Inside Mixpanel’s retention driving partnerships programs.

Scott Singerman


VP, Global Parnterships


Scott Singerman
Scott Singerman

Episode Summary

Today on the show we have Scott Singerman, VP of Global Partnerships at Mixpanel. 

In this episode, we talked about Scott’s role as a VP of Global Partnerships and his responsibilities, how Mixpanel is giving back to the startup community with their Startup Program but also the benefits a program like this has for any company in general.

We then dove into the different partnership categories at Mixpanel, their impact on the business as a whole, and how these partnerships are tied to customer retention.

1Q84 by Haruki Murakami

Mentioned Resources



The role of a VP of Global Partnerships. What do they actually do? 00:03:49
Mixpanel’s startup program: Giving back to the community and the benefits for Mixpanel. 00:05:00
How Services Partnerships work at Mixpanel, their impact on the business and retention. 00:09:33
The impact of technology partnerships and integrations on retention. 00:25:13


[00:00:37] Andrew Michael: Hey, Scott. Welcome to the. 

[00:01:24] Scott Singerman: Hey, thanks for having me, 

[00:01:25] Andrew Michael: Andrew. It's a pleasure for the listeners. Scott is the global director of partnerships at Mixpanel, a powerful self-serve product analytics platform to help you convert, engage and retain more users.

Scott started out his career as a DJ and MC for rock the house entertainment group. Before jumping into business development at you, China travel. He then went on to become a senior consultant at PWC and regarding transfer pricing and corporate tax. Followed by director of alliances, Umair at an a plan.

So my first question for you, Scott is what is your go-to track to get people on the [00:02:00] dance floor? 

[00:02:01] Scott Singerman: Oh man. I think it largely depends on the event, it's like anything else when you're speaking or communicating, you got to really read and understand the audiences. For, unfortunately for me, maybe fortunately, I don't know, but a.

When you see DJ on there, it sounds really cool. But I wasn't one of those like cool nightclub DJs that had, everybody with their hands in the air type thing. I was more of the like wedding and bar mitzvah DJ that was doing the electric slide with your 45 year old. And 

[00:02:31] Andrew Michael: Yeah, but I think if you can get a crowd like that going, you can get any crowd going itself.

[00:02:36] Scott Singerman: Yeah, that's true. There's something to say about that. I even, I remember funny thing is I started that when I was pretty young and really carried that through. I DJ-ed the first wedding is like a lead DJ by myself when I was 15 years old. I remember my parents. Drove me up and drop me off at the venue and pick me up from the venue.

So it was it was a good learning experience, definitely a [00:03:00] lesson in humility and maybe embarrassing yourself in front of large groups of people. 

[00:03:05] Andrew Michael: It's great. I love it. It's actually something very similar to me when I was younger. I was about the same age. I remember I worked at a supermarket for the summer and managed to make up some savings and then bought like the first DJ equipment and DJ, like a few friends parties.

And then didn't continue with it, but felt that the initial embarrassment going into it and then trying to make it like a career and a business. Just I think I lost interest at some point. Let's definitely remember those first, early days, like getting the first speakers and back then still having like turntables or at least like CD players that you could start turning at some point.

That's very interesting. And then obviously, What you doing today comes something completely different, but also related in some sense the ways I like bringing people together to have a good time and to do good business together. So maybe talk to us a little bit about your role at Mixpanel.

What does like a global director of partnerships actually do? 

[00:03:57] Scott Singerman: It's a great question. I so in [00:04:00] general, when. We think about partnerships at Mixpanel. There's roughly three categories of partners. I look after. So we have what are called, like our solution partners. So those are the agencies and consultancies that help us go to market with our product to help onboard implementation adoption of.

Then we have technology partners. So those are the other ISV that we integrate with that either get data in or data out of Mixpanel. We have a couple of different. Ecosystems are stacks that we plan. And we can talk a little bit more about that later growth stack in a modern data stack, but think CDPs and messaging and engagement solutions and AB testing tools and the likes.

