min read

How monday.com Built Their Partner Program for 3x YOY Growth

Get an inside, exclusive look into monday.com’s thriving partner program and learn how to grow one of your own.
How monday.com Earned 3x YOY Growth With Their Partner Progr
Published on
May 21, 2021


This article is the first of a compelling series that will inspire you to grow a successful partner program. By leveraging the advice of the greatest minds in partnerships, you will learn how to effectively create and build a partner program that scales revenue. If you are a startup or SMB in the B2B tech industry, this series is for you.

For our first article, we interviewed Oren Stern, monday.com’s Head of Partnerships and Alliances. Based out of Tel Aviv, monday.com is a SaaS platform that enables people to create the solutions they need to run every aspect of their work. It helps organizations of all sizes to be more efficient and intuitive in the way they manage their teams. The fast-growing company now has more than 115,000 customers in over 180 countries and has raised a total of $234.1 million in investment funding.

Oren Stern, monday.com Head of Partnerships

As monday.com’s Head of Partnerships, Oren leads a team that manages a vibrant, world-class partner ecosystem with hundreds of partners internationally. Read the following interview to discover how monday.com built such a successful partner program and take advantage of the game-changing advice coming from Oren Stern himself.

The Challenge: The Dawn of monday.com’s Partner Program

A few years back, monday.com defined goals to improve their sales strategy as well as expand to new markets. They were in a unique situation. They were investing heavily in online advertising to generate leads. These leads were then taken through an automated, self-purchase system on their website, creating a no-touch sales cycle.

Even though this process yielded its returns, some leads weren’t willing to buy on the website without talking to someone first, especially larger clients. For this reason, monday.com implemented “touch initiatives” in which they provided their leads more human interaction during the sales process through channel partners.

Not only did monday.com want to unblock the barriers their prospects were experiencing during the buying process, but they also wanted to develop internationally. In terms of growth, monday.com set steep objectives to expand in multiple new markets around the world and provide more value to their customers.

In order to bring more value to their international customers and provide local expertise, monday.com opted for an international Partner Program. They hoped a Partner Program would allow them to scale anywhere they had interested customers and not be limited by local languages, time zones, or payment terms. It also allowed them to save costs when entering a new market.

The Beginning of the Journey: monday.com’s Quest for Partners

In starting out their journey, monday.com went practical and got right into game mode to acquire partners in new markets and accelerate their international growth. To open a new market, they casted a wide net. They pulled out a directory, searched for a long list of potential partners (like local

resellers, agencies and consultants), and contacted them with mass email campaigns and specifically targeted reach. They also reached partners with Google and LinkedIn ads campaigns.

Their first group of partners in the new market was always quite diverse:

"At the beginning, we were very accepting, and we took partners of all shapes and sizes. The biggest indicator to success is their willingness, motivation, and commitment. Even if it was two guys working out of their garage, if they were motivated, ready to take the risk, and put resources on it, we’d take them. The most successful partnerships are the ones where we had at least one person selling only monday. That way, they breathe, eat, and think monday."
Oren Stern, monday.com Head of Partnerships

Later, monday.com changed its methods of acquiring new partners to align with new company strategies. In the preceding year, the company focused on a bottom-up approach, meaning they were satisfied working with smaller clients and selling smaller packages. Hence, they were able to work with any willing partner. 

As their program evolved, they took on more of a portfolio approach. They started to seek out a specific group of partners with varying sizes, verticals, and functional expertise. To find partners with high potential, they started approaching more recognized partners to join the program, like leading Google, MSFT, and Atlassian partners, for example.

The Launch: Building a Community of Motivated, Lucrative Partners

Like many organizations, monday.com faced hurdles because their basic product can be rather inexpensive. Certain packages can be sold for as little as $8 per month. To motivate their partners to get on board they offered to feed partners with sales leads, provide them a generous commission, and help fund various go-to-market activities. Partners also have the opportunity to sell value-added services alongside monday.

