Building and Nurturing Revenue Generating Partner Channels


Show Notes

On this week’s episode of the Investible Partnerships™ podcast, we talk to Basem Emera, the Senior Vice President, Partnerships and Alliances at Go1, about being a driver of Partner impact across an ecosystem of 200+ partner sellers, how he thinks about building long term value in every partnership and what makes partnering in the APAC region very different to the rest of the world.

Key Takeaways

00:00 - Introduction

3:29 - The key ingredients of an Investible Partnership

7:14 - The four C’s of partnering(Capital - Coverage - Commitment -Competence)

11:11 - How did you realise that you needed a framework for partner fit?

15:04 - How to build out the partnership flywheel to be a driver of Partner impact.

19:33 - Marketing to a partner and marketing to direct customers is very different

23:51 - The growth area for everyB2B SaaS company.

28:17 - Hiring and supporting Partner leaders in the APAC region.

32:03 - Building long term value in partnerships.

32:03 - The antidote to being a d river Partner impact.

Des Russell  


Hey, Basem it's so exciting to have you join us on the Investible Partnerships  podcast. I know we've been trying to get together for a while, but at the end of the financial year, you've made it happen. And I'm really appreciative of yo to join the conversation, which is an unbelievable opportunity for our community, and our listeners to hear about you your role at Go1 one, and also, more importantly, how you are being a driver of partner impact. But first, what I'd love to do is hand the floor to you. And tell us a little bit more about yourself your role, and how you got into partnerships at Go1?

Basem Emera


Nice one. Well, thanks for having me Des, yes, we've been trying to catch each other and wasn't until we saw each other at a recent conference that we said, let's do that. And why no better time than a few days before the financial year end. And but but all as well. So again, thanks for having me out. My name is Bas, I work for Go1 you know, we're an organisation focused on online corporate learning. If you think about what organisations are faced with today, when they have to procure corporate learning, they have to go out and speak to multiple different vendors have to figure out whether are plugged into the learning management system.

So we're focused on ensuring all those problems are taken away from organisations and we're making sure that the right level of content is put in front of the right learner at the right time to based on their competencies skills and what they're trying to achieve. And one of our core principles is ensuring that that content can plug into any third party system around the world so that the essentially learner can be met where they are versus having to think about multiple systems. So I lead a team of about 30 or so people at Go1 and run global distribution to our global distribution partnership team. We use partnerships interchangeably that go on, we have a lot of content creators, who are also our partnerships, part of our partnerships team, that was my initial role, when I joined the company was to scale this sort of the supply side of our business. We also have demand-gen partners.

So our distribution partners, and I find myself leading that part of the organisation right now, my background prior to go on was actually not in tech or SaaS at all. I was in banking for about 10 years, multiple things within banking, Treasury, balance sheet management and things like that, and decided that it was something time to do something completely differently. And no better..

Des Russell  


Why did chose partnerships.

Basem Emera  


Well, I chose Yeah, I chose I chose Go1, fast growing Australian startup with not a lot to, to sort of that was there under the bonnet at the time. But it was definitely a risk that was worth taking and sort of found myself landed, landing in the partnerships role. And I think the one thing that I was looking for post, in my stint in banking was a role that enabled me to do lots of things. And with partnerships, you are sort of like the mini CEO of your business, right? You're with finance one day, you're doing p&l management, the next day, one day you're writing in agreement the next day or doing sales enablement. So it's sort of the broad nature of partnerships, which is what attracted me to the role for sure.

Des Russell  


I love it, mini CEOs. So there's a few. There's a few sort of descriptions of partnerships that I've heard, but mini CEOs really cool, because it's probably a good kind of rounding of all the different facets of partnerships now. No doubt your team's grown over time. So have you always been the CEO have you always felt like you've had this sort of responsibility? Or is this something that was only something that kind of develops later on as you build out your partnership strategy?

Basem Emera


Yeah, I think we're pretty unique in the sense that I joined Go1 pretty early on, you know, we're, you know, I'm about five years into the journey. And the company has, I think, been around for about seven or so. So I joined, I joined pretty early, and therefore, lots of what I had to do was continuously build. And therefore I did feel like it was building every day and I was sort of trying to create and therefore the the analogy of the mini CEO came out. So as you grow, like any fast growing startup, you will do lots of things all by yourself at the start. And then as the organisation matures and has better access to capital and funding, you start to think about, well, what kind of specialised roles do I need within my function or within the organisation more broadly? And that's when you can start to think about things like partner marketing or the difference between people out there sort of trying to sign deals versus enable partners, the different types of partner motions, but at the start, it was just Yeah. All hands on deck to try and get it done.

