help them build their business, but to like the complementing ecosystem to that is, is almost as important.

[00:08:59] So they really go hand in hand and we knew that very early on. And so we were specifically looking for a, sort of a partner who could come in and accelerate that vision. And I think that's a lot of what Zach has been focused on. I will say a couple of things not coming from the agency background.

[00:09:13]I've learned quickly that it's not just about putting a program together and saying, Hey, we have an agency program, refer your customers to us. It's really about building that unique value prop around how you can help their agencies, how you can help them engage better, those communication channels and feedback loops.

[00:09:29] So we've really worked. I think to really learn the pains of the agency and really try to bring them close and co-develop even, even product around their needs versus having that traditional, Hey, we're another way for you to get some recurring SAS revenue, we just learned that, that wasn't, I think people are looking for more than that. They're really looking for 

[00:09:46] Zach rego: [00:09:46] grant spot on like the agencies that we are working with we're typically, or I'm typically communicating with the founder. Or, more often than not. And they might introduce me to the operations manager or the,  director of customer success or account management, but more often than not, it starts at that founder level.

[00:10:03] And that's really similar to our kind of core audience that. We're going after, which I think is super interesting. Cause our mission is to empower people, to build digital businesses. And I think we're doing that through the agencies and helping them build digital businesses through a technology partnership with us.

[00:10:15] And I think it's been fun. And in that it's a little bit of a shift from who I worked with at WordStream. Obviously we had a lot of small agencies at WordStream, but some of the bigger partnerships were with much larger agencies. So it's been a lot of fun to get them involved. And really, I think where I'm most excited about it is.

[00:10:29] Getting the feedback of, Hey, we did a guest blog post with you, and we got a ton of traffic from LinkedIn. This is awesome. You instilled in me, Alex, early on Hey, you got to give them a bunch before, you can ask for anything. And I've been just trying to get them involved in everything.

[00:10:42] We do be it, the podcast or the blog or a webinar or a marketing trend survey we're putting out. And it's been really rewarding to see their success come come from their partners, 

[00:10:51] Alex Glenn: [00:10:51] make them famous. Yeah. That's a title of the podcast. That's the mentality. That's. The name of the game. If you can make them famous, every call that you have, as Zach is going to be a much easier call with those agency partners, they're going to be asking what they can do for you, anything relevant Zach, from the demo, the leads pile that are unknowns for you to come in and say, who's an agency, potential partner.

[00:11:16] And what is the strategy for getting those people into your calendar? And then we'll talk about some enablement after that, but anything relevant. On the top of the funnel and how those people become. 

[00:11:26] Zach rego: [00:11:26] Part of we're lucky in that our product is so aligned with what a lot of agencies are doing. So they're already actively looking for potential website builders or landing page builders, and that's a great entry point for us.

[00:11:37] So we do just get some demand gen from that. The other thing I've been doing to acquire leads and nurture conversations is basically I went and looked at our top integrations for all of our clients. And went to each of the partner pages for those folks.  I'll give you an example.

[00:11:53] MailChimp's like our number two most used integration. So I went to the MailChimp partner program page. I cold emailed everyone from there, connected with them on LinkedIn, asked them if they'd be open to writing a guest post about. Best use cases for MailChimp's automations or something along that line.

[00:12:09] And it was much more eloquent than that. And Kaley came up with it on a marketing team because it made sense from an SEO perspective, but it got a ton of conversations started and it really starts to nurture the relationship because you're giving them an opportunity to showcase their expertise on your blog.

[00:12:23] And it's usually beneficial because our clients actually need that help. I know that. People that use our integrations and use them correctly stick with our product for longer. So it's mutually beneficial and it starts a conversation. And a lot of those folks see a nice lift in traffic from our blog, from our promotion of it on social.

[00:12:40] And it allows us to nurture them down the path of. Okay, awesome. Now let's provide you an introduction to a customer that's maybe using MailChimp and struggling, which we've got a Slack community where people are constantly asking questions. And once that starts to snowball, then we're starting to get them involved with the platform because they are.

