Snowflake reworks channel sales strategy, organization to boost growth opportunities.

At their Data Cloud Summit, with a freshly rebuilt channel leadership team, Snowflake elaborated on key elements of their new strategy and the steps they will encourage the channel to take to get there.

Amy Kodl ,Head of GSIs and Americas Alliance Services partners

SAN FRANCISCO – As part of their recent Data Cloud Summit 24 event, Snowflake held their Partner Summit, where the company’s channel executives laid out their plans to drive sales going forward, while indicating specifically how the channel fits in.

While Snowflake had channel partners and a channel program previously, in the last year the channel infrastructure has been reinvigorated, particularly within the context of a more systematic strategy around driving consumption and new company acquisitions.

“Tyler Prince was appointed a year ago as Global Leader of Alliances and Channels, with three separate executives underneath him responsible for Cloud and Strategic Partners, Data Cloud Product partners and GSIs,” said Amy Kodl, Head of GSIs and Americas Alliance Services partners.

Some of the ecosystem is still being built out.

“Among ISVs and GSIs we are building out the strategy now, to get into markets that we couldn’t enter before,” Kodl said. “We rely on our SIs to translate our tech industry use cases, to make sure we have a robust industry, and for this we  sell with GSIs in a Co-sell motion.” They are also expanding these partnerships. An expanded one announced at the event was with Slalom, which launched a new business unit dedicated to helping more customers achieve AI-driven transformations with Snowflake’s platform. There are a small number of reseller channel partners as well.

Prince noted that this year’s Summit, which marked his first year at Snowflake, had seen progress across the board.

“We held 175 sessions at Base Camp here,” he said. “We added over 23,000 new partners, who have built 600 apps, and have 7,000 new certified consultants.”

CFO Mike Scarpelli reviewed the context of the channel strategy, noting that despite the gains, there were still significant opportunities, particularly service partners and those building on top of Snowflake.

“The average revenue for a Global customer is only two million dollars, and it should be higher than that,” Scarpelli said. “So we need to expand within our existing customers. We do have a path to get there, with a realigned sales organization. However, we have found that the first deal is the hardest. So now 55% reps are only paid in consumption  because want them  to work with partners to identify new opportunities.”

Scarpelli also noted that the driving force behind sales has been changing.

“Historically, the majority of our growth has come from migration, but what we are seeing now is that new capabilities on the platform are now driving consumption and expansion,” he said.

Scarpelli said that that other key parts of the strategy going forward would be focusing on new products,  delivering on products faster, and focusing on M&A.

“The work that we are doing on native apps is a massive opportunity for all of us,” said Christian Kleinerman, EVP of Product.  “Our CortexAI platform is adjacent to many of the use cases we see today. Channel is important here because while we know how to add value, we do not know every twist and turn. We want you to evaluate CortextAI and see how we can work together. Customer mandates and budgets for this are there, and now the technology is ready.”

Kodl said that services partners, SIs and consulting partners can drive successful practices and are seeing more increased demand.

“We want to take it to the next level with Generative AI,” she said.

Kodl said that practice development requires training and certifications almost 39,000 today, and that partners  need to use advanced certifications.

“There will also be Snowpark specializations later this year,” she noted.

Partners last year built over 80 solutions and more than that this year

“The growth is critical in joint GTM activities,” Kodl said. “Last year, partners were involved in over 60% of our GTM. We are launching new GTM training how to sell with Snowflake for joint calls, and we will be getting them selling with value by giving them the same tools that our own sellers have. Battle cards will also be shared with partners who work with us.”

Kodl said that they are now measuring partnerships differently, around both consumption and new logos.

“How we pay referrals fees has also changed,” she said. “Elite partners have regular early access to products and give feedback to product managers.”