“The Sumo Advantage is… alignment with a major market force, capability, or accelerator with the intent to generate revenue and grow market share. It’s a partnership that drives momentum and revenue growth and is, most importantly, a clear and present danger to your competition.”
That’s a quote from Bernie Brenner’s book, The Sumo Advantage, and it describes a scenario where a smaller brand is able to forge a strategic partnership with a much, much larger brand, that’s still mutually beneficial.
How do you find that kind of partner, and create such a relationship?
That’s what we’re covering in today’s episode of Partnership Unpacked.
Welcome back to Partnership Unpacked, where I selfishly use this time to pick the brains of experts at strategic partnerships, channel programs, affiliates, influencer marketing, and relationship building… oh, and you get to learn too! Subscribe to learn how you can amplify your growth strategy – with a solid takeaway every episode from partnership experts in the industry.
And when I say that I like to pick the brains of experts, that’s not hyperbole. That’s exactly what I’m going to be doing today.
I’ve studied Bernie Brenner’s experiences with TrueCar, listened to Jared Fuller’s story of his time at PandaDoc, and marveled how they were able to secure partnerships with brands ten times larger than their own.
Wouldn’t you like to forge a partnership with some of the biggest players in your industry?
Well, that’s exactly what Samantha Yarborough is going to talk to us about.
As the SVP of Partnerships at PFL, she manages a partner ecosystem of ISV partners and a cornerstone partnership with Salesforce… only one of the largest technology companies in the world at $153 billion in value… Sam has built a company-wide strategy to embrace partnerships with all facets of the go-to-market motion. With a background in marketing, design and strategy, partnerships is an accumulation of her strengths and passions – bringing people together to creatively solve problems, approach technologies, and deliver mutually beneficial results.
She also co-hosts the terrific podcast, Friends With Benefits the business podcast about revenue generating partnerships, with her husband.
Partnership Unpacked host Mike Allton talked to Sam Yarborough about:
♉️ What a Cornerstone Partnership might look like
♉️ How to go about finding a potential cornerstone partner
♉️ The tools and tactics brands should employ when partnering with big players
Subscribe to the show calendar: agorapulse.com/calendar
Learn more about Sam Yarborough
- Connect with Sam Yarborough on LinkedIn
Resources & Brands mentioned in this episode
- The Sumo Advantage
- Subscribe to the show calendar: agorapulse.com/calendar
- Learn more about Agorapulse with a free demo
Full Notes & Transcript:
How To Develop A Strategic Partnership Into A Cornerstone with Sam Yarborough[00:00:00] Mike Allton: The sumo advantage is alignment with a major market force capability or accelerator with the intent to generate revenue and grow market share. It’s a partnership that drives momentum and revenue growth and is most importantly, a clear and present danger. That’s a quote from Bernie Brenner’s book, The Sumo Advantage, and it describes a scenario where a smaller brand is able to forge a strategic partnership with a much, much larger brand that’s still mutually beneficial.
How do you find that kind of partner and create such a relationship? That’s what we’re uncovering in today’s episode of Partnership Unpacked.
This is Partnership Unpacked, your go to guide to growing your business. Through partnerships quickly. I’m your host, Mike Alton, and each episode unpacks the winning strategies and latest trends from influencer marketing to brand partnerships and ideas that you can apply to your own business to grow exponentially.
And now. The rest of today’s episode,
welcome back to partnership unpacked, where I selfishly use this time to pick the brains of experts at strategic partnerships, channel programs, affiliates, influencer marketing, and relationship building. Oh, you get to learn to subscribe to learn how you can amplify your growth strategy with a solid takeaway.
Every episode. From partnership experts in the industry. And when I say I like to pick the brains of experts, that’s not hyperbole. That’s exactly what I’m going to be doing today. I’ve studied Bernie Brenner’s experiences with Truecarp, listened to Jared Fuller’s story of his time at Pandadoc and marveled how they were able to secure partnerships with brands 10 times larger.
Then their own, wouldn’t you like to forge a partnership with some of the biggest players in your industry? Well, that’s exactly what samantha. Yarborough is going to talk to us about as the senior vp of partnerships at pfl She manages a partner ecosystem of isv partners and a cornerstone partnership with salesforce Only one of the largest technology companies in the world at 153 billion in value, Sam has built a company wide strategy to embrace partnerships with all facets of the go to market motion.
