This article is a part of a compelling series that will give you practical tips on how to grow a successful partner program. By leveraging the advice of the greatest minds in partnerships, you will learn how to effectively create, structure, 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 this article, we interviewed Jo Wright, Reveal’s VP of Sales & Partner Success. Reveal empowers B2B companies to leverage their partnerships for revenue growth. By securely sharing CRM intelligence, companies can instantly identify all business opportunities with their partners and generate more revenue, together. With Reveal, businesses generate better-qualified leads, increase win rates, reduce sales cycles, and grow deal sizes. Founded in 2020, Reveal is now trusted by 5,000+ businesses worldwide, such as Qualtrics, Tealium, Contentsquare, Sendoso, Smartrecruiters, Fullstory, and Vonage.
Jo has recently joined the company to bring her 5+ years of expertise in partnerships to Reveal to help them build, structure, and grow their partner program.
Read the following interview to discover how Reveal plans to grow a thriving partner program. Take advantage of the advice coming from Jo Wright herself:
- 1. What is Reveal’s Key Strategy for Building a Growth-Oriented Partner Program?
- 2. What is Reveal’s Partner Selection Criterion?
- 3. How Does Reveal Plan to Find the Right Partners for Their Program?
- 3.1. Leveraging the Existing Ecosystems in the Industry
- 3.2. Identifying Agencies Operating in Reveal’s own Niche
- 4. How Does Reveal Plan to Get Organization-Wide Support for Their Partner Program?
- 5. How Does Reveal Plan to Manage and Engage Their Partners?
- 5.1. Hiring Dedicated Partner Managers
- 5.2. Ensuring Mutuality
- 5.3. Practicing Transparency
- 5.4. Using the Right Technology Stack
- 5.5. Organization-Wide Collaboration
- 6. Key Takeaways: Jo’s Advice to Start Building an Effective Partner Program
- 6.1. “Prevent data hostage within partnerships.”
- 6.2. “Invest in partnerships.”
- 6.3. “Drive organizational change at the C-level.”
- 7. Make it Happen for You: How to Grow a Partner Program Like Reveal
- 8. Ready to Scale Your Partnership Revenue?
Table of contents
Reveal is at the beginning of the partnership journey, where they are determining what their partner program should look like and what their strategies should be. One of their key strategies is to build and grow the program by striking a balance between short-term and long-term value.
As Jo observes, you often do not have the luxury of spending a year building the program without seeing any results. On the other hand, you must show value quickly and early on with everything you do. Further, it is important that you win over some quick opportunities to validate that the objectives, goals, relevance, and efficiency of the program will work.
That said, you cannot build an entire program based just on short-term value—though it will allow you to maintain steady growth, you will never see an exponential curve from such quick and easy wins. To be successful, your program should drive exponential growth in the long term. In other words, the quick wins you have today should ultimately lead to exponential growth in the future. That’s precisely why it is crucial to strike a balance between quick wins and long-term value, says Jo.
“How do you showcase to the business that you can drive results through the partner program? You must pick all those low-hanging fruits and quick and easy wins. At the same time, you must also lay the foundations for the partner program. Whatever you are doing in partnerships is all about finding that balance.”
Reveal’s strategy to maintain the balance between short-term and long-term value further informs their partner selection approach. While the company understands the importance of partnering with global giants and big resellers that can make a long-term impact, their immediate focus is on small technology companies and resellers who can get moving right away.
According to Jo, small consultancies and boutique agencies often specialize in areas where the technology or solution you are selling is key. Such agencies may have only 20, 30, or 100 employees, but they are focused, nimble, and adaptable. Moreover, they implement best-in-class technology compared to big powerhouses that often are into legacy technologies. Such a strategy will also allow you to showcase value quickly.
Reveal has an intuitive plan for finding partner agencies for their program; they plan to hunt potential partners in two ways:
Reveal’s approach to finding potential partners involves looking into the existing ecosystems within the partnership industry. It is in such spaces that you can find the thought leaders of the industry and identify the companies that are aiding businesses in building partner programs.
“Our own partnership industry is a good place to start the search. Who are the thought leaders in our space, and among them, who are helping companies build partner programs? We can hunt them through research and conversations. For instance, we have over 5,000 companies using our platform, which means 5,000 conversations that help us build the program.”
Another space the company intends to search for partners is in their own niche. For instance, if you are a partnership technology provider, you can find potential partners by looking at those who are advising businesses on the implementation of PRM or sales intelligence. In other words, by looking at players in your niche, you can find partners familiar with or can complement the technology you are selling.
