Partner Relationship Management (PRM): The Ultimate Channel Sales & Partnerships Podcast

32 - Prioritizing the Partner Experience (PX): The Basics - Bernhard Friedrichs, PartnerXperience

February 01, 2024 Magentrix Season 1 Episode 32
Partner Relationship Management (PRM): The Ultimate Channel Sales & Partnerships Podcast
32 - Prioritizing the Partner Experience (PX): The Basics - Bernhard Friedrichs, PartnerXperience
Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

Bernhard Friedrichs (PartnerXperience) joins us to share his wealth of knowledge on crafting a partner journey that fosters collaboration and drives capital-efficient growth.

He takes us through the nuances of treating partners as equals, not customers, and the importance of transparency and trust throughout the partner lifecycle. From recruitment to onboarding, and beyond, discover the strategies that can turn a good partner experience into an exceptional one.

We'll explore:

  • PartnerXperience's four C's of partner qualification: Customer Base, Credibility, Capability, and Commitment
  • The impact of technology on PX, including PRM platforms like Magentrix
  • How to measure the ROI of a superior partner experience
  • The playbook for capital-efficient growth through strategic partnerships

Bernhard's insights are not just for partnership veterans but also for CEOs and founders looking to weave partnerships into their business model. If you're aiming to future-proof your partnerships and ensure they're more than just transactions, be sure to have a listen.

(01:00) Guest intro: Bernhard Friedrichs, PXP
(04:36) Key elements of a good partner experience (PX and how they influence the overall success of a partnership
(07:28) How does a seamless and user-friendly partner experience contribute to the efficiency of partner onboarding and ongoing collaboration?
(10:44) Well-designed partner experience, partner loyalty and long-term commitment to a vendor's program
(12:09) Preliminary elements or considerations that need to be in place before your efforts with PX can even have a chance to be effective
(16:17) Partner recruitment & setting a potential partner up for a great PX - The 4 Cs
(21:07) How a positive PX contributes to the overall brand perception and reputation of a vendor within the partner ecosystem
(22:13) Role of partner technology in shaping and enhancing the partner experience + how vendors can leverage it effectively
(25:29) Personalization in the partner experience
(27:04) Strategies for enhancing and evolving the partner experience to meet changing partner expectations: Embrace complexity
(28:13) Measuring & quantifying the ROI of investing in a superior PX in a partner program
(31:21) What is Capital Efficient Growth? (PXP's Playbook)
(34:00) How integrations help provide a better user experience, not just for the vendor’s customers, but for partners too
(36:21) Bernhard's key takeaway for vendors from the CEG playbook
(37:00) The one thing to know for creating an unforgettable partner experience that can future-proof the partnership
(37:35) Conclusion

This production is brought to you by Magentrix ✨💜
Magentrix is a pioneer in platforms for partner ecosystem management and partner relationship management 🤝

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Podcast Credits:
Host: Paul Bird
Executive Producer: Fereshta Nouri
Content & Research: Fereshta Nouri
Graphics & Branding: Fereshta Nouri

>> Paul Bird: This is partner Relationship Management, the Ultimate Channel sales podcast. Welcome to another episode of the Ultimate Channel Sales podcast.

>> Paul Bird: I'm your host, Paul Bird. As m, you've probably heard us say in the past, it's often the lack of action on the vendor's part in providing a partner experience that will actually encourage partner engagement. So how can you offer a partner experience that will likely increase partner engagement within your partner program? We'll discuss this and more in today's episode, and as usual, feel free to follow along with the transcript or easily replay a section with our chapter markers. Today's guest has been in the partnership space for nearly a decade. He's now a specialist in the art and science of partner experience, and he's a certified expert in collaboration relationships. ISO certification. That's ISO 44,001. This is an international standard for collaborative business relationships. And today he's the founder of an advisory firm that's actually called Partner Experience. Partner experience focuses on partner strategy and operations for B, two B SaaS companies who want to achieve efficient growth through partnerships. He's with us today to discuss how to prioritize the partner experience and tell us a little bit about the basics. Please welcome Bernard Fredericks. Welcome to the show, Bernard. It's great to have you here.

