Today’s agencies and consultants are recognizing the power of partnerships more than ever. Partnerships in this sense refer to not only affiliates but reseller and implementation relationships with software companies on behalf of their clientele.
Looking at the ecosystem of partnerships, you have internal teams, agencies, consultants, and of course software.
- Strategic partnership teams – covering brands and integration partnerships.
- Partner teams – typically working with affiliates, implementation partners, and consulting partners.
- Partnerships success teams – for partner onboarding and enablement.
And on the tech stack side, you have a lot to consider as well.
This partnerships ecosystem is so robust and technical because of the trailblazers.
The following is a list of individuals who have provided enormous value to the ecosystem of partnerships.
Here are the partnership trailblazers you should know:
Ty Lingley, Director of Partnerships at Unbounce
Ty Lingley has been the Director of Partnerships at Unbounce for two and a half years, and is responsible for the recruitment and development of new partners, as well as maintaining the infrastructure required to support an effective partner program. This includes product, co-marketing, and revenue share partnerships
Why you should know Ty:
- Ty’s launched a successful SaaS channel program through an effective go-to-market strategy.
- He’s on the Board at the Cloud Software Association.
- He draws extensive strategic partnership experience from previous B2C work with brands like McDonald’s, Coca-Cola, and the Olympic Games.
You can read an interview held by Surges here.
Read his PartnerStack blog post.
And definitely check out his SaaS Connect presentation.
Jay McBain, Principal Analyst – Channels, Partnerships & Alliances at Forrester
Jay has spent his 25-year career in various executive channel sales, marketing, and strategy roles within IBM, Lenovo, and Autotask. In 2011 Jay McBain became the CEO of ChannelEyes, a software company that aims to reinvent how vendors drive channel partner sales. Now, Jay is the principal analyst for global channels, partnerships & alliances at Forrester, where he has since helped them maintain a powerful partnership strategy for over two years.
Why you should know Jay:
- He has 25 years of experience in channel sales, marketing, and strategy.
- Jay lends his research, advisory, and consulting experience to companies of all sizes, from startups to Fortune 100 vendors.
- Named to the Top 40 Under Forty by the Business Review.
Sunir Shah, President of the Cloud Software Association & CEO of AppBind
Sunir is the president of the Cloud Software Association, a SaaS partnership network that brings together SaaS vendors, distributors, resellers, channels, marketplaces, platforms, and API services to build the market for cloud software distribution.
Why you should know Sunir:
- Sunir is the founder of three SaaS organizations and runs the SaaS Connect Conference.
- His Cloud Software Association is a network of over 2,000 cloud software companies.
- As the CEO of AppBind, he helps tackle the problem of how partner resellers can buy SaaS and bill it to their clients.
Sunir also put together this helpful breakdown of the different Partnership Launch Stages which lay out everything you need to know about organizing a partnership pipeline.
Kevin Raheja, Director of Strategic Partnerships at HubSpot
Kevin Raheja is a self-titled “innovation enthusiast” and has a vast background in partnerships, and through his work at Groupon has managed brand partnerships with household names such as Whole Foods, Delta, and Uber.
Currently, he is the Director of Strategic Partnerships at HubSpot and focuses on managing and growing technology partnerships.
Why you should know Kevin:
- Kevin Helped grow LeadPages from 0-40,000 paying customers.
- He is also the founder of Automagical, a tool for scaling effective marketing videos using AI and NLP.
You can also check out his recent articles on Medium as well as his presentation on growth through platform and integrations strategy.
Rachel Jacobs, E-Commerce Adviser at PartnerPrograms.io
Rachel is dedicated to helping e-commerce businesses increase MRR through growth-focused content and partnerships. After almost a decade of marketing experience, including c-level roles across different industries, she decided to focus on strategic content and partnerships as a strategic growth marketer and currently works with e-commerce agencies across the globe to help them scale their operations using processes designed to keep the team lean and increase profitability.
As the E-Commerce Advisor for Partner Programs, she uses her 4-step Agency Growth System to boost agencies partner programs as well as their profitability. She supports agencies across the globe according to their specific needs. Her approach to agency growth is retention, and she uses technology solutions to build solid retainer models according to agency services.
Why you should know Rachel:
- She is one of the few working on agency enablement.
- Rachel is a Certified Hubspot Agency Partner and an official Shopify Partner.
- And, she has been creating unique agency enablement relationships between saas and their resellers for over a decade.
Lisa Thoman Lawson, Partnerships Consultant
Lisa is an expert in small business and startup SaaS partner programs. In 2012 she became the Director of Strategic Partnerships for Thismoment, inc, a digital storytelling platform, and proved her ability to drive revenue growth through strategic partners. In 2014 Lisa brought her skills to Optimizely, spending several years there as the Director of Partnerships, after which she lead Strategic Partnerships at Returnly and built up their partnership strategy and infrastructure.
Now, Lisa is a Partnerships Consultant and specializes in helping SaaS companies build and define their partnership strategies through her business LTL Partner Consulting.
Why you should know Lisa:
- She has over 15 years in SaaS technology.
- Lisa successfully drove growth at Optimizely, a digital optimization platform, using her strategic partnership expertise.
Check out Lisa’s recent article on Account Mapping and the New Partner Success Process here
Tom Newton, Director at Partner Programs and Founder of Peer2Peer Partners
Tom has amassed over a decade of partnership experience through his work at Peer2Peer Partners, which helps independent software vendors grow through strategic alliances and partnerships.
As a thought leader in the area of OEM Partner best practices, he works with Partner Programs to help Software Companies rapidly accelerate Partner Programs from infancy to profitability using a proven framework and tools.
Why you should know Tom:
- Over 30 years of experience in building channel sales programs.
- Hosts a Partner Relationship Management Podcast.
Bryn Jones, Founder of Partnerstack
In 2015 Bryn Jones co-founded Partnerstack, a leading Partner Relations Management (PRM) software company. PartnerStack is used by companies of all sizes to manage the partnerships that make up as much as 20-40% of their overall revenue, including notable companies like Evernote, Asana, Freshworks, and Intuit.
Bryn is emerging in the Partner Marketing, Referral, and Reseller Channel field as an expert in scaling large partnership programs and has already left his impression on partnership landscape.
Why you should know Bryn:
- Bryn co-founded a premium PRM software that companies trust to manage a huge portion of their revenue.
- He gained valuable experience from his previous startups which he wrote candidly about here.
Katrina Razavi, Head of Scaled Partnerships at Facebook
Katrina has a long career in business development and partnership building, having helped several successful startups like Marriage.com, Ringadoc, and Automatic Labs raise capital, go to market, and scale their business. Today she works at Facebook as the Head of Scaled Partnerships. She is also a communication coach in San Francisco, CA and contributes to the blog on Communication for Nerds.
Why you should know Katrina:
- Katrina has a wide range of experience from being the Director of Business Development for a health-tech company to being the founder of Marriage.com
- She is a communication expert that can bring her social advice to the business world
Be sure to check out Katrina’s article on Neil Patel’s blog “How We Built a Partner Network That Increased Revenue by 1,983%, as well as her guest posts on HuffPost and The Muse.
Connect with Katrina on LinkedIn