The Partnered Podcast

046: Partner Maturity Curve with Diane Krakora, CEO at PartnerPath

Episode Summary

Welcome to The Partnered Podcast Episode 046 with Diane Krakora, CEO at PartnerPath. Enjoy!

Episode Notes

Join host Adam Michalski as he interviews Diane Krakora, CEO at PartnerPath. 

Diane and Adam discuss how PartnerPath evaluates a clients partner/channel program and the most common mistakes she sees in the market today. 

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Episode Transcription

Welcome to The Partnered Podcast! The podcast where we interview C-level enterprise partnership leaders from the world's best SaaS companies. The goal is to give you an inside view on how leading organizations drive the most partner sourced and influenced revenue out of channel sales partnerships and alliances.

The Partnered pPodcast is brought to you by Partnership Leaders, the community where the best in partnerships, channel and ecosystems come together to share knowledge, network and grow their programs. Apply to join the conversation at 

We're also sponsored by, the leading tool for managing and measuring SaaS partnership sales. helps you make more revenue from your existing partnerships. If you're using Salesforce and Slack, check out to get started today!

Adam Michalski:  Welcome back to The Partnered Podcast! Super excited to have Diane Krakora on today, CEO of PartnerPath. And Diane, just to kick things off, can you tell us a little bit about your professional background and how you got started in the channel and partnerships? 

Diane Krakora: [00:01:16] Wow. I've been running a channel consulting company for so long.

I forgot what I did before this. I started in the channel. I started in the channel, my first job, other than working before a hotel chain in the, here in the Bay area was in distribution. So my first job out of college, I worked in, I worked in the channel and then I spent my early career in high-tech.

Doing either channel sales, which was my first job. And then I moved to channel programs because that seemed to be more fun than carrying the bag and then channel marketing. So I spent a good 10 years in channel before I decided to start a consulting company. 

Adam Michalski: [00:02:00] Very cool. Very cool. And let's talk a little bit about a partner path.

So can you tell us why you started a partner path and just a little bit of background on 

Diane Krakora: [00:02:08] the company? Sure. When I started at 18 years ago, I was only 12. I swear

I was Amazon consulting back then, but you know, a little bookseller kind of had that name and then Pacific. Northwest. So we changed the name to partner path 12 years ago. I had always believed in this idea of the power of partnerships that you can get increased, reach sales, leverage, scalability, and customer success through partnerships.

And way back then I thought every company needed or what I used to call it. A chief dental officer, a CCC a C-level executive that reported into the CEO to watch over the health and wellbeing of partnerships. I still do believe that I'm excited to see that we have much more channel chiefs in the industry.

I still think that channels need a seat at the C-suite and direct relationship into the CEO because partnerships touch all aspects of the company and they're increasingly strategic to the growth and success of 

Adam Michalski: [00:03:16] technology companies. I couldn't agree more. Yeah. I'm hoping that sometime over the next couple of years, that we'll start to see more and more of that happening more frequently.

And also, yeah, I think I mean that was, that was a tough battle to fight with Amazon back in the day. 

Diane Krakora: [00:03:30] Everybody thought we were consulting on how to get into Amazon because it was Amazon consulting and I'm like, Oh no, I flew to Denver once to like, have a meeting with some guy. And then he just really wanted to know how to get into Amazon right there.

Adam Michalski: [00:03:44] To be fair that wouldn't have probably been that bad of a business. Right. So you 

Diane Krakora: [00:03:47] told me you lost it probably would have been a great business, but back then it was, you know, bookselling so, 

Adam Michalski: [00:03:54] All right, well, we'll keep it focused on partner path for now, but but yeah, so let's get good off with the question that I'm like very curious on is when you start, you know, with a client and evaluating like their, their channel program, when you first step in what are like the main metrics you use to uh, uh, to evaluate those programs.

Know, and when you started like that type of an engagement. 

Diane Krakora: [00:04:13] Yeah. Well, that's a lot of what we, Joe's looking at kind of revising partner programs or getting a better partner experience through partner programs. And the first thing we do is listen. I know it sounds easy. It's not rocket science, but we listened to the internal teams and we listened to the partners.

Nope. We really listen, follow the thread. We ask a lot of questions and these tell us they tell us truth. We're unbiased, third party. And so they're willing to kind of internal people are willing to kind of give it up and tell us the truth and the partners are. The good and the bad and the ugly. And we dig, we dig into documents, processes, and systems, and there was three primary metrics that we look at when we're looking at a partner partner program and saying, how can we take this to the, to the next generation?

