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5 Inspiring Leaders Changing the Partnership Game

Here’s what these industry leading experts are doing to elevate the world of partnerships in B2B SaaS.

Leaders pave the way forward. They guide us from where we are and help define the path to where we want to be. We rounded up five of the top industry experts in B2B SaaS partnerships to share what they’re doing to elevate the world of partnerships in B2B SaaS. B2B partner programs are changing the game, and we have insights from some of the top leaders in the industry who are innovating in the partnerships space, from developing creative reward programs to implementing innovative partner support systems. Read on to see how Thryv, TouchBistro, Vendasta, Keap, and Looka are leading innovation in B2B partnerships. These folks are making the changes we love to see:

Thryv provides the knowledge and understanding partners need in 2022

Lynn Daley sets her partners up for success through an innovative certification program 

Thryv is a small business management platform that helps with building online presence, payment solutions, customer management, and more. Lynn Daley, head of channel partnerships at Thryv, leverages a powerful certification program to equip her partners with everything they need to sell their program.

The partner certification program is a 10-hour long course provided through the Learning Management System (LMS) system in PartnerStack. This course offers all the knowledge partners need to understand the problems Thryv solves and equips them with the ability to sell. “We guide them through the product and all the problems it solves for small businesses," says Daley.

Another great service Thryv offers to their partners is around the clock support. “Our platform and our partners are supported with world class 24/7 support,” explains Daley. This means any help partners require in order to get their deal done is serviced through their support system. So, when a client has a technical question or concerns about the platform, this support system is there to help answer all the client's questions and care for them on the partner's behalf.

“We guide them through the product and all the problems it solves for small businesses," says Lynn Daley.

“We’ve built a really good partner community that works well together,” says Daley, who is also super proud of the community Thryv has created. Fostering a positive environment across your partner ecosystem can make each partner’s experience that much better.

See more: Best practices in partnerships business that'll elevate your work.

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TouchBistro is connecting its community through referral and advocacy programs 

Carly Hartshorn ensures her customers know how valued they are through referral incentives 

Purpose-built for the industry, TouchBistro is an all-in-one restaurant management system. Carly Hartshorn, manager of growth marketing at TouchBistro, leverages an advocacy program to connect with her customers.

Hartshorn uses a referral program to connect with TouchBistro’s customer base. She loves to recognize and reward those who spread the word and recommend their solution. Hartshorn explains, “Customers see it as a huge win when they surprise people with $1,000 referral bonuses when they aren’t expecting it.” By offering these rewards, they see customers a lot more willing to recommend them again.

Understanding the importance of TouchBistro’s customers and the confidence they have in the company, Hartshorn strives to recognize them and how valuable they are.

Vendasta is encouraging learning through a testing mindset

Kassigan Naicker makes room for his team to learn through successes and failures alike 

Offering digital solutions at wholesale prices, Vendasta allows businesses to curate their own selection of products and expand their offerings. Kassigan Naicker, director of partner alliances at Vendasta, is a partnerships vet. Now working on his second partner program, he knows that the success of a program relies on the foundation of the company’s needs and goals. It’s crucial that the program is built reflecting those goals. Naicker’s team is the most important aspect to him. “The team that we were able to build — like, I have a great team that I get to work with on a day to day basis,” states Naicker. 

The team is composed of individuals who aren’t afraid to fail, and from every failure they learn. A key reason for their program's success is their testing mindset. By allowing the team to experiment with different hypotheses with an understanding that failure is an option, allows them to learn and discover key best business practices in a hands-on way. “On the marketing side, where we've gotten to learn, we've gotten to fail, we've gotten to learn from those failures. That's probably the number one thing,“ says Naicker. Adopting this mindset has allowed Vendasta to scale their partner program and use it as a key lever for growth.  

Related: Perfect your partner rewards and commissions with these 7 questions.

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Keap fosters a community that puts values and culture first

Matt Vosburgh prioritizes and fosters meaningful connections between partners

Keap provides powerful CRM and sales and marketing automation. Matt Vosburgh, channel program manager at Keap, built a community wherein his partners can grow and succeed.

“The key to most of the success of our partner program is community,” says Matt Vosburgh.

At Keap, Vosburgh has seen the importance of building a community for his partners. “The key to most of the success of our partner program is community,” he says. He recognizes the value partners can provide to one another and has deliberately put systems in place to reward partners for helping each other. To build the community, Vosburgh has focused on how crucial it is to make sure values and culture are aligned. “We’ve been intentional in building a community and culture that has those values in every level,” shares Vosburgh. 

Matt understands the value partners bring to the business and the knowledge they possess. To honor these, he’s begun to build a partner advisory board. Bringing together Keap’s top partners, they are able to call on them for feedback and advice to better build their program and offerings.

Looka builds high-performing partnerships through reward and feedback programs

Matthew Sison incentivizes performance and pursues pulse check feedback 

An AI-powered platform, Looka is a place where businesses can build logos to bring their brand to life. Matthew Sison, growth manager at Looka, adds consistent value to his partner’s experience with a top notch onboarding program and fully automated tiered commissions. 

Sison recognized the value some of his partners were providing, and that not all were performing the same way. He created an automated structured commission process based on partner performance. “We noticed certain partners have different tiers of performance. We wanted to incentivize those that are performing really well,” says Sison. Offering rewards to top performing partners enables and motivates consistent performance.

Another standout of the Looka partner program is their strong onboarding process. Partners are provided with everything needed to sell and succeed right from the start. “Anyone who joins our program, we’ve gathered data to know what our partners need in order to be successful,” says Sison. Partners are given resources, copy assets, guides, and more to help them succeed in the sales process.

An additional reason for Sison’s success is the consistent feedback he is always receiving. “We have surveys that we are always monitoring, and I think that’s something not enough companies keep an eye on,” he says. Pulse check surveys regularly go out to Looka’s partners and customers, asking for honest feedback on how they can do better. In doing this, they enable agility in how they service their partners and adapt for better success.

Now that you’ve had a little behind the scenes look into what five of the top leaders in the partnerships space are doing to elevate their game, how will you level up your partner program? 

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