>> Bernhard Friedrichs: Yeah, hi, Paul.

Thank you for having me again on the podcast. It's been nice. We've been, speaking the last time and always happy to exchange and especially speaking about partner experience, not just the company, but also the partner experience that is the experience for partners doing when creating successful partnerships. So thank you very much for the nice introduction.

I'm, looking forward for the conversation.

>> Paul Bird: So tell us what some of the highlights in your career in the partnership space have been so far, the highlights.

>> Bernhard Friedrichs: In terms of partnerships. So, I mean, I've been like kind of almost two decades actually in partnerships in different industries, from a food industry in the very beginning, the four years, and started working there, then moved to SaaS industry tech in different countries, worked with companies that wanted to enter a different market, like online appointment solutions. So from Paris to go to Germany, and then also going then in the last almost six years from Berlin and going global with a SaaS business.

And that was all in partnerships in the beginning called business development. And the term partnerships is getting the more frequently used right now. And I've seen, like, a company growing. From down 34 people or from zero. And then, going up to more than 400 people, where partnerships contributes more Than half of the revenue in the business.

And seeing that that's proven what is nice to see is it doesn't really matter in which industry you are. Sometimes the actors are different in partnerships, but the key reflexes how partnerships work are, everywhere the same. Doesn't really matter in which industry you are, because it's human to human interaction very often that do partnerships and collaboration. So, yeah, highlights are pretty much going global with partnerships and then increasing a business and get most of the revenue Out of running successful partnerships.

>> Paul Bird: So tell us a little bit more about what you're doing now as the founder of partner experience started that business.

>> Bernhard Friedrichs: In helping, making a consultancy, advising companies.

To start with partnerships, or improving their partnership programs.

And then now in the second step also, what we do is having a PXP academy. So that means like we giving partner, manager courses, capital efficient growth courses, internal trainings.

>> Bernhard Friedrichs: So helping partner managers to navigate and Make sure that they're set up for success in their organization and give certifications and trainings and doing partnership meetups a lot. So the last one was yesterday in Berlin, and the next ones are coming in different cities, in Hamburg, in Munich, in Cologne. And since I'm living in Valencia, in Spain, it's also being in Valencia and Barcelona and Madrid and Malaga.

The next ones that are coming this year.

>> Paul Bird: Well, I look forward to them coming to the US and Canada, hopefully at some point in the future.

>> Bernhard Friedrichs: Yeah, that could come at some point, yes.

>> Paul Bird: In your opinion, what key elements define a good partner experience and how does that influence the overall success of a partnership?

>> Bernhard Friedrichs: So I think a good partner experience starts, really with treating a partner like A partner, not treating a partner like A customer, because that comes with the customer's king. And if you treat your partner as A customer, you are the supplier, but you want to be the partner of your partner.

And that also comes with a completely different set of rights, responsibilities, and a different way of how you interact with your partner. Partner experience isn't customer experience. That is absolutely important. It's like how you approach your partner.

From the beginning, from selecting a partner, going through recruitment, and going all the Steps of, the partner lifecycle, from recruitment, onboarding, growing them, evaluating, expanding the partnership to an strategic partnership, and exiting the partnership.

So, from beginning to end, building that Trust level, that is something very important.

Because we speak here about collaborative relationships.

Which have different rules and behaviors demanded to make them successful than what we know from sales, where you have a buyer seller relation, which is a transactional relationship, and the trust peaks there at The moment of the transaction, and then It goes down and it comes back for the next transaction and that is a completely different set and partner experience. To do it right is make sure That everything that the partner, as your Partner needs is in there and at the touch points of the partner lifecycle To make sure to deliver, what is needed there. Knowledge sharing, transparency, make sure to build Trust, reduce friction, a lot of those elements that are there. And then understanding where your partner comes from. Because even though your partner is not Doing that business because you like him to do that, your partner has absolutely Own goals and objectives that they want to achieve.

And they partner with you because they See there is, when you make one plus one equals three, there's an advantage for the customer, which is, I think, is the glue of the partnership. So when you make a partnership, you should add value for the customer in this sense, so that one plus one, equals three. And, yeah, having understanding that your partner.

