Destined for Big Things
Originally founded in 2012, Snowflake, whose mission is to make Enterprises Data Driven, 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 data centers and then plug that data layer into a business intelligence tool like Tableau or Looker to get insights into customers and sales.
The Alliances organization is tasked with a global mandate across 4 primary partner types:
- ‘Solutions Partners’, primarily System Integrators and GSI’s with the expertise and capacity to co-lead large implementations
- Referral partners working to earn their way up to Solution Partner through building a track record of successful wins
- Tech alliance partners like Tableau, Amazon and Microsoft
- Data sharing partners who can leverage Snowflake’s unique ability to share data across data centers
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
A Scalability Challenge
In 2016, the partner team was struggling to free up time to move beyond administrative support and coordination tasks to focus on higher value activities like co-selling and joint planning.
Extensive email, phone dialogs and repeated tasks around monitoring and coordinating partners and internal staff and manually fielding requests for product and program information, training, and selling tools. Uday estimates that these tasks were taking up a large percentage of team members’ daily time. Deal registration and opportunity sharing had a supporting system but were largely manual, not well connected with CRM, and difficult to track and measure.
Although they had partner categories defined, the Snowflake team recognized that no 2 partners were exactly the same. Each had a unique set of attributes requiring a unique set of relationship management, business engagement processes, selling enablement resources, and training. And the team needed a way to ensure that many partner resources had tight access control so that sensitive and confidential documents would only be presented to certain partners in certain situations.
Finding the Right Solution
So Uday engaged with his team to pull together requirements for a PRM technology purchase.
“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.”
According to their checklist, the solution would need to:
- Be easy and fast to stand up and implement, without the custom dev projects associated with past partner portal projects they’d been involved with.
- Have truly modern SaaS architecture and approach, with strong configurability for non-technical team members to create and change pages, content and workflows easily.
- ‘Play well with others’ and seamlessly incorporate Salesforce, their LMS system, and other ‘best of breed’ partner-facing systems.
- Be affordable, without costly per-seat pricing models that would get increasingly costly as partner numbers grew, or hidden service fee costs
- Be highly secure. “Other PRMs we had looked at failed our IT department’s security and SOC II tests miserably.”
- Be easy and fast for a non-technical team member to create new pages on keep them on brand
- It also needed a clean and modern look and feel that would reflect 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.”
The team began researching options and conferring with channel thought leaders in the Valley to find out what systems they’d recommend. Webinfinity came back as the more next-generation approach to look at. After an in-depth analysis of top PRM solution options, the team selected Webinfinity, the only one that met all the team’s requirements.
So Webinfinity engaged with the Snowflake team on system implementation. “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 very good job.” Said Jose Parr, 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 added and tagged so that each individual user would receive a personalized set of resources targeted to their unique combination of needs, status in the program, engagement history, and current selling situation.
Webinfinity’s Client Success team also pointed out how partner users can tailor their experience of the portal to fit their needs and interests, and how to leverage the platform’s social sharing features, instead of Snowflake dictating 100% of the experience for partners.
Since implementation, the team has found the platform a major boon to efforts around partner engagement and enablement, and ultimately, revenue growth. A few areas stand out as especially helpful for the team:
With Webinfinity, deal registration is more automated and measurable than ever before. But the most exciting change to how partners are now engaging with deal registration. “The number of deal registrations jumped immediately once we had Webinfinity up and running. And since then, it’s 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).”
We also get a lot of value from WI’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 them out to a partner. So that’s an important feature for us.
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.
The team has seen other exciting growth trends. Usage averages across the first 6 months vs. the second 6 months showed exciting increases in partner engagement and usage across the board:
- 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%
But ultimately, it’s about revenue lift and that’s where the results were jaw dropping: a 5x increase in registered deals and through-partner revenue year over year post implementation.
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’s alliances team feels poised and ready for wherever that ride may take them.