Whitney Ondrejcka

"The strategy that you have on day one for your partner program is most likely not going to be the strategy that you have on day one hundred fifty. Allow yourself to in check in with yourselves as a company, check in with your partners, do a gut check, and make sure that the strategy that you're taking to move forward is the correct one."

Whitney Ondrejcka, Director, Partner Strategy of SmartAction has been named a Channeltivity Channel Champion. SmartAction is the leading provider of AI-powered virtual agents for contact centers.

Channel Champions are selected because they have built thriving relationships with their partners and are growing their channel in exciting ways.

View the video to hear Whitney talk about her focus on the human/technology balance within the channel, and how her continual evaluation of their channel program enables SmartAction to adapt their program to best suit their partners’ needs.

Transcript of Whitney’s interview:

I think one of the biggest challenges that partner programs face as they continue to grow is focusing on scalability. And there are a few things that are really important to keep in mind when looking at how your company grows and how to also grow the partner program with that. The first being of course organization. Something that may have worked for you when you had a partner team of five or 10 partners is probably not going to be the same strategy that you use moving forward when you have 30 to 40 partners.

I think another challenge that people overlook sometimes when growing a partner program and focusing on the scalability is visibility. And I’m not talking just strictly about visibility for you as the company into your partners. While that is really important it’s also important to offer your partners visibility into your own company so that can include things like tracking their own deal registrations or assessing collateral or sales enablement materials that can really allow them to be the best version of that partner that they can be and introduce smart action or your company into conversations where it is applicable.

Another piece that’s really important to growing your partner program is the ability to allow yourself to be flexible and really nimble. The strategy that you have on day one for your partner program is most likely not going to be the strategy that you have on day one hundred fifty. Allow yourself to in check in with yourselves as a company, check in with your partners, do a gut check, and make sure that the strategy that you’re taking to move forward is the correct one.

It’s really important to put yourself in your partner’s shoes so really exercising a lot of empathy with partners and identifying every single partner is completely different. And they have different resources. They have a different sales team. Really identify where they’re lacking and where your company can supplement and complement their offering.

At SmartAction we believe that there should be a really great balance between humans and technology. So automating the pieces that you’re able to automate while still having that human-centric approach. And that’s really the same approach that we take with our partner program. Channeltivity has really allowed us to automate those mundane repetitive processes that are certainly vital to the success of your program and very important from a data perspective. But we’re also able to then refocus our energy on the human element and creating those foundational relationships with our partners.

It’s important to recognize that partners are the trusted advisor to their own clients and their own prospects. Enable a relationship where you can provide your partners with different types of education about your company different types of sales enablement tools. They are the ones that are going to have that relationship with their own clients and their own prospects. So make that relationship as easy as possible.