Does it, they have very intrinsic own ideas and own goals.
So the partnership needs to bring beneficial mutual benefits.
And it's not just sad.

It really needs to add up and make sense. You never have the same goals. You have similar goals because you walk In one direction in the same way.

For a while, like a real partnership. And that is, I think, important to recognize there.

>> Paul Bird: So side by side, looking together, but not the relationship you would have with a customer, but you're both headed in the same direction. That definitely makes a lot of sense. So how does a seamless and user friendly partner experience contribute to the efficiency of partner onboarding and the kind of ongoing collaboration you would have with a partner?

>> Bernhard Friedrichs: So to make a partner experience working for the efficiency of the partnership and tools that you have to use there and how to work with the technology.
Is you have to see, like, the  First touch point starts before you speak with your partner. first of all, your partner need to see, this is a partner friendly company, partner-Centric. And partner-centric, not used as a buzword, but partner-centric really, in the means of these people, take care about the partner.

And so the first experience that you Have there, it also shows, like in the website, if partner is like On the top, in the center, and there's like a real page for that explaining how we do partner and how we see partner. That is like the first indicator saying, okay, they have experience with working with partners and making it easy to get the first conversation going, and then basically making sure that along the touch points.

Which is starting at the recruitment, you have to qualify the partners and being Transparent of what you want in the Partnership and what you don't want in The partnership, which is also very important.

Speak about exit triggers in this way. Saying like, look, we want this, but if this and this happens, specific areas and it's good to formulate this, then that could be an exit trigger. So it's not a surprise for you. If we are kind of being surprised.

If you do this and that. And we are not happy with, that. So we mentioned this in the beginning. So speaking about the end in the beginning helps you to just enlarge the entire partnership and to extend it. And so in recruiting, being clear with qualifying the partner in the right way, it's one important thing. And I heard this, I mean, slow Down to speed up, to really take in the beginning to qualify your partner.

Because it's super easy to sign a partnership agreement. It's super easy. The problem gets when you have to get the partnership running. And so if you take a bit more time before you do that, in the recruitment process, you call your partner your partner, you don't call them your customer, and you start going with them and make clear what you want. And make sure you write a mutual action plan before you even write the Agreement where you say like, look, these are my objectives.
Please write your objectives. These, are my activities. I'm going to do this. Please write your activities. So dedicated activities that you do and the team and the executive sponsors have that written down. When that is clear, then sign the agreement.

That gives you a lot of, well, A lot more chances that this is a, successful partnership. And then going through the steps, onboarding, it's like the first dance that you do together. Like in a partnership, you have to learn walking, you probably find obstacles, which is completely normal, which is part of the journey to do that. And I think going through this partner experience, just make sure there are Many touch points and see it a lot like a collaboration where you both go through good and bad times in a way as well.Sure.

>> Paul Bird: And I think that is really key. I think if you've got transparency right from the beginning. But what I like about your approach is actually documenting. Here's what I intend to do, and here's what you intend to do. And if we're in alignment, let's go forward. But if we're not in alignment, let's not even get started. I think that's a great approach. So do you think that a, ah, well designed partner experience can also contribute to partner loyalty and more of a long term commitment to a vendor's program?

>> Bernhard Friedrichs: Yes, definitely.

And I mean, a partnership should be always looking into a long term agreement anyways, it's not like, one transaction where you just make this and probably have repetitive transactions. A partnership is, by its nature, usually long term. And the partner experience means, like, both Partners on both sides needs to be Comfortable with that to continue walking in the partnership. And doing partner experience. Right.

Is a good tool to extend the Partnership, to make it more efficient, because, you know, on the other side, through transparency, what you can expect from that partner, what the partner is capable to do in technology or in the sales team, what they really can do.

Like, if they tell you, okay, we Are opening the market for you, but we have a team of three dedicated, to your product and the other 100 people in our sales team selling something else. So, like, you need to do transparency, how many people we train, how much resources everybody puts in. So being very honest with the commitment That you can give and don't over Promise, that is very.

Because it doesn't help you sign a partner agreement if it's not running.

