Expert Advice

6 minutes of eComm Wisdom: Harry from Relo

Tim
|
June 19, 2024

I think, in short, we just know exactly what partners want. Generally, the tech partners and the agency partners that we work with: They just want to close new business and they just want to grow.

And I think the moment that we realized that it helped us really prioritize everything in terms of all of the different actions that we were taking. I am also in a kind of unique position where I run the partnerships and the business development side of things at the same time. So where a lot of partner managers can be quite isolated in the org, and they might actually not ever have any direct client facing time; I'm on calls with clients, 4 or 5 calls a day, maybe.

So it means that it can be very easy when we know our partner's solutions well to position their solutions to these clients. If we can identify an area where they might need some help, ultimately that all just boils down to being able to send more referrals out to our partners.

And we know that, over time, outbound referrals equal inbound referrals, if the partnership set up in the right way. So yeah, that equation has meant that we're just able to generate a really strong inbound referral pipeline just by positioning our partners to clients at the right time.

Firstly, I think we just have a really good product fit with them.

They are the essential tool for optimizing your cost of acquiring customers. We are the essential tool for repeat purchase brands and subscription brands in order to optimize their customer retention.

So the two things really bookend each other really well. And because of that, we have very easily been able to position the Triple Whale solution to clients of Relo, just because it's a really good complimentary thing to consider.

And in doing so we have just sent, such a large number of referrals over to Triple Whale, that it's basically outperformed any other partner, I believe. Yeah, that's been pretty special to see. And it was a shock to me that we were able to, outrefer many of the far larger platforms, which TripleWhale are partnered with, and yeah, it's been shown quite starkly in the fact that in the award nomination that we've received with them at the Whaley's, which is happening, I believe,in March or April, we're up against, I think it's Gorgias, Sendlane and TapCart, all of which are obviously probably 10x our headcount considering we're just five people in the team.

Firstly, of course, you've got to have a good understanding of just the wider ecosystem so you can prioritize partners in the right way. and yeah, once you have those partners in place, just understanding how to incentivize them.

So that requires a level of emotional intelligence, I think. And then also the ability just to understand how all the different functions within those organizations work.. I don't think if you are hiring a head of partnerships that they necessarily need to come from the eCommerce, ecosystem, per se, because a lot of the same playbooks will exist across just the wider SaaS world.

But yeah, one thing I think which is common across all Heads of Partnerships is you've just got to be very willing to make a lot of noise. And I think that means outside of the company and just constantly advocating for it. But I think also inside the company, especially if you're an early partnerships hire.

You've got to make sure that you are flying the flag for what you're doing internally, whether it's within slack at team all hands meetings and things like that. yeah, a lot of that energy goes surprisingly long way. And I think we've learned that over the last couple of years through the Blueprint acquisition into Klaviyo and then also through the, through the growth of Relo as well.

I think, yeah, we make more noise than maybe the head count of the company suggests.

I see people making this mistake and I also came close to making very similar mistakes myself, but I think if you're the first partnerships hire and you come in from a standing start into partnerships: it's very tempting to look across at, companies like Klaviyo, who've done a fantastic job with their partner program in the past and Gorgias and just think, 'okay, this larger organization has set up things in this particular way. I'll just emulate that, but on a smaller scale'.

And, so the way that might look is having "Gold Tier Partners" and "Silver Tier Partners" and "Bronze Tier Partners" and having quite an elaborate, partnerships program straight from the outset. But I think the best way to think about it is actually to try and flip it on its head a little bit. I think 80% of our revenue comes from 20% of our partners and within those 20% of the partners, probably the actual referral revenue comes from 5% of the headcount. So it's just actually about working out how to incentivize those individual people at the partner organizations rather than thinking about incentivizing the entire company.

And those things with the partner tiers will naturally come into course as you scale the partner program out and you become a similar scale to something like a Klaviyo or Gorgias, but really getting to know specific customer success managers, specific account executives, i. e. anyone who's customer facing at those partner organizations and really working out how to just make their job easier and make them just ultimately generate more money in their day to day life. I think if you can work that out quickly, it just means the time to value of the part program is so much faster than if you're trying to set up these huge structures, which you might just not have the clout or, or market position to be able to actually work with off the bat.