One is I mentioned partner experience. What is those partner touch points throughout their journey with a vendor or with a manufacturer from becoming aware and being recruited or, or signing up for that vendor all the way through to onboarding their growth and even the off-boarding process, the partners talk to each other a lot.

So. And one thing we look at is partner experience. The second is the ease or simplicity of partnering. How hard is it to get a quote? How hard is it to order or how hard is it to get trained? Where, where are those kind of friction points? In the operations side, because if you've got vendors, who've got a really great technology and the partners can't sell it, then you're not going to be really successful with partnerships.

So there has to be that simplicity of engagement model. And then the third thing is probably the first thing is the value exchange. Or that we call the value proposition. A lot of people call it, is there a way for the partners to make money? And as we talk about cloud and SAS, we're really talking about more of an ecosystem multiplier here in terms of what other hardware, software and services does your product to kind of drag it.

And that's kind of the thing that makes partners excited is like, well, what is the overall. Opportunity for them to have your product or your, or their solution as part of an overall solution. 

Adam Michalski: [00:06:35] I think that's pretty interesting. Yeah. Cause I, I want to talk to a little bit on the partner maturity curve, but actually before we go there, that partner ecosystem multiplier, I think, you know, the vast majority of listeners on our podcast are SAS companies.

So when they're thinking about, you know, like that ecosystem multiplier, if you will and almost, you know, I guess this is probably going to vary depending on like where they're at on the maturity curve, but how should they be. Thinking about the ecosystem and how they play within the broader ecosystem.

Diane Krakora: [00:07:01] It is a really interesting something we've seen change over the last two to three years where you've moved from saying, you know, what is the front end discount or the back end of rebates or deal registration incentives, right? We've moved from those kinds of. Point of values in terms of the overall dollars to kind of look at the full solution.

Customers require a full solution that meets their business outcomes, and that's really where the channel needs to play. So in terms of putting together. Several hardware, software and services. I know you had Jamie bane on, we had our end of the year, a podcast together as well, or real, really talking about kind of seven things that go along in a solution and possibly even five partners that are in that overall solution to meet that customer's outcomes.

So with what we're seeing is a shift from kind of these point ideas of discount or rebates or margin into. Bigger picture of what else are you selling as a partner and, and servicing to, to be able to meet that customer needs. And what is your overall value proposition? So that's really where we're seeing kind of the vendors that are leading this charge that are primarily more centric companies.

And we'll talk about the kind of partner maturity curve, and what's a novice and what's a century, but the centric companies kind of the big guys. And it really doesn't, it's not necessarily size for maternity, but those that kind of understand partnering, they're starting to take a step back and understand the business model for the partner and the overall driver ecosystem 

Adam Michalski: [00:08:36] value.

Yeah. That makes sense. That makes a lot of sense. And I guess like, I mean, you know, it's a perfect transition into the partner maturity curve. So I know you've done a lot of writing on this, but can you just elaborate a little bit for our listeners? Like what exactly is the partner maturity curve and how you think about 

Diane Krakora: [00:08:49] it?

People usually ask me or ask us, you know, what should we do? We're a small company, or we're a large company. What should we do? I used to be able to sit on a plane and say, could I could rattle off the answers, but now I don't actually extend the plan anymore. But we've really seen we talk about it as a partner maturity model rather than what do you do as a small company or a large company, because we see small companies who are partner centric, meaning that.

Every decision in that company is based around what will this do to our partner ecosystem? And we've seen large companies who are very novice at channels. I used, we used to be able to say like Amazon or AWS was very novice thing. They've come up fast in the last three years in terms of hiring experienced channel leaders, creating kind of partner programs.

So kind of where they are in that maturity curve. So for those of you who don't know, we have a partner maturity curve, it's on the website. We'll talk about it later, but it has five stages and they're pretty, well-defined easily defined in the term novice tolerant. Reliance when you become reliant on partners accomplished and then centric.

And each stage is marked by a set of characteristics. Like how much revenue is actually driven, not fulfilled, but driven by your partners, executive level commitments, et cetera. So as you progress through those kinds of stages of partner maturity, we see organizations tend to take on different initiatives and show up differently in the marketplace.

