The Salesforce Partner Program gives the opportunity to its partners to build and grow successful businesses while delivering customer success. With this program, Independent Software Vendors (ISVs) can offer go-to-market solutions on AppExchange, a leading enterprise cloud marketplace offered by Salesforce. In addition, Salesforce consulting partners can grow a profitable business by showcasing expertise, leveraging innovative tools, and leading differentiated practices. In order to access the Salesforce Partner Community and participate in the program, firms must agree to and accept the policies that are subject to and made part of the Salesforce Partner Program Agreement (SPPA). The performance in the Salesforce Partner Program is assessed on its founding pillars, viz. Customer Success and Innovation and Engagement, which are translated into Trailblazer Scorecard.
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Tiers to Navigators: A change of road
Embarking on this new program year, PY21, Salesforce will be implementing some enhancements to ensure the central focus on customer success by making it easier for the customers to find the right partner. Currently, the customers search for the partners across the AppExchange platform and judge them on the basis of metal tiers, i.e. Platinum, Gold, Silver, Global Strategic, or Certified Salesforce Partners. The new system, which will come into effect from August 2020, will have a greater emphasis on Salesforce product knowledge, proven industry expertise, and customer success so as to differentiate the firms’ capabilities. This system is also known as the Navigator where partners need to fulfill certain requirements that demonstrate the expertise. In order to support the partners with this transition, the Salesforce team, in addition to consistent communication and relevant learning documentation, will provide details and resources to help integrate the language of Navigator into go-to-market strategies, starting this April.
What about the current metal tiers? Partner Badges to change?
Now, the question arises, how would the tier system work? What about the current metal tiers? What would the communication to the customers look like? Will the partner badges change?
Yes, the tier system will continue to exist and will be aligned to the benefits which the partners are entitled to as part of the Partner Program. The partners can continue to use their metal tiers in their communication with the customers until August 2020. After that, the tier names would shift to the new Trailblazer-themed names. However, these names should only be used between Salesforce and partners, and would not be included in any customer-facing content. The new names would be Summit, Crest, Range, and Base; in descending order of partnership score and expertise. The AppExchange platform would only be displaying Navigator status, and hence, prioritized positioning. The new badges would visually showcase the following:
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- Salesforce Partner badge: This badge identifies you as a Salesforce partner belonging to the connected ecosystem.
- Partner Since badge: This badge would show the duration of your partnership in the Salesforce ecosystem.
- Available on AppExchange badge: For all ISV, Consulting, and Agency partners that have App, Bolt, Component, and/or Flow solution(s) available on AppExchange, this is the badge for you.
- Navigator Expertise (Consulting Partners): This set of badges is probably the most important from a marketing point of view. It is specific to Consulting Partners, used to illustrate mastery of a product and/or industry expertise.
1. Master badge: The Master navigators will feature at the top of the AppExchange search page for relevant product/industry searches. The consulting partners that have showcased experience and customer success across an entire product or industry will earn this badge.
2. Specialist badge: The Specialist navigators will feature in the second grouping within the AppExchange listing. The consulting partners that have earned a minimum of one specialization within the relevant industry or cloud will receive these badges. These specializations are achieved on the basis of a set number of projects, stories, and customer references.