You waste your time and your partner's time. And it's easy. It feels good to sign it, but just having an agreement, hey, yeah, we have a new partnership, but it is Worth it to make sure to have it properly done.

>> Paul Bird: So do you think that if you're going to craft right from the beginning, a great partner experience, are there preliminary elements or considerations that have to be in place with your partner experience to even have a chance to be effective? How do you set the table for this to make sure you're going to be successful?

>> Bernhard Friedrichs: So one important stuff is, before doing that, in the very beginning, you have To be clear about yourself internally, what Kind of information are you willing to Share with your partner?

And if that set of information is Sufficient for your partner to be successful.

So that can be like, is there any intellectual property that you can change or that you are not willing to Change to exchange or communicate with? Are there any secrets that you cannot do? be clear of what you can Exchange with your partner? How can you train your partner? And that is what you can do as a homework for yourself to understand if you can provide a good partner experience. And then after this, I would say the most important parts is keep communication and transparency up, because you need this trust level that peaks in the beginning and stays all the time. So that you need to make sure that this is a tool, that you have the right communication tools, that you also make sure when you use technology.

That it actually reduces friction and helps. Well, provides you more human to human exchange. So technology should take out all these parts of a partnership which are not such a great experience, like filling forms, going through, learning a lot of material and digging through a lot of information. So that should be facilitated to have a good partner experience. It's like knowledge bases are good, but also in a way provide the format that the partner can do that properly. Have regular onboardings, have an onboarding plan. Tell the partner, look, this is how it looks like and this is what we achieve.

What is, I think, extremely important for a partner experience is that when you Start the onboarding, that you define a First goal that you want to achieve. And that should come, that depends a Bit on the partnership, but it should come between 60 to 90 days after starting the onboarding that you have your First success, first moment of success, that Could be signing a client, that could be finishing the integration if it's a technology partner, but that you have this because you have a momentum that you sign with. Everybody's happy to sign the partner agreement and there's an experience that people go Through and then you just win for the next 90 days, and then you Need to do something else to keep that momentum up again. And that is one tool, onboarding with a goal, with a success defined success moment that you should put into your mutual action plan as well.

And then quarterly business reviews making clear evaluations are realistic evaluations. So if you have those that you Make evaluations in the term of, well, very often revenue, it's the lagging indicator of success. It's the result of good work.

But the partner manager, not one partner Manager signs a client contract. The partner manager works on. Make sure that people are, well trained with your product, that they are informed that they train their teams properly, that they are knowing the solution and depends on the service level over on product level.

And that is some stuff that is also, or that's something very important, is That the KPIs are right, that you measure what a partner manager can really influence. If you tell the partner manager, put Your revenue higher and we need more squeezing out of this, you don't ask that from a developer.

Like a developer writes great code to Sell a great product, but his KPI is not the revenue. His KPI is making a great. And it's the same for a partner manager. A partner manager doesn't sign one single Client contract, and so they need to be incentivized and measured by the things that they can influence.

>> Paul Bird: I think it's insightful, I think it's a good, practice that if you can establish a win with the partner within the first 60 to 90 days, as you say, then that really sets the tone for the future. But what about during the partner recruitment phase? So are there any considerations that people should keep in mind on recruitment before the partnership even begins, so that you're setting up that partner for a great partner experience and success?

>> Bernhard Friedrichs: Yeah. So recruitment. Well, first of all, set the tone. You are my partner, you're not my customer. I'm your partner, you're my partner.

Otherwise you would be the supplier.

That is, I think setting the tone and expectations you have to serve equally.

Each other and your time that you Spend on onboarding is an investment as well. So that the expectations being set clear. An important part is doing a proper partner qualification. And often it's rather like a fast disqualification because you actually need to make sure that you disqualify partners fast in the way of trying to qualify them, because you can make a, sign a partner agreement with everybody very fast and celebrate it. So go through partner qualification.

What we do in PartnerXperience is we define four steps for that saying, look, first of all, you have to.

