PartnerReady Blog


Lisa Thoman Lawson

Posted on

June 29, 2021

Why your company needs a Fractional Partner Leader

If you want to have a successful partner strategy, you have to invest in it. However, hiring for partner leaders is tough. There isn’t a huge pool of experienced SaaS partner leaders with track records of scaling successful ecosystem strategies and teams. Many companies are turning to a Fractional Partner Leader model as the answer.

So, what is a Fractional Partner Leader and when would you need one?

First, what is a “fractional leader”?

While experts and consultants have always been brought in as subject matter experts, a fractional leader is an executive who is hired - but on a short-term or part-time basis. It’s becoming increasingly more common for companies to ask experienced CMOs or CFOs to work for their company for less than full time, or fractionally.

What is a Fractional Partner Leader?

A Fractional Partner Leader has all of the experienced skills you are looking for in a full-time Partner Leader, but without the long-term and/or full-time commitment. Depending on the maturity of your organization's partner program, there are different experiences and skill sets that will be required for someone to be successful in the role. Whether its experience building ecosystem strategies, hiring and managing teams, overcoming challenges, gaining internal buy-in or having a large network, employing a fractional Partner Leader allows you to work with someone who has done all of it, or at least what your program needs right now, to ensure your strategy is successful.

Why and when do organizations need Fractional Partner Leaders?

-When there isn’t an ecosystem or partner function built yet.

-A FPL has the experience, expertise, and network to help assess and build a partner strategy and hiring                   plan.

-When scaling or changing your partner strategy.

If you have identified that expanding or pivoting to different types of partners would benefit your business or have a new strategy that no one internally has experience with, it would behoove you to have a leader who does. This also goes for situations where you are trying to get back on track after a failed attempt. A limited engagement with a top leader may be all you need to course correct.

-When you’re going through a leadership transition

Leadership turnover can be detrimental to teams and companies. Hiring an FPL allows current leadership and teams to take their time recruiting and hiring the right long term candidate while ensuring the partner business and team gets the attention, leadership and mentorship needed to maintain and grow momentum.

How can your company benefit from a Fractional Partner Leader?

1. Reduce time to market and accelerate success with a proven FPL.

2. Maintain momentum with the partner business, while avoiding the long term risk of hiring the wrong candidate and saving money with a contract employee.

3.Gain the flexibility to bring in different skills sets as your partner program grows and your strategy evolves.

4. Strengthen the long term success of your organization’s partner strategy by giving it the best possible foundation with an experienced leader.

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