The partnerships and alliances teams in your organization can use SalesLoft to help build partner relationships, drive partner engagement, and support partners with deals. Learn about the various ways our Partnerships and Alliances team here at SalesLoft uses our own platform to enable our partner ecosystem.
Within most modern sales organizations you will find a team of people who manage what can be a very large channel for company revenue: partnerships and alliances. This team is often a collection of channel managers, sales managers, and success and enablement managers who have one overarching goal: drive partner engagement to deliver success for our mutual customers.
In a recent article, Jay McBain, Principal Analyst of Channel Partnerships & Alliances at Forrester stated:
“Ecosystems have, on average, 10 times more partners than transactional channel programs and require the core elements, such as recruitment, onboarding, incentives, enablement, co-selling, co-marketing, and management, to scale comparatively.”
This means that if your partnership team is evolving beyond a channel program to build a true ecosystem, they need help to scale to support the many needs of their partners.
At SalesLoft, we’re building our own ecosystem that now includes over 100 integrations from leading technology partners. Our customers are served by over 75 consulting and solutions partners from around the world. These partners educate our customers on best practices for extracting value from SalesLoft both immediately and in the context of their broader tech stack.
How do we achieve scale with such an expansive ecosystem? We use SalesLoft. “Yes, but how?” you ask? Here are seven ways our partnerships and alliances team is using SalesLoft to evolve our own channel programs into a thriving partner ecosystem.
1. Manage Partner Sourced Deals
When partners drive referrals, your team is likely tracking their progress through the sales cycle in Salesforce. The problem here is that they don’t have the ability to take action on those opportunities when needed. They also cannot easily analyze stalled deals.
Our Director of Partner Sales manages partner-sourced opportunities in our Deals product. This enables him to identify where opportunities are in the pipeline. The Director of Partner Sales can reach out to the Partner to both assist with a blocked deal and provide the right sales enablement support to the partner.
2. Stay in Touch with Partners Using Outbound Cadences
Our core Cadence engine comes equipped with a library of pre-built Cadence Frameworks. Your team can use these to manage partner relationships at scale. Our Solution Partner Program Director uses outbound Cadences to drive partner engagement.
Whether it’s promoting a new referral bonus, inviting partners to one of our Virtual Partner Summits, or sharing sales enablement resources, Cadences help our partnership team stay focused on partner engagement. Cadences help our team analyze which partners engage, and the types of support they need.
3. Recruit New Partners with a High-Touch Sales Play
Both sales development reps [SDRs] and partner managers share two similar challenges: managing multiple leads while knowing which ones to focus on. Partner recruitment is critical to building a diverse partner ecosystem. It requires a sales motion that is very similar to recruiting Tier 1 customers.
Our partner program leaders use high-touch Cadences. These Cadences guide prospective partners through the appropriate partnership steps. They help keep our team organized with the prospective partners they are recruiting. Our partner managers use the Account and Person profile pages to track engagement activity. On these pages, they can see insights across various competitive, social, and news channels. These insights help our team decide how best to execute on Cadence steps as they become due. They use the Account and People lists to quickly identify the partners they haven’t engaged with for a certain amount of time. From there they can quickly add them to an appropriate Cadence.
4. Enable Partners with Content and Sales Tools
Just as your sales team needs to have the latest content and sales tools at their fingertips, so do your partners. Our partnership team builds Cadences designed to achieve specific partner outcomes. They collaborate with our sales enablement and product marketing teams to ensure the latest resources are shared with partners.
As new sales enablement resources are added to our sellers’ content management system, integrations between these systems (think Seismic or Highspot) and SalesLoft enables our team to quickly add content to a specific email or template, and share that with partners. We can easily track and see which content partners are using, which helps us understand the partner enablement resources our partners need the most.
5. Build Partner Advocates
Partners differentiate themselves in the marketplace by sharing their own subject matter expertise and thought leadership. We love helping our partners engage in various communities and social media platforms.
We help partners share the latest insights and content. These insights are typically in the form of analyst reports, Cadence best practices, and customer research. Our team builds social media kits for partners to share the content on their own social handles. We share these kits with partners via a specific outbound Cadence.
6. Convert Partner Sourced Leads
We’ve found that many of our partners struggle with the capacity to spend time with prospective customers. These prospects are in the early stages of exploring SalesLoft as a potential solution. We’ve given partners the ability to submit these leads to us directly via our Partner Portal. We route them to a dedicated SDR who uses various SalesLoft Cadences based on persona, industry, and channel to book a meeting with those prospects.
Even better, once those prospects become customers, the partner becomes eligible for referral commission – it’s a win-win!
Check out the SalesLoft Big Book of Cadences, containing best practice guidance for each stage of the customer lifecycle.
7. Co-Sell Early in the Deal Cycle
We’ve found that our opportunities accelerate when we co-sell with a technology partner earlier in the deal cycle, by helping the prospect understand the larger value proposition of the integrated solution. However, it can be difficult to know when prospective customers are considering other technologies and act on that information.
Our Partner Sales Director uses X-Ray FIlters in our Conversation Intelligence product to learn which ecosystem partners are important to prospects during a discovery call conducted by one of our SDRs or AEs. Conversations records and then translates calls that take place with our Dialer, Zoom, Microsoft Teams, and other video conferencing solutions. X-Ray filters enable our Partner Sales Director to select specific topics or ‘tags’ (i.e. partner names) and identify where they are mentioned in the recording of a call.
Our Partner Sales Director searches for these tags and initiates a co-selling discussion with that ecosystem partner and the rep early on in the sales cycle.
Ready to Learn More?
Contact your Customer Success Manager to learn more about how SalesLoft can support your partnerships & alliances team.
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