Partner Intelligence Revolution: What Ecosystem Leaders of the Future Know About Partner Intelligence

Partner Intelligence Revolution

A summary of a conversation with Jay McBain and Dina Moskowitz on Ecosystem Chronicles

Across the land, across thousands of ecosystem professionals, the self-reported maturity level around partner intelligence is dismal: a 3.

But collectively, we can do better. And with 73% of revenue going through and to partners, we need to. We need to know:

  • Where are those points of sale?
  • How do I set up all the layers of that?
  • How do I get to the point where not only am I representing the sale of my product and all the places that could happen, marketplaces, direct, indirect, all as channels, but I’m also looking at those other seven people that’s customer that are trusted, that never show up at the point of sale, but are incredibly important.

For sure, the challenge of amping up our collective partner intelligence acumen is only getting harder, given that the channel is bigger than ever before. Every company in every industry is becoming a tech company. This creates a lot more data than just that older kind of resale point of sale data we had in the past – sales in, sales out, end user sales… the things we’ve lived on for decades.

So, when you need to look at a deeper layer of data, this is where PartnerOptimizer plays. We provide the level of detail that help you improve the level of your partner intelligence maturity. We help you answer questions like the following about partners, which allow pros to move from “big broad strokes” to true finesse and precision in managing an ecosystem:

  • What buyer do they specialize in, or are they somewhat neutral?
  • What industry 27 or 297 sub -industries makes up most of their resume?
  • Are they in mid -sized banks?
  • Are they in pharmaceutical?
  • Are they somewhere buried in cybersecurity?
  • Where are they in different subindustries?
  • Around the world, are they kind of known within 50 miles what the headquarters location? Where are they truly global partners?
  • Are they regional?
  • Are they narrow to two or three streets in a major city?
  • Are they focused on SMB, mid -market, enterprise, government, health, education?
  • What market segments and sectors?
  • If they are SMB, is it 1-9, 10-24, 25-45, 50-99, 100-249?


In the end, this information helps you have what are all VERY different conversations, which is what is needed. Selling to a flower shop versus a 1099 is like selling to a consumer versus Fortune 500. Very, very different, just in one segment. The products and services making up that $5 trillion, a partner may just be expert in one or two areas, so they are not ready, for example.

To sell your entire portfolio or to service your entire portfolio, the partners could be very specific. And then you’d need to consider business models. They could be a managed service provider. There are now 335,000 companies that have one managed contract. It is a half a trillion -dollar business. They could be project-based. They could be product-led growth. There are 20 different models. There are billions of permutations.

But today, almost no one is using that level of granularity of insight into how potential partners and current partners overlap their TAM, SAM and SOM. And given the explosion in technologies, data lakes are becoming larger and driving insights out of them is harder than ever.

And to date, our collective level 3 is not really anyone’s fault, because we simply haven’t access to all that data in the past.

But the inflection point is here. And the good news, is that data now exists and it’s time to embrace that partner intelligence that you can have – even if you take a crawl, walk, run approach. PartnerOptimizer has built a AI-powered data mining tool that goes out through the web and brings back all of this partner DNA. This enables you to look at all of those business attributes about partners so that you can enrich your database, so that you can find new partners through PartnerOptimizer or based upon your ideal partner profile or strategy, and so that you can see at a granular level, the types of insights that you didn’t have access to before, and then compound them into bigger insights that can lead you to strategic decisions.

What’s Your Wallet Share

Given all that, is it good to just move to an acumen level 4 from a 3 as a start? You bet. One good place to start is getting a handling on the magic number: Wallet Share. Historically, because of the lack of intelligence available, channel teams will look at what did the partner do in revenue last year and say, well, that’s what I’m going to predict they’re going to do in revenue the next year and that’s what my program can do. Problem is, if you’re doing $1M with a $100 million partner, you’re getting killed. If you’re doing $1M with a $1.2 M partner, you’re killing it. And yet, on paper, they both look like gold, $1M partners. The larger partner may be drawing a lot of your attention, but they may never commit more because they’re already more invested in your competitor. PartnerOptimizer can help you figure that out quickly to know which partner is truly worth investing more in.

This is the kind of partner intelligence that is now available at your fingertips to make strategic decisions. It makes it easy to see whether with a bit more attention, you could double their revenue with you and improve your return on invested capital.

This kind of information gives you the ability to have strong board-level and C -suite conversations that change your seat at the table. They are different than, “Hey, let’s go throw a bigger party and let’s throw more into spits and see what happens this quarter.” Channel pros can now arm themselves with the data to say, “I know exactly how to do it. I know who to know the seven partners that wrap around each customer are. We’re actively working to team up to go win that. Let’s win it together.”

Those are the channel pros that are truly advancing their partner intel acumen and are going to win in today’s market.

To learn more and hear this full conversation live, watch the full episode here.

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