Adam Michalski: [00:10:20] Very interesting. Yeah. And I guess like, I mean, when you, when you can, I mean, just to give some examples of folks who are like partner centric, would that be like the Microsofts of the world? You know, like the really large ecosystem buyers out there? I would imagine that 

Diane Krakora: [00:10:33] Salesforce is, we see partners.

Centric are you guys like Cisco? 82% of their revenues are driven by partners. Microsoft has been a partner center company for, well over a decade. They spend $6 billion a year on the channel billion with a B right. You know Salesforce used to not be very partner centric, but they have this whole idea of the app exchange, which.

Is really a key portion of that whole, that whole kind of what's the overall ecosystem or the solution multipliers as Salesforce I've mentioned for years that they have a four-pole $4 and 65 cent multiplier on, on their overall for every dollar that's sold. So that's the kind of thought thinking around kind of what, how important are partnerships for your business?

When we talk about centric companies, 

Adam Michalski: [00:11:24] Got it. Got it. That makes a lot of sense. And okay. We can loop back around to the centric. Let's go to the other side of the maturity curve to the novice side. Like I mentioned earlier, we have a lot of folks who are just early stage SAS companies who are getting things up and running.

What are the common mistakes that you see? A lot of those SAS companies make, like when they're in that novice, novice stage and starting to building out their programs and, you know, feel free to share as many as you want so that they can avoid all the layers. 

Diane Krakora: [00:11:49] I mean, there are, I'd say kind of. Five easy mistakes that we see again, I used to be able to sit on a plane next to somebody.

They go, Hey, we have a SAS solution. And I can say, you're doing these five things wrong. Like without, like before, before my diet Coke came right. Pretty quickly. So the first one that we see around SAS companies is they're focused on driving sales. Yep. I said it I've said it several times. Of course we want partners to drive sales, but one of the partners want partners want to vendors to understand and focus on their profitability.

That's why this whole idea of a, of a multiplier so important when you get to be, you know, kind of channel accomplished and centric. If you're looking at a 5% net profit margin and the a hundred thousand sales might produce. You know, a hundred thousand dollars to the vendor, but there's only five, 5,000 or $500 it's to the partner, right.

When you're looking at what type of money they get from their licenses from you, it's just small numbers. So don't focus on the sales of the product. You need to focus on the partners profitability, and that's kind of where that ecosystem multiplier starts coming in. Number two we see early stage companies driving partners to sell.

As soon as they've signed up, they've signed up with you and, and we, you know, like you've got 30 days to make your first sale and we all want partners to sell and we want them to sound quickly But there are, there are things that partners really need to do to be fully enabled, right? They need to understand the training.

They need to be able to independently initiate and complete a sales process. They need to effectively implement. They need to be able to turn on and turn on a solution or help the part, the customer with customer success in terms of that adoption expansion and renewal aspects after the sale. So pushing partners to sell before they're enabled results into an unhappy customer and partners.

Only selling on price and they're not going to understand their key differentiators. I was like, yeah, let's do that one. Plus I know that one, we measure our partners on volume that's practice companies incorporate other metrics such as certifications or specializations that customer success idea. Right.

Rather than, especially in SAS world, rather than just kind of, what volume did they sell or how many licenses did they push? Keep, keep value in mind. What are they doing for that customer rather than just volume of sales? They push.

Adam Michalski: [00:14:32] No, this, this is awesome. Yeah. Yeah. I'm actually like genuinely interested. It I'll be I'll loop back around with some follow up questions here, but let's go, let's get through the other two for 

Diane Krakora: [00:14:40] holding the early stage companies, particularly some of the SAS companies that are coming right out of the gate, hold on tightly to their own internal processes.

Right. This is how we place an order. This is how we onboard a customer, and this is how we provision them a customer. And it's really like how we do it versus kind of how the partner needs that to happen. If they're going to truly be an Emissary or an intermediary for you. Right. That goes to that question, that when we look at partner programs how easy are you?

How easy are you to do business with how many of your. Your programs and processes are focused on you rather than on the partner for great examples. A lot of SAS companies want MSPs, right? They want them, but they don't have the processes to be able to allow the MSP business model to thrive, which is, which is, you know, just because of kind of how they've gone to market in the past.

And then lastly, Well, we see, particularly in those early stage, those early companies is kind of this idea of a set it and forget it. So they, the partner program, they throw it out there, right? It's a, it's a, w w we're done. We don't have a need. We've got our partner program out there and we see that it's iterative.

