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Snowflake Scales Partner Engagement and Revenue with Help from Webinfinity

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Destined for Big Things

Originally founded in 2012, Snowflake Computing’s mission is to enable Enterprises to become Data Driven. Snowflake is taking the data warehouse space by storm.

Snowflake is helping big businesses make their data more readily available for use in the cloud. Companies can quickly upload their data to Snowflake’s secure cloud and plug the data into business intelligence tools like Tableau or Looker to gain valuable insights into customer behavior and sales performance.

For Snowflake’s Head of SI Alliances, Uday Keshavdas, and his team, it was clear that Snowflake’s partner program was destined for big things.

We knew early on that fast growth was imminent, so we’ve been building muscles for scale. We needed a system that could make partner enablement, engagement and onboarding as automated and effective as possible, so we could focus our limited cycles on running the business and growing revenue.

— Uday Keshavdas: Snowflake - Head of SI Alliances

The Alliances organization is tasked with a global mandate across 4 primary partner types:

  • Solution Partners: primarily System Integrators and GSI’s with the expertise and capacity to co-lead large implementations
  • Referral Partners: working towards Solution Partner status while building a track record of successful wins
  • Tech Alliance Partners: examples include Tableau, Amazon and Microsoft
  • Data Sharing Partners: leveraging Snowflake’s unique ability to share data across data centers

A Scalability Challenge

In 2016, the Snowflake partner team was resource constrained and struggling to keep up with considerable administrative and support requirements. The team needed a technology partner that would allow the business to scale efficiently while enabling team members to focus on core channel priorities like co-selling and joint planning.

The coordination of partners and team members, combined with the extensive human to human interaction, limited the potential of Snowflake’s channel team. The team struggled under the weight of voluminous email and telephone communication with partners while performing repetitive tasks, including frequent requests for product and program information. Uday estimates that these tasks were occupying a significant percentage of team members’ time. The team had access to training and sales tools but these resources were not organized optimally and were difficult to locate. Accordingly, these important resources were often underutilized. Deal registration and opportunity sharing had a supporting system but these applications were largely manual, poorly connected with CRM, and were difficult to track and measure .

Scalability-Challenge

Although partner categories were defined, the Snowflake team recognized that no two partners were exactly the same. Each partner had a unique set of attributes requiring a tailored approach to partner relationship management. Channel business engagement processes, sales enablement resources and training tools also needed to be curated to the needs of each individual partner. In addition to these requirements, the team needed to control access to sensitive resources based upon each partner’s position in Snowflake’s partner program.

Finding the Right Solution

Given the challenges facing the Snowflake channel program, Uday and his team began evaluating PRM technologies in an effort to build a scalable solution.

It was clear from the start that Snowflake had explosive growth in store and we wanted to leverage modern technology to enable our partners more completely than we had at previous companies. So we knew going in that we were going to need a world class platform that would easily scale to support everything we would need over time.

— Uday Keshavdas: Snowflake - Head of SI Alliances

According to Snowflake’s checklist, the solution would need to:

  • Be powerful, yet easy to implement without the costly custom development requirements frequently associated with traditional PRM solutions
  • Have a truly modern SaaS architecture and the necessary configurability required to allow non-technical team members to create and easily update pages, content and workflows
  • Integrate with the current technology stack including Salesforce and Snowflake’s LMS system while having the ability to integrate with other applications currently deployed and potential future applications of internal and partner-facing systems
  • Be affordable, without a costly per-seat pricing model that increases as partner numbers grow, or hidden service fee costs
  • Be highly secure. “Other PRMs we looked at failed our IT department’s security and SOC II tests miserably.” — Uday Keshavdas: Snowflake - Head of SI Alliances
  • Be intuitively designed and easy to use so that technical and non-technical channel team members can create and update content allowing the portal to remain branded appropriately
  • Be visually appealing with a clean and modern look reflecting the cutting edge, global nature of the business. “We needed something that would help us ‘punch above our weight’ in those early days, by portraying an impression of a more mature, established partner program than we may have been at the time.” — Uday Keshavdas: Snowflake - Head of SI Alliances

The team began researching options and conferring with channel thought leaders looking for recommendations on a technology to solve the challenges facing Snowflake’s partner program. Webinfinity was highly recommended to Snowflake by multiple thought leaders who described the Webinfinity platform as a next generation approach to PRM with a strong focus on personalization and digital user experience. After a thorough analysis of top PRM solutions, Snowflake selected Webinfinity as Webinfinity met all of Snowflake’s stringent requirements.

