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S3E27: How to Build a Lasting Partnership Framework

Bonus: Free Partner Strategy Framework Sheet

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Show Synopsis

In this episode, we’re joined by Co-Founder of PXP, Martin Scholz.  Want to know why most partnerships fail? Building partnerships requires a proper framework, and a duct-taped plan leads to unhappy partners, unmet goals, and, ultimately, a lack of support from the C-suite.

Putting in the time to create a thorough go-to-market plan is what can be the difference between groundbreaking partner revenue and a fizzling partner program. Listen now to explore partnership framework and setting yourself up for success.


  • The three step process to building a successful partnership go-to-market plan
  • How to set achievable and measurable goals
  • How partnerships can get buy-in from your entire organization from your CEO, to product, CS, marketing, and more

Get the Partner Framework Strategy Sheet


The Script

Welcome to the Partner Channel podcast, the podcast for partnerships. In our episodes, we discuss ways to power your programs and gain actionable insights for all company sizes and partner types. We sit down with industry thought leaders to get the best tips and tricks for you, the listeners, to achieve your channel goals.

Ali Spiric: Welcome to the Partner Channel podcast. My name is Ali. I’m a Marketing Manager here at Allbound, and I’m here to talk to everyone today about building a partnership framework and how duct tape plans lead to unhappy partners, unmet goals, and ultimately a lack of buy in from your C-suite. And couldn’t think of a better guest to join me in today, I’m joined by seasoned partnership expert and co-founder of Partner Xperience and member of the Allbound Top Influencers of 2023 List, Martin Scholz. Welcome to the show today.

Martin Scholz: Thank you, Ali. Great to be here.

Ali Spiric: Would you mind telling us a little bit about yourself and your background and partnerships and what brought us to this conversation today?

Martin Scholz: Sure I’m happy to do so. So I’m in the B2B space for probably 15 years, and most of the time I was working actually all of the time I was working in partnerships. I had the pleasure to work for three great start-ups that became pretty successful scale-ups on a global scale, and there was always building and scaling the partnership teams globally, and the teams itself were very diverse meaning all the kinds of partnerships we had. So I had a pleasure to get my hands dirty with general partnerships, reselling partnerships, OEM partnerships with, technology partnerships, integration partnerships, and product partnerships. As you can see, basically, I said I had wonderful 15 years of learning and making many mistakes. And today, and this partner experience, we tried to help B2B SaaS companies to avoid those mistakes, which we did. And, you know, let’s find new mistakes because there are always new mistakes we can make. Just don’t try to make the old ones again, and personally are very, very sad to hear that 80% of partnerships fail. And my personal goal is to bring that number down to 70. And that basically is a sort of situation like, why do so many fail? And it is duct tape plants and starting without having an idea how to do that.

Ali Spiric: I love the achievable goal of going from 80 to 70% feel like a lot of times people come on the on the podcast, they’re like, well, we’re going to build a rocket ship to the moon. We’re going to build partnerships there and then we’re going to figure it out. So I really appreciate your approach and the insight into let’s make new mistakes and not go back to that one. So I think one of the most elementary mistakes that people have is not having that framework. So can you explain why having a proper framework is crucial for building successful partnerships?

Martin Scholz: In my experience, the thing why so many partnerships fail are twofold. Number one, there’s an unclear goal setting and then lack of understanding because it seems to be still a kind of a newer discipline. But more importantly, partnerships aren’t work in real life, very unique. And it’s a combination of two companies building something great together. And what worked for Company A does not work for Company B, And there are playbooks for sales, there are playbooks for marketing, but there’s no real playbook for partnerships. Still, there are methods and methodologies you can apply, and that is kind of the framework which we kind of distilled from, from from working and building 15 years and working with several clients. We know how to do that and what points you need to cover. And this is where I think it’s critical that you do not forget crucial parts of your of your partner strategy or you don’t jump to conclusions without asking the right questions in the first place. So this framework approach is meant to take you on a step by step base. Very often partnerships are started without understanding it. It’s a full go to market strategy or it’s an evolution of existing go to market. It’s just like hire somebody, buy three tools, off you go. I’m not going to fly.