And so manage the partnerships with those folks. And then the last sort of new focus in terms of partnerships for me is really what we call like startup program partnerships. So working with the top VCs, accelerators and incubators around the world to Help their portfolio companies get valued from Mixpanel and from product analytics.[00:05:00] 

[00:05:00] Andrew Michael: Very interesting. And like the startup side for that in terms of partnerships, like what is the role there? Is it really just trying to get the startup set up right from the start of their product in the big stack? Or is it working together with them in some capacity as well? What are you looking for startups?

[00:05:17] Scott Singerman: Yeah, to be honest, this is a well, one I'm hiring for this role right now. So I'm going to wake up and think about this every day and really build the program so that there's a small plug if anybody's out there. But. I started a program, to be honest, I feel like there's not a playbook out there yet.

There's a handful of companies that are really doing this and investing in a startup community. Segment's been doing it for awhile. Stripe. Does it AWS? Handful of people that have dedicated people on these relationships. But Mixpanel as a company, we have a Mixpanel for startups program, which is basically saying if you're a startup you're less than two years old, you've raised less than $5 million of funding.

You can get $50,000 of Mixpanel credit, which is more than you're going to be able to [00:06:00] use for a year's time. And we wanna, we want to be able to get as many. Startups using growing their business with Mixpanel as an organization, we're really focused on technology companies, digital first businesses.

And the funny thing about startups as you well know is a lot of them fail. However if you go after the startups that come from. The large VCs, accelerators and incubators. A lot of them also fail, but relatively speaking, a lower percentage of those, they disproportionately succeed relative to the broader market.

There's an element of just making sure we get their portfolio companies using Mixpanel, growing their business with Mixpanel. There's also an element of. W, how can we give back to those founders? How can we add value to those founders? Ways we've been able to do that at this point is we run workshops, how to use data to understand if you found product market fit.

And then some more tactical workshops that we do with founders [00:07:00] Mixpanel itself is a Y Combinator. So we have a roots in that world and they're a core part of our business and our go to market. And so we like to be able to give back to the, a community as well. 

[00:07:11] Andrew Michael: Yeah, that's awesome.

I think, like you mentioned a couple of benefits in terms of getting in early and sticking with them through the life cycle. I think there's also the add on benefits. And I know this is something that from segments as well, working in speaking to their partnerships team in the past I previously was I had my own startup before what I'm working on today.

Used segments there startup failed. It didn't go according to plan in then enjoined Hotjar. And I was actually the champion they'd bought, tacho like segment into hardship. So you have this customer champion mentality as well, where you people go on to work at different companies. And then they ones to champion sort of these products to bring them in.

And we actually end up going as all of the stack was like Mixpanel and Hutch a Mixpanel segment together. And. Tools in a prior capacity as a starter program. I think there's huge benefit [00:08:00] on that. And I think like the upsides it's difficult to measure because you don't see their direct relation and it always comes through like a different company and user, I think.

That was always something I was always interested in trying to measure, even at hot show, I was trying to see, okay, like how many people previously had an account with us and then have now gone into work somewhere else. And that company signed up. And I think when you get to the scale of like segment Mixpanel, Hotjar, this becomes a sizable audience as well.


[00:08:26] Scott Singerman: funny you say that and you referenced segment because I'll give a shout out to a non from segment who helps run their startup program. He's the one who really gave me that little bit. When I was talking to him about startup programs and how segment thinks about it and where they find value.

And, I think segment tracks graduating from startup plan to pay conversion as like an ancillary metric that th they, they want to know, but it's not the primary message. And when we were talking about some of the like primary values of what they get out of the program, it was exactly what you just said, which is, a lot of startups fail which is what I was getting at it.

But then you have [00:09:00] these users that love your product and they go to other places and they take with them 

[00:09:04] Andrew Michael: and they advocates as well. Yeah. For like I went full circle as well as the segment program. So startup founder going, bringing to another company back to startup founder again now. So I think it's fantastic.

