Dare to Make the Leap: Growing a Partnerships Team with Danica Murphy
This article is part of our Growing a Partnerships Team spotlight series. Each week, a different professional joins us to share their experience scaling their partnerships team. Learn more in this quarter’s introduction.
After spending seven years at getAbstract doing direct sales, Danica Murphy decided she wanted to switch gears into a new role that would allow her to focus on honing her business development skills. She ultimately landed at Udemy Business as the first business development and partnerships hire.
Danica has joined us in the past to discuss her career journey and experiences as a woman in partnerships. Today, she joins us to explore her role at Udemy and strategies for growing her partnerships team.
Danica’s Role at Udemy
Danica Murphy is presently the Director of Business Development, has four direct reports, and is in the process of hiring two more team members in Q4. Udemy Business has recently decided to make a bigger investment and focus on partnerships which is why they are in the process of hiring a VP of Business Development to further the current efforts to establish repeatable partner models and scale the channel revenue growth. Regarding the hiring process for her team, Danica shared, “The interview team varies depending on the role that we’re hiring for, but overall, I am responsible for building the business case to secure headcount for each role, writing the job description, establishing the interview process, and selecting and preparing the interview panel team to make sure everyone is in the loop.”
At Udemy, Danica’s team is moving at a fast pace. With that in mind, there are a few things Danica is looking for in new hires. “A can-do, positive attitude is really valuable to me. I also look for a growth mindset. I want the candidate to believe anything is possible, even when things are hard. They have to be comfortable with ambiguity and complexity, as well as flexible when it comes to hitting roadblocks along the way. Perhaps most important is being skillful at cross-functional relationships.”
On the Partner Team’s goals, Danica shared, “We try to align with our Sales, Customer Success, Product and other teams’ goals, but their goals aren’t always fully aligned with ours. We have to understand what’s important to our cross-functional leaders and speak their language in convincing them to move a partnership opportunity forward.”
Digging into Hiring at Udemy
Danica explored Udemy’s process for prioritizing hiring for different roles. She explained, “We start by establishing our partnership growth strategy and determine the headcount that we’ll need to achieve the targets that we’ve committed to our leadership team. The hiring prioritization depends on the urgency to fill certain roles first based on the aspects of our partnership strategy that are more important for us to execute upon now.”
When making hiring decisions, Udemy involves more than just the partnerships team. “We pull in cross-functional resources as relevant for each hire. For example, we’ll include Sales & Solution Engineering (SSE) and Sales leaders on the interview panel for a Technology Partner Manager, whereas we’ll loop in a Customer Success leader to weigh in on a Partner Success Manager hire.”
To source candidates, Udemy has a dedicated recruiter assigned to each open job. “I’ll work closely with that person to source high-quality candidates mostly via LinkedIn and from those who apply on our career website. We also rely on referrals from our team which are always appreciated.”
Danica’s Advice for Success in Partnerships
Danica has grown a lot in a short time in the partnerships industry. To what does she credit her success? “I’m a big reader,” Danica explained. “I read a lot of books. Some for fun, but some for learning and professional purposes. Two of my favorites are Never Eat Alone, which explores the exponential power for relationships, and How to Lead a Quest, which digs into leadership strategy.”
Of course, Danica takes e-learning courses at Udemy as well. “I love the Women’s Leadership Masterclass and the B2B Sales Masterclass courses. I also enjoy learning from others on my team and in the industry.”
For others in the industry looking to succeed, Danica shares, “Say yes before you think you’re ready for the next challenge. If you’re 80% of the way there, you can learn the other 20% to help you perform. Women especially often think you have to have 100% of the requisite skills. In my opinion, if you have 80%, take the leap!”
Excel in Your Career & Scale Your Team with Partnership Leaders
If you’re just making the leap into a partnerships career, you too can successfully grow a team and broaden your impact. Danica’s tactical advice for building a successful partnerships team can be applied no matter if you’re new to the industry, or a seasoned expert.
This quarter, we’re digging into hiring with professionals in all stages of their careers and with varying team sizes. Dig into tactical advice from all of our interviewees in our Partnerships Career Progression Playbook and be sure to follow us on LinkedIn and watch for the rest of the interviews in our hiring series.
Partnership Leaders connects professionals from modern technology companies looking to advance their careers, expand their partner programs, and grow their organizations. Whether you’re looking to land a new role in partnerships, excel in your existing role, or grow your team, Partnership Leaders has resources for it all. Apply now to join the exclusive community hundreds of partnership professionals rely on.