With a background in marketing, design, and strategy, partnerships is an accumulation of her strengths and passions, bringing people together to creatively Solve problems, approach technologies, and deliver mutually beneficial results. She also co hosts the terrific podcast, friends with benefits, the business podcast about revenue generating partnerships with her husband.
Hey, Sam, welcome to the show.[00:02:35] Sam Yarborough: Mike, thanks so much. Thrilled to be here. What an intro. I’m just taking notes from my own podcast right now. You’re a pro here. [00:02:43] Mike Allton: Well, it’s great when you have guests who have accomplished amazing things who are fun or doing cool things that I can talk about. So thank you for being here. [00:02:53] Sam Yarborough: My pleasure. Excited to chat with you. [00:02:56] Mike Allton: Awesome. So I’d love to start with you sharing a little more about your background, what PFL does and how you got into the role you have today. [00:03:03] Sam Yarborough: Sure. Happily. So PFL, we are an ISV partner. We automate direct mail. So that can seem a little old school to some people, but direct mail is.
Absolutely still a marketing tool that companies are using really anywhere in the funnel. So we have a cornerstone partnership with Salesforce. As you mentioned, we have native integrations into several of their cloud products. And then we also have a few other partnerships with other ISVs, other CRMs and marketing automation platforms.
So my role is to make sure all that runs smoothly. We’ve created a little bit of a flywheel and ultimately revenue is closed as a result of the partnership. And we have a phenomenal team that’s doing this. It’s not just me. So shout out to them. Alex Dayton, he’s our partner manager for Salesforce. And then we have two marketers on the partner team as well.
So that’s a very high level about what PFL does.[00:04:01] Mike Allton: And I should mention, I got to meet you and the team in Phoenix at the B2B marketing exchange. And I can vouch for the fact that A, you’re a fantastic team and B, direct mail is kind of fun. Your booth was a lot of fun. Mine was not. I was just kind of there standing around.
You guys had boat hats and all kinds of fun things going on.[00:04:18] Sam Yarborough: Hey, if you’re not having fun, you’re doing it wrong. [00:04:23] Mike Allton: Right. So like you said, you consider Salesforce to be a cornerstone. Partnership for you. How would you define a cornerstone partnership and how specifically are you partnering with Salesforce?
I know you mentioned a couple of integrations, but I’d love it if you could just explain a little bit more to folks how that works.[00:04:39] Sam Yarborough: Sure. Well, cornerstone partnership. So let’s I’m gonna take a few steps back to answer this question. When I took over partnerships here, we had quite a few partners that we weren’t doing a lot with, and it’s because our resources were spread too thin.
We didn’t have a ton of focus in the right areas. So we really stepped back and we looked at who was driving the most value for us in that moment and how could we really lean in and make the most out of that strategic partnership. And that was Salesforce. So a few things to keep in mind there. I did not build this partnership from the ground up.
I will never admit to doing that. There were giants that I’m standing on the shoulders of. Yeva Roberts, if you don’t know Yeva, she’s still a household name in the Salesforce ecosystem. She’s phenomenal. So she was definitely the one that like built the foundation. And then we had Marnie Reed, Andy Cochran.
I honestly, my husband, but when I took it over, it was just kind of like stagnant. There wasn’t a lot of proactiveness about the relationship. We were just like, Oh yay. Another lead from Salesforce. Wonder how they found out about us. And I kind of looked at that and said, there’s so much potential here. If we just lean in, make this systematic, figure out how to make this repeatable, it’s going to change the way we do business.
As a company, and it really has. We can dive into that. But from the way that I would describe Cornerstone partnership is it is our biggest partnership by far. We are definitely using Intel that we’re getting from the field, whether it’s from Salesforce customers from Salesforce, a ease to influence our road map and how we can best serve their customers.
