In this interview, Greg Symons, President & Founder of Blueprint Advisory talks with Alex Siegler, Head of Alliances & Partnerships at Place Technology, about building a network of expert Salesforce implementation partners for implementation and distribution.
Greg: Tell us about your role with Place Technology and how you have created a network of partners to help manage the implementation and distribution of your products?
Alex: Place is a software company. We developed a product called Place CPM built on the Salesforce Platform. We knew early on that we needed to create this network of implementation partners instead of running implementations in-house. Our goal was to be a product first company instead of a service company. Which allows us to build a great product and giving a great experience to our customers. So I was brought on to help build out our network of implementation partners. In the Salesforce ecosystem, there is a substantial built-in group of experts in Salesforce implementors and consultant partners like Blueprint. Which brought Blueprint Advisory on the roster pretty early on.
Greg: We know it’s been great!
Greg: I know that often there is a stigma of once you buy the product, then what? There is the perception that it is a long-drawn-out implementation process, can be time-consuming and expensive. Let us know how important it is for you to have partners who can extract value and increase that time to value your customers.
Alex: Customers always have a perception of implementation, whether it’s good or bad. They have had experiences in the past where it may have gone wrong, or they may have had an excellent experience. We want that experience to be positive for our customers and provide a short time to value.
In the way that our product is built on salesforce, companies like Blueprint Advisory that have the knowledge and expertise with the Salesforce platform have this built-in understanding of how to implement on the Salesforce platform. Thus, allowing us to consolidate our methodology for implementing on the platform and quickly train up partners. In addition, this process allows for a quick implementation at a cost-effective rate. Customers tend to see the process, go through it, and be very satisfied that it wasn’t expensive as with a competitor and did not take as long as it could have.
Greg: We see this in our business too. Just as we partner with Place, our core business is to develop salesforce apps for customers and list them on the AppExchange. So many customers are asking the same question, are we a product company or a service company? Suppose you decide to undertake the distribution of your product. In that case, you will find that your resources are stretched to either deliver customizations for your customers or offset the development of your product roadmap.
So from our vantage point, we look at providing a full-on partnership solution with our customers, developing the app, and acting as the Salesforce implementation partner. The other huge benefit that sometimes goes unnoticed is that we get to solicit first-hand feedback from how your clients who are using the product you are building. Over time, we start hearing the same request and hearing or seeing how the customers might be using the app potentially different than how you initially thought. We can then take that feedback, and the influence on your product roadmap becomes so much more valuable.
We have enjoyed the Salesforce Implementation partnership with you guys, and it’s been fun to be along with you guys and see the massive growth and trajectory at Place Technology.