Ali Spiric: That’s true. I think up until this point, which is a really interesting shift to see, we’ve seen partnerships be thought of as a side quest and a side project. And I think now more than ever, people are starting to realize that partnerships are the way that the consumer wants to buy. They don’t trust salespeople and they don’t trust my my ads or anything like that, but they trust the people that they know. And I think partnerships is coming up to be really that third tier of revenue in a company. The framework that you talk about helps build that up to be meaningful. Third piece of revenue and one that does well in this predictable like you mentioned. So what does a good framework consist of?

Martin Scholz: I mean, ultimately it should be a clear guide who builds up to lead to the result you want to achieve. So the way we looked at the partnership framework and how we approached the idea of how you should develop a partnership program ultimately is to make it a three step approach. So the first step is pretty straightforward and pretty simple. But funnily enough, very often shockingly, often overlooked, it is writing down the idea. We call it partner notion. It’s literally writing down what do you actually want to achieve as partnerships? And I have to say something. You also mentioned like the third Pillar of Revenue. I don’t like that, to be frank, because when ask partner managers in our certification program or I asked founders or I asked partner leaders, what is the goal of partnerships? What are you measured on? I often hear revenue and there’s a simple answer to that. Revenue is not a goal. Revenue is a result the result of what you do. So what is it? What you actually want to do? Do you want to increase your customer lifetime value by creating meaningful integration partnerships, which then you increase revenue. But it’s not like net new revenue, it’s retention revenue because the SaaS companies, we need to make sure that our customers stay with us or do you want to have a partnership with.

Martin Scholz: Implementation companies think about Salesforce, their biggest partner network are integrators. They’re not driving revenue for them. Quite the opposite. Salesforce brings business to those partners, but what they do is they make sure that the solution is implemented and activated with the customer in the proper way so the customers stay with the solution. Because if they just buy Salesforce and nobody implements it the right way, they will churn because they say, Oh, it doesn’t work for us and they don’t have to be Salesforce to to to benefit from that kind of partnerships. And yes, of course there are channel partnerships who help your your customer, your direct sales teams, but they don’t drive revenue. They drive partner source leads. It’s an alternative to make marketing sources or having something called outbound. The leadership team needs to be aligned of what is exactly what we want to do. And oh, by the way, do we have an hypothesis who could be a partner? So that’s the other thing. Partnerships are always midterm play is never a short term play. If you need to generate leads the next quarter to hit your goals, you shouldn’t invest in partnerships because partnerships will not generate in the next quarter or you need to do something else to achieve that goal.

Martin Scholz: But this is the first breaking point. If you don’t find a hypothesis within the leadership team where everybody says, okay, now I understand. Martin, this is the way to go. We want to do this. We want to do this. We understand it takes time and we understand that somebody now needs to take the work and validate the assumptions which we as leaders throw in the room, because sometimes founders live in a reality which is different from the reality we live in. So the second thing that would be, um, if you have this idea, so basically the leadership team gave you the idea of, Hey, we want to generate partner source leads. We believe that this and this kind of agency business could help us to drive leads because we have this rough idea that there’s something for them. Why they would partner with us because they can wrap services around it. Somebody needs to say, okay, let’s take this and form this into a go to market plan. So really to go out and formulate a value proposition, talk to prospective partners, do the market validation, which is very critical. Are these crazy ideas? Are they, you know, can they get through to to live? Is the market responding to it? Like you would make a proof of concept for a product? You need to make a proof of concept for your partnership, go to market.

Martin Scholz: Then ultimately, you know, get an idea about, okay, if you want to do this, who in my team could be taking on this step? Who could be responsible for this step? You don’t have to have a fully fledged roles and responsibility. You do not have two fully fledged set up of your Salesforce or CRM system, but you should have an idea of how you want to do it. And if you can do it, can you create the contract? What is the partner contract like? What is your billing look like? Can you do this even Is your is your accounting even able to pay out partners if they should do some, you know, rough share or something, or if you want to do integrations, do you have an API? Do you have development resources to connect to somebody else’s API? Is this feasible? Is the idea feasible? Can we actually do it? And if we can do it, you know, really put it into a plan 24 months, 36 months at least? What are the milestones? What are the KPIs when we can start tracking the KPIs? Most likely we can only track the KPIs in 12 months time because we need to recruit partners.

