Why it’s a great idea to explore Biz Dev and #partnerships early in your SaaS startup

Why should you consider hiring early for Biz Dev and #partnerships roles too?


😎 Because CEOs are great at building BD relationships and 👿 terrible at maintaining them.


We talked about it a few times on our channel, but here is an amazing explanation from Jason M. Lemkin at SaaStr.



💬 This is another one that we all screw up to save money. It's a huge mistake.

Stuff up BisDev and partnerships earlier!


What tends to happen in most SaaS companies is - you know who does partnerships and BizDev? The CEO. Somehow the CEO builds a great relationship with Mailchimp or Zendesk or someone at Salesforce or someone at AWS or someone at Datadog.


📢 Many of you will be a great partner to some bigger company, and as CEO you will build this relationship and that company will be delighted to meet with the CEO. You may be CEO of a five-person company, but customers and partners always love to meet with the CEO. Leverage those three letters “I'm the CEO” - people will take that meeting.


So CEOs are great to build BD relationships, but they are abysmal at maintaining them.


🎯 You met Bob who runs this division at Zendesk.


What about the 38 people that report to Bob that actually make the partnership decisions?

How many of them will you meet as CEO?


None


🙈 And all that great goodwill you had with Zendesk will just evaporate, just when it gets good, because none of the rest of the team will have ever heard of you.


And if you've built this magical relationship with Zendesk and your competitor hasn't - lean the heck in! Lean on that relationship.


And you know what? That may only get you two leads this quarter, but that competitive advantage and differentiator will last a decade….



🤝 If you have a partner channel that's working with Shopify or Salesforce or Zendesk.

As soon as you have any traction - somehow find the money to hire someone to manage it full time.

to learn it left and right

to bring them cookies,

to be at every event,

to map out the org chart,

to always be there.


✔️ Because this is how you win when you go long.


❌ And if you don't - your competitors will win."



Check more insights on the topic in Partner Insight fireside chat on building partnership MVP.


[Source: Jason M. Lemkin talk from SaaStr]

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