Meet Chris Formosa, Head of Technology Partnerships at Contentsquare
Chris Formosa joined Contentsquare in January 2021 as the global Head of Technology Partnerships, responsible for leading the global strategy for Contentsquare’s Cloud Alliances and Technology Partnerships. His team works to grow existing strategic relationships with our technology and cloud partners by ensuring a strong and healthy partnership. They also maximize Contentsquare’s interoperability with the technology landscape by driving alignment and execution with our partners across Product, Marketing, Customer Success, Sales, and Leadership.
Since joining the company over a year and a half ago, Chris has seen substantial growth and maturity—both on the business side and the partnerships side. The partnerships team is becoming more and more specialized, which allows for an ever-improving partner experience.
We sat down with Chris to get his thoughts on the constantly evolving partnerships space. Here’s what he had to say.
How did you get into the technology partnership space?
Chris Formosa: In my first job, I worked for a government agency that provided entrepreneurs and small business owners with the resources, education, and tools they needed to start and grow their businesses. I was responsible for ensuring our educational content was accessible to all British Columbians, not just those located in Vancouver. To do that successfully, establishing partnerships with other business service providers (BSPs)—such as BIAs and Chambers of Commerce— was critical to ensuring the distribution of our resources and content to those in other cities and rural communities.
At that time, I built a reseller program to empower those BSPs to provide high-quality seminars and content to their communities. And I did this without even realizing I was building a Channel Partner program, it just came naturally.
Then I moved into sales for a couple of software companies and a consultancy where, without fail, I found myself working with Technology Partners to help source my pipeline.
While at Strutta, I ended up inadvertently building partnerships with companies like Salmat (in Australia), Exact Target (now Salesforce), and Meltwater as they were key to my success as a seller. At Widerfunnel, an experimentation/AB Testing agency, I was initially a seller and had built partnerships with companies like Optimizely, Heap, and Slalom because I needed a way to drive a consistent and repeatable pipeline for me and my team. In my sales role, I was able to close some of the largest deals in the company’s history. Landing contracts with the likes of AT&T and Microsoft would not have been possible without those amazing partners vouching for us and introducing me to the accounts in the first place.
Ever since I started my career, I was pulled toward partnerships. And well…now…I’ve embraced it!
Why are technology partnerships so important?
CF: Technology Partners are a must-have for any business that wants to elevate its position in the market, increase awareness, and drive pipeline and sales. This spans not only marketing and sales but product as well. The best performing and largest companies like Microsoft, Apple, and Shopify rely heavily on partnerships and integrations (or Apps) today.
We’re starting to see even the largest companies opt for buying “stacks”; like the “Modern CX Stack” or the “Digital Experience Optimization Stack”. This is because organizations need integrated technologies that support the performance and optimization of their teams and their digital experiences.
However, these technologies need to be accessible across teams and they need to work together flawlessly. When they do, your product is a part of something bigger than itself—an ecosystem—that gives your customers the flexibility and agility they need to swap in and out the technologies that solve their ever-changing and evolving problems and challenges. This ultimately enables them to truly compete and succeed in the market today.
How can partners leverage our partner ecosystem in conversations with brands?
CF: I’m sure I’m preaching to the choir here, but it’s always a nice reminder: In your sales cycles, ask your customers what their tech stack looks like and how important it is for them that those tools work together. You may find that they’ll need your product to integrate with Contentsquare and plenty of other solutions that may also already integrate with your platform and Contentsquare.
Help your customer build their Best in Class stacks and become part of a bigger conversation that is rooted in a holistic solution that solves the real-world, cross-departmental problems that your customers face. This will help ensure you don’t get siloed down one narrow path or team and will help you expand your solution’s applicability across the organization—which will help expand your deal sizes and increase stickiness!
What’s one piece of advice you’d give to those looking to partner with Contentsquare?
CF: Start with the point of view of the customer. What problems do your customers need you to solve? How can our technologies work together to provide additional and differentiated value that solves those problems end to end?
If you start with use cases and joint value, the rest falls into place much more easily! It makes our announcement that much more compelling, our co-marketing activities are rooted in a strong message, and it gives tangible reasons for sellers to connect and collaborate on deals.
What does the future look like for tech partnerships?
CF: I think more and more we’ll start seeing Chief Partnerships Officers or Chief Alliances Officers join the C-suite at very large companies.
Today, partnerships teams typically report to sales orgs and in some cases marketing and product, but as the world continues to recognize the transversal and cross-departmental impact that partnerships can have across the business more and more partnerships teams will report directly to the CEO.
Last question; what content do you think anyone interested in partnerships should check out?
CF: I have to support The Partnered Podcast which is made possible by the amazing Partnership Leaders. I also point anyone new to partnerships directly to the Crossbeam blog; their webinars and eBooks are an exemplary source for all things partnerships!