The Art of Account Mapping, Part 1: Chris Formosa
Updated: Dec 7, 2020
This article was guest written by Shohei Narron, Technology Partner Manager at Google Cloud
I had the pleasure of interviewing five partnership leaders to understand their approach to account mapping, as well as best practices and pitfalls. I’ll be posting one conversation per week for the next five weeks in the hopes of elevating partnerships in the minds of sales organizations, if not to just make everyone’s lives a little easier.
Technology Partnerships, FullStory
Background and Context: “We just launched our official Technology Partner Program and Ecosystem in February but our ecosystem includes roughly 50 sales reps, 50 to 60+ integrations, and about 25 tech partners. I would say, so far, we’ve built a strong co-selling motion with a handful of these partners. To drive mutual pipeline for all partners, we map target accounts, active opportunities, and active customers to identify where AEs should be connecting. We do 90% of this on Crossbeam, but some still prefer spreadsheets — that’s ok, too.”
Before You Introduce AEs: “You absolutely need to do your homework to ensure your rep knows how the joint-solution can help the opportunity; what’s in it for them and the partner. Otherwise you’re putting both your rep and the partner rep in an awkward position of having to figure out why they’ve been introduced, which kills the thread. Make sure you can clearly communicate the joint value proposition, how it specifically applies to the customer in question, and share concrete next steps — you should probably coordinate and join the intro call unless you know your AE can effectively demonstrate the joint-value already.”
Sales Team Engagement: “We’re really lucky that our sales leadership is keeping our partner ecosystem at the top of their mind. We’re in weekly sales team meetings, and we’ve been getting better at mapping accounts at the manager-level. This is especially helpful if partner accounts and teams are also segmented by region and/or industry vertical. Getting sales management involved in the account mapping process is important for getting them on board and motivating their reps to work with partners.”
Incentivizing Partner Reps: “One major way we’ve fostered our partnership ecosystem is by ensuring that, if we are paying out referral revenue, it is going toward compensating their reps through both commission payments as well as quota retirement. We’ve found this to be such a critical piece that I don’t like to move forward with revenue-share type agreements unless partner candidates have a way to compensate their reps on partnership opportunities. It doesn’t usually make sense to send a partner referral revenue unless it’s driving the right behavior. But rev-share doesn’t always have to be in place to motivate partner reps. Mapping reps together based on a mix of overlapping paying customers, active opportunities and target accounts ensures that we’re balancing the asks and give, so we can make certain that we’re giving as much as we’re taking.”
Partnership Leaders is an organization of partnership professionals that share partnership management tips, tricks, and best practices from strategic alliances leaders from around the world.