[00:12:55]Using it through potentially a client of ours. And then the next ask is, Hey, do you have any clients that potentially have a need for a new site or landing pages, which almost every agency has a client that is struggling in one of those two areas. And then I really try to co-sale with them.

[00:13:08] So I try to help them create. A landing page and actually build one with them to present to the client and not necessarily a sales pitch, but Hey, let me do one off here for you. And and that usually gets the ball rolling pretty quickly of them seeing how fast they're able to work within the platform and really start to build a business around it.

[00:13:24] Alex Glenn: [00:13:24] Again, this is still early on. I think you guys may be six months into the program, but grant, I want to find out from you, you've got Zach onboard. What sort of flexibility did you want to give, but also what sort of accountability did you want to make sure was in place if this sort of partner program is going to succeed?

[00:13:42] How much do you want to know about KPIs, goals, metrics there that you had set up and then anything that's changed since you guys started 

[00:13:51] Grant Deken: [00:13:51] understanding from the top of the funnel, what's happening all the way down to, how many of those, those partners are, becoming customers how many of those are becoming, becoming what I'd call a producer and Zack has spent, I think, a good amount of time,  modeling out and then, keeping those KPIs up to date for us to understand, how things are progressing,  how we're improving over time as we're adding more to the product that supports those partners.

[00:14:15] But also as we're improving our own internal processes with those partners, I think the one thing we've also been really cognizant of is that, Selling direct is very different than selling to partners are partnering with partners. And we look at that funnel and that sort of sales life cycle, if you will, a little bit differently than we would,  our our core like direct customer.

[00:14:37]So I think from like a KPI point of view,  the numbers changed a little bit, but generally we're looking at, are we are we finding partners that we can invest in? Are they able to start bringing clients over? We've got an agency in Canada, for example, I think it's brought something like, 10 10 clients already, within the first within the first 60 days.

[00:14:55] So seeing those kinds of wins that's one data point, not necessarily a trend with seeing those kinds of wins has been really exciting for us. Also just how global it's been which again is not necessarily a KPI, but I think just anecdotally seeing, agencies from. New Zealand and South South Africa and Canada and the U S and it's really been, I think, exciting just to see us be able to have that impact across the globe 

[00:15:20] Alex Glenn: [00:15:20] grant.

[00:15:20] If you could tell us what are some of the things that you really thought to achieve early or expected to achieve early in those first three months and anything that's changed around those metrics, those quotas, those KPIs. Today, so that's more of an, a conversation around yeah. Nothing happened. But then, like you mentioned, somebody brought in 10 deals.

[00:15:43] How did that change your perception and the KPIs around that? 

[00:15:46]Grant Deken: [00:15:46] I think first three months was let's learn as much as we can. There wasn't necessarily a hard and fast, go hit X revenue. Zack, I know for a fact just knowing him had a number in mind, but my perspective was, Hey let's learn, let's understand what we need to build to support this both product wise and process wise.

[00:16:05]And then, go from there. It's definitely changed since then. I think we have a 20, 21 revenue target of having a revenue mix goal of having, a third of our revenue coming from. Partners. So that's become quite important to us and something that we're very bullish on.

[00:16:18] And I think there's a lot of opportunity for 

[00:16:20] Alex Glenn: [00:16:20] us in great. And I'll turn it back to Zach. And I'm curious getting into that sort of strategy around the revenue. First clarify for me, Zack, what revenue means is that a. Combination of things. Is it LTV of those referrals and that constitutes quote unquote revenue to that goal?

[00:16:41] Or is it actual realized revenue from those partner referrals? What is the revenue? And then I want to talk about how that partner track looks and how you speed up that velocity and get those partners achieving revenue. So first, what is the revenue 

[00:16:54] Zach rego: [00:16:54] number? What is it comprised of? Realize revenue.

[00:16:57] And we basically have agencies that are coming to us with. Two distinct differences right now that we've seen. One is more of just a referral partner. They don't want to do the selling of unstack in any way. They just want to send us the lead and leverage it once it's implemented. And that's fine. And we're happy to take those.

[00:17:12] The other side is actually becoming an implementation partner, which has been,  the two agencies or three agencies that grant mentioned. Those are our three implementation partners. We've found that they have been selling with significantly more velocity because they are. Getting that first one under their belt and then actually building systems and packages around unstack.

