While Partner Managers may help kick-start a partnership, and set the foundations for success, you need a deep bench of SMEs to make the partnership successful.
Some critical roles to have as part of the broader Partner organization include:
Developer Experience (aka Solutions Engineering or Developer Relations)
Dev-x are the key SME for your internal APIs.
They should know all the idiosyncrasies of your products, APIs and marketplace, and be able to help partners through their tough problems.
As they will always know what pain-points partners have, they should also be a key contributor to product roadmaps and strategy so they can close issues in a more systematic way.
A ratio of 1:5 (1 x dev-x can support 5 partners) depending on complexity and phase of the relationship.
Partner Marketing (aka Ecosystem Marketing)
Partner Marketing are the team that will help you take what you build with partners and drive awareness with customers.
They can run as an independent marketing function but can also connect the dots back to internal marketing teams like PMM, Brand, Comms or verticalized GTM teams (ENT, Government, etc.).
They can understand both your own customers and your partners customers, and tailor marketing content that will resonate with them. There are often extremely data-driven and want to focus on the highest ROI activities.
A ratio of 1:3 (1 x marketer can support 3 partners) depending on complexity and phase of the relationship.
Analytics (aka Data Science / Decision Science / Business Intelligence / Business Operations)
These are the folks that can help analyze the ROI of your partnership activities.
Their analysis can span multiple domains, but could support metrics like:
- App Install Growth
- App Adoption
- Churn analysis
- Customer Penetration analysis
- Marketing Campaign ROI
- Customer Overlap analysis
- Opportunity Sizing
These folks often act like a shared service across the Partnership organization.
Sales Operations (aka Strategic Planning / Sales-and-Biz-Ops / SBO)
These are the folks that can help right-size your investment with specific partners and programs.
Their input can span multiple domains, but could support areas like:
- Budget needs
- ROI analysis
- Strategic reviews (SWOT, Competitors, Trends)
- Multi-year planning
- Rhythm of the business rituals
These folks can act like a shared service across the Partnership organization
As you become a bigger organization you may also need to add some of the below functions over-time:
- Program Management - help report and co-ordinate across initiatives
- Experience Design - ensure the partner and customer experience is optimized
- Dedicated Legal Support - both Commercial and Privacy legal support can really help you move faster
"If you want to go fast, go alone; if you want to go far, go together”. African Proverb
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