What are a few key strategies you’ve implemented to make PandaDoc’s channel program such a success?
I reached out to channel leaders who have built something from scratch with a similar SaaS portfolio. I berated Pete Caputa, the VP of Sales at Hubspot, and convinced him to join our board of advisors and get on a weekly call with me. I found someone who was much better than me at building a channel program.
When it comes to boosting inbound leads, what types of content are you producing to do that, and what has been the biggest driver for PandaDoc?
There are two types of partners at PandaDoc that I’m responsible for: our channel program and our strategic alliances. How we drive inbound traffic is by co-hosting events ––thought leadership webinars, where we’ll bring out a topic, for instance, “The Sales Enablement Stack: How to Build a Process from Lead to Close.” We’ll evaluate best practices with a partner like Close.io. They bring the thought leadership on how to make sure deals don’t fall through in the pipeline and we’ll supplement it with how to put together the right content, how to send the right proposal, how to customize the content, etc., and we’ll deliver that to both of our customer bases and generate leads. Co-marketing for us has been key. It makes sense to do those same type of events with our channel partners.
How did you get your sales team bought-in to the PandaDoc vision?
I screen candidates for vision. I believe if you can’t find alignment in vision the rest of the deal is dead. I typically paint a very clear vision of why I believe in PandaDoc and see if they feel the same. We’re documents, which could be the most boring thing in the world, but if you can get excited about changing something that hasn’t been different since Microsoft Word launched 30 years ago...if you believe in that, the rest is incumbent upon the team and the process to ensure they’re successful.
How did you empower them to exceed quota?
I’ve come to realize there’s a massive difference between management and leadership. Management does things right. Leadership does the right things. I’m a horrible manager, but what I know I’m great at is trying to imbue a vision and a sense of passion, urgency and desire upon the people I work with. If you don’t have those, let’s part ways. So we’ve been doing a lot of training around that empowerment piece. They understand that the people who are successful at PandaDoc are doers.
For sales leaders trying to grow their strategic partnerships, what tips can you share with them?
When you’re starting a partner program, you have to understand people’s interests. You have your interests as a company, you have your partner’s interests, and you have your partner’s client’s interests. And of those, you think the best thing you can do is solve for your partner’s client’s interests. That is actually fundamentally flawed. You have to focus on your partner’s interests. How can you help them grow their business?