[00:17:32] So once they know their kind of time to build a site or time to build a landing page, they're actually creating full packages. Like it's $5,000 for a website and these 10 things. And then on a monthly recurring basis, we're going to charge this and it's going to include, for landing pages and for AB tests.

[00:17:48] And it's okay, now they know to go to market with this really specific offer. To increase the velocity. I'm actually starting to take their model slightly and help other agencies define it in a very similar way. We've got two partners that are doing something similar with setup fee and then a monthly recurring for different packages.

[00:18:06] And I'm trying to get every agency that I talked to start to think about us in that exact way, because it puts a dollar amount associated with every sale. That's not just the, 30% rev share we provide, which is nothing. It also allows them to make an offer. That's super simple for a client to understand.

[00:18:22] That seems really well-rounded. And what we found is it. It's going to lower churn, right? Like the journey of service that all these agencies are dealing with is typically Facebook. And it's usually because their websites that they're sending all that traffic to isn't great, or they don't have dedicated landing pages for it.

[00:18:37] And by offering a service that has all of that plus AB testing, you're now lowering churn on one service and adding multiple services to it. So we're finding this kind of mix that's working really well. And my ultimate goal to increase velocity is to really harness that kind of training and onboarding around building these services around on 

[00:18:54] Alex Glenn: [00:18:54] stack.

[00:18:54] Well said, and well strategized, building a service on top of the solution that I believe you'll find will create the stickiest product possible. If they have that end goal in mind, if someone's just onboarding an unstack to solve one of their client's needs for a landing page.  That's good, but if they're onboarding a non-staff with the need to create a new revenue stream for their agency, replace a few tools, that's even better.

[00:19:19] Talk to me about that, Zack some of the ways that you pick out when and how to present that partnership equation. You talk to the agencies about the referral program. Yes. Mention what it is. Incentives are there, but what are some of the things that you've been able to systematize?

[00:19:37] I guess you could say around 

[00:19:38] Zach rego: [00:19:38] the partner. Yeah. I, it starts with going to their client list if they have it on their site and look at it, looking at each of their clients sites and actually trying to understand what they're building on today. Obviously WordPress, we'll say, as the example is the.

[00:19:52] The one that we see most often. Couple of other things we know about WordPress. One clients get super frustrated with it when they can't make an update to it, to clients more and more price conscious in the marketplace like SMBs or early stage smaller, let's say small companies, someone that's got five to 25 or 50 employees, like they don't necessarily always want to pay 20 to $50,000 for a website.

[00:20:13] And there's so much downward pressure on agencies to fit into this price. Box that is usually caused by no code tools that they need something that fits. So the place that I usually start to dig up pain is understanding like any deals that they've lost. Have you lost a deal because of price recently?

[00:20:30] Are you turning away clients because they just aren't fitting within kind of the services you're able to provide today that are still profitable for you. And if the answer is yes, I asked them to share the link, with me and let's hop on a call and build the site together. Let's just rebuild the homepage or, recreate the homepage with their content.

[00:20:49] Obviously make it look way nicer and really dress it up in from a design perspective. But once we start to do that, now they're seeing an opportunity to expand their total addressable market. And if you can help an agency do that and really capture a larger share of the leads they're acquiring organically today and turn those into revenue.

[00:21:11] You're onto something. So I've found that if I can just help uncover what they're building with today, where they're, where they might be losing clients today and fill that void. That's amazing. I don't need to be the only tool they use. I just need to be a tool in the toolbox that allows them to.

[00:21:27]Close 80% of their client base instead of only 50. So 

[00:21:30] Alex Glenn: [00:21:30] that brings me to a pain point that we have where it's, when you're talking to your new partner managers, when you're talking to the team, when you're trying to get everyone aligned on this, the ability that you have Zack to really pick out those pain points and figure out quickly, what would this agency persona be most inclined to take?

[00:21:50] Hold of? And gravitate towards buy-in to sink their time into what is that? How do you figure out what that is? And then how do you get new partner managers and the marketing team and the sales people to all buy into that agenda? Has there been anything put onto an SOP or into an SOP? From that process.