We have a solution that Salesforce is Salesforce Coronavirus Research, Probably never going to build. I would be floored if Salesforce decided to pick up a direct mail offering. And so it’s the perfect strategic partnership because we are also never going to build a CRM or marketing automation platform so we can meet in the middle and offer the best solution for our joint customers.[00:06:46] Mike Allton: So. People using Salesforce sales representatives for their different organizations, what they’re looking at their contacts, they’re working their sales leads and they decide, Oh, I want to send something direct mail to this prospect or group of prospects and your solutions just integrated in there. Am I understanding that correctly? [00:07:06] Sam Yarborough: Yeah, you actually are. So we, Salesforce is actually a customer of PFL as well. So Salesforce is using PFL as a solution. So that’s helpful. And the account team has done a phenomenal job of building champions and making sure PFL is a household name from like a user standpoint at Salesforce. And then the partner team is.
Actively walking through Salesforce AEs and solution engineers of like, Hey, two things. A, if you hear direct mail, we want to be the first to know about it because we are natively integrated. Also, if you’re going to be a player in the Salesforce ecosystem, you have to do rev share. So there’s some incentive there for the Salesforce team.
But also one thing that we’ve really enabled this team on is oftentimes Salesforce customers are not talking about direct mail to their Salesforce AEs. Which means they’re leaving money on the table as a salesforce AE. They’re not helping their customers de silo their omni channel strategies, and they’re leaving a whole strategy untalked about.
So if we can just simply enable them of ask your customers what you’re doing for direct mail, or how are you engaging your customers who maybe aren’t engaging with digital or don’t use the internet? Those are great ways to open up that conversation and bring us into the fold. Everybody wins when that’s the case.[00:08:29] Mike Allton: Awesome. Awesome. I love that you mentioned that Salesforce, to your knowledge, and knock on some wood, has no intention or aspirations of developing their own in house direct mail program, nor do you have any intention or aspirations of developing your own CRM system, right? So that’s something I’m always looking for when I’m looking at new folks.
Potential sass companies that igora pulse might be partnering with. Is there possibility of so much overlap in terms of technology that they may end up just doing what we do internally? Right. So that’s, that’s a good thing to look at. What are some other attributes that you might look for in a new partner?
If you were looking for a new potential cornerstone partner,[00:09:07] Sam Yarborough: Sure. Well, I think there’s a lot of things. I mean, obviously start with ICP. Are you talking to the same customers and do you have similar use cases that you can solve for where, as you just mentioned, your technology doesn’t overlap. So we have expanded our partner network.
We now have a few others like iterable is a great example. And then you also look at your direct competitors who are already in that ecosystem and what are your competitors. Right to win. Do you have there? So are you the exact same offering as the competitors that are already in the ecosystem? If so, that’s going to be an uphill battle.
But do you have some sort of product feature that differentiates you? Or do you have some large joint customers that you can go to market with? So how can you stand out in an ecosystem if it’s already crowded would be my first thing before you spend all that time there.[00:09:58] Mike Allton: Yeah. Yeah. That’s so smart.
Looking at the competitors, seeing how you differentiate, potentially getting inspiration for who they’re partnering with. Maybe.[00:10:08] Sam Yarborough: Oh, absolutely. Yeah. And I mean, in today’s world in SAS, if you have a true blue ocean. Wow, good on you, like go get it, but I think a lot of us are swimming in a, in a pretty purple, if not red ocean.
So you really have to be articulate about your differentiators and then super clear on where your ICP is. And you know, everybody says niche down to win. I think that’s very valuable.[00:10:34] Mike Allton: Yeah. And I love that you led with taking a look at the ICP and seeing where you have overlap, because it’s funny, that’s true of marketing and business overall.
And yet for some reason, that’s the step everybody wants to run past and not really think too hard about who they’re trying to serve and who they’re trying to target and reach, I think that’s a mistake. No doubt. Yeah. No, obviously one does not simply walk into being a cornerstone partner that takes time and extraordinary effort, patience and vision where.
Or how would you recommend brands begin?[00:11:10] Sam Yarborough: Yeah, great question. This is something I talk about a lot with, with people like yourself or people who are looking to get in the salesforce ecosystem. No doubt. It can be extraordinarily daunting. Salesforce is massive. I mean, I think they’re at 70, 000 employees now.
So like what really helped us and where we started was it was never PFL partnering with Salesforce. That’s too big. And. So it really boiled down to me as Sam and Alex, my counterpart to partnering with Salesforce AEs as individuals and breaking down their book of business, helping them understand the value we can bring to them each individually and then creating wins.
