I have a great opportunity here at NewVoiceMedia to define our partner programme from the ground up. In doing so I want to step away from the traditional identikit programme and actually deliver the programme I would have wanted when I was running a Salesforce Consulting Partner.
I’ve put together some ideas of what I appreciated from partners we worked with, and what I would have liked. It would be great to get your input into what you really want from an AppExchange partner to help me build out an awesome programme.
1. I want my client to be happy
My business is built around Salesforce implementations. Any AppExchange partner I use to extend the core functionality must improve my relationship with my client and make them happy that we recommended it.
2. I want to be able to bill for the implementation
We are a professional services business, and we need to be able to charge our clients for implementing an AppExchange solution. A great example of this might be Conga Composer where clients need templates tagged up and this might require 2-3 days of professional services.
3. I want someone to hold my hand for the first few implementations
I’m able to go online and do training, but nothing beats having some one to one assistance on the first few implementations. Let me ask questions and learn how to manage a successful implementation.
4. I want local business hours support
As a UK business this is a really important one. When a client has an urgent query it is painful to have to wait until the evening to make contact with a West Coast partner. The client just wants an answer and I want to be able to get support when I need it.
5. I want some killer sales questions to ask
Our clients will tend to go with what we recommend, but I want to back this up with some great sales questions that help to develop an explicit need for the client. With Echosign for example this would be questions like:
- What is the cost in man hours for each paper contract that you get signed?
- What is the average length of time it takes for a sent paper contract to get returned?
6. I want each implementation to be easier than the last
Whilst each of our clients has unique requirements, I want to make sure that our consultants can get to grips with the solution quickly and become self-sufficient. Without this we can’t make your solution a profitable line of business.
7. I want specific metrics that your solutions will improve
We all know that Salesforce is about improving business metrics – higher order values, quicker sales cycles, better customer satisfaction. I want metrics like this for your solution. Echosign is on the money with “42 minutes average time to sign a contract.” This is something my customer can understand.
8. I want to earn a fair commission when I close opportunities
We are close to customers and close to upcoming projects. Where we recommend you as part of the solution we expect to receive a percentage of the licence fees as commission. We would also expect to receive this where we advise the client to add on users or services.
9. I want to be listed as a partner on your website
Clients are looking for trusted consulting partners to advise them and manage their overall Sales or Service Cloud implementation. We want to be able to have a listing on your website that helps clients to see how we offer a comprehensive solution for them.
10. I want your key people to be on Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook
Our consultants are out and about with clients and want more than to receive traditional partner information like monthly newsletters, or a presentation once a year at the team meeting. They want to join your community and engage in the conversation with your team. I want your key people to engage with them on Twitter and build trusted relationships.
11. I want you to understand my business
Ultimately, I want you to understand that my business is the most important thing to me. I want you to understand what our business strategy is, who our clients are, and what projects we get involved with. That will help you to focus on supporting us in a way that fits our business and not just seeing us as a channel for your Company.
What do you think?
Do you have examples of how AppExchange partners have really helped you? Or stories of disastrous relationships?! I’ve listed Conga Composer and Echosign in this post – both of whom provided a fantastic solution and fantastic support. I’d definitely recommend speaking with them if you haven’t already.
I appreciate your comments and will aggregate suggestions into a future post.
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