Change is hard for everybody and don't change too quickly, but you should always be kind of improving particularly your processes and some of your program elements. 

Adam Michalski: [00:16:10] Yeah, I think, I mean, what, what kind of ties together? All of those, or at least the way that I view it as like it's a Mimi me mindset, you know, versus like, okay.

Thinking about the partner first. And what I do think is like, I guess it'd be curious to get your take here, but I feel like part of this almost stems from the fact is like, whenever these partnership programs are starting to get started at the early stages there really isn't, you know, like a chief or there isn't somebody who's like, who's really focused on that.

And it's usually somebody who's. Most likely a revenue leader or the CEO of the company or somebody like that. Who's just looking for those immediate results, you know, that they typically see in sales or they see in marketing, but partnerships are really a different beast. So it's, yeah, it's interesting that, I mean, those, like each one of those five are ultimately like, okay, Hey, Hey, how can we get the short term results up and running when in reality, I mean, I see this time and time again, it has to be more of a long-term play and you have to really invest upfront in order to be successful down the road.

Diane Krakora: [00:17:04] Great. When you were looking at 16 months, right? This isn't like we're going to spin up partnering and they're going to generate revenues for us in the next month or quarter. We really saw this a lot during COVID in the last year. Right? A lot of technology companies and SAS companies go, Oh wow, we need more sales really quickly.

So let's spin up some partners and let's get this thing going and drive some demand and it takes. It takes 16 months. By the time you get a strong value proposition, you kind of understand that ecosystem multiplier, you can create at least even a kind of basic program, because partners are going to want to know.

First thing they're going to say is what's your program. It doesn't have multiple levels. It doesn't have to be a little fancy, but they want to know that you know how to partner. 

Adam Michalski: [00:17:49] A hundred percent. Yeah. I mean, you touched on something there too that I think you've done a lot of research on is just, you know, how partnerships have changed during the year of the pandemic, or I guess two years of pandemic that we're going into now.

I mean, yeah, we were discussing earlier, there is a light at the end of the tunnel, but but obviously this isn't going on longer than most people expected. I guess like, are any of those insights that you could share, you know, in terms of what, like what has happened and how it's affected the channel?

I'd be super curious. Yeah, 

Diane Krakora: [00:18:14] as we were talking about just briefly, we just finished, we just finished a study with over 200, 260 solution providers across the globe, responding to a survey on how the pandemic has changed or affected their business. The report is available on our partner pass website for free we'll its partner hyphened task, but we'll get to that.

So what we saw are the affects of the pandemic are felt differently depending upon the partner's business model, where they are and how, how big they are, just like it affected us all. Differently, medically, and it's affecting us all differently economically. And the partners kind of are the same. The small solution providers are struggling.

I guess I'd like to say at hustling, most of them just like most of the small businesses around the world, there's scrambling. Right. They're trying to get you know their business models change. The flexibility, but they don't have the deep pockets of their resources. And we really found that the mid-sized solution providers fared the best because they have that flexibility of a business models of having turned on a, on a dime and then add new new models and new.

Products and kind of this remote work idea, but they also have some resources around cash and accessible banking to be able to sustain them. And surprisingly that the largest partners fell somewhere in the middle. They had limited flexibility to kind of change a business model or change what they were selling or.

Retool their sales team, but of course they have bigger pockets and abundant resources. And in the report we looked at like 20 different business areas, everything from the use of marketplaces and then the move to digital marketing and to the effects on their revenues and profitability from reselling as well 

Adam Michalski: [00:20:08] as services.

Yeah, I think that's really interesting in the way that it was broken out. I mean, because yeah, we've heard broad statements from, you know, a lot of different folks that like, Oh, you know this says largely benefited a lot of people in the channel, because as you mentioned earlier, people were trying to spin up programs.

So they're trying to drive more revenue, you know, or get more creative in the ways in which that they're driving new leads or. You know, partner of source business. But I think it's interesting, you know, when you break it down into the different segments, how each particular segment was affected, which gives you a much more accurate understanding of, of the, like the real 

Diane Krakora: [00:20:37] picture here.

And we also some differences regionally as well. Asia, India did better than Europe. 