Des Russell  


All hands on deck. Yeah, absolutely. Absolutely. So what I'm interested with, I guests that come on, is really understanding. Like how do you see partnerships because everyone's got a different view of partnerships, and I'd love to just double click on What do you see as a good framework for? Or do you use a framework? When you think about a partner in understanding the capability of the partner understanding whether there is a match? Is it more feeling? Or do you have a structured framework that you kind of think about? Or what what, what's the ingredients for you in terms of what an investible partnership is?

Basem Emera  


Yeah, I mean, good question. And it's probably a lot of those themes I mentioned before jumping into the sort of selection process, you know, sort of the end result for the folks at Go1 is that actually our partner motion or our partner channel powers, a large proportion of our revenues, probably over half of our revenue over time. And that is something that we sort of fell into a little bit, but that we're forced to discover it as we went through. So I think I guess, coming back to your question, you know, I read an article a long time ago, now that talked about the four C's, there's capital, there's coverage, there's commitment, and there's competence. And I think, you know, if you if you've got a partner that has capital well funded, access to money, is sort of global. And nature has global customers, we are a global company.

So that helps when you approach an organisation that has global coverage. They're committed to the partnership, they care, they're incentivized all the right reasons from the exec level, all the way down to the rep. And I think competence is also one that's hurt us, you know, we had three of the four C's. And the last one was, you know, they weren't able to execute indirect sales themselves, they weren't able to embed a new product into their own sales cycle, which is, you know, cumbersome and tricky. And it's not easy. And therefore, we always look at the Four C's, sort of a broad stroke to to see whether that's the you know, the right, I guess, framework to enable us to say, is this the right partner? And I have another conversation with for sure.

Des Russell  


I love that four C's. So I want to sort of double double click into this a little bit, because this is great. Because how did you know, let's take that last example? And how did you know? Or when did you know that they weren't able to embed the from the commitment side, they weren't actually able to embed that offering? Or do that direct sales motion, which is really what you were trying to leverage in the partnership? Was this. Did you see this early on? Or was this are the four C's something that you use as you progress your partnership? Because one of the challenges that we have in partnerships is time, right? It's like we're, it's time to market? It's time to value? And I'm always interested to understand when when do you find things out? Is this three months down the line? And you're like, Oh, my goodness, they couldn't execute? Or is this something that you try and use these four C's? early on? To really get a simple view? Which is a yes, no, or maybe?

Basem Emera  


Yeah, it's an initial assessment. So you definitely do that. But I think you constantly iterate and sort of re benchmark the partners throughout their partner lifecycle. So we have a partner lifecycle journey to go on. And you're constantly you know, reassessing that that framework, I do take to the team that and our executive team as well, they don't like this, but you have to, you have to do the dance with quite a few until, and you have to, you know, get through a couple of songs until you realise, well, this person can dance or can't, it is not always evident after the first conversation with the whether that company can, in better another product in their sales process has the competency to do that are incentivized to do that, and therefore, on paper, it might present well, but it might just not transpire, you might you might just lose your champion, you know, everything might be right. You know, I might have Des at the organisation who is, you know, go once champion and that person might be gone. And then despite the organisation having all those characteristics, there's this thing on the outside, that happens, and you can't control it.

Des Russell  


Absolutely. I think just a framework like that. It doesn't like there's a lot of frameworks you can use, I think, for partnership leaders, I think having a way across the business, to be able to identify what this partnership potential actually looks like, just creates a lot of clarity. I'm interested to understand, do you set those four C's with your partner upfront in terms of your engagement, i.e. you know, we're looking at partners that meet these four C's? Or is this more something internally that you're using?

Basem Emera  


Indirectly with them. So we've probably teased it out through the negotiation process and through the, you know, once you get through the meaty, you know, is there something here? Is there going to be a partnership, you start to get into trying to operationalize some of those broad concepts like How will go to market work? How will our sales process work? And if you're running into consistently brick walls, you'll realise well, they don't have the commitment or they don't have the competency. So yeah, I'd say it's an initial initial assessment, but you know, we, as we go through we'll learn a little bit as well.