“Partnerships must not be a department or a silo. It is a strategy which is an evolution of a current go-to-market.”

Martin Scholz: We need to onboard partners to enable partners. So it will take time till the KPIs are measured. Too often I see partner teams being fired on the 12th month just when they got momentum because the chief revenue Officer was looking in some KPIs which were just not yet there. And then you have basically a full business plan to go to market plan, which you can present to your leadership team, maybe even to the board, to the investors, and then they can say yes. But then there are also the resources that we need from product to adjust our solution to be more partner friendly accounting, ready to set up billing for partners, etcetera, etcetera. And only then, if this business case is approved, only then the third step starts, which is the partner program, which is actually moving this into the real world. Bring it on the street, creating the collateral, launching your partner website, adjusting your CRM system that you capture the stuff, talk to your solution engineers that they spend some time recording some onboarding videos, reaching out to Allbound to acquire PRM, to help you to automate the processes which you don’t need anything earlier. What we see too much is, hey, hire somebody by Allbound and hope for the best and this just doesn’t work, right?

Ali Spiric: Which doesn’t do well for anybody. Martin That was really great. I think one, no one’s ever told me that I’m wrong so kindly and walked me through the reasons why so well. But two, you could see it. The people who are listening can’t see. It was smiling that whole time. I think that was the clearest I’ve ever seen anyone go through what partnerships is and how to set it up and the things that you need to think about. I’ve been in partnerships for five years, but on the Allbound end, so I put myself in the position of someone who’s starting a partnership from Ground Zero. And a lot of the time when I’m trying to put myself in shoes and think through what I would do. I wouldn’t have thought through half of this stuff. So this really painted a good picture for me. We don’t need to name names or anything like that, but do you have a story of a company that did not have a thorough go to market plan or a framework in place and how that didn’t go well for them?

Martin Scholz: Yeah. Unfortunately have way too many. Um, so typically what I’ve seen a few times is that one one client I’ve worked with, they, you know, they had a solution which was actually wonderful, capable to for, for a lot of magnitude of partnerships. So that was a very, very versatile solution, which were addressing all market segments. A lot of regions. And when I joined there, my my task was helping to sort this big basket of partnerships they had. And I was like, okay, what is the goal of this one? Okay, what is the goal of that one? And you know, there was a Oh yeah, we have integrated in Shopify. And I said, okay, what’s the goal of that? We don’t know Shopify was a cool name and there was somebody who was offering to do it and said, okay, who owns the intellectual property on the on the integration and who promotes it actually and who gets the money if it’s sold on the marketplace and actually who’s who’s feeling responsible for it. And the answer was, I don’t know. I don’t know. I don’t know. Ultimately, they had invested into something which wasn’t hadn’t had a clear goal, didn’t have an ownership and didn’t yield any result. 

Martin Scholz: So luckily, that was more the exception. Most of the others were generally good. But even then there was a moment where we said like, okay, we have integrated in that particular website builder who’s working with a lot of, let’s say, yellow page companies globally who use then this. Website builder that they can scale small business websites and they were hoping that the end customer would go back to his yellow page business contact and say, Can we upgrade? I said, That’s not going to work. You need to turn on the story. And that was again the not putting themselves into the partner’s shoes or the end client shoes, because typically a partnership is successful. If you win, your partner win and the end client win. And if you don’t have that view, if you don’t consider this, if you would not consider that go to market and your go to market. The reason why what’s in for the partner? What’s in for the end customer partnership program fail.

Ali Spiric: Think that’s a great point and it sort of goes back to you calling me out where you’re like, okay, the revenue or the cool partnership with Shopify, that’s the result and what you’re looking for and that’s cool, but why are you actually doing it? And if there is no why, there’s not going to be a great result and there isn’t going to be buy in ultimately. And I think that’s a really great call out there. I sort of want to go back to something that you mentioned when we were talking about the framework when you said that, and it is a common story that some partnerships get to or partnership programs get to one year and then they throw in the towel, not because the partnerships team is not doing a great job or they’re not passionate about it, but from the bird’s eye view or that C-suite view or that investor view, it may not be driving those results that they’re looking for. And something that is really important is being realistic about what those goals should be at that time frame for people who are building out their framework. Can you give a little bit of an example of the types of things that you should be tracking up until that year? Mark to not lose interest from your leadership?