And the cycle probably continue. A big advocate of both action Mixpanel and and segment. You mentioned then three other catalogs, two other categories, like the one was a solutions partner and services. And we obviously talking about this in the context of general attention. So the startup program can clearly see like trying to get in with these companies early growing with them.

Almost having repeat buyers, a different form of retention, but winning back people from back, just showing support early on in their journey when it comes to sort of solutions let's start with services, actually, service partners, like how are you working with services partners? Like how do you see their role when it comes to the impact they have on the business for Mixpanel?

And do you see any good positive results when it comes to retention? When working with solutions services, [00:10:00] 

[00:10:01] Scott Singerman: Yeah it's been it's been a journey and an evolution. So if you don't mind, I'll give you like a little bit of history. From when I joined Mixpanel, which was about two years ago So I joke that I was like the living, breathing, physical representation of Mixpanel, actually investing in partners.

Before that there were a couple of people that were doing the role, some of them like part-time and it was like, but it was under invested in relative to other functions and relative to the size of mixed as a company. So I was able to come on and was able to build out a team had the mandate coming in to build out a global team.

But when I joined. We had some solution partners that were out there, but we didn't really have a structured program in place. More so the incentives were a little bit wonky internally to be an environment that was really conducive to like working with partners and partners, being able to grow their business by partnering with Mixpanel.

So I felt like that was the first thing that needed to get figured out before anything. And what I saw [00:11:00] at Mixpanel is actually, I don't think it's unique to Mixpanel. I saw this this sort of evolution happened at Anna plan where I was prior to Mixpanel. And I've seen it across a number of different SAS companies.

But when I talk about this and I have a slide that talks about this, I have a slide for lots of things. Most things that I talk about, but they're in my mind, the evolution of a SAS company there's was like three phases of growth. And. Speak in very broad generalizations right now. But in general, there's that first, zero to $50 million of ARR, let's call it. And that's the finding product market fit phase. And you're just going out. Anybody buy your product, right? And if they buy your product, you will do anything you can to make them successful on the product. It doesn't matter. You just need to get them to adopt it and use it.

And that's like the full on free CS model. Give the customer all the resources that they need. And then if you're lucky enough, and you get enough traction you sorta graduates the next phase. And we'll [00:12:00] roughly call that again. Generally speaking like 50 million to a hundred million in ARR, and this is sort, I feel like we're SAS companies start to try and build that land and expand motion.

So it's you. Okay. You bought my product. That was great. Now I want you to buy more of it, or I want you to keep buying my products. Type thing. But it turns out like just giving. Customers as much support and services they need is really expensive. So then there's this shift towards more of a professional services model where it's like, if you want help, you can get it, bring it to pay for some of that help.

And just drawing on my experience, when I joined Ana plan, it was a. 300 person sub a hundred million ARR company. And we we were basically like I joined in a customer successful that I'm saying an air quotes right now, but we were professional services consultants that had billable utilization targets.

And we were out trying to [00:13:00] run like a break even or profitable PS business. But then it gets to the point, once you cross that magic, like a hundred million threshold, where, and you want to start thinking about scaling to 150 million, 300 million, 500 million billion dollars, and you just can't scale out that way with a massive internal professional services organization.

And I feel like that's the point in the journey where. So like partner switch flips, so to speak because you need partners to be able to extend the reach of the company. Once you get to that size of a customer base and to help the internal teams scale much more efficiently. So driving all of that back to like my experience at Mixpanel is when I got in, I saw the way the land and I felt my pitch to partners like extra partners was.

We're here in this journey. We're right in the middle, we have a paid services model. The reps are getting comped on bringing in our [00:14:00] internal professional services. There's no incentive to bring in partners right now. However, It's only a matter of time. And I'm telling you it's 12 to 18 month period before we get to a scale where we're not going to be able to do this, and we're going to have to flip the partner switch.

So if you start investing in us right now, if you start going through the certifications, if you start really learning the product in depth, building relationships with our sales team, when we do flip that switch you'll significantly benefit from like the early investment that you made in the program.