Des Russell


Okay, excellent, and And at the same time, not afraid to go? No, this isn't going to work in terms of the partnership?

Basem Emera  


Absolutely, yeah, I think one thing we've gotten better at is probably adding a couple of dimensions, depending on the type of partner that we're talking to, or what's in front of us. What I mean by that is, you know, there might be an organisation that has all those four C's, but maybe it doesn't give us access to our ideal customer profile. And that's just a different lens. So yes, they are, they want to do all this stuff, they are ready to go. But actually, there's no, you know, customer fit there for go one, in terms of our ideal customer profile.

And we don't necessarily say No, on the back of that, it might just mean that, you know, if our ideal customer is sort of an enterprise organisation with 1000 employees, north of that, and this partner gives us access to SMB type relationships, we might decide that we still want to partner with them, but it might be a reseller motion, where we don't have, you know, our sellers engaged in sort of low volume, high velocity deals, because that's not the game that we want to play in. So I guess there are definitely other mechanisms or other questions that we asked to be able to sort of drive the right commercial model, which is also an important thing to recognise.

Des Russell  


Absolutely, I think the the default of partner profile fit, customer segment fit, culture fit. I think that your four C's kind of move across that and add more colour, add more depth to what that what that actually means. So I think that's a maturity, from a maturity point of view. Is that something you realised? How did you realise that you needed some kind of framework to build in identify partner fit outside of the usual stuff? So was this you? You were struggling to build stronger partnerships? Are you is this like, how did you come about this framework?

Basem Emera  


Yeah, I mean, I think the broad nature of the four C's is really important, because you can't have if one of the ingredients is missing, you're not going to be successful. And I think the one thing that we realised early on when we sort of took a bit more control over the channel was that we had lots of signed contracts, and lots of people were high fiving each other and going to conferences, saying, you know, how good is this, but there was no go to market planning, there was actually not a lot of commitment. On the other side, from the partner, there was no focus on enablement. And really, getting a partner from a signed contract to selling a product is a massive way to go. So at the start, I think we struggled with too much of a focus on paper, too much of a focus on having signed agreements, versus turning them actually into successful partnerships. So commitment was one of the things that we realised pretty early on that we didn't have, and therefore we really focused on, you know, enabling our partners and understanding whether they were going to be committed or not.

Des Russell  


Yeah, I think the commitment is, that is a massive thing. And it's the commitment, I read a article or phrase out of a, an article last week, which is really a commitment is more than the signature on the paper. Absolutely. That's maybe level one. And it's this deeper, it's there's deeper commitment as you go into the partnership and through the organisation. So I love that four C's a great takeaway for our audience, around the thinking and the tools and the tenants that you're using, that you're using around that. So thanks for sharing that.

So listen, I want to unpack your insights around your partnership motion, because you've you've, you've got two kind of partnership motions that you currently run. I'd love to understand. What did you start with in terms of your partner motion? And then what brought up this? So you've got the content partnerships, and then you've got the demand chain partnerships? So let us let us understand a little bit more about how you started, why you started there. And then what brought up this different partner motion, because there's a lot of partnership leaders that have a specific kind of in into their partner go to market and then it's often that second, what is the other type of partnership that we need to create or build or go after?

That is really a challenge because we're kind of so focused on this, making this one partner type or partner motion successful. So I'd love to understand, from your perspective, what comes first, why did it come first for you? And then what brought you to bring on your demand gen Partnership, which is actually where you are building a lot of your revenue as far as I understand.

Basem Emera  


Yeah, I mean, so we've always had the concept of the flywheel that go on. And you know, we think that we're somewhat of a marketplace in the sense that we have the learners on one side of the flywheel, or we have content creators on the other side of the flywheel. And we think that the more supply that we have, will give us more access to learners, the more learners we have to give us more access to supply and therefore that's the flywheel.

So the initial focus was building out the supply side of our of our of our product, essentially building our product that we take to market and therefore, there was a really strong focus on articulating the partner lifecycle very early on, we were a new product. So you know, us approaching content creators and saying, here we are, the Netflix over the Spotify of just wasn't going to work you need to be it needed to be a little bit more articulate in ensuring that they understood that it wouldn't cannibalise their business, they knew how they would get paid, then you have the sort of product works. And then as we went through that, we realised that there was an accelerator to our flywheel was the the sort of intermediary party that gave us more access to the learner side, which was the, you know, HR software provider that has millions of learners that are on their LMS, that if we could just partner with them, that would, you know, enable us to be able to open the doors to so many more learners, versus the traditional way of trying to sell out sell directly and trying to reach those organisations.

