Now that we have heard from the VP of Alliances (Rob Sale) at Vidyard, it's time to understand what their partner program is from the internal revenue leaders' perspective.
Dan Wardle has agreed to share his experience working with Rob to setup and grow their channel program.
[00:03:46] Most surprising things learned from the partnership program at Vidyard
[00:06:21] The checks and balances process
[00:09:03] The 3 main purposes of forming partnerships from a revenue standpoint
[00:12:00] Main marketing touchpoints you should be hitting
[00:13:25] How KPI, quota and metrics have changed with partnerships
[00:14:50] How involved should a CRO be in the day-to-day operations
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[00:02:58] Founded in 2016, some DOSO is trusted by over 500 companies and has a vast global footprint with presence in North America, Europe and Asia Pacific. Learn email@example.com. So thanks again to our amazing sponsors. Now let's get back into the episode. Stan is the VP of revenue. For vid yard, focusing on net new revenue reporting directly to the CEO.
[00:03:22] They do not have a CRO at video yard. So we just left a discussion with Rob sale, head of partnerships. Now, what we want to do is get that, uh, you know, get that revenue side of the picture, figure out what this whole program looks like from the revenue leaders. Point of view and that's Dan. So Dan, thank you very much for the time to kick things off.
[00:03:46] What are the most surprising things that you've learned going down this road together with Rob building, the partnerships team and the partnership program at Vidyard?
[00:03:53] Dan Wardle: [00:03:53] There has been a, you know, a few evolutions of the partner program here at vineyard because of these learnings that we've had when we rewind five, six years ago, when Rob joined and kicked off our partner program, you know, we just thought, okay, we're a video marketing hosting platform.
[00:04:09] Obviously marketing agencies are going to love to, you know, use video hard referred to their clients. Uh, all the things you would just assume, and that keyword there is assumed you should be actually talking to these partners, understand where they see the value. And, you know, the biggest two things I would see in there is.
[00:04:29] Like, why do they care? What, what are they going to get out of your partnerships? So it's not just one side that you always have to have, uh, you know, something beneficial on both ends of the partnership. And then also on the inside, it's like, okay, well then we thought these agencies are just perfect.
[00:04:44] They're going to want to resell our platform. Let's do resell platform. Let's make sure that we are, you know, segregating their accounts in our database so that our sales team can't sell to their accounts. And then you just get into channel conflict as well. So like the two biggest things is like, don't have channel conflict, obviously it should be an obvious one.
[00:05:03] And the other obvious one should be, you know, what value is your partner going to get from partnering with you? You always need to sit in their shoes and really understand, you know, why they care.
[00:05:13] Alex Glenn: [00:05:13] It's just a lot. Then one of the things from the partnerships angle that, um, I find is the hardest thing for most of my early partner teams to understand is that the product itself isn't.
[00:05:25] As valuable as they wish it was, you know, or they see it, you know, that the product doesn't stand alone in the sense of a partnership like it does the user, the, the actual end user of the product, right? When you come to a, an agency with a partner opportunity, it's not like you're bringing a basket of goods that you're just going to hand over and make their day.
[00:05:46] Um, it is something where they have to take their time and, uh, be on the same page and the alignment. Has to be there all the boxes have to be checked. Um, so thank you for mentioning that. I really do appreciate it. So your job is obviously revenue, making sure net new is coming through the door and that's being reported on accurately.
[00:06:05] And now you have this new partnerships team. That's bringing revenue from this other side. Some of it is kind of a little bit convoluted between sales and partnerships. And we all understand that, but tell me this. What is your interpretation of the relationship between you as the revenue lead and the partnerships team?
[00:06:21] What are the checks and balances? What is the reporting relationship for someone that's listening that maybe isn't a CRO, there's
[00:06:27] Dan Wardle: [00:06:27] been a few evolutions of this as well. So originally it started that they were part of the sales team reporting into a COO. We used to have. And they were all about, you know, selling to these partners.
