Superglue isn’t for everyone: The top 3 reasons not to implement us (and then some)
Superglue is first and foremost a tool that drives partner-led revenue. And it’s a couple of other things, too: a way to elevate partner experiences, a time-saving solution for busy partnership teams, next-gen partner tech that opens the door to scale while preserving the human touch.
It’s all of that, and more.
What it’s not, is a silver bullet. As we all know, those don’t really exist. Every partner department needs a CRM where partner data is properly stored. But beyond that baseline requirement, there’s no single tool that every department needs. PRMs, account mapping tools and even platforms like Superglue - they’re all great, but they’re not for everyone.
I wanted to provide a definitive answer to the question of who should not implement our platform. So, I took a look at our own internal data, and our discussions with companies who ended up not using Superglue - either based on our recommendation or their own conclusions.
And here is the result: a list of cases where Superglue does not make sense as a solution. The first 3 are the biggest ones, accounting for 70% of non-implementers. But I went a few steps further and added 7 more reasons based on my experience in the world of partnerships.
1: The scale threshold: not quite there… yet
There’s a time to build, and a time to automate. Building comes first. Automating only makes sense once you’ve reached the point where doing everything manually isn’t feasible. If you don’t have enough partners yet, that just means you’re still in the first phase. Automation only really makes sense once you have several hundred contacts in your ecosystem. That doesn’t necessarily mean hundreds of companies: you could have a few companies, but many contacts within each of them. Either way, volume is necessary.
Take your time building and gaining insights. We look forward to picking up the conversation with you further down the line.
2: Process first, automate second
How do you turn a partner prospect into a loyal partner? At what point does a new partner become a co-selling partner? A company needs to answer these questions clearly, and convert those answers into clear processes, before they can introduce automation to scale and boost success. If those processes aren’t there, it’s too soon for Superglue. Automating a bad or incomplete process leads to even worse results. That being said, our customers often rely on our blueprints when they implement new use cases.
3: Tech infrastructure no fit
Automation requires a robust and scalable technology infrastructure. If all your partner data is in spreadsheets, and it’s not properly stored, classified, and updated in your CRM, then Superglue isn’t going to help. That’s not to say that Superglue can’t be flexible. We deal with many companies who store their data in Salesforce. Superglue can handle almost any structure of data in Salesforce. But the point is that it has to be in a CRM, and not some Google Sheet, Airtable, or Notion page.
Superglue currently integrates with Salesforce CRM, but we know there’s demand for more, so they’ll follow soon - starting with Hubspot.
Those are the main reasons I’ve encountered. Now let’s take a look at the less common deal breakers.
4: Data: inaccurate, incomplete, or just not enough
Automation can do a lot of things, but it can’t read between the lines when the data isn’t there, or turn inaccurate data into accurate results. In order for an automation to work, it needs to be fed data that is both accurate (no errors) and complete (no gaps). What you put in is what you get out, so if either of these conditions aren’t met, the output will always disappoint. I’ve seen a few cases where a company had a CRM set up, but the data just wasn’t there.
That’s like building a beautiful bridge…in the desert. Data comes first. Once it’s there, you can start talking about systems (but not before). At Superglue, we understand that this is hard, so we can deal with data incompleteness to an extent, and we have features that can identify where those are. But a minimum level of data cleanliness is needed for any automation.
5: Sales cycles and partner motions that are just too complex to be automated (for now)
Some things just can’t be automated, or can’t be automated right now. Your product may require complex sales cycles and partner motions that are unique to each deal and partner, with lots of customization along the way. If that’s the case, it might not be worth automating partnership processes right now (since there is no clear process).
Essentially, automation is there to save you time and labor. But if your processes are so complicated that you’ll need to train the machine every step of the way, then it may be worth sticking to business-as-usual.
6: Nobody to take ownership
Superglue is incredibly easy to set up. It takes just half an hour (including the implementation). Nevertheless, any tool requires some attention from the person who owns the project. They need to push it forward, and believe in it. What I’ve seen is that when partnership teams are too small (say 1-2 people), there isn’t anyone to do this, and that’s a problem.
7: Aversion to change (this is a biggie)
Automation impacts the way your partner program operates. So it can be difficult to get buy-in from partner managers who are resistant to change. “We’ve always done things this way” can be a major risk to any tech project. And, to be fair, that isn’t necessarily a bad attitude to take. Some partner teams may be concerned that automation reduces their control over partner processes and undermines their role. Those are valid concerns, and you should explain to them that automations like Superglue actually help, rather than hinder, before you implement one. Give partner managers the opportunity to understand the value of automation, and the time they’ll get back to focus on key tasks. If those conversations haven’t happened yet, wait.
And at the end of the day, they still might not agree. My advice: don’t force the issue.
8: Integration-phobia and its consequences
When you start automating your partner program, you’ll probably need to integrate other systems. All too often, companies want to attempt to use sales enablement tools for this. You may be surprised, but I’ve seen this attitude a lot. The problem, of course, is that they’re built for selling, not relationship-building and partnerships.
If your RevOps team refuses to implement tech they don’t know (and they usually don’t know partner tech), this can become a serious problem.
9: Big, healthy headcounts and plenty of time to spare
This one is rare, but I’ve seen a few partnership teams that are big enough to spread the work so comfortably that driving efficiency isn’t really on their radar. If each partner manager only has a few accounts to manage, it may be unnecessary to start leveraging tech until that changes. As they say, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it (until it is).
10: You already have great tech that’s solving your problems
If you have a PRM in place, and your partners actually actively log into the portal and engage proactively, then you’re already set. In most cases, this will only apply to between 5 and 20% of your partners. But if you’re that rare exception, congratulations - and you don’t need Superglue.
That said, you shouldn’t rely on communication automation coming from a PRM, for a number of reasons. Firstly, not all the relevant data will be available to the tool. Secondly, PRM communications are often mechanical and lack the human touch that’s so vital to relationship building. And besides, most of the use cases, like co-selling, are actually impossible to automate.
So, who actually needs Superglue?
Now that I’ve done a pretty good job of convincing you not to implement Superglue, you may be wondering: who should?
Superglue may be just what you need if you need to:
- Generate more revenue from passive partners. We’ve seen teams double their revenue from long tail partners.
- Free up partner managers' time so they can focus on high-value tasks. 30-70% of the work that goes into onboarding, enablement, and engagement can be streamlined.
- Reduce the need for additional headcount in partner management or from RevOps.
And it just takes just 1-2 hours to get Superglue up and running. From there, it usually takes a few days to start seeing results: reactivated partners, sourced leads, and more.
If that’s all making sense - we should definitely talk about how Superglue can help you to start maximizing partner engagement and revenue.
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