#01 - Barret King: Listening to Customers, Partner Market Fit, Value Triangle

In this kickoff episode, we are joined by Barrett King, an expert in building and optimizing partner programs for SaaS businesses.

In this episode

Join us as we explore the intricacies of partner programs with Barrett King, an expert in strategic partnerships and business growth. Barrett's extensive experience in nurturing partner ecosystems provides a rich backdrop for this discussion.

This episode unpacks the dynamics of partner relations and shares actionable strategies for establishing a strong partner program from the ground up. Barrett emphasizes the significance of "listening to your customers" as a fundamental step in identifying viable partners.

Key Takeaways

  • Customer-Centric Approach: Understanding customer needs and existing partnerships they value.
  • Identifying Partner Market Fit: Using customer feedback to pinpoint potential partners who can enhance your product/service.
  • Navigating the Value Triangle: Maximizing the strategic interactions between your business, your partners, and your customers.

The Importance of Listening to Customers in Building a Partner Program

Barrett points out that the foundation of any successful partner program is deeply rooted in customer insights. He stresses the importance of regular customer interactions to gather intelligence on what other services or products they use and value. This customer-first approach helps in aligning with partners who can provide complementary strengths, ensuring a cohesive value proposition.

  • Customer interviews as a feedback mechanism
  • Analyzing customer data for partnership clues
  • Regular customer advisory boards to continually adapt and evolve the partner strategy

Identifying Early Partner Market Fit Through Customer Engagement

By engaging customers in conversations about their needs and other tools they find valuable, businesses can uncover “early partner market fit,” as Barrett describes. This approach ensures that the partnerships forged are tailored to enhance the customer’s experience and outcome, thus creating a sustainable and scalable growth path for all the involved parties.

  • Validation of partner alignment through customer feedback
  • Continuous reassessment of partner relationships based on evolving customer needs
  • Building partnerships that close the loop on customer requirements

The Value Triangle: Understanding and Leveraging Partnership Dynamics

Barrett introduces the concept of the 'value triangle,' which involves the company, the partner, and the customer. He elaborates on how understanding the flow of value within this triangle can optimize the delivery of services and fortify the relationships. The dynamic nature of this value exchange ensures that all entities are aligned in pursuit of enhanced customer success.

  • Strategic alignment of goals among all parties
  • Regular reviews of partnership outcomes
  • Shared KPIs to ensure everyone is moving towards common objectives

Structuring a Partner Program for Mutual Success

Creating a partner program is not just about having a list of collaborators; it involves strategic planning and a structured approach to foster success. Barrett advises on starting with clear goals and metrics that mirror the company’s ambitions and customer promises.

  • Clear communication of program objectives and benefits
  • Partner training and enablement for success
  • Frameworks for continual feedback and improvement

KPIs and Metrics: Assessing the Success of Your Partner Program

Barrett underscores the importance of defining clear KPIs to measure the impact of the partner program. This metric-driven approach helps in quantifying the success and areas of improvement, ensuring the program remains aligned with business goals.

  • Partner-generated revenue and influence on sales
  • Partner engagement metrics like training completions and certification levels
  • Customer satisfaction rates from partnered engagements


  • (00:01:00) Importance of Listening to Customers in Building a Partner Program
  • (00:05:15) Identifying Early Partner Market Fit Through Customer Engagement
  • (00:10:30) Understanding and Leveraging the Value Triangle
  • (00:15:45) Structuring a Partner Program for Mutual Success
  • (00:20:00) KPIs and Metrics: Assessing the Success of Your Partner Program
  • (00:25:20) Overcoming Challenges of Maintaining Customer Feedback Channels

Connect with Barrett here: https://www.linkedin.com/in/barrettjking/

Connect with Andreas here: https://www.linkedin.com/in/andreaskongstad/

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