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Building Partner Programs and The Value of Being a Generalist with Barrett King

Building Partner Programs and The Value of Being a Generalist with Barrett King

Partnerships can make or break a business.

In this episode, we are joined by Barrett King, currently the Senior Manager-Global Go-to-Market Strategy, Partner Ecosystem at HubSpot. He is a highly motivated and results-driven professional with over 10 years of experience in building partnerships and executing go-to-market strategies for SaaS companies. He is skilled in identifying and cultivating new business opportunities, driving revenue growth, and establishing successful sales channels. 

Barrett emphasized the importance of studying partners and their impact on the customer experience and using that data to measure success. He discussed the importance of partnerships in business and how they can benefit both parties involved and also shared their advice for anyone who is hesitant to ask for help or feedback, encouraging people to just go ahead and ask, as most people are willing to help and share their knowledge.

If you want to learn more about the importance of partnerships in business and how to build successful partnerships, be sure to check out this episode!


  • Evolution of inner voice
  • The value of being a generalist
  • From design to tech and partnerships 
  • Reinvention point
  • Better Together 
  • Partner Programs 
  • Types of Partnerships 
  • How to validate your product 
  • Why you should give your product away to early adopters 
  • Partner Market Fit
  • Science of Scale
  • Customer-Centric Approach 
  • Partnership success metrics 
  • Customer-centric partnerships
  • Active listening in partnerships
  • Just go do
  • Do first

Listen to the podcast:

Key Takeaways:

[00:15:20]  Evolution of Inner Voice 

They discuss the evolution of their inner voice from a competitive and judgmental one to a kinder and more accepting one.

[00:16:41] The Value of Being a Generalist 

Barrett discusses how having a variety of experiences and skills has allowed them to be successful and adaptable in their career.

[00:18:14]  From Design to Tech and Partnerships 

Barrett shares their journey from working in the restaurant industry to finding a job in tech and eventually landing in their current position in partnerships.

[00:25:05] Reinvention Point 

He talks about feeling lost after a startup acquisition and being at a reinvention point again.

[00:33:31]  Better Together 

Barrett defines what a partner is and explains the importance of building partnerships. They discuss the different types of partner programs and how they can help companies scale.

[00:35:08]  Partner Programs 

He explains how partner programs are historically built and the importance of recognizing the other vendors and providers that make up the bigger equation. They also discuss the importance of asking the right questions when building partnerships.

 [00:38:27] Types of Partnerships

The three types of partnerships that work well: are additive, gap fillers, and providers.

[00:40:49] How to Validate Your Product 

Shares advice on how to validate a product by listening to customers, documenting feedback, and testing the market.

[00:44:01]  Why you should give your product away to early adopters 

Barrett emphasizes the importance of giving the product away to early adopters, who will provide valuable feedback and help build the model.

 [00:44:35]  Partner Market Fit

Barrett explains the importance of having partners who validate product, market, and partner market fit, and how they can help with marketing and customer validation.

[00:46:00] Science of Scale 

Talks about Mark Roberge’s concept of the Science of Scale and how it can be applied to partner programs to measure partner market fit.

[00:47:42]  Customer-Centric Approach 

Barrett asks how to measure the success of a partner program, and the guest emphasizes the importance of defining what partners should be doing based on customer needs.

[00:48:37] Partnership Success Metrics 

The importance of measuring customer happiness and engagement in partnership success, and how partners own the customer’s trust.

[00:49:57]  Customer-Centric Partnerships 

Challenges the assumption that partners are additive to a company, stating that they are actually additive to the partner and their relationship with the customer.

[00:52:35] ActiveListening in Partnerships 

The importance of active listening to customers, partners, and the market in building effective partnerships, and encourages B2B companies to pick up the phone and ask their partners what they want.

[00:53:18] Just Go Do 

Discuss the importance of taking action and not overthinking things when trying to learn or improve.

[00:56:29]  Do first 

He shares a piece of advice they received from a former GM, which was to lead by doing rather than telling, in order to gain respect and followers.

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David Khim

David is co-founder of Omniscient Digital and Head of Growth at He previously served as head of growth at Fishtown Analytics and growth product manager at HubSpot where he worked on new user acquisition initiatives with both the marketing and product teams.