So I think it was a little bit of focusing on the fly, or then we understood how important distribution partners were to the flywheel. And then once we figured that out, there was quite a lot of synergy between sort of an online corporate learning library or an online corporate lending marketplace, and a learning management system. And we're really focused on ensuring that at the point of renewal for these customers, when they were renewing their learning management system that we could have a conversation about content, and the distribution partners with a key to being able to allow us to have those conversations so they would essentially drive the top of funnel for us they would register leads, we would then join them where probably 80% co=sell, so we would join their reps on calls. So again, I'd say that, you know, focusing on a product was what we wanted to do first, and we did that and scale that. And then sort of we found that partnerships were a massive accelerator to our flywheel.

Des Russell  


I think you could talk about flywheel. And we could talk about all sorts of wheels. What I think is, what you understood was what are the what are the things that you need to turn in the partnership space to be able to strategically achieve what you needed to? And it's often where you where you're focusing your attention? On? When's your team? Where's your team's focus? So how does the flywheel that you have helped focus your attention with the team, you know, things ongoing? Maybe, maybe partner acquisition isn't down or content. Your content provider isn't quite at the level that you need, has focusing on that help you and your team focus and double click on the right things?

Basem Emera  


Yeah, I think given that we are so focused on co-sell motion, it really is about consistently ensuring that we're enabling another organisation to sell your product. And I can't really emphasise that enough that for us is our Northstar is we have 200 sellers globally that are selling our product outside of our organisation and we need to make sure they have everything they need. They're kept up to date, they have to trust their organisation incentivizes them in the right way. So they understand that there's something in it for them. So really, it was knowing that we weren't going to be a product that was going to be resold. I think our product at times was sort of neither one of our sellers to be able to articulate the value. And therefore cosell was the thing that we focused on. And the major component of that is enablement. And therefore that was the thing that we we always double clicked on from from start to finish.

Des Russell  


Love it, love it. Now, there's a there's a point in the like, you've got 200 resellers outside at 200 salespeople outside the organisation that are pushing that is that is scale. How do you how do you keep their attention? How do  keep the attention? How do you keep the two things that I think is extremely important? The relevance how you relevant to them consistently? And how do you deliver value? What is the key to doing that in how you partner?

Basem Emera  


Yeah, so there's obviously some stuff that is very much relationship focused. So our partner managers build very, very good relationships with, you know, partner, manager and other organisation we encourage our employees to do the same thing. We do lunch and learns with various AE's. So there's lots of, I guess, dialogue that we create between organisations and I think they're consistent dialogue, reps trusting each other. Sometimes we map rep to rep and therefore they work on 10 deals together and they become best friends, which is great. So there's things that we really, really focused on from the relationship perspective. And there's some things outside of that, that we focus on, I think two key elements is probably one partner marketing, making sure we've got, you know, something monthly that's going to them. So the reps understand what's new in our library, think things that they should be focusing on or thinking about.

The second part is making sure they're always incentivized. And, you know, it is as simple as if a rep is incentivized, and they get quota relief, or they get comp on, you know, the go, one product will be far more successful than if they don't, because to get their attention, particularly with the likes of some of our larger partners that we partner with SAP, SuccessFactors, and Ceridian very, very large, global HCM is with 1000s of sellers. And therefore, you've got millions of resellers tapping on the shoulder saying, hey, resell my product, resell my product, whether it's benefits, or payroll, or all these adjacent things. So you know, the rep understanding the value, the rep knowing won't interrupt their sales cycle and the rep knowing they get paid, is, I think, really, really important to focus in on and get right.

Des Russell  


And this is so gold, I tell you what, there's so much gold or gold here. In this conversation, I want to understand your your partner motion you originally were obviously as a as a typical startup, you were direct sales motion, and you're in new position, your partner motion. What I see quite challenging is for organisations that move ship from director partner, the key thing that I season, I know you've spoke about value in the spoke about incentivizing and keeping them up to date, etcetera. But one of the big gaps I see is in their messaging that the software vendor takes to this new partner. One is they were going direct, so they have a very customer focused problem that they're solving customer focus problem, now we introduce a partner, and the relevance of the customer is less relevant, then what you're solving for the partner how you're actually helping that partner. So how did you? How did you get that? How did you get that message in super clear around what partners needed in terms of what Go1 could provide?

