From driving as much value as possible to working collaboratively every step of the way, Nitro invests time, resources, and relationships in each of our channel partnerships. Designed to help us achieve great things together, the Nitro Partner Program offers industry-leading margins, product training, and marketing activities that build a collaborative environment while equipping partners with the tools they need to succeed.
To celebrate the value in these partnerships, we’re highlighting two of the top partner deals from the past quarter. We sat down with two of our enterprise account executives—Nick Hughes in London and Kathy Shepherd in the United States—to hear the tips, processes, and partnerships behind how they landed deals with one of the world’s top 20 oil companies and one of America’s top insurance companies, respectively.
A collaborative sales process is key to any deal. Can you provide a brief overview of what the process looked like for this specific win?
Nick Hughes: “Since we knew this targeted organization was based in a region where we didn’t have “boots on the floor” from a direct selling point of view, it was vital that we leveraged our relationship with our partner. Joining efforts with our partner network made for a much smoother sales process and ensured a sufficient level of engagement with this organization, allowing plenty of time to close this deal before quarter’s end.
What made this opportunity challenging was the complex RFI process. Luckily, the partner had worked with the customer several times in the past. This existing relationship served us well, as they were well aware of the intricacies of the approval process and where there may be pitfalls. This historical knowledge enabled us to navigate the RFI process smoothly.”
Kathy Shepherd: “Our channel partner contacted us when the customer asked them for help in identifying an alternative to Adobe Acrobat. Once we learned of their tight timeframe (they needed Acrobat removed from their machines within 2 weeks!), we immediately involved our Customer Success and Solutions Engineering teams, who helped map a timeline for the pilot (to confirm our fit for their requirements), training, and implementation. In turn, our channel partner worked to get a short extension from Adobe to allow them time for the full transition. The pilot was completed, and Nitro was approved for their needs within their initial two-week timeframe.”
Providing attractive margins is a key differentiator in selling Nitro. How did our beneficial, flexible margin structure come into play in this deal?
Nick Hughes: “Should the customer have been looking at Adobe for a similar quantity of licenses, they would have been looking at an ETLA agreement. Adobe offers partner margins at less than 3% when a deal enters ETLA territory, which really turns off a lot of partner reps. Luckily, the flexibility of Nitro’s Partner Program allowed for a significantly higher margin percentage. The margin was substantial enough that the rep prioritized the deal as their top deal of the quarter, accelerating the deal for a mutual win.
Global partners often tell us that they feel disenfranchised by Adobe given the low margin recognition they receive on large deals. Conversely, Nitro recognizes that the large deals are where we need our partners most. We maintain strong partner margins despite a deal crossing an imaginary threshold.”
Kathy Shepherd: “We often hear from partners that Adobe takes deals direct when they cross a certain threshold and that margins for their remaining deals have decreased dramatically over time. Nitro recognizes the value of the strong relationships the channel has built and provides a margin structure that recognizes that value. The margin we provided for this opportunity allowed the channel rep to prioritize this deal, leading to a win for all involved.”
Collaborating on deals fuels positive relationships between vendor and partner. How has this deal led to increased collaboration and mutual wins?
Nick Hughes: “Up until this point, we’ve had trouble getting a reliable partner in this region. By closing this six-figure deal and demonstrating that one of the largest oil companies in the world trusts our products, we were able to establish our credibility as a vendor for the future. The other side of that is that this partner was able to show us that they have a firm understanding of this company’s buying processes and key decision makers. This was the first of (hopefully) several deals we will close with this partner this year.”
Kathy Shepherd: “The large win at this insurance enterprise led this channel partner to introduce us to colleagues across the country. As a result, we have several active opportunities in motion.”
The most important factor in any deal is the customer. How did Nitro and its partners work together to ensure that the customer remained top priority?
Nick Hughes: “The strong relationship with our partner enabled us to collaborate effectively throughout the sales process, which improved our customer interactions. Our synergistic relationship meant that we could engage the customer in an impactful, appropriate way—even when inevitable valleys of silence occurred. That type of collaboration is key to ensure you are neither hounding the customer, nor letting someone go too long without a meaningful interaction.”
Kathy Shepherd: “With the tight timeline, communication among all stakeholders was critical. Nitro focused on the pilot and ensuring the product fulfilled the needs of the customer’s IT and business users, while our channel partner leveraged his close relationship with the executive team to agree on a proposal that would meet their needs.”