Go and make sure that your partner Reaches a customer base that is relevant for you. That can be a customer base that you currently reach, but you want to penetrate that customer base more. If you're selling to enterprise clients, but your sales team is not big enough for that. So you want the partner to extend the reach, but it can be also a customer base that is still relevant for your product, but you are not addressing it directly because you took the decision. You only want to sell to enterprise clients and you want partners to sell to SMB clients. So that is make sure that the Customer base is there and it's big Enough to grow for it.

#1 C: So that is one C customer base you should look into.

#2 C: Another one is credibility. So it could be that your partner has a really great customer base, but The client would not consider them to buy from him.

Because it's not just you getting that product, but you would also have some expectations as a customer. You want to be sure that the processes of your partner in the background, the operations, it's a natural fit. And so that basically they already offer products that are in the adjacency of Your product, so that their sales teams Are experienced, that they know how to sell that product, that they can be also a trustful advisor for your customer. So credibility is a very important part. You wouldn't buy, a loaf of Bread in a butcher, even though they Have like a showroom, they have the same kind of charging, but the thing is, the experience is not the same. Like the flavor, the atmosphere you receive in the butcher shop doesn't give you the feeling like you want to have a crispy piece of bread. So even though it's very similar and they're probably each next to each other, that is one part and the other one is capability.

So one area here is that it Can happen that they have the right Partners and the right customer base and they are credible.

#3 C: The third part is – The third c is capability. That means it can be your customer The partner has a customer base that Is right, also has the credibility to sell that product. But then it comes out that they have a completely different way of charging because they address the client from a different area or they don't have a sales team to set up for that so that they are not capable to have the interaction with your customer that is needed to sell your product. Consultative salespeople, for example, or from a standpoint of technology, they don't have enough engineers to do that. So basically their setup is not made To, be capable for that.

#4 C: And the fourth and last point, which is, I think one of the Most important ones because if that's not there, is commitment. 

The commitment needs to be shown. And you can do that in a mutual action plan in the beginning. But you also need to make sure That you create really value for the customer and make sure that your partner Comes in with a commitment that if They have a certain intrinsic interest. 

That means the partnership means something for them and needs something for the partner. So that if they don't act, usually you don't have a penalty of not acting on the partnership. So the commitment needs to be there, that the goal is aligned and commitment comes. And you can prove this with different ways. One is in the beginning, make sure have written down a mutual action plan, write a memorandum of understanding about It and really ensure that there's commitment.

Then, even if the customer base is not really 100% there. I have seen clients that started from scratch but had so much commitment partner Started from scratch without clients that they Really grew really fast with that. So have ticked all four c's. That is very important. The most important one. I mean, they are all important that really make sure when you have all four c done and ticked and positive, then you can qualify your partner and you have good chances to succeed. 

These sometimes not very obvious. So make sure really to ask the questions and dig deeper. in this qualification area, the more time you take there multiple times you save. Once you have signed the agreement, so.

>> Paul Bird: How do you think this positive partner experience contributes to the overall brand perception and reputation within their ecosystem?

>> Bernhard Friedrichs: There's a really good publication from Nancy Ridge and Norma Watenpaugh where they say, your partner is your customer experience. So your partner experience in this sense is if you create a great partner Experience that at the end turns into. A great customer experience. Because your partner represents at some stage Your brand. 

In different ways, it can Be as a technology partner that they have a great integration with you and that integration works seamlessly and with their solution and that is really good. And also in terms of selling or representing your brand in more a channel partner way. So a great partner experience turns into a great customer experience. And that is very important. When you do that, make sure you treat your partners onboard them as an employee, not like a customer. And so you can see that then in the customer experience, how you Being represented by your partners.

>> Paul Bird: So what role does technology play in shaping and enhancing partner experience and how can companies leverage it effectively?

>> Bernhard Friedrichs: I think you can see technology from two ways. So they should definitely improve the partner experience along the partner journey or on the touch points of the partner lifecycle as that. So reduce friction, make it easier to share knowledge. Show a lot of transparency because you need trust from the beginning to the end. Make sure the process of exchanging information is seamlessly and easy and doesn't take so much time from the partner so that they can be out representing your product. And I think there are great examples as we have prms such as Magentrix that make sure on the platform that the partners can interact with that they have one point where they can communicate through as well. Get their knowledge and follow up the stage and get a good stage of transparency, what is on the partner side so it can measure and you have the one place where you can communicate through. There's new tools that are coming, of course, like crossbeam, reveal, superglue.

