Partner Success Spotlight: CoMantis x Kiflo
This article is a part of a compelling series that provides insight into the relationships between vendors and partners. By understanding the unique, evolving facets of partnerships, you will learn how to effectively recruit, onboard, nurture, and maintain successful relationships with partners within your own programs. This will ultimately help you create appealing partner programs that scale revenue for your company.
If you are a startup or SMB looking to enhance your partnerships, this series is for you.
Meet the Partner: CoMantis
For this article, we interviewed Filip Ivanov, Automation Strategist. Founded in 2020, CoMantis is an international company providing Sales, Legal, and IT consulting services for SMBs. With their proven training techniques, automation strategies, and ever-growing network of clients and partners, CoMantis has helped startups and SMBs around the world enhance their business operations and increase revenue.
As the Automation Strategist, Filip plays a pivotal role in the growth and success of CoMantis’ automation services. With over 20 years of experience in automation, IT, and business development, Filip is an expert at spotting opportunities for streamlining processes, integration, and ultimately, growth.
Meet the Vendor: Kiflo
Kiflo empowers SMBs by providing valuable Partner Relationship Management (PRM) software, educational resources, and customer support to create thriving partner programs. Founded in 2019, Kiflo has grown exponentially since their inception. Earning top ratings on sites like G2, thousands of users and customers around the world choose Kiflo’s intuitive Partner Platform for their program needs.
As Kiflo’s CEO and Co-founder, Steven Muhr—alongside his business partner, COO, and Co-founder Jérôme Thievent—has seen firsthand how vital building a fully transparent, mutually beneficial, and well-structured partner program is for company success. With years of partnership and technology experience under their belt, Steven and Jerome built their Referral, Solution, and Technology partner programs with one thing in mind: succeeding together.
Why CoMantis Partnered With Kiflo
CoMantis is always seeking opportunities to expand their offerings, but when it comes to partnerships, their vision is much bigger than revenue. Filip explains:
CoMantis' philosophy is that we aim to work with and represent only top, paradigm-shifting SaaS providers that cover a niche domain. We look for SaaS solutions that have something truly unique, and that end customers can tangibly use to improve their businesses.
Armed with this philosophy, CoMantis applied to the Kiflo Partner Program with the following objectives in mind:
- Extending partner advisory services
- Expanding technical automation offerings
- Accessing new clients globally
- Creating exciting new revenue streams
Because Kiflo delivers powerful and comprehensive PRM solutions which complement CoMantis’ offerings, Kiflo’s Solution Partner Program provided CoMantis with a vehicle to provide greater value to shared clients.
As agreed upon in the terms of their partnership contract, CoMantis provides support for new and existing Kiflo customers who need help with the integration and automation of partner processes. In turn, Kiflo provides support to CoMantis via a dedicated Slack channel and unlimited one-on-one meetings.
The CoMantis x Kiflo Partner Onboarding Process
As seasoned partnerships professionals, the CoMantis team has clear expectations from partnership onboarding processes. These expectations include:
- Straightforward contracts with uncomplicated agreement terms
- Transparency on the commercial aspects of the partnership
- Diligent, ongoing support and enablement
- Automation and ease for each onboarding step
- Detailed, straightforward resources such as a sales and marketing kits
- Prompt and open communication
According to Filip, Kiflo not only met these expectations during onboarding but surpassed them:
"We worked closely with Steven and Jerome to ensure we were quickly onboarded. The Kiflo team made our onboarding process smooth and comprehensive. The platform is created in a way that partner onboarding is user-friendly, self-explanatory, and easily navigated. Moreover, we continue to receive both technical and sales support, which is critical to our success. Steven and Jerome are fantastic at communicating promptly and openly; it’s hard to find but very appreciated. Kiflo is always keen to help.”
According to Steven and Jerome, Kiflo’s onboarding process is so successful because it is built on discovering and nurturing aligned values. Once these values are communicated between Kiflo, the partner, and any mutual parties, partners sign a detailed contract that explains the program’s rewards, benefits, and responsibilities. The partner then receives training using the following resources:
- Free access to the Kiflo Partner Platform
- A recorded demonstration
- A one-on-one live demonstration tailored to the partner’s operational needs
- Q&A sessions
- Hands-on training where Kiflo works together with the partner to assist real customers
Once the training is complete, the partner can then start working independently. Kiflo keeps the channel of communication open for any sales and technical support, as well as provides valuable assets, such as a Help Center, to ensure partners can work autonomously.