And then evangelizing the heck out of those wins. And if you start small and you really make an impact with those individual sellers, with the individual solution and engineers, you’re going to have win stories. People are going to want to be a part of that. And so it’s twofold. It’s relationship building for sure.
It’s value building. And then it’s also having a marketing plan so that you can evangelize that and create kind of that snowball network effect. The other thing that it took PFL a long time to learn this, honestly, Are and were a horizontal partner, meaning we service all industries within Salesforce, which is great because that means we have a bigger TAM, but it doesn’t land.
So you know, the first few months, maybe even year that I was in the seat, I’d go into the Salesforce ecosystem and say, Hey, Salesforce, we do a direct mail. And they would look at me like, cool. And it just didn’t land. And it was like, what does that mean? I don’t know how to even talk to my customers about that.
So what we’ve really learned in the past few years is when you can niche down to those verticals, A, well, a few things are going to happen. A, you’re going to be able to articulate your value a lot stronger. So for instance, in health care, we can help with patient engagement. We can help with explanation of benefits.
We can help with compliance and regulatory mail. Like the use cases get a lot more niche, and it helps the Salesforce AEs wrap their head around it. Oh, that never really clicked as direct mail for me, but you’re right. My customers are doing that, and it’s really manual, and they don’t talk to me about it.
So we’re opening up those types of doors. From a strategic partnership perspective, though, the other thing that’s happening when you verticalize is your network effect is going to happen. Tenfold faster because everybody in those industries are talking to each other. So AEs want to know what their other AEs customers are doing.
So when you can talk to all the payer AEs at Salesforce, they all want to know. What they’re doing to be successful and that’s going to happen a lot faster than like going from a payer A. E. to comms A. E. to a manufacturing A. E. They’re not talking to each other, but the network effect starts to happen for you naturally.[00:14:15] Mike Allton: So this is terrific advice. I mean, really, really solid. And I love that as you’re telling me about these motions that you’re taking with big partners, I’m relating it. Also, internally, we’re doing Nearbound here at Agorapulse is we’ve never done anything like this before. So I’m implementing this program from scratch.
And one of the things that we just decided to do was handpick just a few of our ease to train them up, introduce them to our partners and our partner solutions and make them as you said. The evangelists internally so that the other AEs get to see, Oh, wait a minute. How come Jenny’s closing so many more deals?
How come Jenny’s deals are bigger than mine? Let me in on that near bond activity. Right? So fantastic advice internally or externally. Thank you so much for sharing that real quick. I’ve got a note and a message for all of you from Daryl Prail, our CMO. He wants to talk to you about a channel in your marketing that you may be overlooking.[00:15:11] Darryl Praill: It’s the Arc de Triomphe. Can you imagine if you’re in charge, if you’re the CMO of Marketing Paris, what are your main channels? The Arc de Triomphe. There’s the Eiffel Tower. There’s the Louvre. Those are your channels you’re going to use to drive tourism dollars in. Okay, now, but you’re not the CMO of Paris.
In fact, you’re the CMO of your company, Product Service. So what are your main channels? Well, I’m going to guess they’re things like pay per click, maybe trade shows events. Maybe content. Those are all pretty predictable, right? Let me ask you this question. Are you treating social media as a main channel?
By the way, only 1. 8 percent of you today measure social media and can prove an ROI in that investment. HubSpot and Gartner say social media is the number one channel to invest in this year. Are you doing it? If not, I can tell you why. You’re not doing it because you don’t have the tools. You don’t have the mentality.
And that’s okay. We’ve got you covered. You change the mentality. We’ll give you the two. Agorapulse tracks all the ROI for you. One place to manage all your social media activity. Your number one channel. Change your success. Treat social media as a channel. One CMO to another. My name is Daryl. I’m with Agorapulse.
I’ll talk to you soon.[00:16:28] Mike Allton: So let’s get back into it. You’ve been sharing such fantastic advice about your relationship with large, large companies like a Salesforce. What other advice can you offer? Or maybe some pitfalls to avoid when you’re working with a Big player like Salesforce. [00:16:41] Sam Yarborough: Oh, where to start? There’s so many. So I think one thing that we’ve done that has been.
