We were back in the studio this week after a long hiatus and had our friend Zack Rosen on to the podcast to discuss “Building Successful Partner Programs.” Zach is one to know about the topic having run a Drupal agency for 6 years before founding Pantheon. Pantheon today is one of the largest web development platforms for open-source Drupal and WordPress based websites with over 100,000 sites under management serving billions of page-views per month.
Having come from an agency background, Zack focused early efforts on shaping the success of their partner network and partner program. The Pantheon Partner Program today powers more than half of new revenue of the business and remains a very large concern for Zack and his executive team. Building successful partner programs is something that we have discussed a bit on our podcast but never with this level of detail.
Zack and I dove right in to discuss first what any founder should think about before embarking on a partner program and specifically what building successful partner programs means. We talk about the recipe for success in the early days and how these programs have developed at other successful companies such as Hubspot and Salesforce.
In particular Zack learned a bunch from Hubspot and Pete Caputa as they developed their channel program (roughly 40% of Hubspot’s revenue today). We then move into discussing some tips and tricks once your partner program is up and running as well as discuss ways to incentivize and reward your partners. Zack then moves into some very tactical components such as the literature to create, your partner portal and web design, the specific ways to think about partner program levels, partner compensation, and some various other components that go into building successful partner programs. Finally we close on some elements of hiring to support your partner program and how Zack keeps this part of his organization functioning like a well oiled machine. Happy listening!
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