Adam Michalski: [00:20:45] Yeah. And for folks listening, we'll go ahead and we'll link out to that report in the show notes, so you can check it out there. And I guess one other question that I had for you is like, when you think about like, you know, obviously the common denominator that we've been discussing for any of these programs, and especially as you climb that maturity curve is, you know, driving revenue through the, through the partnership, like through your partnership ecosystem So, when you think about that, like, do you have any best practices for maximizing those partnerships sales?

And we could focus here on partners, source revenue, but also be curious as more and more people invest in partner influence webinar revenue, what that looks like as well. And 

Diane Krakora: [00:21:18] it is interesting that we can talk a lot about influence revenue, but I think it's Right. Don't get me wrong. Sales is the reason we're here.

Right? We're looking for sales from channel partners. We're looking for sales and services and that customer success. One thing you certainly Every deal, whether it will be transacted through the channel or not will be channel assisted either channel source and found or channel moved along through the customer journey, just in terms of how many touch points.

Different types of partners have with those customers. Every deal is going to have most likely multiple partners involved from a again, not overly staged awareness and influence to and transact, adopt, expand renewal. Those customer success motions critically important. Some of these partners will participate in your programs.

Some of them will not. So as we've kind of highlighted around determining who your influencers are and, and who, and who, and how to measure the influence with attribution or seeing a lot around that. But again, just when we're saying how specifically to drive sales is all around. Two things, education.

And motivation. They have to know what it is they're selling and where it fits into their overall stack of what else they sell and what customers to go for. And what words do you listen for when they're selling? As well as there has to be, as one of my colleagues says a pony in that show, right? There has to be some motivation for them to sell it.

If they're only getting $5 a month on every license. Even if they sell a thousand licenses to a customer that's. That's still not enough to really kind of motivate any kind of behavior. So that's where we kind of go back to this idea of the solution 

Adam Michalski: [00:23:14] multiplier. That's very interesting. Yeah. And I think, I mean, the one piece that you mentioned there that I think, I mean, even Jay McBain talks about this too, is like the rise of the influencer channel and how, you know, it's I find that a lot of companies are just so like laser focused on partner source, but the reality is like, it really should be like, Full funnel type approach.

You know where of course the partner can come in and they can source the business, but, you know They are being influenced by a lot of those other folks, you know, and whether you're partnering with them or not, or giving them attribution or not is really up to you, but in reality, that's happening, you know?

I think in the question then, like, how do we get more sophisticated kind of just as an overall, you know, Organization or partnership folks in general on understanding where those points of influence are so that we can best leverage them to close business faster, you know? Yeah. We 

Diane Krakora: [00:24:04] used to care care about the guy who waived the PO.

Right. And that was, you know, it was only on the transaction. Right. And the transactions becoming. I hate to say the words are less important less valuable around to the customer because they can go buy it in a marketplace or buy direct, especially in the SAS world. Right. And they don't need a partner to help them buy, but they need a partner for is the advice on the front end and the bigger work on the other side, those are truly the, where a customer needs.

And like the trusted advisor or somebody to help them business change their business processes, get it set up, get it integrated, get people using it, understanding the data that's coming out of the SAS solution. What the heck do we do with that? Right. So that's where it truly the need, the need isn't around, you know, the cash register ringing because they can buy it direct from most of these vendor websites or through a marketplace or possibly through a solution provider.

But back in the day, when I started in the channel, there was, you know, Pallets of stuff and distribution, and we need, you know, needed channels to actually deliver something. To the customer, but that's changed now. Yeah. 

Adam Michalski: [00:25:17] And let's focus on this for a couple of minutes here because there's so much to unpack there.

And I do think, I mean, as you mentioned, you know, we've gone from a business model where it was the transaction. Like the transaction was the Holy grail. It was, I mean, pretty much everything that mattered. But now. Because of these recurring SAS business models, you have to continue to return the customer over and over and over again.

And you know, if you, if you don't do a good job at that, guess what they're gone and they're like, you know, they're, they're working with somebody else. So when you, how do you think about like the customer success model and how that has evolved now and what are like the best practices that you've seen for folks who do this?

Well, because I think that this is something that, I mean, I've seen, you know, at a few organizations do it. Decently, but it's really kind of the new frontier. Like not very many people have best practices on how best to optimize for this new, like customer success model and even getting like customer success folks, for example, involved with partners and trying to get them to actually best leverage that to drive higher renewals and less churn, you know?

Diane Krakora: [00:26:14] Right. We're seeing some of the leaders in this space put partnering under customer success. Which is just blowing people's minds, right? It's not under marketing, it's not under sales, but it's under customer success because that is truly what we're looking for partners to do is to drive the adoption usage expansion, renewal aspects.