Implementing Success

After detailed discussions with the Snowflake team about their goals and requirements, Webinfinity began the implementation process.

We happened to be deploying Webinfinity at the same time as a major new CPQ solution, which kept us very busy at the time, but our implementation lead was very patient, took ownership, and did a very good job.

— Jose Parr: Snowflake - Sales Operations manager

The Webinfinity Client Success team worked closely with Uday’s team to configure workflows that reflected Snowflake’s unique needs. In addition, they made sure that Snowflake’s partner tools and resources were organized and tagged in accordance with Webinfinity’s innovative organizational methodology. This organizational methodology allows each individual user to receive a personalized set of resources curated for the individual’s unique combination of needs at the exact moment the user needs the particular resource.

Personalized-Content

Webinfinity’s platform provided the ability for Snowflake’s partner users to influence their respective partner experiences to reflect the unique individual needs and interests of each partner user. Webinfinity’s Client Success team provided ongoing training and education to Snowflake’s team on best practices for the personalization of partner user experiences. This training allowed Snowflake to fine tune the automation and personalization of their partner portal which contributed to an increase in partner engagement.

Results

Since implementation, the Snowflake team has found the Webinfinity platform to be a significant driver of partner engagement and enablement, and ultimately, revenue growth. A few areas stand out as especially helpful for the team:

Sales Collaboration

With Webinfinity, deal registration is more automated and measurable than ever before.

“The number of deal registrations jumped immediately once we had Webinfinity up and running. Since then, deal registration has been growing at an amazing rate. We’re literally inundated with deal registrations,” said Jose.

After just 6 months of using Webinfinity, total dollar amounts registered was up 5x from the prior year. We’ve seen a huge spike in revenue go through deal registration (in terms of both usage and transaction totals).

— Jose Parr: Snowflake - Sales Operations manager

“We also get a lot of value from Webinfinity’s ability to enable the sharing of leads out to partners at either the lead stage or, often, at the opportunity stage. We often need to play a pretty heavy role in getting prospects to the opportunity level before sharing the opportunities with partners so this is an important feature for us.” — Jose Parr, Sales Operations manager

Integration with CRM

“Because Webinfinity integrates so well with Salesforce, it’s very easy to set up automated, integrated workflows in conjunction with not only Salesforce, but other ‘best of breed’ systems, like automating our new partner contracting process through workflows and triggers with Docusign,” said Jose.

Continuous Key KPI Growth

While the first six months after implementation led to significant KPI growth, the Snowflake team continued to experience exciting growth trends in months six through twelve on the Webinfinity platform. The metrics below reflect the continued KPI growth (over and above the growth during the first six months) from the beginning of month six through the end of month twelve.

  • Unique user sessions increased by 78%
  • Total user sessions per month increased by 100%
  • Page views went up by 81%
  • Content views increased by 87%

Ultimately, revenue growth is the most relevant metric and that’s where the results were most impressive. Snowflake experienced a 5x increase in registered deals and through-partner revenue in the year following implementation of Webinfinity’s PRM solution.

Looking Ahead

The evolution towards an even more personalized and unified experience for key user groups is continuing.

“The team is looking forward to bringing more content in with the addition of more partner marketing team members and, with an upgrade to one of the industry’s top learning management systems on the way, the team is excited to nest that application seamlessly within the partner portal experience.”

— Uday Keshavdas: Snowflake - Head of SI Alliances

So as the tech community watches to see just how high Snowflake’s star can climb, Uday and his team feel poised and ready for wherever that ride may take them.

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