Organizational Chart Of A Partnership Business – You know you need a Partner Manager, Partner Marketing Manager, and Partner Operations Manager to execute your partnership strategy – but where should these roles fit in your org chart?
Where each member of your team sits and who they report to ultimately impacts the direction and success of your affiliate program.
Organizational Chart Of A Partnership Business
We spoke to partners at RollWorks, LeanData, Reputation, Contentsquare, Workato, and Airship to learn more about their partnership teams’ org charts so you can understand which structure best fits your long-term vision. When creating this org chart, we are a few important points noted, including:
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Insight #1: As your business expands, you need to think about how to drive partnership strategies from the top down. For example: you can hire an ecosystem CEO (another CEO) like Sakha did. Or you can hire global managers to define long-term strategies using the C-Suite, and regional managers to define local strategies that fit the needs of clients in different regions (like Contentsquare did).
Quote #2: The location of each partnership role determines its responsibility, budget allocation, workflow and influence. For example, if the partner marketing team is located within the marketing organization, depending on the department’s needs and goals, your partner marketing professionals may rotate between partner marketing responsibilities and “traditional” marketing roles in a given quarter. They may also have better access to marketing resources and -Budgets, which can affect approval from the entire marketing team. At the same time, assume the role of a dedicated product marketer for the partnership.
Products can help bridge the gap between product marketing and partnerships. Bringing a Customer Success Manager into a partner organization that specializes in working with agency partners allows you to increase the value of your mutual customers with channel partners while ensuring that your account managers have the right person.
Conclusion #3: Hire a partner team member with Ecosystem Ops skills. The sooner you can track allocation and count smaller roles, the sooner you can invest in additional roles, acquire more resources, and scale your ecosystem. LeanData hired a Director of Partnerships (ISV & SI) with experience in systems to track revenue generated by partners in Salesforce. RollWorks worked with their RevOps team to create custom fields in Salesforce and later hired a RevOps partnership role within the RevOps team.
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Insight #4: Contentsquare, Workato and RollWorks have partnership organizations that extend to the CEO, while LeanData’s partnership organization extends to the CRO. Meanwhile, Maine’s partnership team comes together to lead the ecosystem. Consider how your team’s reporting lines impact their KPIs, facilitate or hinder the alignment of go-to-market (GTM) teams, and produce role requirements within those departments or within your own
Note. Org charts for technology companies are fluid. Throughout the year, keep an eye on when we profiled each organization. Org charts are subject to change after publication.
Mike Stocker, VP of Partnerships at RollWorks, went from a one-person partnership team to a nine-person team (with more work) in just three years.
Number of Employees: RollWorks is a subsidiary of NextRoll, Inc. division. Rollworks employs more than 200 people and is based in San Francisco, California.
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What stands out: They have a RevOps Associate dedicated to the RevOps team and a Product Marketer dedicated to the Product Marketing team. In the early days of his affiliate program, Stocker worked with two senior sales associates (Marie Miyamoto and Kendra Dixon) to identify initial metrics of success. For example her:
Achieving these metrics allowed Stalker to demonstrate the impact of the partnership and earn a share to grow its partnership team. This enhancement includes the addition of a Product Marketer role to contribute to the Product Marketing organization and a RevOps role to contribute to the RevOps organization.
The partnered product marketer sits between the product team building the integration and the partnership and partner marketing teams. This role focuses on defining use cases, developing documentation, and managing the implementation of each integration.
“This partnership role in product marketing has been very valuable because it’s about the use cases, how [the partnership] connects to the rest of the product, how we build a platform – a broader solution, how we build it into the product. The story,” says Stocker. “I will always ask for this [role] in the future.”
Organizational Structures: An Explanation
Stocker added that the reporting lines from his team directly to the President/CEO are critical to the growth of his partner program and the entire team.
“[Else] it becomes biased — when it reports to the CRO, its primary focus is opportunity generation. When reporting to the CMO, they focus on demand generation and co-marketing.” focuses on focuses only on technical integration Partnerships are and should be three and all of these roles require a high level of support.
Stocker emphasizes that partnerships, especially in this “ecosystem age” decade, need to be strategic in nature, requiring a seat at the board table and thus reporting directly to the President/CEO.
Chris Messina, vice president of alliances and partners at LeanData, joined the revenue management company in 2020. As he expanded LeanData’s partnerships team, Chris knew he wanted to hire people who didn’t have the skills needed to help them grow their business. Now an ecosystem with 28 partners.
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What stands out: One of the first four members of the LeanData Partnership team specializes in ecosystems. LeanData achieved Salesforce Summit Partner status (Top 1% of Salesforce Partners) thanks to the hiring of its Director of Partnerships (Salesforce), who already had experience building partnerships in the Salesforce ecosystem.
Chris also hired Director of Partnerships (ISV & SI) with ecosystem operations skills. This allows them to track partner-driven sales in Salesforce and has found that deals with partners have an average order value (AOV) that is 40% higher than deals without a partner.
Experience management platform Reputation invests in C-suite ecosystems. Credibility redefines the traditional B2B SaaS org chart with a dotted line between the partner team and the CSO for an ecosystem leader and agency partner.
In August 2021. They have also hired a client success manager dedicated to working with agency partners and their mutual clients.
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Prior to hiring the Ecosystem General Manager, the Strategic Partnerships team reported to the Chief Revenue Officer (CRO) and worked closely with the Product Manager.
“[A good environmental team] needs to be involved in all aspects of the business, including product, sales, marketing and customer experience. It’s easier in the C-suite because you have the CMO, the CRO, and the heads of the product and CX organizations. connected,” says Brent Nixon, Head of Reputation Ecosystem. “When [partnerships] sit in the C-suite, it’s tightly integrated with the overall strategy.”
Nixon also points out that a C-suite-level partnership role can show investors and analysts that you invest in the ecosystem.
At our 2022 Supernode conference, Andreessen Horowitz’s General Partner, Sarah Wang, shared that her investment firm takes a robust partner ecosystem for granted (see discussion here). Hiring an ecosystem manager can show investment firms, analysts and potential partners that your company:
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Patrick Scott, Head of Client Success at Maine Agency Partners, sits in the Client Success organization where the dotted line represents partnerships. He works closely with agency partners to help their joint clients implement the latest Reputation features and integrations. While CSMs typically work with a handful of clients, Scott works with seven partners and more than 100 clients.
If you’re considering hiring a dedicated sales or customer success role for the partnership, it’s important to understand where they are located and who they are, how they will work with internal stakeholders Scott works closely with Reputation’s account executives to drive sales volume and to expand its agency partners. If Scott sat in a collaborative organization and had a dotted line toward CS, his relationship with the AMs on the sales team might be different and he might face approval.
Gilad Zuberi, Contentsquare’s vice president of global business development and partnerships, leads three businesses: Partner Sales, Partner Success, and Technology Partnerships.
The partnership team draws on a wide range of global leaders in all their fields. For example, a Global Director of Partner Success leads long-term partner enablement strategies, while a Regional Director leads local strategies.
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What stands out: The integration team used to be part of Customer Success / Business Development. Now they sit under the product.
An integration team under product ensures integrations align with best practices and are managed with a focus on scaling and productization, says Zuberi.
“My team’s goal is to create as much integration as possible,” says Zuberi. “And that’s only possible if the integration team sits under the product, follows the product process and completes it.
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