There are a lot of new partner Technologies, softwares or developments that are coming out. And I think compared to what is out there for sales, we are just in the beginning, there is so much more what we can do to support collaborative relationship. The second perspective from which I would see that is in the light of AI, is a great partner experience through technology means that the, technology takes all those redundant or standardizable jobs, a lot of work, but not so much outcome tasks and activities away from the partner manager, so that it gives more time for human to human interactions. 

And I think that is really important because we have seen it in sales in a different way that you have tools where you end up clicking and drop down lists and spend more time with that technology actually to put your data in the CRM than going out and speaking to your client. And basically that is one part where technology also is in a certain stage Of development, can really help to give More time to partner managers, to have human to human interaction, because that is where the magic actually takes place. 

The salesforce integration. I remember the moment when you were showing it to me how that was integrated. I saw some other interest. I still didn't see it the way, how comparable. This is a massively great or really good integration. 

I, mean, what you were saying, like I was about to say, yeah. You are saying the true thing, because When I saw that the first time, I was flashed about this integration that you do, because it's really bringing added value and it's really saving people time.

And so technology should support that part.

>> Paul Bird: I've definitely seen a change in the industry in the eight years that I've been with Magentrix. And you talk about making sure that you have more time to spend time with your partners and more time for those partners to be in front of customers. I look at the evolution of our own platform, going from where it was seven or eight years ago to now being 100% no code drag and drop Gen AI integrated for deal registration to improve efficiency. It really has. I would agree that you need to leverage all of those tools, including the account mapping tools, including the engagement tools like superglue, in order to be able to have a successful stack. So how does personalization in the partner experience contribute to a more tailored and effective collaboration between companies and its partners?

>> Bernhard Friedrichs: Yeah, so I, think personalization is extremely important in this case, because in The word partner experience, the partner stands for a person.

It's not a company, it's not a process. The partner experience is experienced by the partner manager or by decision makers or like the humans, the people that interact on both sides. And so personalization is really important to do that because it's also the glue in the partnership to build this out. So you make sure that it is not redundant information being sent and anonymous information. So it needs to be relevant for you. We are overloaded, for example, with a lot of content that is out there. So personalization means like of course, how you speak to that person, but also which kind of information that person get at a time to save the time, not to dig through pages of knowledge bases with articles that are, sometimes duplicates and redundant, but rather say like point you, hey, look, we have witnessed you are or we have seen you are in this case here. So this article is the right one for you, or this video is the right one for you, or give us a call. In this way, there's a lot of personalization in a way of understanding what is the problem of this person at that stage of a partner lifecycle. So which part of content you provide, but also how to speak with them, making sure how to engage, understand the situation of the partner manager in that stage.

>> Paul Bird: So what strategies can companies employ to continually enhance and evolve the partner experience to meet kind of the changing partner expectations over the term of the relationship?

>> Bernhard Friedrichs: I think an important part is, and That comes back to, again, saying, slow down to speed up, take the time. There's no win in trying to standardize it as you could do it in A transactional relationship and try to run it through a lot, like make sure That different partner types require different partner journeys.

You cannot put them all in the same bucket. Take time and embrace complexity, trying to make it simple. You lose a lot on partner experience left and right, because it's just cutting out essential parts.

And so I think it is really, Well, embracing complexity, making sure you cover you. Take everything with you that needs to be there for having a good partner experience. You don't win in trying to focus on specific points and run that through as it's probably possible done in more transactional relationships, where you focus only to Get the transaction faster.

>> Paul Bird: So how can vendors measure and quantify the ROI of investing in a, superior partner experience for their programs?

>> Bernhard Friedrichs: It starts with defining the relevant KPIs.

Which is, in a way, definitely you can have a partner, nps that you can ask. You can ask for activity, like if you have a platform, of course, see how much engagement is there, the articles and what you write or the information that you give. How's the attendance there? Do you have the quarterly business review.