Right. Jane talks about it. You know, you got a lot, they bought, you've got them for 30 days. Hey, now you've got to keep them. And we really see that the future metric of success in the channel will be adoption. Who are those partners who are driving those customer success motions? How are the partners thinking about customer success?

Not only is it easy in this world to switch from Spotify to Pandora using a nice. Easy example, but it's also easier to switch. Providers solution providers, right? So these guys are also less sticky if they're not driving those adoption, integrating a bunch of solutions to get a bunch of products together, the solution, that means that outcome.

So one of the things that, you know, certainly the study that we did last year, about a third of the partners that we talked to have some version of customer success programs underway. Now that is not the same as customer satisfaction, which. A hundred percent of solution providers understand customer satisfaction, but customer satisfaction is a point in time.

Yes, I'm having that. You sold me this, this solution, customer successes, are they actually using it? Because if they're not using it, it doesn't matter if they bought it for a month or a year. That's just coming back at you. So how are the partners having that customer success motions, and if they're not in your ecosystem, How do you share your customer success methodology?

And if you're a SAS company, I am, I am sure you are familiar with things like negative turn and customer acquisition costs, and a lot of that terminology, which is the reasons that we start saying, how do we get our partners engaged in customer success to improve, to improve 

Adam Michalski: [00:28:33] our. Super interesting.

Yeah. And I think so to that point, you mentioned adoption is really, you know, like the real metric there of being able to understand how partners they're influencing that. So what I'm trying to figure out now is when you think about the, like the legacy, you know, model was almost kind of like a reseller model because it was that transaction-based, you know, where it was.

Okay. You give me, you do X for me. I E sell my product. I give you Y you know, percentage or something like that. In this model, what does that look like from an attribution perspective? Because it's continuously ongoing. Is it interaction based? Is it, you know, helpful, like H how do you properly attribute that?

So you can give, you know, your partners, the credit that they deserve. 

Diane Krakora: [00:29:13] It is, it is absolutely. Action-based right. What are the partners doing? Where are they learning? Where are they coming back to your site to do more learning? Where is that customer renewing, where is that customer growing? So we're really seeing a lot of these metrics based upon actions and activities that the partners are doing rather than just the PO waving guy.

So we're going to start seeing more companies. Look at attribution solutions that we've seen in the B2C world forever. I mean, you know, Kim Kardashian gets paid somehow, right. For her, for every for every time she says a product and there's more collect. So we're when the B2B world will learn how to use that type of attribution software and those attribution solutions to see what those, these influencers are really helping to drive and easy things right now, before you have to.

Let's get stressed about attribution solutions. Are they training the customer? Right? If the customer isn't being trained, they're not going to use it. Like how many are you allowing them to train the customer? So many vendors, we see that it's like training as a, as a business model for them. So many of the vendors that they don't let their partners train the customer.

Well, how are we going to drive adoption? If they're not like helping those partners to helping those customers use it. As I mentioned themselves training and learning, and then. Some of the really easy metrics are around. You can see usage if you're a SAS company, as well as you can kind of see renewals and growth.

Adam Michalski: [00:30:45] I feel like we can do a whole episode just talking about attribution

Diane Krakora: [00:30:52] forward, looking that is and how cool it's going to be when that actually starts hitting the B2B world 

Adam Michalski: [00:30:57] a hundred percent. Yeah. I spent I spent five years working at branch metrics, which was like one of the leading mobile measurement attribution companies. And I understand how, how interesting this space is.

So to see that applied to B2B is something that I think is going to be. Incredibly interesting. Okay. Let's 

Diane Krakora: [00:31:11] talk about how, like, as applied to B2B. 

Adam Michalski: [00:31:13] Okay, cool. So two more questions and then I'll let you go here. But when we, when we zoom out to 40,000 feet, like, what do you, I mean, attribution's obviously one of the things that we see coming over the next, you know, like five to 10 years that you find like, very interesting, what are the other big, you know like big things happening in the industry that you think are going to really be like something to watch over the next five to 10 years.


Diane Krakora: [00:31:35] who knows in five to 10, we we're looking at a three. Right? I mean, I can't think for them three years out of marketplaces, marketplaces and more marketplaces, right. This has come on fast and COVID, and in terms of. What do you know, what types of marketplaces are you, are you selling into, or where are you selling?

