As Bolt builds out its partnerships organization, we are looking for someone that can own the execution of our strategic partnerships and lead a team that manages these partners. We have partnerships with e-commerce platforms, technology providers, solutions integrators, payment processors, and other emerging categories. In many cases, the deal we strike with these partners is only 10% of the work, the execution of the partnership is where the real work will be done. As such, this role will be responsible for a team of people that are expert relationship builders, hyper-organized at managing complex projects, and skilled at getting cross-functional teams like product and marketing to work toward a unified and measurable goal.
A co-marketing agreement with an ecommerce platform like Magento or BigCommerce is only as valuable as the creativity and determination of the people responsible for the execution. Part of the success will be building relationships with the people on the front lines at those organizations to understand what is working and what isn’t, then working with the partner and internal teams to create and modify programs. This might include working with the product teams to evolve the product where we see opportunity for growth, or with the marketing team to refocus our efforts around a different strategy, or with the sales team to work more closely with their counterparts at the partner. You and your team would tap into the partner relationships to understand if the pricing is right, if the product features are resonating, if the marketing materials are on point, and if go-to-market strategy is effective. To the extent that any of the answers to those questions is no, then you would make recommendations to the respective internal teams for how they can adapt and evolve to ensure ongoing success and optimization of the partnership.
You will have ownership for the success of these partnerships, so you will need to play a major role in defining the KPI’s by which we will measure success, and then hold yourself and your team accountable to growth targets against those KPI’s. I cannot emphasize enough the need for leadership in this role. Not just management experience, but true leadership in the sense of taking ownership for the success of a piece of the business.
The analog for this role in a sales org would be the head of account management. If you have experience leading an account management team then you have the building blocks to be successful in this role. The difference is that these are not all going to be the same types of clients using the same type of product, so this will require much more creative thinking and the capacity to constantly challenge yourself to look for new ways to approach problems and opportunities. Each of the partner categories will require a different approach to management, each will need a unique strategy that will evolve independently of the others.
We want to evolve our KPI’s around these partnerships from simply lead-gen opportunities for the sales team, into more holistic measures of partnership success. You would be responsible for taking us through that transformation and building the team to manage it.
A major part of this role will be to build trust in the partnerships we have, and the tricky part is that you will not have direct control over the teams responsible for building or eroding that trust. You will be responsible for the team that hears about it when there are problems though. This can lead to a challenging environment where it can be tempting to be reactive to problems, and feel like you are talking into the void. To be successful in this role, you will need to have demonstrated an ability to break through the noise, to prioritize the problems that need to be fixed and ensure they get the focus they deserve, while also being strategic about fixing underlying problems and going after strategic opportunities and not slapping on band-aids or playing whack-a-mole.