And people show up that you really. Do that is commitment there to measure those aspects? That is, first of all, your return is like, you invest into a partnership and you need to see that it's been taken. Like the information been taken. The training is there, are people certified, are they are eager to be part of a preferred partner program or do they want to stay standard partner? Because they see like, the benefits are useful and they thrive for getting certifications and trainings to make sure that their partner managers are, well trained. So what is the engagement in this area? And you can measure those in prms and the interaction with the platform as well. You can also see what is the Outcome, how much transparency is there because.

Then you see the quality of the relationship. And then at the end, I mean, sharing of a pipeline, speaking about doing account mapping and speaking about approaching clients together, you can make partner source leads to track them, to see over the time. And then at the very end, then, yeah, you look back and you see your revenue has increased. And that is like backwards, like the indicator you can see as a result that is working. It probably needs, of course, a little bit more. You cannot go from quarter to quarter, especially in the beginning. You have to invest a little bit, but make sure that you measure those aspects that make sense, that show that you are working right. That means like your partner relationship is improving because with an improved relationship, there's more focus on this partnership, there's more engagement from the other side, there's more commitment. 

And those measures.  If you measure partner relevant or partnership. Relevant KPIs, then you can be sure. That will give you a return. And thankfully, partnerships are very capital efficient.

Compared to building your own sales team and scaling it. You can tap into existing sales teams, into existing clients. So that means you will also see that your customer acquisition costs will reduce and your customer, lifetime value will increase because the partner helps you to shrink. The sales cycle will also make sure you don't have to build this customer relationship. You will have partner source leads, you have higher quality on leads and you also increase the retention because you are closer when you have a lot of Really great integrations, your partner will most likely less churn because it's a higher Barrier to exit that relation because they Are happy not just with your solution, but also with the integrations that you have with your solution.

So, yeah, these are parts that you can measure perfect.

>> Paul Bird: So actually, not too long ago, you published a pretty helpful playbook on capital efficient growth. Let's talk a little bit more about that and how it can affect the partner experience. So can you briefly tell us about how you define capital efficient growth?

>> Bernhard Friedrichs: Yeah.

So capital efficient growth is one measure that we believe is very important. It gets more important nowadays because we Have been in a decade of growth at any cost. I think Sam Jacobs of Pavilion just mentioned that name. And I think that describes the last era, what we have been really good. So you described that in a recent.

So, because now that it's more expensive To get capital and to grow, there's an important part that you do do that very efficient, that you grow efficient as a company and make sure that you use the possibilities that, are there with increased communication possibilities, with more connectivity that we have built through technology, and there's more pressure for capital efficiency.

In the time ahead. We released this playbook where we were Looking into different partner types and look How they can contribute to capital efficiency. And we analyzed and saw actually four main parts where you can look into, which is increasing the customer lifetime value by having a greater value for your client. That can be it through channel partners, but that can also happen through technology partners, reducing customer acquisition cost, as the Example that I already said.

So you have better access to clients also in different countries when you want to expand, increase the speed to market From a product standpoint, that instead of Built by your partner, you partner with somebody that makes that product already and you integrate it into your solution. Instead of spending one, two years to try to build some feature that already exists in the market, but also in another sense, for channel partner to go to a market with a partner that's already there and mitigate risk, which at the end is also a cost and is inefficient if you have to deal with a lot of uncertainty, and you can work with partners that can help you to mitigate the risk. So it's basically those four parts where we see partnerships is going to play A very important role, more than it has before. 

Also because capital efficiency has. It was always there and was always important, but it was a bit dusty.

Because cash was there and you could Throw money into sales and marketing, and that was working. That was a working model for the time being, but it's not the most efficient anymore.

And that is why, together with this Need for capital efficiency, partnerships are going to do their contribution significantly.

>> Paul Bird: So you mentioned that one way to improve capital efficiency is through integrations. Do you think integrations help provide a better user experience, not just for customers, but for partners as well?

>> Bernhard Friedrichs: Yes, and well, that depends on which Type of integration it is. So it doesn't make sense to have a massive marketplace with a lot of irrelevant integrations just to put the logos On your website and that you can See a lot as well. So that is also something. 

