The path to success is rarely a straight line. Any successful business leader can tell you about the challenges they met along the way, along with the early wins that helped them secure their spot in the marketplace.
Rachael Stockton, Senior Director of Product Marketing at LogMeIn, described this journey in depth to the audience at SaaS Connect.
Understanding this journey can help businesses follow a similar path easier.
How did LastPass start?
In 2007, when the first iPhone was released, the average person had about 25 passwords. By 2017, that had grown to 191 passwords per person. That’s simply too many to remember.
This is where LastPass came in. The company created a solution to a problem many people didn’t yet realize they had, and the founding idea was built on a few key foundations:
- Cloud only
- Security first
- Build fast, ship fast
What did LastPass struggle with early on?
In particular, the LastPass team had three big challenges to tackle:
- Balancing the need for revenue and rapid user adoption.
- White labeling. There were significant development resources, but limited brand growth.
- The paywall. They needed to understand what features drove purchases and how maintainable that growth could be.
What were the early wins?
There were, however, some early wins that contributed to LastPass’s overall success.
- Influencers, like Steve Gibson and For Nerd, by Nerds, picked up on the product.
- They picked the right time to launch this product. It came before “breach fatigue,” and audiences were quick to react and look up tools.
- They built relationships with brands like Mashable and Lifehacker.
These partnerships were key in cementing LastPass as a long-term success.
Why work with a very large strategic partner?
Some are hesitant to work with larger strategic partners, worried that they won’t see the results they want. However, there are some reasons to do so, including:
- It can drive revenue.
- It can bring your product to new and adjacent markets.
- It can create category and brand awareness.
- It can fuel user growth.
- It can block competitors.
How do you sell that partnership internally?
The first step to a successful relationship with large strategic partners is getting your own team on board. Start with conversations, and make sure you explain what you’ll be giving as well as getting.
Building a deal and drafting a contract with the team internally is important. Finally, make sure they are involved with implementation and optimization.
What hesitations do bigger partners have?
Understand that these partners are going to have objections you’ll need to overcome.
Overall, keep in mind that they’ll want to do any of the following:
- Protect their company.
- Defend their sales quota.
- Keep their call rates down
- Follow their road maps.
The objections, then, get expressed in familiar terms:
- “I have too much on my plate.”
- “We don’t have experience for this.”
- “This feels like a distraction.”
- “Why partner with ____?”
Understand how to address these concerns, and you’ll be that much closer to securing a valuable partner.
How do you pitch a partnership?
In short, you should keep these things in mind when pitching a partnership.
- Explain the partner journey.
- Paint a realistic picture of what the collaboration can do.
- Be ready to handle a potential partner’s objections.