Martin Scholz: I think one of the critical things is to educate your leadership and the board about what you try to achieve. People have no not a full understanding or clear view on how partnerships are working. In that expectation setting, you need to give the leadership a good reasons to understand that you’re on the right track. And as I said. Right. The main issue is that since they do not know better, they try to apply sales KPIs. So they look at what is your pipeline, what is your one revenue, what is the number of opportunities. And if you do not educate them on, hey, this is not going to work because X, Y, z, and here are the other metrics you should look at. Um, then you are significantly lower risk on getting fired because you will perform against those metrics. So making sure that your leadership team understands the milestones you achieve and the metrics you want to, which makes sense to be measured upon. And then, you know, their bird’s eye view is fair. Right now, the bird’s eye view is not fair just because they do measure you with the wrong set of KPIs.

Ali Spiric: So we’ve talked a lot about go to market plans for partnerships. What are the key elements that should be included in those plans?

Martin Scholz: Yeah, guess the one thing I can’t stress enough is really making sure that you do have a very clear goal definition. And if you are told that your goal is revenue or that’s not a goal, you need to go back and you need to have an educated conversation with your leadership team about what are measurable results. Is it really reducing customer acquisition costs by generating X amount of partner source leads, which you cannot generate any more by outbound or inbound measuring those leads which you generated with your partners compared to the inbound outbound leads, they typically have better metrics, meaning they typically close faster. So shorter sales cycle, they do have a higher conversion rate typically. So leads to opportunity to opportunity. One close one are typically better for partner source and partner influence deals. These are metrics you can look at. Um, the second thing is the timing. When we created the business canvas for that, we said one section is getting the expectations from the leadership team, nailed it down and said how much and when? And Bernard, my co-founder, said, Can we just mix it together and expectation that no, because people do overlook the timing aspect. So I can’t stress enough to make sure that your leadership team understands what will happen in three months, six months, 12 months and 36 months or 24 months time, really making sure that there’s a timing for that. And the reason I typically compare that to is if you as a sales leader, plan to hire a new account executive, you plan some time to recruit this person just because the person signs a working contract.

Martin Scholz: She does not start producing, right? So only then she starts to work on that first day. She will not close the deal. It’s totally normal that an account executive you would invest to onboard her and you even would help her to get leads from you so she does not have an empty pipeline and even then your normal sales cycle jumps in. If you say you need three months for hiring, you need two, three months, let’s say two months for onboarding until somebody is fully up to speed and your closing your sales cycle six to 3 to 6 months, you look easily on a total time span of 12 months from having the idea from hiring a person until this person is fully productive. Why would you believe just because you decide to start a reseller program, you can collect money next day. You know the same applies. You need to recruit the partner first. You need, which takes time. You need to onboard the partner, which takes time. And then this partner also has a sales cycle until they probably can bring either a lead or close. So automatically you have easily 9 to 12 months before you can even look in your CRM system to see the first KPIs. So clear goals timing would be two of the main things which are overlooked.

“The goals of partnerships need to be aligned with the company goals, and if your partnership initiative does support the company goals, it’s very likely that every department will support you because we’re helping them to achieve their goals.

If you generate customers and partner source leads, you take the burden off marketing to generate leads. If you generate meaningful integrations which create value for your product, you take the load off the product team, who can only build so much. And you take the burden off the shoulders of the customer success team because their retention rate will go up. If you can position partnerships within the company in such a way, you get the buying from the C-suite and the board actually, then you will get the resources.”

Ali Spiric: I think that’s a great point to remind people of. And one question I have is when we’re talking about timing, you mentioned three months, six months, so far out when you are coming up with a framework and a plan, how far should you plan out? I know at some point things go left and things change. How far ahead is a good enough time to plan and be certain about it?