These are more like marketing partnerships, showing A logo and say, hey, we are integrated with them. It builds trust because, this partner is happy to put the logo on your website, but really is important that you provide valuable integrations that bring added value for your partners, because otherwise clients will be not satisfied. So that really means the partnership, one plus one equals three. That integration with these companies together bring an advantage for the customer. That means, like better access and help, basically to make the sum of this partnership, it's bigger than both companies would work individually for the partner itself. 

Those integrations are also really good because once they can deliver more value easily To their customers, it also brings more Trust, but it also helps to save time to build new functions and to build your product.

You can focus on what you are good at. You have integrations with companies that are really good in reputation management, and that's not your core business. And so you take a partner instead of trying to build that. So it saves you to dedicate the resources to your core business. So that is one of the values. So that means you have to select the integrations wisely and don't waste it into trying to make a meaningless collection.

Of Globus for sure. And I've seen that at Magentrix. I mean, we focus on our core business, like PRM. But when I look at, for example, our integration with Salesforce, it's one of the things that our customers tell us they like the most is because it's easy to set up. It's a complete integration. It's all point, click, drag and drop. But we realized that we're not going to build an integration with every single platform out there. So we did an integration with Zapier. There's 7000 apps on the Zapier marketplace. It makes it easier for people to do that or make same kind of idea. All right, so as we start to wrap up, what is the one key takeaway from your playbook that you think vendors should keep in mind?

The one key point is that partnerships and capital efficient growth is increasingly important. And partnerships is a go to strategy that you should look into if you.

Want to achieve capital efficient growth, because it's an excellent tool to that.

And it's not just for partner managers Or, vps in partnerships, but very interesting for founders and ceos to look Into which strategic route they can take And implement partnerships in their business model.

And what do you think?

>> Paul Bird: One thing that people should always keep in mind in creating an unforgettable partner experience so they can future proof their partnerships.

>> Bernhard Friedrichs: Always remember yourselves that a partnership is a collaborative relationship and not a transactional relationship.

Don't fall back into the default of Thinking as a transaction. Think into a collaboration where you both look in the same direction and walk to that same direction for a while. So make sure understanding, truly understanding the Difference between collaborative and transactional relationships.

>> Paul Bird: That's great. Thank you. All right, Bernard, thank you very much for being a guest on our show today. It's been a pleasure to have you here.

>> Bernhard Friedrichs: Thank you, Paul. Looking forward to speak to you next time. Have a great day.

>> Paul Bird: All right, guys, thank you for listening to the Ultimate Channel sales podcast. Please don't forget to join us next time. For more information, please visit If you haven't already, please like and subscribe to our podcast. And if you enjoyed this episode today, please leave us a five star rating from the Apple podcast app. Just select our show, scroll down to the rating and review section m, and click write review. And don't forget to share with your friends or professional network anyone who'd enjoy it. See you next time on the ultimate channel sales podcast.

Guest intro: Bernhard Friedrichs, PXP
Key elements of a good partner experience (PX) and how they influence the overall success of a partnership
How does a seamless and user-friendly partner experience contribute to the efficiency of partner onboarding and ongoing collaboration?
Well-designed partner experience, partner loyalty and long-term commitment to a vendor's program
Preliminary elements or considerations that need to be in place before your efforts with PX can even have a chance to be effective
Partner recruitment & setting a potential partner up for a great PX - The 4 Cs
How a positive PX contributes to the overall brand perception and reputation of a vendor within the partner ecosystem
Role of partner technology in shaping and enhancing the partner experience + how vendors can leverage it effectively
Personalization in the partner experience
Strategies for enhancing and evolving the partner experience to meet changing partner expectations: Embrace complexity
Measuring & quantifying the ROI of investing in a superior PX in a partner program
What is Capital Efficient Growth? (PXP's Playbook)
How integrations help provide a better user experience, not just for the vendor’s customers, but for partners too
Bernhard's key takeaway for vendors from the CEG playbook
The one thing to know for creating an unforgettable partner experience that can future-proof the partnership