One of the most important things all startups need while launching their partner program is internal support. Partner programs require many teams to work together, so it is essential that you win the buy-in from sales, marketing, and leadership teams in the early stages. In Jo’s opinion, the best way to do it is by using data and numbers.
Reveal believes it is crucial to back everything up with data. To be more precise, one must show value through data and do it in the initial stages of the partner program to get internal trust and organization-wide buy-in. Without that, you may be seen as a low-impact organization and start losing credibility.
How quickly you can showcase the value to your internal team is also crucial, says Jo. It’s about having a plan, implementing that plan, and being open with the time to value that you are expecting to see.
“Imagine that you are running an enablement session with your Account Executives (AEs) and your sales team is talking about how they are planning to make an impact in a year's time. You've lost that audience. They're not interested. They won't turn up for the next session. The same goes for partnerships. It is key that you drive value quickly, failing which you lose the organization.”
When it comes to managing and engaging partners on an ongoing basis, Reveal has a carefully thought-out plan in place. First, they assure that security with their partners is their number one priority. Then, according to Jo, their plan includes everything from ensuring mutuality and transparency to using the right technology. Given below are some of the ways Reveal plans to engage and manage their partners:
Reveal believes it is of supreme importance to invest in partnerships to see value and results. They plan to manage their partners through dedicated teams and managers.
Partnerships are just like any other relationship—they thrive on mutuality. The first step to keeping partners engaged, for Reveal, is to make sure that it is a two-way relationship and that there is something in it for both sides. The moment mutuality is taken out of the equation, it upsets the very balance of the relationship.
Transparency is essential to building robust and long-lasting partner relationships, says Jo. It is about being open and transparent about what the goals are. It is equally important to talk about goals on an ongoing basis so that you know whether both parties are sticking to them and what everyone is trying to achieve.
Reveal intends to use technology to make the whole process easier for partners. As Jo notes, partnerships traditionally did not have the best access to technology stacks since there wasn't that much technology available 10 years ago. However, the scenario is changing. Having the right technology makes it easier to track and measure the effectiveness and work with partners in a meaningful manner. They also rely on their account mapping platform to effectively share accounts with their partners.
Partnerships are not a relationship between partners and partner managers—they involve the entire organization, including sales, marketing, and product teams. It is extremely crucial to have those departments on both sides know each other and collaborate, which further help strengthen the relationship. In the words of Jo:
“A one-on-one relationship is nowhere near as strong as a hundred to a hundred relationships across an organization. It gives depth to the program. It also allows you to scale your program and share data for driving sales results.”
“One of the biggest challenges in partnerships is the data hostage situation—data remains inside the partnership team. Often, it happens due to issues regarding attribution. You must remember that data is a signal or a point of intelligence that your sales and marketing teams can use to run campaigns or target prospects. To see sales results, you must prevent data hostage within partnership teams and make it available to the whole organization.”
“Often, people make the mistake of not investing enough in partnerships. They tend to think that partnerships just happen and that there is much less work behind it. Remember, it takes an incredible amount of work and effort to build partner relationships and drive value. If you do not invest in it, you are never going to see results.”
“When we start selling to our partners’ customers, every single statistic and KPI is elevated. So, we need to get to a place where a Chief Revenue Officer is questioning why we have a target account on our account list if they have not already purchased our partner’s technology. Our job as partnership professionals is to drive such an organizational change at the C-level.”
To learn how to build a partner program, check out Reveal’s Collaborative Growth Academy course “Building a High-Impact Program”. If you want to grow a partner program like Reveal, it is essential that you have the proper tools to structure, automate, and scale your program.
A Partner Relation Management (PRM) platform allows you to:
Organize your program with tiers
Coordinate training, onboarding, and certification processes
Build a knowledge base to provide instant answers
Collaborate with partners on a shared pipeline
Get full visibility over partner activity
Measure partner performance
Track commission and payouts
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
What is Reveal?
Reveal is a free platform for Partnerships teams to generate revenue through their ecosystem.
What does Reveal software do?
Reveal’s platform allows you to do account mapping, instantly identify all common accounts, and easily collaborate to close more deals together.
How to join Reveal’s partner program?
You can join Reveal’s partner program by sending an email at email@example.com.
How to build a partner program like Reveal?
Reveal is building a thriving partner program by using the latest technology and implementing growth strategies.
What is a good example of a SaaS partner program?
Reveal is an excellent example of a SaaS partner program.