It’s really accelerated our growth and allowed for scalability is measurement. So I told this story a lot. So if anybody’s heard me speak before, they’ve probably heard this, but when I first started, it was like, none of this was tracked in our CRM, which is Salesforce outside of like partner source deal.
We would. Okay. If somebody gave me an intro when I would absolutely mark that in Salesforce, but I’m basically working my own book of business within the Salesforce ecosystem, just like. Really a BDR is or an AE, and so it’s really important for me to keep track of who the actual players are in the space, you know, what accounts they own, how engaged they are with us so that I can like at scale, create these relationships, keep track of them and really use all the tools that like my BDRs, my AEs, even my marketing teams are using.
To stay relevant with these salesforce AEs, so we created our own internal system to track all of this. And it’s been a game changer. So it’s in our own salesforce system. But really, it’s called partner relationship. So if we create a relationship with the salesforce AE, I now can track how engaged they are with us.
So whether it’s like they responded to an email all the way to they’ve given us five intros. They’re a very matured seller for us. We can track industry, we can attract what accounts they own. So if we get like, say, I’m just going to use an example. Wells Fargo gets on our website, they’re pinging demand base all the time.
The AE is like, Oh, Wells Fargo is on our website. I now can go to my salesforce and be like. We already know the Salesforce AE for that account, let’s bring them in the fold. And I mean, that’s Nearbound at its finest, like let’s surround this customer from all sides. And without the data, without the tracking, that would be impossible to do.
There’s not enough sticky notes in the world to map the Salesforce ecosystem and keep track of it. And so that’s been really great. And then. The other thing we do from that, as I mentioned, I have two marketers on my team, which I come from marketing. So that was really crucial for me. That’s the way my brain works.
But we are also as a partner team, really looking at the Salesforce ecosystem as our customer. So based on where those sellers fall into our funnel, if I’ll call it that, Are engaged all the way to matured. We want to service them content that’s relevant to them. So if they’re like very aware of what PFL does and the value it brings, you don’t want to hear that anymore.
They want to hear specific wind stories. They want to hear industry specific things, the use cases that we’re coming up against, whereas somebody who’s just for the first time, maybe hearing about us, they want to hear who we are, what we do, why it matters. And so we’re using all the same tools that our marketers and our sellers are using, but we’re just facing them towards our partners.
Cause doing that simply by word of mouth is too slow and it’s not scalable.[00:19:51] Mike Allton: Love it. And I love that you started off by talking about the system that you were putting in a place. Cause I was literally up late last night doing the exact same thing. Yeah. Our own system. We really weren’t tracking any kind of partner activity other than affiliates.
We, cause we hadn’t really been doing that kind of partner activity before. So now I’ve got partner sourced and partner sold and that sort of thing. And really raising the visibility internally, hopefully for the work we’re doing. Partners so that you know, executives down to, you know, the BDRs, see the value in that activity.[00:20:22] Sam Yarborough: It’s crucial. Otherwise you can’t point back to the success your team is, is really providing. [00:20:28] Mike Allton: Yeah. Now one area where I’m, I’m super jealous ’cause you’ve mentioned it at least twice now, is that you have a team. I am a team of one. . . Yeah. You’ve got, [00:20:37] Sam Yarborough: I started there. I started there. . [00:20:39] Mike Allton: Yeah. Right. Well you, so you’ve got a team and I’m really curious how have you structured that team? [00:20:45] Sam Yarborough: Yeah, so. I feel all the partner managers who are out there as a team of one. I also was there and stay the course, fight the fight. It’s worth it. Um, so when I asked for a team, we were having an all company offsite and first of all, I think you have to, you kind of talked about this here, build internal champions.
You know, we just had a great episode on my podcast with Cory Snyder and he talked about this too. Like if you can make your internal teams look good. They’re going to do the evangelizing for you. So help your sellers win, help your CS team expand, help your product team, you know, figure out ways to innovate on their roadmap and marketing.
That’s a huge one. Bring your partners in the fold. So marketing has twice the reach with half the money. That’s the value of strategic partnerships. And if you can start to do that for the internal teams, they’re going to evangelize to their higher ups of like, wow. Partnerships is really making our job easier.
