How best-in-class SaaS companies, like Atlassian leverage partnerships while doubling down on 🗽 PLG (product-led growth) and sales at the same time?
Partners have a unique vantage point that is almost impossible to achieve internally if you don’t work with partners (e.g. Value Added Resellers or consulting partners).
Daniel Stefanic, who led partnerships in Atlassian, Symantec and Easy Agile explained this in his recent workshop:
💬 Ultimately, you're looking for feedback on your product.
We at Atlassian ran partner councils and received a lot of feedback from our partners. Our partners were both sitting in many of our services rooms and were also featured on our app marketplace.
We were getting feedback on our product at a technical level because they were building on it.
They were also giving us feedback on what they were seeing out there in the field when they were delivering those products to their customers.
🙌🏻 It is extremely powerful to make sure those feedback loops are strong between your partner community and you as a vendor.
They may be seeing things that you never thought of out there in the ecosystem. It could be strange things like, "Hey, your product doesn't render very well with the language pack that you've deployed to my region.
The characters don't look the right way on the screen." It could be the latency of a product being delivered in their region, or a multitude of other things that you're not seeing at headquarters level.
That's why it is important to keep the door open to them and have a structure for them to be able to share feedback with your company.
💡 When is the right time to explore channel partnerships into a product-led organization?
I don't think they're binary. I think they need to work together.
If there's a sales team within an organization working to achieve a goal with a customer, and a partner is also working there, they need to work together.
The product lead growth component, there could be some candid conversations that a customer may be more willing to have with a partner simply because they do not represent the vendor directly.
You may get some very direct feedback coming back to you with things that may not have been said. It may work the other way as well with a customer willing to unlock with the vendor directly. It depends on the situation.
That's why I feel these things are not completely apart.