[00:06:37] And there's another big problem. You shouldn't be selling to the partners. You should be figuring out how to help them sell more to their clients. And so we went down that road and obviously it didn't work. So then we took this turn. Where it's like, you know, instead of trying to force this, you know, selling to the partners and making them resell our platform, uh, in like bulk, we should be focusing on the system integrators, which meant the, the partner team actually moved over to our CTO because it became an integration play.
[00:07:06] And now we started to integrate into Salesforce and HubSpot and SalesLoft and outreach and all these platforms that Minyard is now built into. And so we went for about two years where reported into the CTO. Uh, now that we are, you know, I'm sure there's still more platforms out there, but we're integrated everywhere.
[00:07:22] We want to be integrated to right now. Uh, and so we've moved that organization actually under myself. So it's been great over the last six months, getting super involved as Rob and the team making sure we're even more aligned than we were before. Uh, the overall structure of things hasn't changed. Just having everyone on one team so that there's no animosity at all.
[00:07:43] There's, there's no wall to break down and those silos, uh, to, to deal with. And so now it's on my team and, you know, the, the day to day it's it's constant, we have all these partners out there. We just closed a huge deal. Uh, last week, I don't think I'm allowed to mention their name, but a huge deal for us.
[00:08:02] And we were able to partner up with five different partners on that. We were involved with outreach. We were involved with rev shop. We're involved with turtle. We were involved with Salesforce, like all of our key partners were there and agencies to help us with that deal because they already had that customer as a customer.
[00:08:20] And so our sales team is constantly, as soon as a new deal comes up, especially if we see it in crossbeam, we'll reach out to the partner team or directly to the partner to get that introduction to the account manager on their side of the house. Uh, and so that's, you know, a big motion we have right now.
[00:08:35] And that's, that's where it's changed. So now, instead of it being, you know, trying to force revenue through the partner channel, and that's not the key, the key is, you know, let's help our partners sell to their customers more effectively. And then hopefully that customer, that client will also buy video.
[00:08:53] And so a lot of our emotion right now is either helping with the deal that's already moving or the partners referring their clients to us because they see it's going to help their business. Yeah.
[00:09:03] Alex Glenn: [00:09:03] I'm really curious. And this is something I've, I've talked to mainly CEOs about their understanding of partnerships pre and post and their immediate benefits versus long-term you guys have been in this for awhile now, so you've got a good interpretation of what is the purpose.
[00:09:18] Of partnering with these service providers, these agencies, that's the main focus of our business in this podcast, really the people internally at those agencies. So from your role and your perspective and your experience so far with vineyards partner program, uh, what is your interpretation of the main purpose of forming these partnerships?
[00:09:37] Um, both from a revenue standpoint and from just a overall organizational
[00:09:42] Dan Wardle: [00:09:42] standpoint, I would break it into three. Uh, and two of them are a bit related. It's the scale, you know, partners can help us scale by doing things more efficiently than we can do it on our own. Uh, so we're looking at things like, can they help us launching new customers, especially if our services team is getting overloaded, uh, especially on these bigger deals where we need like full implementation, hands-on building, people's cadences, you know, all of that.
[00:10:08] That's what agencies are built for. Uh, and that's, that's who we're going to leverage on these large deals as well, and bring them in and Cosell with them. So scale, just helping us grow faster than we really should be able to. Number two is demand. And that's what I just mentioned earlier. It's all of their clients.
[00:10:25] If they believe that our platform can help businesses, that's like the fundamental and that's what's key too, is if your platform doesn't fundamentally help other companies, it's going to be tough to build a partnership. And if these partners then believe that. They can help their clients by suggesting big yard and implementing big yard for them.
[00:10:46] That then creates demand for us. So it creates new pipeline, which obviously is a big focus of mine. And then number three is just the ecosystem. You know, we call it our moat. The yard little castle has a moat around it that nobody can come after us in our industry. Because we are fully integrated into all of these areas, all of the system, integrators and agencies, I believe that ours is the best platform.