They’re helping us do more. That’s going to help your story for starters on how to expand your team. So we really looked at Salesforce obviously, and said like, this is a great strategic partnership, let’s dive in. And I started to make a ton of impact, but like my days were just. Full of meetings with Salesforce AEs.
And as we can all guess, that’s not scalable. So going back to data really quickly, we were looking at where we’re winning, which deals are closing and how they fall on the higher ARR, all that. Guess what? It was partner. So my exec team came to me and said, we want more of that. And I said, well, then there needs to be more of me.
Um, so we expanded marketing. Came first because I mean, so a little background on myself. I have a graphic design degree. So while I was taking all these Salesforce meetings, I was also like designing my own pitch decks and like creating my own collateral and writing my own outreach sequences. And again, I was a team of one.
Running my own business within a business, essentially. And so I said, if I could offload the marketing stuff, then I could be more effective and use my time more efficiently. So that was my first hire. And then we looked at, wait, the Salesforce ecosystem is massive. I’m never going to meet everybody there.
So we brought Alex Dayton over and he came from the BDR team. He was actually up for an AE promotion and I brought him over to the dark side of partner. And you know, I’m so grateful for that hire every day because he is a hunter and his experience as a BDR is just fantastic. He. Gets to think high level and strategically, and he’s tremendous at that, but he’s also very numbers driven, and that’s been tremendous.
So his job is to go meet everybody he possibly can within the salesforce ecosystem or build great relationships with them. And that has been. You know, a phenomenal way for us to scale. It’s so cool. Yeah. And then we have one more marketer and she’s helping with events and I mean, marketing is a huge part of what we do.
So it’s a full funnel experience.[00:24:04] Mike Allton: I love that insight. Well, one immediate takeaway for me is that I think our next podcast should be called team of one and just be partnerships, experts, and longtime warriors commiserating over what it’s been like to be the one and only partnership person. And I love that.
Yeah. Well, you mentioned Corey. Corey’s at Sendoso. Yep. And for those of you listening, we will pop a link to that episode specifically with Friends and Benefits with Corey, but Corey is going to be here on our podcast a couple weeks later. So make sure you subscribe so you don’t miss that episode. I may make it a follow up to the episode with Friends and Benefits.
So you got to listen to their episode first and then come back and we’ll have all kinds of follow up, you know, drill downs with Corey. Not going to complain about that. Yeah, right. So we know you’ve got a team, which is fantastic. You’ve got multiple partnerships going on. You talked about using Salesforce as a CRM.
What other tools are using right now to kind of help within your department?[00:25:01] Sam Yarborough: Yeah. So as mentioned, back to going to the team of one, getting budget for as a leader partner manager is difficult. It’s funny because everybody wants a partner program, but nobody wants to pay for it. So, you know, you have to get scrappy about using what’s what’s available to you.
But here’s the thing. I bet you if you have a marketing team, if you have a sales org, which let’s hope you do, you probably already have all the tools in house. You just need to like ask for licenses and use what your company’s using. So our tech stack for partners is we use outreach because our sales team uses outreach, but it’s great.
Obviously, Salesforce Calendly is huge for us. And then from a marketing perspective, we also send Marketo. We use demand base sometimes to see kind of who’s on our website. If somebody from Salesforce gets on our website, we have a drift bot set up so that we as the partner team get that notification. So we’re just tapping into all of the technology that our company is already using and just.
You know, expanding upon that for our particular use cases, you don’t have to reinvent the wheel for sure. That makes sense.[00:26:12] Mike Allton: And part of me appreciates that you’ve laid it out that way. And part of me is like, wait a minute. She basically just said, I don’t need a lot of budget because I can use marketing tools.
Well, no, no, no, no. Listen to this part.[00:26:23] Sam Yarborough: I also have budget, but I don’t use it on tech snack. Let me rephrase that. So we use our budget primarily for events. I’m on the road a lot more than I want to be, but I think that’s the rubber meets the road. That’s where. results really happen. So we definitely have budget, but I chose not to use it for tech stack.
So to each their own.[00:26:45] Mike Allton: I’m glad you mentioned that because that’s actually been a pivot of mine this year. Mentally, I’ve been in charge of our events at Agorapulse for over five years, not because they had anything to do with partnerships particularly, but it was just. They were leaning on my experience and we didn’t have anyone else who could do events.