And unfortunately a lot of that turned out to be true and actually due to the COVID situation that 12 to 18 month timeline ended up being like a six month timeline to 12 months. So now we're in a position where our services partners, and we have, handful of them across the world that we really rely on and work with closely are driving the majority of our customer onboardings.

And I see that. Trends [00:15:00] continuing in the future, right? Where we have partners that are really responsible for onboarding and helping the customers with implementing. But we have a sort of customer success team that sits over top of that, worked with the customers on adoption, account health and all that stuff.

[00:15:19] Andrew Michael: That's very interesting. I think, like thinking about it and that's why it's also, I'll go back to the different phases in a bit, but how. You have these external partners then like coming in, helping clients get set up, onboarding them into Mixpanel to some degree, but then you still have a customer success.

Yeah. That's the traditionally they're all as well to help get them onboarded and get set up as well. So how, are your customer success teams working with like the partners then as well on the other end that is a collaboration between them? Or is it really just like passing the Baton on, once you set up here in Mixpanels problem, like how do you set typically working?

[00:15:56] Scott Singerman: Yeah. So I think there is. W [00:16:00] it can always be better, right? We can always have deeper, closer collaboration than we do. But something that was when I knew we were going through this transition of bringing partners in to really drive a lot of the onboardings for our customers, the number one most important thing for me was making sure that I had alignment.

The leader of our customer success organization. And then all the way down the organization through the managers and the people that are in the fields working with the customers and that they didn't view partners as a threat, but they viewed them as an opportunity to give them more leverage rights and maybe expanded their expertise and their knowledge and to be complimentary and collaborative with them.

I joke and I have this like ongoing joke in our company all hands, and maybe it's not a joke. I'm really good at bad jokes. But in our company, all hands I talk about partnerships and services is. That our services leader is like the peanut butter to my jelly. We work super [00:17:00] closely and we built the targets in terms of how we actually execute on this.

We built the metrics for how many customers, like what's our onboarding attach rate, right? So of the customers that are paying over a certain dollar threshold, How many of them are getting onboarding services. And then of that, what percentage of those onboardings are going to partners? So when we get to a certain phase in the deal cycle we know there's going to be an onboarding package.

That sort of triggers I'm getting into the weeds now, but that triggers like a slack automated slack message that rings the local CS manager and the local partner manager. And it's really a collaborative effort between the two of them to decide first, is this going to go internal or are we going to give this to a partner?

And then second, who is. The right partner, right? Given the customer profile, given the partner skill, sets the region, the language abilities, whatever it is. And so I feel like by involving the customer success team from the very beginning, they have a vested interest [00:18:00] in the partner and then the partner's success.

And so that that's one element of it. And then the second element of it is. The actual project execution. And this is where I think we're going to get better over time, because this is still a relatively new motion for Mixpanel, but we have, the partner who gets introduced with the account manager and the CS person, but then it's primarily the partner that's driving.

The actual onboarding and implementation and all of those milestones we do have like a partner success resource that is checking in with the partner. That's ensuring they're delivering, ensuring the quality of their delivery. But then once the onboarding comes to an end, it's the project or the customer gets.

Tossed back over the wall to the account management team. And that's where I feel like, yeah, over time and with more repetition, it's going to be more elegant and more seamless process. What I saw at Ana plan when I was there, because we were, we had done this a lot and it was a bit more [00:19:00] maturity is it was very difficult for the customer to discern who is from Anna planet, who is from the partner.

It was just a project. That was responsible for delivering outcomes. 

[00:19:10] Andrew Michael: That's cool. And it sounds obviously, like you said, if the repetition, like building out onboarding plans and having certain structure, and you mentioned as well, you go through training to become a partner. I can see really how you could see the lines being blurred then, and not really understand.

And then obviously it sounds like an amazing way to scale. Just like the services do you see. The services aren't being cannibalized to at all, or do you just see, like there was no way that the team could have scaled to this fast, to this many people and as a result, it's bringing new business owners, like they need concerns internally around like cannibalism happened with the partner program and your professional services on, 

[00:19:49] Scott Singerman: I think more of the latter where we always knew.