[00:11:09] And so at every step of the way, when a client of ours is maybe doing an evaluation, you know, okay, let's look at vineyard in three of their competitors. Well, those other three competitors don't have the relationships that we have. And so it's going to be obvious through their evaluation that the yard is the right choice.
[00:11:26] So it's through things like all the agency partners, but also, you know, we just need to partner up with everyone where people use video. So if you use video, obviously zoom is a video. WebEx is a video you use video on LinkedIn on Facebook. Using an outreach sales loft, all these other ones, wherever somebody is going to use video video, it needs to have an integration there.
[00:11:46] So that's the other big part of the partner team as well. Yeah, it
[00:11:48] Alex Glenn: [00:11:48] sounds like you guys solved that one first, you got the heavy integrations done. You went to market really well with your integration partners. Latest, um, that I was involved. When was HubSpot, you guys do a lot with HubSpot. Well done on that.
[00:12:00] And um, you mentioned something there that's. I think very few revenue leaders I, that I've spoken with really understand, which is the marketing side of it. Where if your prospects are out there doing their touch points to learn which products to use, they're going to the G2 crowds. They're going on, Google.
[00:12:19] They're doing their searches, but they're also talking to one another. They're also talking to other agencies and posting into closed groups and asking their friends, uh, what are you doing? And what do you use? You know, who do you recommend? That's one of those many touch points that happen, especially in software purchases.
[00:12:33] And if your not mentioned in those touch points, then you will lose that deal. So having that influence over the ecosystem. So just to recap, the ability to scale your partners, help you scale. A lot of that is under customer success and sales. You don't have to add more salespeople. If you have partners, you don't have to add more.
[00:12:51] Customer success. People. If you have partners doing that stuff for you, a pipeline, just speeding up the pipeline, more pipeline, everything around pipeline that partners can influence, and then just overall demand for your product. Like those discussions that happen, that aren't on the marketing websites that your marketing team has influence over their enclosed groups.
[00:13:10] So you need people, you need partners in those groups, answering those questions about products that they love and your product needs to be one of those. Um, that was great. Thank you so much, Dan. And then of course, because we're talking about revenue, we're talking about money, we're talking about KPIs and metrics and goals.
[00:13:25] How first I want to know how is the KPI and the quota and the metric discussion changed on the agency partnership side, since you guys launched it, how has that, um, modified been modified or changed?
[00:13:36] Dan Wardle: [00:13:36] Yeah, I would say, you know, going back years and years, as I mentioned, we were looking at revenue and like that's, that's not what we want to focus on.
[00:13:43] What we want to focus on is. You know, how many referrals are they making so many introductions? Uh, how many free users like, cause we have a free product, so they don't have to be always pushing for our paid product. So how many free users are we seeing in that base? And HubSpot's a great example of that.
[00:13:58] You know, we've got 45,000 plus, uh, customers of HubSpot that can use video for free inside their tool. And so that's like the first indicator, how can we drive more free usage of our platforms through our partnerships? And then it gets into the referrals, the pipeline, and most importantly, that kind of retention because of attach rate or integration use.
[00:14:18] So the more agencies that are involved with our customers on a day-to-day basis when the renewal time comes up, There's no question. They're going to keep using vineyard because their agency knows it. Everything is running really smoothly. Uh, and that's a big one we look at as well. Okay,
[00:14:32] Alex Glenn: [00:14:32] perfect. And you personally, um, being the CRO, uh, how do you like to get involved for the CRS that are listening or for the partner leaders that need to have this discussion with their CRO?
[00:14:42] Uh, how much, and where do you like to be involved in the meetings and the strategy and all of that? I mean, where, where do you personally just like to be.
[00:14:50] Dan Wardle: [00:14:50] This is the biggest change that we've experienced this year. You know, and I, I put this on myself for not knowing and never listened to a podcast like this.
[00:14:58] Uh, because in the last year I went from being very lightly involved. You know, I was, I'd be there during QPRs, uh, during some of the bigger discussions brainstorming, but not on the day to day two. And this is really only recently the last few months. And as I mentioned, I took over the team back in the summer, but it's really only the last few months.