[00:22:13] That's allowed you guys to say, you know what? We could probably hand this over to a partner manager, that's new to unstack and get them 

[00:22:20] Zach rego: [00:22:20] to do this Kaylie and I on the marketing team and spent a lot of time in kind of the prospecting piece. So she's not necessarily supposed to be a part of,  the agency partner program, but she is a part of content creation.

[00:22:33] And, we spend a lot of time thinking about how our content can not only appeal to our core persona, which is. B2B tech, founders and marketers, but also to agencies. And then I think the other pieces, she spends a lot of time thinking about how we can acquire agencies as guest writers, because we are a small team and it's great exposure for them to get a back link on our site and get exposure to our audience.

[00:22:55]She's been an amazing partner for me. We haven't hired a partner manager yet. I think we do have a system in place of. We know our top integrations. We know agencies that have a need for us. They're usually WordPress agencies. We know that they're struggling to capture a large percentage of their market.

[00:23:11] Feel confident that we can bring in an agency partner manager and ramp them up relatively quickly and continue to have them partner with Kaylee and Chris to, market and onboard. But man, there's a lot of work still to be done there. And and I'm excited to do it, but I've been really boots on the ground.

[00:23:26]Colin and emailing myself, trying to understand the process as much as possible. So that knowledge transfer will be difficult. But I think we've got a good system in place. 

[00:23:34] Alex Glenn: [00:23:34] Yeah. I'm going to get back to grant here for a minute, if you don't mind, Zach. So the question is, what are some of the things that you personally like to get involved in now that the program is really moving?

[00:23:45]It's moving quick. What are some of the things that you personally put on your own desk around the partnerships? And then what do you tell your team leads? Had a product you're head of marketing in order to make sure that people feel like they're still getting their jobs done and they're not obligated to get into partnerships.

[00:24:02] Grant Deken: [00:24:02] So I think for us, it's company-wide starts with our focus and our values, for example, one of our OKR, ours for Q1 aligns directly to what we're delivering to agencies within the product. So I think by having kind of a, an overarching plan of where you're going and why that matters and that's, whatever it is, whether it's partner alignment or anything else, that's been key for us, even as a small team to, to make sure we have in place so that people feel like they know why they're doing the things they're doing in terms of how everybody's wearing multiple hats. I think one of the core values we have is deliver. Wow. And so I think our team's always thinking about, where can we, help a little extra? I think for me personally, I try to jump in with Zach to go through more technical aspects of what we can provide agencies to compliment some areas where maybe he's not as familiar or sometimes we'll pull in might even pull in a developer to do a demo for.

[00:24:56]Some of the folks at agency who are actually going to be building out these assets, these themes, these components. So I think it's really context driven around what are we trying to do in terms of the day-to-day, but at the sort of company level, I think it starts with just being really clear about why we're doing these things and that's how we.

[00:25:13]We've been able to drive, I think, great sort of alignment across product sales, marketing, and customer 

[00:25:18] Alex Glenn: [00:25:18] support. Awesome. Awesome. So everybody's pretty aligned. It sounds and it sounds like partnerships is being baked into all areas of operations. Talk to me grant a little bit about how you look at the product.

[00:25:31] Needs of partnerships. And what is your mentality around Zack needs a sub-account here or a white labeled report to be sent out. What are some of the conversations you have internally and who do you bring in anything along those lines and try to be vague, but just want to know what the process is like for you grant mentally around product and partnership.

[00:25:53]I 

[00:25:53] Grant Deken: [00:25:53] think, yeah, I think there are a couple of different buckets. So there's a bucket when it comes to product, there's a bucket of like really agency specific tooling that we need to provide to help them do their jobs really effectively for their clients and grow their businesses. So that can be anything from a discussion around white labeling and like strategically, like how do we want to think about that?

[00:26:12]Versus doing something more co-branded on the other side, a lot of the feedback that we get in talking to agencies. Is for their clients is to make their client's businesses more successful, to be able to move faster, to measure better, to create the things they want. And that's good for our platform in mass, it's good for all of our startups and mid market companies that are using the platform. So a great example of that would be, even  site speeds, right? Somebody sent us a report and said, Hey, we noticed this thing around a caching policy just to be like very technical for a second.