"To get a group of committed, motivated partners, you have to show them the money. So we set up a very lucrative model for our partners to join. To convince them to commit and invest, we make sure they receive a hefty commission on every deal. On top of that, many of our partners can build other services around monday.com because it’s a flexible solution, allowing them to earn more from their own services."
Oren Stern, monday.com Head of Partnerships

While monday offers a large, recurring commission, it is not the only way they grow an active group of partners. They also engage their partners and seed them with opportunities right when they start their journey with monday:

"When we enter a new market, we start doing online ad campaigns in the area, so that when partners start out with us, we start feeding them daily leads and get them engaged quickly. Our partners love this, and it helps get them committed to monday right away."
Oren Stern, monday.com Head of Partnerships

Keeping Control: Assuring the Transfer of monday’s Image and Values

monday.com holds their values of transparency and customer-centricity, agility, empowerment, and impact in high regard. They need these values to be reflected by their partners during the sales process to maintain their brand image.

"It was a bit scary at first to pass control of the sales process to our partners. We did have some issues in the beginning where partners were very aggressive, or not very responsive. In these cases, we would just switch partners. Here at monday, we are not afraid to take risks. We are open to experimenting and trying new approaches to drive our organization forward. Ultimately, this is how we’ve achieved a 3x growth year over year for the past 3 years."
Oren Stern, monday.com Head of Partnerships

monday.com does, however, deploy a system of checks and balances to ensure their partners align with their values. This system entails 5 main processes:

  1. An Initial Interview: A monday.com representative interviews the partner to see if their values align
  2. The “Empowerment” Process: monday’s onboarding, training, and certification process to teach partners to live by their standards.
  3. Shadowing and Co-selling: Once selling begins, a monday representative enters partners’ calls to make sure they are representing the brand in the right way.
  4. Satisfaction Survey: After a customer or lead interacts with a partner, they are sent a survey to describe their experience with the partner.
  5. Lead Monitoring: monday tracks the progress of their partners' leads to ensure that partners are treating leads in a quick manner.

Throughout the entire process, monday.com follows up thoroughly with their partners to ensure they take on the proper values. Any complaints or concerns identified during this process are monitored closely and quickly followed up to maintain a good reputation. Partners are also given a satisfaction score to ensure quality.

Even though the sales cycle is managed by partners, monday.com opted to fully take responsibility for the after-sales support to verify that customers receive the very best support.

Lest We Forget: monday.com Pricing and Invoicing Process

monday.com chooses to keep close control over their financial flows. In regards to payment, they follow the following process: 

  1. The customer signs a monday.com contract and pays monday.com directly (note that this is monday’s pricing, but partners have the option to offer a discount.)
  2. monday.com receives the payment in full.
  3. monday, then, pays the partner commission, which is listed as a marketing expense.

In this way, they get the full top-line perspective making their revenue look as healthy as possible, and they have more control over their pricing.

Key Take-Aways: Oren Stern’s Secrets to Building a Successful Partner Program

“Make sure partners make money and make money fast. Feed them leads right out of the gate.”

By distributing leads to partnersonce they are onboarded, they get engaged quickly. Without this, they might wait too long before acting and could lose interest.

“Find dedicated resources, people that sell your solution only.”

This way, you get some partners that give you their 100%. Their time and resources are fully invested in selling your product.

“Find partners that align with your corporate values; not every partner works.”

Remember, your brand reputation is based on your principles. The values your partners display is passed on to your brand image. Consistency is key.

“Take risks, test, learn, and adjust.”

Explore different methods of structuring your partner program. See what works best for you and your partners, and go from there.

How monday.com Uses a PRM to Grow their Partner Ecosystem

Scaling a partner program like monday.com is simply not possible without a PRM. Without a dedicated solution, monday.com would not be able to effectively run their program.

A PRM allows monday.com to:

  • Organize their program
  • Organize and track the training, onboarding, and certification processes
  • Distribute leads
  • Monitor lead handling
  • Collaborate on a shared partner pipeline
  • Have full visibility over partner activity
  • Track partner performance
  • Track commission and payouts
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