We didn't have the coverage to be at Mixpanel is a lotta, because by the nature of our [00:20:00] go-to-market model with a free free offering and growth offering and enterprise offering we have loads of paying customers. So it was always impossible. We never really had the Cub customer coverage that we wanted to in the post.

Because we just didn't have enough resources. So we really think of it more as like an extension of the services team. That's providing a broader customer coverage than it is necessarily something that's cannibalizing. However, I will say that when you have partners that are your sort of your primary vehicle for delivering onboarding, it can change.

The nature of the services are customer successful. And I think we're seeing that at Mixpanel right now, where a year ago, or a year and a half ago, we had a professional services team that had a lot of implementation managers and solution architects that were getting into the weeds and delivering onboardings for customers.

And it was a PS organization we're [00:21:00] shifting that. To a customer success organization still got the solution, architects, still a couple of very strategic items that are in there, but really now investing in CSMs that are focused on. Training product adoption, account health more than they are the tactical implementation onboarding.

[00:21:20] Andrew Michael: There was actually one of the next questions I had then was like, how are you compensating these partners? And what are their like, incentives? Too. So is it really just about getting Mixpanel set up or is it like getting Mixpanel set up, so that these customers end up retaining. So I guess what I'm asking is is there any sort of staggered incentives or is it religious?

This is the implementation fee, get things set up for the clients and then you're done or is it like. Get like in sales, we hear as well, like previously in few different episodes where you align the sales incentives with really not just closing the deal, but also making sure their customer sticks around.

Is this something that you've thought about [00:22:00] you do? 

[00:22:00] Scott Singerman: It's something that I think about a lot. It's something that I think will like, has already evolved and will continue to evolve over time. The motion that we're in right now, and I'm going to. I'm going to use the terminology services partners, right?

So these are partners that are high technical acumen consulting, businesses, agencies type things. They're not structured and. BD organizations or sales organizations, they're structured really as services organizations, those are the partner, like the types of partners that we really focused on.

Initially it Mixpanel because I knew we needed to extend our services arm. Those partners right now are incentivized through this delivering right the fee, right? The onboarding package. It's a certain price. We subcontract a lot of those out to partners. But we also allow partners to go direct to our customers in certain instances and input the onboardings on their paper and put their own on-boarding offerings on.

But I also think [00:23:00] even with that mechanism there's a nice carrot and stick. And I actually think that the subcontracting mechanism where we're really. Going out. And we're like a customer acquisition in a business development arm for these partners allows us to, create the right balance of carrot and stick where it's, if you are.

Delivering very high quality work. If you're setting our customers up for success, if you're collaborating and communicating and working well with our internal teams, we have the discretion to continue to give you more onboardings, which is more revenue for you. And if you're not doing any of those things, then we have the discretion to say, Hey, there's a there's a handful of other partners over here that are doing those things.

And we're going to go with. More. So there is this sort of like natural leverage that 

[00:23:50] Andrew Michael: exists in this model and it's almost like then center then is do a good job to get more jobs. So you do have that sort of a double incentive on the back of, it's not just the initial [00:24:00] fee, but it's also like the repeat business from doing a good job.


[00:24:03] Scott Singerman: correct. And they're self incentivized too, because a lot of the organizations we work with. They're smaller consultancies and they're trying to grow their business and grow the reputation and pull down more logos and get good references. So there's self incentive there, but the thing I wanted to as is how I think this evolves over time is we're going to go out over the next year and not just look to bring on services partners with technical acumen, but also.

What I refer to is sales partners, that can actually go out and resell Mixpanel in terms of buying licenses and reselling as a customers, but then also go through the delivery. And when you do that as a reseller, You're getting, not just the services revenue, but you're getting margin on the license.

And when you renew that there's another incentive to continue to get margin on the license. So you've been start to bake an incentive of not [00:25:00] just making sure all the onboarding boxes are checked, and the customer set up for success, but customer health and training and adoption to ensure that.