Martin Scholz: I would always plan at least 24 months. And there’s no way that you can be certain about that. A plan is a plan and a plan will go wrong. There’s a quote from Peter Drucker, which I love. It say plans are useless, but the progress of planning is invaluable because as as the train controller, that’s where I started my career. I can build a business plan for anything. You know, it can be plus a million can be -2 million. It can be plus 10 million. All I have to do is changing assumptions. And the majority of these business planning is to understand what are the levers you can turn, what are the, you know, what are the the, the components which influence the result and then agree on assumptions. Is it realistic that you win five partners in a month? Can you onboard five partners in a month if you want to onboard five partners in a month, How you want to do this? Do we have enough headcount to train them manually or do we are we okay? But that’s a learning to invest in a onboarding video which can host on Allbound. And then I can ask my partners to use Allbound and self onboarding instead of making individual one on one sessions. To them it might be that we take make that early or later depending on how we do, but at least we have been understanding what are the what are the parameters we need to watch out for. So definitely at least 24 months and I 100% agree you will never hit the the result which you planned for in two years if you hit it. It was probably a coincidence because two parameters, you know, went in opposite direction kind of luckily evening out on on the one year plan.

Ali Spiric: That’s funny it would be lucky would claim that as a win on me and my great planning though you got to take it where you can find it so you have insight into so many different partner programs with people looking to you for assistance in this framework. And after this podcast, I absolutely see why and I can see all the experience and I feel like this has been transformative for me and we’ve talked about things like timeline and revenue not being a goal but being a result. So what’s what’s the real goal? What are some things that are commonly overlooked that you see that people haven’t thought of at all? Or do those two things typically cover that?

Martin Scholz: I mean, these are the two main things. If people cover those bases, there are another couple of milestones along the way. Sometimes things which are considered secondary because it feels like it’s admin, it’s back office. You know, I mentioned earlier, right, if you want to look at it how you want to do it, is your billing even capable to do this? How can your accounting support somebody with with you know who, let’s assume you have a reselling business and this reseller is has ten clients. You know, do you send him ten invoices or can you make it easy for him to give him one invoice with a with an overview about who’s which and customer is responsible for how much of that bill. So he can easily easier can make his own accounting or maybe even charge it to the to his clients on on based on that one example I had once I went into a company their standard partner contract for agency resellers was 60 pages. Nobody wants to reach 60 pages of a contract and they want to. And that is, I would say, look, I like the idea, but honestly, 60 pages is a no go for me. It’s a showstopper. Um, and I went back and connected to the legal team of that company and I was prepared to fight and they were like, Oh, thank you, Martin. Finally, somebody can help us.

Martin Scholz: We knew it was way too much, but we didn’t have an idea what we can leave out because we are not the business people. We are the legal people. Our dimension is the more we protect our own company, the better it is, which is not the way, right? If your partner T’s and C’s are so one sided that you wouldn’t allow your legal wouldn’t allow you to sign it if it would come from another person, why don’t you try? Why do you try to, you know, push that and C’s to your partner? It’s a mutual relationship, right? It should be fair. Right. And these are things which. Which typically people just don’t have on your radar. They think about, okay, we need alignment with sales, we need alignment with marketing, we need aligned with product. This is how far it goes. But actually, partnerships do touch every single department of your company. That’s why I’m saying partnership must not be must not be a department or a silo. It is a strategy which is an evolution of a current go to market. Whatever you build so far for your go to market strategy, you try to put it on the next level with partnerships, whether it’s supporting your product side, whether it’s supporting your marketing side, whether it’s supporting your revenue organization, it will always touch multiple, if not all departments.

Ali Spiric: That’s a really great point where your partnership experience starts at day one. With your first partner. And if working with accounting isn’t fantastic or that contract is 60 pages, that partnership experience is already not great, and I’m not even a partner yet. I just got this long document. So think that’s that’s really great insight and something that people should consider. One thing that we’ve touched on is the C-suite and getting buy in. Can you elaborate on the role of the C-suite and supporting partnership initiatives? Absolutely.

