I recently sat down for an interview with Tara Roy, RealMatch Director of Partner Success, to discuss how modern-day professionals can be successful in managing third party partnerships. In today’s hyper-tech world, nearly every company is using some kind of vendor for something. Whether a Software as a Service with no relationship to an account manager or a product with weekly or monthly progress calls, the success of today’s teams can depend on resources and tools that live outside the scope of one’s company. To learn more about what makes a successful partnership, we dove into the very essence of what a partnership truly even means. The interview is below:
How does one become a ”good” partner? What do you need to do?
A good partner is open and honest with their counterpart(s); transparency is key to a good partnership. Also, a partner is willing to give as much time and dedication to a project as their other partners. To successfully achieve a common goal, everyone involved should do their part to make it happen.
Is a partnership only about revenue or is there more to it?
A business partnership is about revenue, of course, but there is definitely more to it. A partnership is about trust that both sides are committed to achieving the task they set out to accomplish together. It’s different than a vendor relationship where you buy a product or a service once, or even multiple times, in the hopes that it will bring in revenue. Vendor relationships are usually more self-service with a bit of support here and there when it is needed.
Partnerships are much more involved. Although the goal is to build revenue, sometimes that doesn’t happen right away and, then again, sometimes it happens much sooner than expected. In either scenario both sides of the partnership work together towards the common goal. At RealMatch there is technical set up. There is onboarding and the launch of our partner products. And there are ongoing strategic discussions about the marketplace and how we can generate more revenue to meet specific goals. We ask our partners questions and we carefully listen to their answers. We also suggest plans and make recommendations and adjustments based on discussions we have both internally and externally. We have an incredible and highly technical product but we cannot build, implement, and launch that product without the participation of our partners. We work together to make it happen.
How do newspapers maximize their existing sales team for digital products?
By educating them on the digital products they have to offer the employers in their local markets. Different employers have different needs and our technology allows our partners to customize digital recruitment packages according to what each employer needs. Both inbound and outbound sales teams have the ability to upsell a print package with a digital solution, or upgrade a digital package with additional boosts to reach a specific type of job seeker whether for diversity, college, or in social media. The key to success is knowledge of what they have to offer. We’re here to support the sales team by supplying them with that knowledge.
Does your team as part of its partner responsibilities become a logical extension of a newspapers’ sales team to help fortify and support those efforts?
100%, yes. My team is here to support the needs of our partners’ sales teams by offering trainings either onsite, via web conference, or telephone. We have a variety of trainings including: technical, product, outbound/inbound sales, back office, user interface, and job seeker experience, among others. There is not just one training and it’s over — we offer ongoing support to our partners to make sure they have everything they need to meet their goals. We’re here to answer questions, strategize, and we’ll even join live sales calls to help close a deal if needed. Our partners’ success is our success so we’re here to help.
What are the biggest challenges in working with a 3rd party vendor? How do you ensure that the relationship stays positive and fruitful for both sides?
I think the key, as we talked about earlier, is that we don’t consider ourselves a vendor, we consider ourselves a partner. We’re highly invested in our relationships to ensure that our partners are successful with their RealMatch digital recruitment solution. I talked about trust before, and it’s really important that each side of the partnerships trusts one another. We want our partners to trust that we will be responsive to their inquiries in a timely manner, that we will help them understand the recruitment landscape in their marketplace, and that we will support their sales teams in their efforts. In return, we want to trust that our partners will spend the time with us that needed to the make the partnership a success whether by strategizing together, putting our technical teams together to discuss implementation and onboarding, or participating in training of our products and services.
About Tara Roy:
Four elements tie together Tara Roy’s career experience: recruitment, advertising, digital technology, and account management. She has always had at least three of the four in each of her professional roles. After graduating from Pepperdine University with a degree in Psychology she began her career in recruitment advertising at TMP Worldwide in Los Angeles. She also worked directly for Monster.com in New York City while part of TMP, which was Monster’s parent company at the time. Sensing a shift in the recruitment advertising industry from print to digital, she moved into a role with AKQA to gain digital agency experience. From there she joined online competitive intelligence platform company, Hitwise. After helping marketing professionals make smart advertising decisions using website traffic data, she joined the Akamai Technologies ADS team and managed major retail brands’ internet advertising campaign strategies. Next after over three years with Akamai she began recruiting for the ad tech industry from which she had gained her career experience at a small recruitment firm called Searchlight. Finally after three and a half years of networking and placing ad tech professionals in roles across industry categories, she joined RealMatch as the Director of Partner Success where she is able to use all four elements of her career background in her day-to-day work.