[00:26:41] That's great for us. That's feedback we can take and implement to the platform. So we think we're able to draw on the partner program to make our platform better for. All of our personas, not just necessarily them, which I think may maybe somewhat unique to us. And then in terms of some of those specific things that they need, you can't set a goal of saying, Hey, in 2021, we want our partner revenue to be a third of our revenue mix and then not support.

[00:27:06]Not support it through product investment to help get there. So I think, again, for us, it's come back to setting those goals and then bringing the whole team around the table, from our CTO, myself, sack and others just to have a conversation to hash out when and how we do things.

[00:27:22] The last thing I'll say is I think in terms of everybody has constrained resources. So there is a question of like when and how do you do things? I think. Zack to give him a lot of credit has been really I think patient, but also thoughtful with which things are really, Hey, we must have these things and these things would be nice to have, and being really clear about where that line is.

[00:27:43] And so that's helped us prioritize and get the right things out, hopefully at the right time to invest in these partners. I love 

[00:27:49] Alex Glenn: [00:27:49] it, Zach any comments on that? And then I want to end with some of the essential SOP as you've come to. And then the next six months, what does the roadmap look like? What are some of the key initiatives and changes that you want 

[00:28:02] Zach rego: [00:28:02] implemented?

[00:28:03]One thing I learned at my last job is be very strategic about what you're asking for from product. Because if you ask for too many things, you tend to get none of them. So grants, I do try to be thoughtful and prioritize and be really strategic about This is a must have, I've heard it a bunch of times.

[00:28:18] I totally understand their pain point, verse. This is a night to have let's put it on. Tabled kind of list to look at down the line when we free up some time. So I think that's critical for any salesperson or partner manager out there is really think about your prospects or customers feedback and prioritize it accordingly.

[00:28:35] And I forgot your second question now is what was the second part of that? Yeah. 

[00:28:38]Alex Glenn: [00:28:38] You know what you've learned that is changing the next six months, what sort of key initiatives are going to happen over the next six months related to the partner 

[00:28:46] Zach rego: [00:28:46] program? Based on what you've learned right now, marketing has been just marketing.

[00:28:52] Without any kind of tailored marketing towards agencies, we will be starting to do that. I would say mid to late February, we'll be spending some more time building, specific marketing campaigns and email nurture campaigns that are really dedicated to the agency. Persona reason being we're going to really start to formalize our product around systems that agency can put in place to build around on stack.

[00:29:13] So we talked a lot about the services they can build around it. Now it's. Making it easily repeatable for them. So a one to many approach, an example would be a verticalized agency that sells to roofers only could build a roofer template or a five route for a templates with unstack, actually go to market with them.

[00:29:29] And then when they onboard the client, we're talking an hour or two to get a website from, sales pitch and close deal to live and end up and running and fully baked with our styles guide. And some of that stuff baked in, it's going to be super seamless for agencies. Now it's time to go to market and start to capitalize, and that's going to be a big part of our focus for the next six months is building a whole marketing campaign around Quiring agencies, nurturing them, and then obviously hiring and selling to them specifically.

[00:29:54] I'll handle that in the short term, and hopefully we'll have a partner manager onboarded in the next three months or so. 

[00:29:59] Alex Glenn: [00:29:59] Awesome. And is there any increase in the resources. But you have not just financial budget, all that, is there any more purview that partnerships has in marketing or product or anything that's expanded to make sure that you can hit these goals?

[00:30:14] Zach rego: [00:30:14] Anything at all? Yeah. So I'm hoping to hire the partner manager for sure. Plan for that is early Q2, maybe mid Q2. We've got a, an email nurture specialists coming on board in the next probably month. That's going to be a big part of their focus is going to be developing not only the.

[00:30:28] Prospect nurture campaigns, but actually the onboarding nurture campaigns. So really starting to formalize how we onboard agencies. I've been doing it manually with Chris on my team. It be nice to really have a whole help documentation and help center in Zendesk, which is actually we're going to be using for that.

