Demand Gen in Marketing to Partnerships: Lessons & Parallels
This article is part of our Uncovering the Partnerships Career Path spotlight series. Each week, a different professional joins us to share their take on the partnerships career path, responsibilities at each stage, best practices for advancing professionally, and more. Learn more in the intro article.
Ketan Pandit is the Director of Global Partner Marketing at CleverTap, where he’s been since mid-2018, after launching his career in business development and demand generation marketing. Today, Ketan joins us to discuss his experience shifting to a role in partnerships after spending time in business development and marketing, how partnerships operate at CleverTap, and advice for other partnership professionals.
Thanks to Allbound for sponsoring this quarter’s spotlight series!
Allbound is a SaaS Partner Relationship Management (PRM) platform that gives its customers visibility into predictable channel revenue, indirect and direct pipeline, and insight into partner engagement and adoption. With Allbound, you have the ability to monitor, understand, and track partner behavior so you can measure, iterate, and improve.
No Skill Goes to Waste in Partnerships
Ketan’s present role as a Director of Global Partner Marketing at CleverTap is his first in a formal partnerships function. However, partnerships have been part of Ketan’s responsibilities in hybrid roles at two of his previous organizations.
Of his experiences, Ketan shared, “I was working as a Director of Marketing for an analytics company where I was also responsible for partnerships. In that role, I pretty much had to do everything. It’s fun, but there’s a lot of work to do — it keeps you on your toes.”
In such a dynamic role, there’s immense benefit in having experience in different functions and facets. “No skill goes to waste. When I joined the partnerships team, it was pretty scrappy. Coming from marketing helped me leverage the existing teams and resources. I think our time to value would have been longer without those experiences to pull from.”
Partnerships at CleverTap
In his role today, Ketan handles global partner marketing. “I work with technology and channel partners across the world and help with co-selling and co-marketing. I work with regional teams on going to market together.”
Ketan reports to the VP of Business Development and is responsible for his team’s contribution to the organization’s objectives. “At the end of the day, we are looking at a number for the organization, and my team’s contribution to that number. There isn’t a clear playbook — you can do a lot of things that contribute to that number.”
Another responsibility of Ketan’s role is hiring, and CleverTap is currently building out their team. “We have an interesting method of hiring at CleverTap. Not just evaluating them for the job at hand, but also looking at them from a cultural lens. With people not being able to go to offices, it’s more important that this person has the right mentality. Skills can be taught, but attitude is something you bring on your own. We typically have a panel approach to interviews. It helps to also evaluate the candidate from different lenses.”
Partners are Great Teachers
Ketan has found his peers to be incredibly helpful in advancing his career. “Most of the time it’s been my colleagues who have done this before and have a lot to teach. I learn more from an hour of conversation with someone than I would on my own in 6 months. These conversations help me understand how partnerships operate.”
On other resources, Ketan also highlighted Partnership Leaders. “Other channels I subscribe to include Partnership Leaders. I have access to a lot of experiences across the globe that I would not have otherwise. The Slack channel makes it easy to ask a question and get answers from a very vibrant group. A lot of time partners are great teachers. Insider intelligence comes from the partners.”
Stepping into his own role as a partner-teacher, Ketan shared a few resources for individuals in the industry. “I’m reading this book called Psychology is Money. It’s a fantastic read with lots of lessons. You need to be realistic — we don’t live in regular times, we live in strange times. One thing I keep very close to my heart is humility. You can be the best at everything, but once you believe that, it’s the beginning of the end. Humility is important. You need to be open to learning. Don’t be too hard on yourself.”
Ketan’s Next Steps
Where is Ketan headed next in his career? “I’m really enjoying this partnership role that I have. I had been doing marketing for many years at SaaS organizations and tech giants. In the future, I definitely want to work in a space where I can give back and make a social impact.”
Take Your Next Step in Partnerships
You, too, can advance your career in partnerships. This quarter, we’re taking a look at how professionals at different stages of their careers landed in the industry, their experiences, and the next steps in their journey. Dig into all of our career interviews to explore what your next career steps could entail. Be sure to also download the Partnerships Career Progression Playbook to get insights from professionals like Ketan on advancing a partnerships career.
Ready to invest in your career? Partnership Leaders is a professional & personal growth group individuals turn to for answers to their burning questions, insights on the obstacles they’re facing, and more. Apply to join now.