It’s easy to focus on people who are new to partnerships, but there are just as many members of the industry who have a ton of expertise in the field. That was the case for Eric Gallegos, the senior manager for sales enablement platform Highspot’s technology partnerships program.

“It’s my job to help define who we partner with from a tech perspective, who we integrate with, and who we go to market with,” Eric said.

Only a seasoned professional could tackle the role, but Eric was ready to take his career to new heights, so he enrolled in Firneo’s Certified Partner Professional program. The result? Nothing but wins. 

Tech Partnerships Are Bigger than Sales—Much Bigger

Eric discovered during his time in sales that sales processes tend to focus on optimizing and executing a strategy over and over. He wanted a more dynamic role, and tech partnerships—which were exploding at the time—offered a broader scope and rich business development opportunities.

As many partnership managers quickly learn, experience in sales doesn’t come with a rubric for navigating tech partnerships roles and responsibilities. Success for Eric would mean finding a way to refine and strengthen his partnerships knowledge: “I wanted clarity around the frameworks that could apply to my job. Along with that, with the craziness that’s going on in the tech industry right now, I definitely needed to sharpen my skills.”

Since transitioning to Highspot, Eric had zeroed in on ecosystem development, which added another layer of strategic nuance to his new role. Not only did he need to leverage the partners Highspot already had, but he also tasked himself with facilitating a more expansive partner ecosystem while also getting each of Highspot’s diverse teams on board with an accelerated partner strategy.

For that, Eric needed: 

  • A compelling pitch deck that could demonstrate why Highspot would benefit from a comprehensive partnership strategy;
  • Clearly defined objectives, goals, and KPIs that would resonate across Highspot’s teams and generate the support he needed;
  • Success-based, actionable partnerships frameworks that would take him from scoping potential partners, to closing the deal, to implementing the partnership, to delivering results.

Beyond tools and strategies, Eric needed confidence. He needed to know that he possessed all the knowledge, skills, and expertise necessary to extract maximum value from the partner relationships and ecosystems he was creating and managing. 

It was a tall order.

Enter Firneo’s Partnerships Personas, Strategies, Frameworks

Eric enrolled in Firneo’s Certified Partnerships Professional program with the expectation that, in 8 weeks, he would learn the frameworks that would empower him to refine the partnership strategy he was already building, obtain support and resources from his leadership team, and get buy-in from the rest of Highspot’s teams so that he could focus on implementing and managing an ecosystem-led growth strategy. 

“One of the most valuable aspects of the program is that it’s systematized,” Eric remarked. “People who are really good at this have a system to understand the mechanics of why what they’re doing works, not just practical experience. That’s what you need to get ahead in this industry.”

Firneo’s cohort-based program helped Eric develop internal stakeholder personas as well as external and internal narratives as a strategic first step in building out Highspot’s new partner program, empowering Eric to connect with the goals and objectives of diverse team members without losing the unifying and mission-critical partnerships vision that everyone could get behind. The more he learned, the more confident he felt about the talents and abilities he already possessed. 

Once he understood what was important for each stakeholder at the 3, 5, and 9 month marks, Eric was able to design a pitch deck that spoke directly—and persuasively—to each of those commitments and concerns. And once he had buy-in from Highspot’s teams, Eric began deploying the frameworks he learned during Firneo’s program. First, he succeeded in deepening connections with already existing partners, moving forward with tech integrations and GTM referral programs. Second, he began exploring, developing, and managing brand new partner initiatives which, thanks to strategic partner program positioning, had full support from Highspot’s C-suite. 

Tech moves fast, and the partnerships industry keeps up. There’s always, always more to learn, and successful partnership experts like Eric know that resting on your laurels is a surefire way of getting nowhere fast. So get motivated. Whether you’re just starting out in the partnerships space or you’re an experienced partnerships professional ready to strengthen your position, Firneo can help. 

Sign up for our Certified Partnerships Professional program—and win bigger, more often. 

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