[00:30:44] So those resources will be coming on board. Soon and I'm excited to have the Calvary around me to, to build this team out, from a financial perspective, I run marketing as well. So I get to choose where the marketing budget goes, obviously with, grants approval on what the total budget is, but there will be some dedicated budget for agencies specifically.

[00:31:00] I don't know exactly what that will be. It's going to depend on where we decide to go. I'm going to, I'm going to start to work with some of the podcasts. I've had a great relationship with in the past and. See if we can just get some brand recognition out there through them, which I'm excited about.

[00:31:12] Awesome. And then, yeah, 

[00:31:13] Alex Glenn: [00:31:13] to wrap things up, any final words of wisdom for those partner teams? Zach, and then the CEOs out there. Grant that maybe has changed since you started in gone down this road. Any, anything, big realizations and words of advice that you have for your personas that could be listed?

[00:31:31] Zach rego: [00:31:31] Yeah. If you're interviewing for a partner manager, job or department, that's being built out around this, get buy in from everybody, understand what their long-term vision is. For it. And who's going to be your partner, whether it's a dotted line kind of matrix organization, or you're going to have people reporting to you cause I've worked in both.

[00:31:48] And it's a lot easier to get this stuff off the ground when you got buy-in from product and the CEO, which in this case is grant and you've got resources and marketing and support to help you and support you. In other organizations I've been in matrix organizations where I'm asking for favors more than asking, to, to work on a project with me and get things done.

[00:32:05] And that's really difficult and it's tough to move fast. And there are more partner programs popping up every day and technology companies that are going to market after agencies every day. So you need to build something that's really focused and built around the agency and their customers not trying to fit the agencies into your product.

[00:32:22] So those are my words were words of wisdom. The other thing is try to create as many opportunities for agencies to some of your market share and draft off of your demand gen. We've got the podcast, we've got the blog, we've got webinars. We've got different surveys. We're sending out that we're getting quotes from them on, but find creative ways to include them in your marketing and allow them to understand your customers because that's going to make them really excited about partnering with you in the future.

[00:32:47] Well 

[00:32:48] Alex Glenn: [00:32:48] said and grant 

[00:32:49] Grant Deken: [00:32:49] anything you've learned. I would echo all that. I think also just when you're starting up I think in the early days, just be a sponge learn as much as you can about, your potential partners and the types of partners, who are going to be the best fit. I think for us, it was.

[00:33:04] Critical that we did that early on and we're patient to try to really understand what was going to be right for them. I think the other thing that I've learned is at least for us selling to agencies. Yeah. It's not a situation where you pick up the phone and just read off a script.

[00:33:16] You really have to be adaptive and understand their needs and really be able to walk a mile in their shoes. So I think that's something that we pride ourselves on is. It's trying to really walk a mile in the shoes of our partners before we have that ask. So those are two things that I think have been great for us in terms of learning.

[00:33:33] Alex Glenn: [00:33:33] And it sounds like it's really helping everything come together, which is great to hear, I hear too many stories of the partner team banging on doors. Not getting what they need. They end up failing. Then the whole company has a bad taste for partnerships and it's, maybe it never comes back.

[00:33:47] That's sad to hear. So Zach, you've done a great job grant. You've been an awesome CEO and it sounds like you guys are going to have a really successful program. So thanks for the time guys. That'll be that. 

[00:33:56] Zach rego: [00:33:56] Yeah. If you're a, if you're a founder in technology or B2B tech, you can check out our podcast, which is Sierra to a million.

[00:34:02] Alex has been an awesome guest on there to talk about how you build a partner program. But yeah, you can find me on LinkedIn. Zachary goes EAC. Our ego loves to connect with anybody, chat about, what we're building or how I built this or how I failed at building this the last time in some ways and give you some guidance.

[00:34:17] So this has been huge 

[00:34:18] Alex Glenn: [00:34:18] guys, super valuable. I learned a lot. I took a bunch of notes. So we'll get this out there for everyone to hear. And hopefully you enjoyed this as a listener, Zach and grant from unstack doc sauce.

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