So I was in charge of our virtual events. I was setting up all of our in person events this year, including VIP dinners with senior marketers every single month in different cities this year. And as the year has progressed and my focus has shifted to these kinds of strategic partnerships and less about say influencer marketing or affiliate marketing, which are other areas of partnerships that I’m also responsible for, I’ve started looking at these.
Yeah, team of one. I started to look at these events as opportunities for me to connect with more and more partner leaders. So I’m going to have an event in San Francisco, and I’ve got Asana’s partnership leader is coming to that and our partnership contact at LinkedIn because we’re a social media platform.
So we, you know, connect with the major networks. So I love that you mentioned Events that makes complete sense.[00:27:47] Sam Yarborough: Yeah, for sure. And I think you just mentioned something that sparked a thought for me as well. Oftentimes partner people look at small groups within their partners of who they should be talking to, whether it be the other partner leaders, so your peers or the AEs.
But I would encourage people to expand outside of that to influencers. So. You know, one thing in salesforce that’s been really helpful for us is industry experts. So they’re the ones out evangelizing salesforce, whether it be for healthcare, for financial services, for you name the industry. Well, I want them to know who I am so that they also can evangelize us.
See us leaders like no contact is a bad contact at your partner and making relationships with everybody I think is very overlooked, but crucial. Love it.[00:28:36] Mike Allton: Fantastic advice. I’ve got just one more question for you. And this is my favorite question. I asked this of every guest at the end. How important have relationships been to your career? [00:28:50] Sam Yarborough: Well, I have a podcast all about this. Um, I mean, that’s the basis of everything. If you are. I was just gonna say if you’re in partnerships, but I think that extends to if you’re in technology, if you’re in business, it is your job to build relationships. Um, you can pretend it’s your job to drive revenue or to, you know, create leads or whatever.
But at the end of the day, people do business with people. And that is the truth. So building relationships is foundational to success. Quick story. I just wrote a post on LinkedIn the other day. We have a few relationships that I’ve been nurturing for years now. And yes, it started as like, wow, you own huge accounts.
Like I want those accounts to become customers, of course. But then we just got to know each other and these people became friends. And we’ve stayed in touch over the years of like, how are your kids? What’s going on? And we’re friends at this point. Well, the other week. Three leads came in for these massive companies.
And guess what? They were already nurtured. They were already well aware of who we were as PFL. They’re already ready to buy. And now they’re in pipeline. And that’s what relationships can do for your business. And it’s not, unfortunately, like a switch you can flip overnight. These things take time, but they will pay off and they will pay off big in the long run.
If you’re just a decent human, you provide value. You do what you say you’re going to do and you’re friendly. I mean, I think that’s the basis for all of it.[00:30:31] Mike Allton: And this is exactly why I ask this question each and every time I’m allowing my guests to hammer home the points that you just made relationships are everything.
That’s funny. That’s like the first thing every single guests say when I asked that question. Relationships are everything. And then they go on to explain why. And then the part that I love the most without a fail. They go on to share a story of why relationships are so, I didn’t ask, right. I didn’t prompt you for that, but you shared this great story.
I love it. You know, some people are talking about how relationships led them to the career that they have. That’s part of my origin story. I got the job that I have right now because I became friends with the CEO years before he hired me. You shared leads, other people share all these other kinds of things.
So thank you for sharing that. I appreciate that. Absolutely. Sam, you have been amazing. Such a terrific guest. Please let folks know where they can follow you, learn more about you, reach out if they’ve got questions.[00:31:27] Sam Yarborough: Well, Mike, thank you. You’ve been a tremendous host, really enjoyed this conversation. I’m on LinkedIn.
I spent a lot of time there nurturing relationships, ironically. We also, we being my husband and I, have a podcast, as we mentioned, Friends with Benefits. We’d love to see you there too. It’s all about relationships and yeah, those are probably the two main places.[00:31:48] Mike Allton: Fantastic friends. That’s all we’ve got for today.
I will have all of Sam’s links, the podcast, everything in the show notes for you. Please listen, go check out her and Jason. Thanks so much until next time. Thank you for listening to another episode of partnership unpacked hosted by Mike Alton and powered by Agorapulse the number one rated social media management solution.
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