They retain, they don't churn. They renew. Very 

[00:25:13] Andrew Michael: cool. Nice little about then the last segment as well that you mentioned in terms of like solutions partners and what do you see their role within like the ecosystem of Mixpanel? Like how do you see them impacting retention for your customers?

[00:25:26] Scott Singerman: Quick correction. When I say solution partners, that's what gets segmented into services, partners and sales partners. I think you wanted to chat through the technology partners, 

[00:25:35] Andrew Michael: technology partners, sorry. 

[00:25:37] Scott Singerman: Yeah. So technology partners, right? The other SaaS companies that are getting data in and did out of us or the ecosystem that we're playing in this is another area.

That I really want to put a lot of focus in and improving how we're able to measure the impact that these companies and these integrations have on retention. And then [00:26:00] how we're able to use that data to direct behavior of our post sales organization of our sales organization, of our product organization.

But actually this Friday, this past Friday I got one of the most interesting data points that I've gotten on this topic. I've been beating the drum internally based off intuition and some loose data points for awhile, that customers that have more integrations, it makes us a stickier product and they retain at a higher.

Right then the general population that doesn't and one of our product managers is Friday was playing around in what we call internally project three that's Mixpanel on an X panel. And was, yeah, going through, I saw that the processing that was going through sort of product usage and analytics of our customers that are using Mixmax.

And doing, trying to surface some insights. And one of the analysis that you did was looking at the population [00:27:00] of customers that export Mixpanel cohorts to another tool. So an example of that is you build a cohort of power users from your mobile application in Mixpanel, and then you export that cohort to.

Let's say braise or Iterable or Airship to then send some sort of campaign or engagement or something like is the populate. If a customer exports, cohorts to another tool, is that correlated with retention or not. And when she went into this analysis projects with cohort export integrations enabled, retain at a dramatically higher rate than those that don't something to the tune of 92% versus 57.

In the population that she was looking at. So really very significant. But then it was cool because she was actually able to drill down and see of those cohorts integration. Which specific ones retain the highest. And I thought what was really interesting about that is [00:28:00] our Google ads and Facebook ads, integrations have the highest strongest retention.

And that's really interesting to me because those integrations aren't even listed on our integrations directory. There may be our most neglected integrations where we shipped in. We never really went to market with them. We never really ad like advertise them because they're really like core marketing persona use case.

And we're really focused on the product manager persona, but it turns out those are the ones that have the highest impact on retention. 

[00:28:34] Andrew Michael: Super interesting there, but I could see as well, like the big value there is having that direct connection to those platforms and being able to create audiences and retargeting campaigns off the back of user engagement and stuff, which you get from product campaigns.

And not only that as well, like we were talking about this internally with my co-founder around retargeting campaigns, then as well of how do you bring. Like users to your platform and you can actually through Mixpanel, actually look at who hasn't [00:29:00] logged in recently create an audience and then retarget those users to bring them back through different channels other than email.

So like you said Google ads or Facebook ads and stuff. So it's interesting. Yeah. 

[00:29:11] Scott Singerman: I just think how we want to do this going forward is I see tremendous value in being able to measure integration using. Of customers. And then you can measure that at a total population level, you can measure it at a category level.

So integration usage with CDPs, with messaging, with AB testing tools and then with individual integrations. And if you have that visibility, all of a sudden in, that more integration is correlated with higher retention. And I just told you about that in the previous chat, we're hiring all these CSMs that are out focused on adding value and adoption of the customers and ultimately retention.

How does getting visibility in that data play into our account management strategy or post-sale strategy, the types of [00:30:00] conversations. Our CSMs right. Or account managers are having with our customers. 

[00:30:04] Andrew Michael: Yep. And also from your like solutions and services partners, then it's okay. Part of the training, get them set up, get them integrated.

I can. And then it's another way to increase retention and adoption overall. Very cool. I want to save time for a couple of questions. I'll ask on every episode. So let's imagine a hypothetical scenario. Now you, in your company, general attention is not doing good at all at this company. The Sierra comes to you and says, Hey, Scott's we really need to turn things around.