Basem Emera  


Yeah, well, they're distinct, you know, marketing to a partner and marketing to a direct customer, very, very different. You know, you don't always have access to the end customer, right? So it is, you know, what are the three or four questions you should ask an organisation at renewal, you know, they have a content learning strategy. Do they currently use three of these vendors? Are they focused on upskilling and reskilling and really, we make it really, really easy for that partner or the partners reps to qualify content, all we want them to do is qualify the need for content when it's attached to another third party HR software solution. And therefore that is very, very different to direct marketing to a customer, we're really focused on the partner rep.

That's who we're marketing to, because the partner rep needs to essentially interject or position us within a sales cycle register that lead with go one, and therefore everything we need to do is focused on that partner and how do we not complicate your sales cycle? What are the sort of buying motivations? What are the five questions you can ask keeping it really simple when to bring us in? How to position who we are we are content experts, we're not you know, aggressive sellers we come in with complimentary to your sales cycle, etc. So yeah, just I think keeping them discreet and having that organisational buy in that, you know, partner enablement, we have in our team a partner enablement team, partner enablement is very, very different to sales enablement, very different to customer marketing and partner enablement role is very specific on enabling each individual partner to be successful.

Des Russell  


This is good. So, as SVP of global partnerships, you supporting team growth all over the world, particularly in APAC. And one of the things that we see here in APAC is it's just called the growth area for every b2b SaaS company, because it's the last it's probably the destination they've never been to. So they want to come to APEC. They want to build partner ecosystems in APAC They want to build a presence, and they typically go partnerships, let's go partnerships. You've got some great experience in terms of what you have done and learn from your growth within the APAC region. I know go one's a global global company but what's different about APAC farm a, if you think Australia New Zealand, let's call that ANZ and Southeast Asia, Asia, what's different, like what did you find out there was unique those markets that our other partnership leaders ought to know when they're going into those regions.

Basem Emera  


Yeah, I guess I'd say what isn't different. They are, you know, miles miles apart. I think. If you think about ANZ, it's, you know, it's a, well, firstly, if you think about North America, where the bulk of our revenue comes from, you know, we're focused on the Enterprise there, because there's lots of enterprises, and therefore, we go up market, there's lots of them. And therefore, it's, I wouldn't say they are homogenous, but it's closer to homogeneity. Whereas in Australia, you have Australia, New Zealand, you have a pretty fragmented sort of, you know, SMB market landscape 20,000 plus small businesses, maybe 5000 or so enterprise customers, and therefore, you're going to run into the SMB mid market more regularly. And then if you think about that added complexity with Asia, where it's about language customization, price sensitivity, just as much nuance around languages and culture, that it can be very, very difficult.

So partnerships can be a very attractive way to be able to solve not having to have, you know, 10 different sales teams doing 10 different things. But fundamentally, I think organisations need to ask themselves, what role do I want my partner to play? Is my partner there to qualify opportunities for me and drive lead volume? Is my partner there to sell? Is my partner there to influence the deal. Because if you just think, well, let's go to APAC, and let's go partner led, inevitably, you might have, you know, you might get to the end of the and there's no revenue. And you're asking yourself, why? Well, it's because I think they don't diagnose what they want their partners to do. In Australia, for instance, we wouldn't go out and acquire, you know, 150 partners, because I don't think that the rewards there, we see that there's probably three or four players within the HR software community that own a fair amount of that share of sort of SMB mid market, and therefore, you probably only need three or four.

And maybe they're resellers, because it's so down market. So it's just focusing on them to be successful, versus, you know, going and acquiring a whole bunch of partners who may not give you access to your ICP, or, you know, might be tripping over your own reps in the region. So just understanding what what role you want your partners to play. And they all might play different roles, but being super articulate with that. And then making sure there's, you've got some friends in RevOps who are making sure that data is visible and evidence so that you can actually prove that their partner is playing that role. Is is really important.

