Partner led CS

Thomas Lah
Thomas Lah Member | Guru ✭✭✭✭✭

An attendee from Interact has the following question:

When selling XaaS solutions through a tier 2 distribution model, what have you seen put in place with Partners to successfully drive adoption of Partner led CS?

@Anne McClelland may have some initial thoughts, but what are others seeing?


  • Doug Caviness
    Doug Caviness Member | Expert ✭✭✭

    Great question @ThomasLah. I know VMware relies heavily on Partners to scale their CS capabilities and would also suggest an on-demand webinar discussion w/Meenu Agarwal, SVP Customer Success at VMware: A Tale of Scale… for Customer Success Teams.

    Some highlights for me:

    • Digital and Tech Touch – for All Accounts -- is here to stay
    • Leans on partners for scale. Building / sharing success playbooks for them.
    • Created a new role, CSMP, each of which manages 5 partners. Helps partners drive retention, growth, including selling partner svcs.
    • Recently launched communities as another way of providing value and scaling.
    • Uses in-product insights to automatically address needs in customer journey by leveraging things like telemetry, and has multiple engagement points and listening points)

  • Carlos Alves
    Carlos Alves TSIA Administrator, Moderator, Founding Member | admin

    I really believe in vendor programs that incentivize their partners to develop knowledge, people, processes, and practices to become services-oriented, customer-centric partners. If the player can benefit from it, it is a great way to put things on the run.

  • Anne McClelland
    Anne McClelland Member | Guru ✭✭✭✭✭

    @ThomasLah - Cisco is an excellent example of a vendor that enables its partner ecosystem (2-tier) to be successful in delivering customer success capabilities. They offer customer success trainings at all levels and examinations to certify qualifications of their partners in delivery of customer success capabilities. Here is a link to their customer experience success hub for partners which links to their trainings and examinations:

  • JaredRaftery
    JaredRaftery Member | Enthusiast ✭

    @ThomasLah vendors face three three primary challenges with partner-led CS: (1) Lack of are not clear on what vendors want them to do; (2) Lack of are not motivated to invest resources in customer success; and (3) Lack of do not have the skills and resources to deliver adoption.

    We have observed a host of best practices that address each of these areas & some have been mentioned earlier in this thread -- training, playbooks, certifications, incentives, and headcount dedicated to helping partners. A few other best practices include sharing consumption data, health scores, and implementing partner performance metrics.

  • Patrick McGowan
    Patrick McGowan Member | Enthusiast ✭

    Great topic. Two things to add that are hinted at in the previous responses but I think are worth making more explicit:

    1) Define a clear and compelling customer journey that is measurable and manageable and enable the partners to deliver against that journey.

    2) Establish clear and enforceable service and performance level agreements that incentivize both parties to deliver the intended journey (or remedy any short-fallings).