“Getting up and running is easy, something you can do in an afternoon or less, so speed to ROI is high.”
Partnership Leaders is a member-led paid professional community for the partnerships industry, created specifically for those working in tech and Software as a Service (SaaS) companies.
Partnerships is a fast-growing, evolving industry, one that there's no rulebook for.
As such, many of those working in partnership roles have to learn on the job, navigating the relatively unchartered waters as they go.
Partnership Leaders set out to change that — and they needed a specialist community tool to help them do it.
Partnership Leaders is a professional community for the partnerships industry at modern technology companies. The idea is genius in its simplicity: connect people currently working in the rapidly expanding industry from all over the world, so that they can network, share knowledge, and learn from each other.
Three years — and 700 members — later, Partnership Leaders is still going strong. “Growth is continuing to accelerate as the world's partnership programs see this community as a vital resource for their teams,” says Co-founder Chris Samila.
Through regular virtual events, workshops, and conversations in their thriving Slack community, Partnership Leaders has the concept of knowledge-sharing between the many-to-many and one-to-many down pat.
But they wanted to do more. It was time to facilitate one-to-one connections between members.
Initially, Partnership Leaders came up with their own solution: an in-depth survey for their members, to find out things like specializations, areas of expertise, and particular pain points.
From there, they hired an external team to handle the monumental task of combing through that data, finding correlations between members, and connecting them. The approach mostly worked. For a time.
"We realized that just wasn't scaling effectively," explains Chris. "It was a massive drain on time and resources. Even with everything we were putting in, it still wasn't working, due to the highly manual nature of the overall process, and lack of ability for members to self-manage their participation in the program.”
They needed a tool that could do the work for them.
They tried out another platform, but it didn't deliver the kind of results they were after. "It wasn't ideal because we couldn't get specific enough about the niche details we needed our members to match on," Chris says. "I knew there had to be something better to help us solve the problem."
There was: Meetsy, by Commsor.
Back when they were still using their manual matching program, Partnership Leaders managed about 15 connections a week.
Now, in the five months they've been using Meetsy, there have been a whopping 1,488 connections across groups. To put that into perspective, that's roughly 165 connections made weekly — more than 10 times what they were managing before.
"Now there are no limits to the connections we can facilitate," Chris says. "We can match as many people as they want to match, on whatever cadence they've chosen."
Partnership Leaders's Meetsy now has 227 members, with more jumping in every week.
Right now, they have eight match programs that their members can join, including Technology Partnerships, Executive Leaders, Partner Operations, and Women in Partnerships.
They use several matching questions that help them drill down on the people who would be best able to help each other, including, location, experience, audiences, role or identity, and "I'm currently building or managing..."
They used Meetsy's custom matching question function to create that final question: "I'm currently building or managing", where members can select Technology Partnerships, Referral Programs, Affiliate, Agency and Systems Integrators, Cloud Marketplace, and more.
That's been particularly useful in creating valuable matches, Chris says. "Our members get the most out of conversations where they're matched with someone working on similar programs."
"Getting up and running is easy, something you can do in an afternoon or less, so I think that speed to ROI is pretty high," Chris says.
"The fact that you have a platform to log into is key, which is a very different story from competitors," Chris says. "I think the ease with which they can join is pretty low friction, too."
"We really like the self-serve component that allows members to choose the matching programs and cadence they want, as well as the ability to pause things for a little while," Chris says. "Our members are busy people, so having that control is really, really important. "