Martin Scholz: Yeah. Um, I had a former team member of mine, Michelle or Michael. Um, we, you know, we connected a few months left back and he was about he was looking for a new, new role. And he said, like, I had this wonderful interview with an early startup. I had a chance to connect with this with the CEO, the CTO and the CRO. And the good news, Martin, is everybody’s super excited to start with partnerships. The not so good news was that everybody told me a complete different story of what they expect partners to be. And this was kind of a super no go for him. Apparently, if you know, and very often I see that partner initiatives are driven only by the CEO or only by the CFO. It’s not aligned. So they try to achieve something. Very often. It’s the CRO who hopes to find this magic bullet who will help him to close this quarter successfully because direct sales wasn’t able to hit the numbers alone. But he didn’t speak with the marketing. That and the market CMO says I have no budget left or no resources left to support partner initiative. Product says, well, roadmap is full. I can’t do multi-client multi mandate capabilities built into product, which would be precondition to actually do, you know, reselling or something like that. So it’s super important to make sure that the C-suite is on board, that they and this is crucial.

“If you are measured on sales KPIs, it’s not a good idea. If you are put on a comp plan, it’s not a good idea.”

Martin Scholz: Like, you know, the goals of partnership needs to be aligned with the company goals and if your partnership initiative does support the company goals, it’s very likely and much more likely that every department will support you because ultimately what you are doing, we’re helping them to achieve their goals and ultimately the company goals. That’s why I’m saying partnership should always be an elevation of the go to market and will support different teams. If you generate customer, if you generate partner source leads, you take the burden of marketing to generate leads. If you generate meaningful integrations which create value to your product, you take load off the product team, which doesn’t have to build so much more features because or less. I mean they can only build so much and you take burden off the shoulders of the customer success team because their retention rate will go up. If you can position partnerships within the company in such a way, you get the buying from the C-suite and the board actually, then you will get the resources. We don’t have it. You will be the lone warrior trying to achieve something and you will not get the support you need and ultimately. You will unsuccessful. Probably lose your job. End of story.

Ali Spiric: That’s. That’s quite the sad ending. Yeah. My best friend.

Martin Scholz: Yeah. Then, you know, if you get it….

Ali Spiric: Then you’re the star child. You’re the star.

Martin Scholz: Because there’s no better way for for companies to achieve their growth within with partnerships. It’s the most capital efficient way to grow sustainably and achieve sustainable growth. And especially in times like today where we see money is not endless anymore and it’s not growth at all costs. But you know, we see look into your profitability. Any company needs to look into how can I for my company, what is the setting in my company? What is the context? My company can leverage partnerships to be more efficient. It can also be maybe does not drive new revenue, but maybe I can use partners to implement my software so I don’t have to hire 20 more people in the post sales so I can actually, you know, reduce my cost side If I can team up with a technology partner who can add additional features to my to my product, which are not core to my to my own solution, then I take load from my roadmap, from my product team, and my product team can focus on the stuff they really need to do to bring our product forward and not develop a couple of accelerated features which people tend to request, but they are not core. And that’s not my my expertise, right? So that’s why I’m saying right. Get the idea of what is the goal. How can partnerships be contributing to this? And then you will be the rockstar.

Ali Spiric: Yeah, you’ve painted a really beautiful picture of how people can truly use partnerships to elevate their entire organization and not just a revenue play or close one play, but how do we be impactful across the board from customer success to lifting a weight off of your product team and really focusing on what makes a difference for your core team, which is really great. This is a little bit of a out of left field question, but I think it is relevant here. I think there’s been a debate for a really long time about who partnerships should report to, and I feel like you’ve led us to an answer, but what are your thoughts?

Martin Scholz: You know, they have smart people in the field like Alan Adler, who tries to promote the chief partnership officer or chief ecosystem officer. I think that might be a visionary state for me. It depends a bit what is the main goal of my partnership. And, you know, if I have a partnership which is mainly driving, is there to drive net new revenues with, you know, reselling, co selling or referral. Then I think it is fair to have them to be reported into the CRO because they need to work very closely with the direct sales team. So that does make sense in my opinion. If you have more on a if you are more on the SMB micro business or a B2B consumer space and you work with affiliate, this is a pure marketing function. So this is very much into marketing. In my books, if you are very tech and maybe a product led growth company which lives from building an ecosystem of smart integration into other solutions, then I think it absolutely makes sense to that. This partnership team would report into CPO or Chief Product Officer because they’re absolutely connected to the development of the product.

