Updated: Jan 5, 2021
It’s true there is tremendous opportunity for software integrators and independent service providers to take a chunk of the $1.2T ecosystem generated by Salesforce. But at Salesforce, it’s not just about being a great partner.
It’s also important to know the right people.
How do you know who to talk to when you’re a new Salesforce partner? There are almost 50,000 employees, and almost as many registered partners who are helping Salesforce customers find success on the platform. To stand out, you need to know the right people and the right way to build a relationship with them.
Below are the four people you need to know at Salesforce when you become a new partner, and what your relationship with each person should look like.
Your PAM - Partner Account Manager
Depending on the size of your business and your partnership level, you will either have a dedicated Partner Account Manager (PAM) or, when you sign up for the Salesforce Partner Community, you’ll be assigned to a PAM who oversees multiple accounts.
If you haven’t signed up for the Partner Community yet, you can do that here.
A Salesforce Partner Account Manager is dedicated to your success as a partner. They can help you understand the different partnership levels, and they’ll make sure your firm is staying on top of certifications.
According to Salesforce, your PAM can:
Review your GTM plan
Help you understand the partner lifecycle & levels
Help you maximize your partnership program investment
Having a great relationship with your PAM is important. This person can help you succeed as a Salesforce partner by helping you align your GTM strategy, values, and successes with the needs of internal Salesforce teams.
The PSM - Partner Sales Manager
While your PAM is dedicated to helping partners succeed, the Partner Sales Managers (PSMs) at Salesforce are “partner agnostic”, and aren’t committed to any specific partner. The PSM’s job is to make sure there is a partner in position that can help a Salesforce customer succeed after purchasing licenses.
A Salesforce Partner Sales Manager is dedicated to customer success. They want to help their selling teams make sure the right implementation partner is involved in the deal cycle so that the customer can realize value on the platform quickly.
Partner Sales Managers care about:
What your differentiators are
What your customers say about you
What proof you have of your customer success
Having a great relationship with PSMs is equally important as your PAM. You must stay top of mind with the PSMs, and you must make their jobs easier by sharing the right assets and information at the right time. It’s a good idea to have a regular cadence with the PSM.
Salesforce Account Executives
Being a Salesforce partner means selling together, to ensure customer success. To do this, you need to know which Salesforce Account Executives (AEs) are selling to your clients. Salesforce AEs are grouped by business size, and typically sell into a specific vertical.
A Salesforce AE can have a broad range of technical expertise and selling experience. Much like the PSMs, AEs are dedicated to customer success and to ensuring that their customers are matched with a reliable partner for implementation.
A relationship with Salesforce AEs should look like:
Giving more than you take
Regular (but no more than monthly) communication cadence
Sharing insights that truly help them
Consider your own sales teams when you think about developing a relationship with an AE. Don’t make their jobs harder than they already are, and make sure your communication centers around how to help them help their customers be successful on the platform.
Salesforce Industry Leaders
At the 2020 Partner Summit in Las Vegas (before the world shut down!) Salesforce announced a strong focus on verticalization. For the past few years, the company has been elevating and hiring industry experts to help ensure customer success.
The shift was inevitable with the development of industry focused clouds like Financial Services Cloud and Health Cloud. And unless you are a giant partner like Deloitte or IBM, your business should be focused on one vertical.
Salesforce Industry Leaders are focused on creating and improving solutions for customers within their industries. There are typically industry leaders for each subvertical, for example, within Financial services there is an Industry Leader for Insurance, and another for Banking.
Reasons you should develop a relationship with an Industry Leader are:
To develop joint innovative solutions on the platform
To discuss joint enablement sessions and large account planning
To support mutually beneficial relationships with customer executives
An Industry Leader cares about strong, innovative points of view on the industry and the opportunity for the platform. Consider your executive team when you think about developing a relationship with a Salesforce Industry Leader.