I'm putting you in charge. We have 90 days to turn things around. We need to the cost. The caveat is you cannot tell me that you're going to go and speak to customers. Find the biggest pain point and start them. You're just going to use something that you've seen. That's been effective in one of your posts to experiences and run that playbook and see how it goes.

What would you want to be doing or trying to reduce retention? Uh, Just turn fast. 

[00:30:59] Scott Singerman: Yeah, [00:31:00] I think that's a uniquely challenging question because churn or retention is like a lagging indicator. And I've actually had this conversation with our CEO at Mixpanel when I was explaining to him some of the things I was trying to do with our services partners and why that's going to drive retention.

And he's Conceptually, I get it. I see what you're doing. However, it's not on my radar. They can't see it. I can't feel it. I don't have a dashboard that's tracking it. So I think, but some of the real challenges, especially with partnerships impact on retention, which is maybe a little bit more ephemeral than.

Other organizations that have a direct impact on retention. However I'm going to, I'm probably going to site rather than a play that I've run and it is a play that I've run, but a quote that I really Peter computer. No. He was former like VP of sales or VP of channel [00:32:00] at HubSpot. He was one of the first 15 employees in the room at HubSpot.

And he built their channel program from $0 to, he was like an a, and he was like, Hey, it's actually a lot easier to say. With partners and vent and they didn't want to do channel and he convinced them to do channel and he grew it from zero to a hundred million dollars in revenue as a channel.

And now HubSpot it, I think there are probably a billion dollars in turnover and they're doing 40% of the channel with 4,000 partners. But he's got this quote that I've even put forward to our entire executive team. When I was trying to explain what I wanted to do in Mixpanel. And he says, We've sent in the process of setting up their channel.

We've sent millions of dollars of services revenue to our partners, but we view that as a mutually beneficial deferment of revenue, while that revenue has obviously helped our agency fund their growth agency partners fund their growth. It's also helping our direct customers become more [00:33:00] successful to leading to a strong customer and partner retention.

It creates a very virtuous cycle that benefits our partners. Our customers and HubSpot. And so if you're asking like a specific play that I want to run, that I think would impact retention quickly, but also really pay off for the organization over the term. When I was talking about bringing services partners in to do onboarding, I've talked a lot about being able to extend our reach, but I think the thing I didn't really focus on that's equally as important is.

When you start to send revenues to these partners, services, revenue, you start to build momentum with them and they then go and reinvest that money, that services revenue back into building a practice around your technology. And. I think that's really unique. Honestly, one of the most gratifying parts about my job is working with some of these small companies and small entrepreneurs and seeing them go from a 10 [00:34:00] person shop to a 20 person shop to a 50 person shop.

All in the. Of the value proposition and the services offerings they're able to build around your technology. That's super powerful. So that was the one. All managers have been long-winded on this, maybe it's it's it's it's on par, but that's the approach. 

[00:34:19] Andrew Michael: Very cool. And I see as well, like the virtuous cycle happening zone and how it really pan it's super impressive to you.

That's the HubSpot side. I knew it was a big part of their business, but not how big so last question, what's one thing you know about general retention today that you wish you knew when you got started with your career.

[00:34:37] Scott Singerman: One thing I know about churn or retention today that I wish I knew when I started my career.

I just, I guess I wish I knew.

How important it [00:35:00] was that specific activities, that are being performed. In effort of retaining a customer, driving retention, reducing churn are how important it was that those activities, the impact of them is measurable. And the ability to get more granular data on. Those activities. And what are the real retention drivers in the business?

I think when I started my career, I wasn't thinking about, I wasn't thinking about churn or retention in the same way. I wasn't thinking about. Dollar net retention and what that means for a, having a, one 20% to one 50%. And what that means in terms of valuation, if a company is at a hundred million dollars or $200 million, and the difference between gross retention and dollar net retention.

So I think a lot of it too is on the metrics and understanding the implications of the metrics. Yeah. I was going out to [00:36:00] customers. And I wanted to deliver successful projects and I wanted to see them adopt the technology and get value out of it. And maybe it's that earnestness that was helpful and actually being successful in driving retention.