How are you selling? What is the SEO of a marketplace? Who's the marketplace manager. What are the 20 marketplaces or 10 marketplaces you need to be in? You don't, you don't all need to have your own marketplace, but you know, look at other ones AWS, Google cloud The app exchange, right?

Understanding how marketplaces fit with the rest of your traditional channel and where you're going to put your dollars and your time and your resources around marketplaces. Number, number two is this whole idea of non transacting partners or a bigger ecosystem. That mixes up your transacting partners with the non transacting ones on the front end, as well as the services guys, they may be services only.

They don't want anything to do with reselling your product. They just want to go run through those services. So kind of really having this ecosystem play. I talk about it as ecosystems. Everybody's like I'm a VP of Alliance ecosystems or channel ecosystem, but it is truly a crazy business. Melting pot in terms of the different business models of partners.

So we call it partnering is personal, that each of their business models are unique to them that you can't paint any partner with any kind of big brush, even the small, medium, and large ones that we saw in early to study around. COVID. The third one you were kind of already mentioned, which is influencing those influencers.

Right? How do you measure attribution? How do you understand who is, who are the five partners that are touching your, your customer along their journey? Even though they may not register with you in their website, they may not deal register. They may not move it along. They may not even talk to your cam.

How do you find. Who those influencers are and helping to measure those influence the fourth one, which you've already hit on. Cause you're brilliant, which is adoption, right? This customer success. This thing's gonna take off, right? I mean, customer, who's not talking about customer success in a SAS solution.

And how do you extend that onto your partner? And then the fifth one is the, what we started with was understanding the ecosystem multiplier, correct? In terms of. If you've got influencers and you're trying to drive adoption and it's less around transaction. I wrote a blog a couple of years ago that said a resell is irrelevant and people's head spun around backwards because it's, it's irrelevant to the partner's business model and it's irrelevant to the.

Vendor's business model in terms of like where the transaction have. Again, it has to happen, but where it happens is irrelevant and it's super relevant to the customer. So it's a relevant to the partner, the vendor and the customer. Again, we have to transact, but kind of the solution provider does it is, is irrelevant.

So this whole idea of the ecosystem multiplier. 

Adam Michalski: [00:34:46] Yeah. And that last one, I mean, that really resonates because even when, you know, like I see a lot of the folks like, especially SAS companies, when they are transacting, it's almost like icing on the cake. It's like, they're not, they're not doing it necessarily for the transaction, you know?

Cause it's not, it's not massive, you know like huge. Benefit financial benefit to them. So 

Diane Krakora: [00:35:05] it's able to pay the mortgage out of that, right? I mean, no, one's paying their mortgage on the, even if you're giving 10 points on, if it's a $5 or a $50 a month license per, I mean, you're not making any money off of that $2 a month.

Adam Michalski: [00:35:19] A hundred percent. Okay. Then this has been awesome. Last question that I have for you I promise is just for any of our listeners who potentially want to partner with partner path, obviously we'll go ahead. We'll link them out to your website and all the awesome resources that you've discussed and the research that you've done.

But if they want to get in contact with you and your team, where should they head? 

Diane Krakora: [00:35:38] Well, even from our website, which is a partner hyphen there's a hyphen in the middle of that connect with mailing. There is a call with Diane Lank. If you want to schedule time with me, you can find me on LinkedIn and Twitter without the hyphen.

I, you know, it's, it's, it's been, it's been a crazy 12 years hyphens and no hyphens and just, you can email me. It's D crack Ora at partner, I'd be happy to have this conversation. So it's always fun to 

Adam Michalski: [00:36:04] talk with you guys. Awesome. Thank you so much, Diane. And like I mentioned, I mean, we'll go ahead and link out to that in the show notes.

So anybody looking to get in touch with Diane, you can just look in the show notes, but then we'll have to have you on again to talk about attribution sometime later this year and see, see, see how many of those predictions you were right over the next 

Diane Krakora: [00:36:19] three years. I'd love to, to hear your conversation from, you know, brand muscle and where you guys have been around attribution.

I think that's going to be kind of where we go around this 

Adam Michalski: [00:36:28] with B to B. Yeah, we'll do that again sometime soon, but in the meantime, thank you so much for joining. This is really educational. 

Diane Krakora: [00:36:34] Oh, he's fine. Thanks Adam.

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