Des Russell  


And you can see that the ROI based on that? Why do you think partnership leaders don't ask those that question, though? What role do I want my partners to play? Are they? Are they like, is this a fundamental question? Like learning? if you you want to go near water you've got to learn how to swim or what's what's the reason? Why do you think that question hasn't been asked?

Basem Emera  


Well, I think it's probably the reason why I'm chatting to you today, right? I think the partnership playbook is probably still being written in hand. And there's lots of great people doing great work sort of bring some of that knowledge out to the general community. But I think there's still a lack of an awareness of partnerships. And you know, you can get partnerships, right. And it can be very successful. Or you can get partnerships wrong. And it can be, you know, high revenue, but dilutive to your margin, or, you know, you could give away too much revenue share, or you know, you spend lots of money, it doesn't work, and therefore, there are, there is a formula, and there is a playbook being written and being enhanced. And I think we just need to pay a little bit more attention to that playbook.

Des Russell  


So, how would you think, partner leaders that are coming into the APAC region? How do you think they should? Like what is a if you're going to start a team structure here? Like, what's the first role that you would hire? And what would what support would that person need to be able to be successful?

Basem Emera  


I think you'd have to have a partner strategy articulated on what you want the individual to do. First, I think, first and foremost, it's not necessarily about the first person that you hire, it's about articulating what you want your channel to do and what your people to do. So clearly, you would probably focus on you know, outbound partner acquisition is probably the first place you start you can't, can't have the conversations unless you start having conversations with partners. So that's probably where you would start but ensuring that person is well equipped to be able to articulate the, you know, the partner value proposition, the what's in it for the partner, what do we actually want our partners to do? How partners will be compensated and making sure that's very clear before they go and try and execute inevitably will fail on this, they have that supporting them.

Des Russell  


Love, love that. So the I think back to your point earlier kind of connected to this. How do you maximise your your your relevance and your value to the partner? Why why do you think it's more important to make sure that you're relevant to their partner success as opposed to anything else? Like, what's that? What's that unlock What's that? I'm not around relevance, is it? Is it a is it a monetary thing? Is it a is it a A competitive thing? Or is that all of that?

Basem Emera  


It's a bit of all of that. So, you know, it's about what they care most about. And some, for instance, some partners in the landscape that we've spoken to are just trying to get feature parity with their competitors. And if one of their competitors partners with go one, they want to partner with go one as well, because it gives them feature parity. So that's one thing they might be incentivized on, which is actually not the revenue, we just want to be able to offer our customers go one as well, because our competitor does. So I think asking those leading questions, you know, where are you at your organization's landscape? How's your funding profile? You know, are your sales going? Okay, how are you finding the APAC market versus North America? Who are your competitors? And if you ask all these questions, it will very, very quickly enable you to form a view on whether you think this partnership will be successful, or whether you think this partner will care. So ask all the questions.

Des Russell  


And then, you know, you kind of lay that with your four C's. Yep. Yeah. Really starting to build this great profile of, yes, there's relevance, we can have relevance for you. But in terms of value, I'm looking at value to us as go one. And now these four C's start to build to build this, build this particular picture. Do you do do this programmatically at all at go one, like, Is this in your partner recruitment? Or is this really one on one conversations that your partner managers are having with prospective partners.

Basem Emera  


We have a playbook actually something that's recently been rolled out by our enablement team, I can't shout them out enough. So we'd say it's something that's actually embedded in Salesforce, which is a step by step playbook on partner acquisition. And it's all of these things that you should be asking partners to then be able to present back to the person who is your boss, it might be the person running our APAC channel person running our tech alliances to say, yeah, the partner manager might present backs, I think I've got a really good opportunity. I'll talk them through playmaker, which is what it's called, which is all of the sort of questions that we prod partner managers to ask for. And then we do an assessment on whether we think the partnership is worth investing on, depending on what they want. But we're also making sure that we're building long term value. So you know, focusing on just revenue for the first year or the for the for the first second year doesn't really work for us anymore, given the stage of maturity for our company. So we're always about ensuring there's long term value. It's not just about sort of quick wins anymore. So I think encouraging people to ask questions more about sort of long term, having things in your partner agreement or your partner's structure that enables you to review things at certain points in time in a couple of years time because organisations change focus so much, is really, really important. So that's another thing that we're laser focused on.