[00:36:13] Andrew Michael: I'd realizing all the inputs that go into it afterwards. And just knowing what those, I allows you to move the needle and the direction you want with a little bit more clarity with rather than just throwing things against the wall. And yes, 

[00:36:25] Scott Singerman: that's right. That's right. Very cool. It was also a different game though.

I'll say and a plan versus Mixpanel, right at Anaplan. This is fortune 2000 tops down enterprise sales, where you get a customer and they're signing a three year deal. So the way you think about retention, the way you think about customer value is different. When you have a three-year horizon, versus a one-year horizon on a contract and a plan also as a technology. Was really conducive to starting with a small use case [00:37:00] and then expanding to another use case. And the more use cases you added on the more value people got from the platform. So I don't think we thought about churn, like a, customer's just not going to use the tool in churn.

We thought about expansion, and more of that net retention than we actually thought about gross retention, where it mix panel very different go to market model. A lot of focus on startups, more transactional deals, shorter horizons to show customers value. So then you have to actually think about turn reduction sort of strategies versus like expansion strategies.

[00:37:38] Andrew Michael: Yeah. It's interesting, obviously the whole premise of the show, just talking to different companies, different stages, different segments, and definitely like that. Like these two parallel cases speak to both like working in partnerships, but how. The impact and the focus can be completely different as well.

At the end of the day, Scott has been a pleasure hosting you today. Is there any final thoughts you want to leave the [00:38:00] listeners with? Like how can they keep up to speed with your work? Anything you want to share before we finish today? 

[00:38:04] Scott Singerman: I guess the only thing is just thank you for having me on the show.

It was, I was really pleasantly surprised when you reach out, as I mentioned to you in your message. I'm a fan of the show. I've listened to the show you did with, I think it was Elena from segment around adding friction grant process. And I immediately, after I listened to it, I sent it to our professional services leader at the time.

And I gave him like my readout and my notes and my key points and things that I thought we can learn. And the same thing you did an awesome episode with the guy from apps. The chief customer. Yeah. Yeah. And I sent that immediately to our CEO. The same thing with some key points that all were super insightful built out.

So I just appreciate the opportunity to be on here, to speak with you. Admire what you're doing. And if you wanna, if you want to keep up with me find me on LinkedIn find me anywhere I'll plug real quickly if you are [00:39:00] in partnerships and that's why you're listening to. There's a really good sort of industry community group that a handful of folks started it's called partnership leaders.

And it's the good collection of people that are in alliances and partnerships, and there's a slack channel and they do events and stuff like that. So a lot of good information that's shared on there. A lot of great professionals. They're starting to do meetups in person as we hopefully get out of this COVID situation soon.

I'll do a quick plug for that, but yeah. Thanks for having me. 

[00:39:30] Andrew Michael: Thanks, Scott. Wish you best of luck going forward and really appreciate the time today. It was great having you.

[00:39:35] Scott Singerman: Cool. Thanks Andrew. 

[00:39:37] Andrew Michael: And that's a wrap for the show today with me, Andrew, Michael, I really hope you enjoyed it. And you're able to pull out something valuable for your business to keep up to date with and be notified about new episodes. Blog posts and more subscribe to our mailing list [00:40:00] by visiting Also, don't forget to subscribe to our show on iTunes, Google play, or wherever you listen to your podcasts.

If you have any feedback, good or bad, I would love to hear from you and you can provide your blend direct feedback by sending it to, lastly, but most importantly, if you enjoyed this episode, please share it and leave a review. As it really helps get the word out and grow the community.

Thanks again for listening. See you again next week.


Scott Singerman
Scott Singerman

The show

My name is Andrew Michael and I started CHURN.FM, as I was tired of hearing stories about some magical silver bullet that solved churn for company X.

In this podcast, you will hear from founders and subscription economy pros working in product, marketing, customer success, support, and operations roles across different stages of company growth, who are taking a systematic approach to increase retention and engagement within their organizations.


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