[00:15:18] Where I'm like, I need to be involved daily and weekly if it's not. Uh, so I'm constantly, uh, having conversations with Kevin and Rob and the rest of the partner managers around, you know, maybe it's specific deals, maybe I'm jumping in to help with the, the relationship. So right now I'm going through and having conversations that all of our integration partners, uh, all of their customer success teams to see how we're helping their customers and how we're helping with their retention rates by being integrated.
[00:15:47] And so it's a big focus for me too, to make sure I'm as connected, uh, at the right levels compared to, you know, Rob and everyone else. So that was my big downfall over the past couple of years is not being involved enough. Okay. So being
[00:15:59] Alex Glenn: [00:15:59] involved more, that has been huge for you guys. It sounds like you're well aligned from the sound of it.
[00:16:04] Rob's very lucky to have you so congrats to you too, but I want to know one more thing before we let you go. I know we're running out of time here. I do want to know. How you envision the program, continuing and Rob and the team working closer with revenue and anything that you can mention where you're going to be more involved in, or just some initiatives, you know, how do you envision the next six months to a year of the program shaping between revenue and, and partnerships?
[00:16:30] Well, the
[00:16:30] Dan Wardle: [00:16:30] big thing that happened in the last year obviously is we're all now working from home and. World has changed. And so our focus on the marketing use case and the, the marketing agencies that are doing, you know, marketing automation work for our clients is now transitioning where it used to be 80% of our business.
[00:16:48] It's now the same size, but the sales use case has just steamrolled past it. And it's going to be 80% of our business moving forward. So the biggest changes we're going to have there is. There are millions of partnerships to be made in the sales space, sales trainers, sales, implementation partners, uh, sales agencies that are helping with coaching.
[00:17:10] There's just infinite numbers of them. And so we're working on a huge program to get involved on that side. That's going to be huge. And I believe Rob mentioned probably in his section, we do have a sales certification, so we can actually certify our partners to help. Train on video selling and that's going to be a big thing that we need to do is, is help people come through this.
[00:17:32] Cause we've been talking video sales for years, but it's only this year that people are really saying, wow, we have to do this. And so let's help them get there. So that's one big one. And then coming with that is the implementations. Uh, I mentioned this earlier, but you know, as we grow faster than we hire, we'll need help with a lot of the implementations, getting that business back into our partner channel.
[00:17:53] I came from Salesforce where every single deal I closed, I used an implementation partner to do the work. Uh, and so looking at some ways to use with that and specifically, you know, helping our customers, not only just get using vineyard, but also understand how to fit it into their sales process. So it goes back to those sales trainers.
[00:18:11] Uh, and then the one that would be really interesting that I, you know, I would love, cause this is my career where I came from was channel sales. Like how can our partners actually, uh, you know, become resellers of ours in a more symbiotic way than we tried two years ago. So is there a channel like HubSpot where they just want to sell it for us?
[00:18:30] Is there, you know, Salesforce we're in talks with like who would actually be a perfect fit for this might be the sales trainers even. Uh, although most of them don't want to refer technology. They're just there for the sales methodology. Um, but that would be a really interesting one that I would look to.
[00:18:45] Alex Glenn: [00:18:45] Right. So a big initiative around going deeper into the sales services ecosystem, getting involved in those networks and those trainers, more of the tools, it sounds like. Uh, being a bigger part of that. Very cool. Well, uh, Dan, I think we've gotten what we needed from this discussion. I mean, it sounds like you guys are really well aligned.
[00:19:05] It sounds like you have a very clear picture of what the goal and the operations of the partnerships team. You guys have some really awesome initiatives for the future, and everyone should look out for video card, probably coming to an ecosystem near you. Definitely check out video.com. Dan, thank you so much.
[00:19:23] You've been
[00:19:23] Dan Wardle: [00:19:23] awesome. Thank you so much.