Des Russell  


Yeah, it's beyond the sugar hits of the beyond the sugar hits of revenue, uplift or market growth opportunity. What does that what is the long term perspective actually look, love to double click on that? whose role is that? Is that the vendors role? Is that go one's role? Is this your role to help build that muscle or capability in your partner to help them drive that growth from the enablement side? Or is this more an impact of the partnership where that partner decides to invest themselves.

Basem Emera  


It's probably the our partner program, so probably falls on us collectively to go on to make sure that we're building a partner program that is well understood, has strong metrics that support it has a short term and long term vision. well understood across the organisation RevOps understand that, importantly, we're not embedding a whole heap of customization in a silo, without our finance team, knowing it like even things like billing and invoicing a partner at scale can become really troublesome if you haven't built core processes around billing and invoicing. So really, it is, you know, there's, again, in terms of the pillars we have a partnerships team, which is out there on the road, talking to partners every day, but they're supported by partner enablement, partner operations, our partner program lead out there making sure our program is sustainable, and therefore I can't really emphasise that enough is it's really, really important to have a medium or long term view and build the processes around your partner program for sure.

Des Russell  


So it sounds like you are having massive impact on partners and as a senior vice president, having partner impact is probably one of your core, your core measurements that you look for, when you think about other partnership leaders out there and you think there might be struggling to have the partner impact that they want? What would be your maybe top two points of advice for them to think about what they could think about right now or next after they've listened to our podcast show? to go and do to either give them a little lift, or give them an opportunity to think about what do they need to do to be a greater driver of partner impact?

Basem Emera  


Yeah, it's a really good question. I think we've been fortunate that we we've had a really strong synergy with our partners, and it's driven a large proportion of the revenue for the company, and therefore we are front and centre of the organisation. And we are in every conversation. So we're somewhat fortunate there. But I would say that, like the basics matters. So having a hypothesis on what you want your program to do, picking one partner, focusing on that partner doing the basics brilliantly are quite my old boss, they're saying that and just trying to replicate that step by step instead of going too broad. It's like, can you prove out that another organisation can either drive top of funnel for you can co sell with your reps can resell your product? And if you can just prove that out once? Well, then you should be able to replicate it. But I think a lot of the time, that hasn't been proven, and a lot of lots of companies look to try and scale things when the fundamentals haven't been built.

Des Russell  


Really, yeah, they're way too early.

Basem Emera  


And the second thing I'll say is never forget that we are a relationship driven business. So you can have you can hypothesise all you want, that you have to speak to someone on the other end of the phone or zoom. You have to work with them to build trust. And therefore, having relationships and keeping relationships live just for the sake of relationships is really important. What you don't want to do is, you know, speak to your VP of partnerships at organisation X only at renewal, and you only have a conversation once a year at renewal, to build trust and build value and speak to them regularly about their challenges and share wins and to share those stories. I find that our most successful partners are the ones that we have mutual trust, and we have a really strong relationship with him I think that can be overlooked. If you focus too much on the on the ones and zeros versus the people that are out there doing the job.

Des Russell  


Love its end. I love that what the antidote to this is well, if you are struggling to be a driver partner impact, what's the one thing you should probably stop doing?

Basem Emera  


Overcomplicating it is probably the thing I would say, okay, it can be as basic as you know, two people sitting in a room mapping out how a process will work. And being very specific about that process. And trying to learn to live that. Don't  overcomplicate it.

Des Russell  


Well Basem it's been an unbelievable privilege having you on our invisible partnerships, podcast, and thanks so much for joining this conversation. There's 1000s of truth bombs, there's 1000s of golden nuggets, or whatever you want to call it. In this conversation and for sharing your story that go one story and what you've done. A certainly, I think for our audience is a great opportunity for them to learn from someone who's not only fought the battle, but as pretty, pretty much doing really good at winning, winning that battle in partnership. So for any of our partnership leaders that are listening to this podcast, anyone in channel and ecosystem if they want to, I'm sure there's a couple of people who might want to double click with you on some of the things you've shared with us today. Where's the best place for them to get in contact with you?

Basem Emera  


Thanks Des I've enjoyed the chat. So you're always available on LinkedIn. Have a search for me. I am pretty responsive when I can be so yeah, just make sure it's not in the financial year Des.

Des Russell  


Man I had to sneak it in but thank you so much. I really appreciate it and enjoy the end of your financial year.

Thank you, bye.

Share on :

Contact Us

Thanks for your message. You'll hear from us soon!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.