A Day in the Life of the CoMantis x Kiflo Partnership
Kiflo and CoMantis have moved forward into their working relationship with this shared appreciation for transparency and structure. As the days turned to weeks and the weeks to months, the two companies put communication and evolution at the heart of their partnership. This has allowed for a consistent and effective routine to arise.
This routine includes regular monthly meetings where CoMantis and Kiflo discuss improvements to CoMantis’ offerings to better serve clients. Because Kiflo customers have needs such as product demonstration, operations training, process design, workflow setup, and integration with their CRMs, CoMantis must learn the intricacies of clients’ businesses and communicate this to Kiflo for roadmap enrichment. They also discover new functionalities and opportunities emerging from integrations with other systems and present the use cases to Kiflo for future consideration.
On Kiflo’s side, they provide CoMantis with:
- A free Kiflo account for training, demos, and testing
- Live and prompt support via Slack
- Continued training on new features and strategies
- Referred leads and customers
The Secret to CoMantis & Kiflo’s Partnership Success
As you can see, the partnership between CoMantis and Kiflo has been extremely beneficial for all parties involved. But here’s the kicker, while it’s true that each partnership is unique, there are some key facets from this partnership that can be found in each and every successful partnership.
Close Collaboration and Interaction
Both Kiflo and CoMantis make time each month to check in, share ideas, and most importantly, listen to one another. These companies understand that their companies, industries, and even relationships are ever-evolving. To bring each other value, they must collaborate with receptiveness to the other’s feedback and unique expertise. This creates innovation and, ultimately, opens up a world of growth possibilities.
Comprehensive and Efficient Processes
That being said, though we’d all love to sit in thinktanks with our partners all day, we are busy and the list of things to get done is forever growing. This is why Kiflo has ensured that partners like CoMantis don’t waste time on processes that are counterintuitive or cumbersome. Automation allows partners to move through things like training and onboarding quickly, while also guaranteeing partners are prepared to represent the brand’s products and services.
Product and Marketing Support
Vendors should provide every asset necessary, including product playbooks, pitch language, branding materials, and even pricing explanations so that partners can better service new and existing clients. This also guarantees that your partners will represent your brand the same way you would.
Kiflo does this for their partners in their own Partner Platform via the Assets page. This easily accessible feature allows partners to get extra support for any stage of the lead/deal pipeline, as well as enables them to give feedback on each asset.
Open, Prompt, and Friendly Communication
At the end of the day, both vendors and partners should, at some level, enjoy who they’re working with. A big part of this is communication. If either party feels as though their questions are unanswered, or like they can never reach their assigned point of contact, the relationship will suffer. Clear, direct, and pleasant communication nurtures trust and, therefore, long-lasting partnerships.
CoMantis’ Advice to Business Leaders Wanting to Partner with Companies Like Kiflo
Here is Filip’s advice for building successful partnerships like the one between CoMantis and Kiflo:
- "Build trust and transparency in the relationship, and clearly identify shared values."
What values do you and your partner share? Communicate and build upon these values throughout the relationship.
- "Share goals and objectives from day one, and inform your partner manager if those goals change over time."
Partnerships should be mutually beneficial. Period. And while partners and vendors usually communicate objectives at the beginning, it is inevitable that those goals will change over time. Keep each other updated as evolution occurs.
- "Be agile and adaptive to customer needs."
Customers are not just revenue makers—they are real people with real needs, goals, and concerns. Partners and vendors alike should learn how to adapt to customer drivers to remain relevant and successful.
- "Regularly communicate with the vendor to share feedback."
Feedback should be two-fold in a partnership. Don't be afraid to share your thoughts, ideas, and concerns with vendors. If the vendor doesn't encourage this kind of exchange, then it might be time to reconsider the partnership.
- "Don’t be afraid to help influence the product roadmap to meet your customer needs."
If you see an opportunity to better the vendor's product or services, let them know! As a partner, you have unique access to the customer that maybe the vendor doesn't. Use this access to improve operations. It will benefit everyone involved.