7,93
15,86
23,8
31,73
39,66
47,6
55,53
63,46
71,4

I think, in short, we just know exactly what partners want. Generally, the tech partners and the agency partners that we work with: They just want to close new business and they just want to grow.

And I think the moment that we realized that it helped us really prioritize everything in terms of all of the different actions that we were taking. I am also in a kind of unique position where I run the partnerships and the business development side of things at the same time. So where a lot of partner managers can be quite isolated in the org, and they might actually not ever have any direct client facing time; I'm on calls with clients, 4 or 5 calls a day, maybe.

So it means that it can be very easy when we know our partner's solutions well to position their solutions to these clients. If we can identify an area where they might need some help, ultimately that all just boils down to being able to send more referrals out to our partners.

And we know that, over time, outbound referrals equal inbound referrals, if the partnership set up in the right way. So yeah, that equation has meant that we're just able to generate a really strong inbound referral pipeline just by positioning our partners to clients at the right time.

Firstly, I think we just have a really good product fit with them.

They are the essential tool for optimizing your cost of acquiring customers. We are the essential tool for repeat purchase brands and subscription brands in order to optimize their customer retention.

So the two things really bookend each other really well. And because of that, we have very easily been able to position the Triple Whale solution to clients of Relo, just because it's a really good complimentary thing to consider.

And in doing so we have just sent, such a large number of referrals over to Triple Whale, that it's basically outperformed any other partner, I believe. Yeah, that's been pretty special to see. And it was a shock to me that we were able to, outrefer many of the far larger platforms, which TripleWhale are partnered with, and yeah, it's been shown quite starkly in the fact that in the award nomination that we've received with them at the Whaley's, which is happening, I believe,in March or April, we're up against, I think it's Gorgias, Sendlane and TapCart, all of which are obviously probably 10x our headcount considering we're just five people in the team.

Firstly, of course, you've got to have a good understanding of just the wider ecosystem so you can prioritize partners in the right way. and yeah, once you have those partners in place, just understanding how to incentivize them.

So that requires a level of emotional intelligence, I think. And then also the ability just to understand how all the different functions within those organizations work.. I don't think if you are hiring a head of partnerships that they necessarily need to come from the eCommerce, ecosystem, per se, because a lot of the same playbooks will exist across just the wider SaaS world.

But yeah, one thing I think which is common across all Heads of Partnerships is you've just got to be very willing to make a lot of noise. And I think that means outside of the company and just constantly advocating for it. But I think also inside the company, especially if you're an early partnerships hire.

You've got to make sure that you are flying the flag for what you're doing internally, whether it's within slack at team all hands meetings and things like that. yeah, a lot of that energy goes surprisingly long way. And I think we've learned that over the last couple of years through the Blueprint acquisition into Klaviyo and then also through the, through the growth of Relo as well.

I think, yeah, we make more noise than maybe the head count of the company suggests.

I see people making this mistake and I also came close to making very similar mistakes myself, but I think if you're the first partnerships hire and you come in from a standing start into partnerships: it's very tempting to look across at, companies like Klaviyo, who've done a fantastic job with their partner program in the past and Gorgias and just think, 'okay, this larger organization has set up things in this particular way. I'll just emulate that, but on a smaller scale'.

And, so the way that might look is having "Gold Tier Partners" and "Silver Tier Partners" and "Bronze Tier Partners" and having quite an elaborate, partnerships program straight from the outset. But I think the best way to think about it is actually to try and flip it on its head a little bit. I think 80% of our revenue comes from 20% of our partners and within those 20% of the partners, probably the actual referral revenue comes from 5% of the headcount. So it's just actually about working out how to incentivize those individual people at the partner organizations rather than thinking about incentivizing the entire company.

And those things with the partner tiers will naturally come into course as you scale the partner program out and you become a similar scale to something like a Klaviyo or Gorgias, but really getting to know specific customer success managers, specific account executives, i. e. anyone who's customer facing at those partner organizations and really working out how to just make their job easier and make them just ultimately generate more money in their day to day life. I think if you can work that out quickly, it just means the time to value of the part program is so much faster than if you're trying to set up these huge structures, which you might just not have the clout or, or market position to be able to actually work with off the bat.

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7,93
15,86
23,8
31,73
39,66
47,6
55,53
63,46
71,4