Martin Scholz: And if you are have a company like someone had in the past where your partnership team actually can boast, you know, they can, you have an opportunity to build meaningful technology integrations to increase the feature set of and feature richness of your solution or the value you drive to your customers by combining with other solutions they use. But you also have a strong, let’s say, referral arm or reseller business. Then it might be even that you have two partner teams, one in which is working on a tech side and works with product and one which works more on the revenue side and reports into zero because the goals they have are completely different. Just because they are both using partnerships, they don’t have the same goal, so they don’t need to report to the same same business. You know, and this goes back to what is the goal of this particular partnership. And depending on that, you need to define the metrics. You need to define the reporting line, you need to define, you know, the interaction with other teams.

Ali Spiric: Martin, I don’t know if I’ve learned so much in such little time ever went to college and didn’t learn this much in a semester. This is crazy. So now that we’ve walked down this path and we understand what a framework is and how to build a framework for a successful partnership, how do our listeners take this and apply it to their own partnership programs? 

Martin Scholz: That’s a very good question. So we thought about that quite a bit. I mean, the said in the beginning that, you know, there are hardly any books on partnerships because they are not blueprint able. There is not an easy playbook. However, Bernard and I, we went down and really tried how we can make that more accessible. And we are really happy to finalizing a business canvas, which is basically a two pager like front page back page. If you if you’re old school like me, Bernard says, you shouldn’t promote it, print it out, but just say, you know, if you want to print it out and scribble on it or you can use it on the on the screen, apparently where we put in all the building blocks we would try to cover during our, you know, work with the clients. These are the same points we use to assess when we do. You know, we we offer assessments. If you are running a partner program and you feel like it’s not it’s not delivering, we we we offer assessments and these are the building blocks we look at. Have you done this and that? And I mean, this would be something we could make available for the audience, if you like, if you think that would be helpful. Um. Maybe that’s something which which helped people to apply it.

Ali Spiric: That would be really helpful. Would love to share it. I’m sure everyone who’s listening would love to use it. Martin I’m really sad, but we’re at the end of the podcast. It’s a hard place to be, especially when the conversation is great like this. Is there anything that you think that I did not ask you that I should have or anything that you’d want to share to the audience that you don’t think we’ve covered yet?

Martin Scholz: I think we had a wonderful coverage of the main topics. If there’s one thing the audience should take away, if you’re working in an organization where in partnerships or you are trying to launch partnerships or you and you think the goal is revenue, go back to the drawing board, please. It is not good enough. 

Martin Scholz: And be specific, because otherwise it will be very hard to measure success or to, you know, when we do this partner or partner manager certification, which we run regularly to train partner managers. It’s always my very first question is what are you measured on? Because the goal of this certification is to help partner people to become more successful in their jobs. You cannot be successful if success is not defined. If you find yourself in a position where success is not defined or not defined in a proper way, you can do whatever you want. You can be the rock star, but you will end up in a situation where people say, Oh, you didn’t achieve the goals. The goal is very suboptimal. So yeah, take that away. If you are finding yourself in a position where where you are told revenue is your goal. Try to open up the conversation and be persistent about it and say, look, let’s, let’s make that measurable. Take measurable goals. Define KPIs which are useful for you. And if you are measured on sales KPIs, it’s not a good idea. If you are put on a plan, it’s not a good idea. Um, you know, it’s really, really be be mindful about that.

Ali Spiric: That’s really good insight. Martin. Thank you so much for being on this podcast today. You’re welcome back whenever you would like. If you ever have an idea you want to share, we’re the people for you. Um, thank you for being here today and thank you to you, the listeners, for tuning in.

That’s all for this episode. We’d like to thank you for taking the time to listen in. If you like what you heard, we’d love the chance to take the talk to LinkedIn and continue the conversation. If you want to stay up to date with all of our new episodes, subscribe to our series wherever you like to listen to podcasts.

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