Use the Global Channel Dashboard to view Pipeline Creation, Open Pipeline, and Bookings reports grouped by Partner, Segment, or Region. Other reports within the Global Channel Dashboard include Deal Path, Engagement, Deal Type, Top Channel Deals by IACV, and Deals Registered through the Partner Portal.
All required team reporting is included above. In the event you need a special report, please open an issue and tag Channel Ops.
Managing Channel Opportunities
Policy and Process
All channel opportunities require a Partner to submit a Deal Registration via the Partner Portal (Impartner). For more details on the partner deal registration process go here.
When a deal registration is submitted a lead is created in SFDC. An email is also sent from the Partners@GitLab.com alias to the Channel Sales Manager(s).
Channel Sales Managers need to review the deal registration and do a search in SFDC to make sure another deal reg doesn’t already exist for the same opportunity. Only one deal registration can be approved for a specific opportunity. As a reminder, deal registrations are opportunity based and partners cannot register an account.
A new Partner Information section has been added to all opportunities. This will ensure proper tracking for all channel opportunities when filled in. If you are working a deal with a GTM route of Channel, please ensure this section is properly reflecting the partners of the deal.
In order to see if a deal registration or opportunity already exists perform the following steps
Search SFDC using the customers contact email address
If nothing is found, try searching by the company name
Check with the applicable sales rep as needed
Once the search is completed, then reach out to the applicable sales rep and discuss the deal registration and whether or not it should be approved based off the following guidance:
If Resale, then select PIO, Assisted, or Fulfilment in the Deal Engagement picklist
If Referral, Deal Engagement will default to PIO
If a different Partner is fulfilling the deal, please add the Fulfilment Partner Field
If Services Attach will default to N/A
Distributor, Influence, and Platform Partner as applicable
Ensure that the owner of the opportunity is changed to the applicable sales rep once the opportunity is saved.
Do not select any of the checkboxes when changing the opportunity owner
(2) Processing a Deal Registration when an Opportunity already exists
Follow the same steps 1-3 in the previous section
Once completed, send a request to Channel Ops either from Chatter or Slack providing them the link to the opportunity you just created and the one that already exists
They will perform the necessary steps to update the records accordingly
(3) Denying a Deal Registration when one already exists or does not meet program requirements
From the deal registration lead record, click on DENY DEAL REGISTRATION button on the top of the page
It will take you to another screen to confirm, check the box, and hit next
Status of deal registration will now be changed to “Denied” and synched back with the Partner Portal (Impartner)
SFDC Field Definitions:
DR - Partner: Partner that submitted the Deal Registration
DR - Partner Deal Type
Resale: Partner is actually transacting the deal on their paper.
Referral: Partner is bringing us the lead/opportunity but will either transact direct with GL or thru another partner
Services Attach_: Partner-delivered services provided to the end user related to their use of the GitLab software
DR - Partner Engagement: How the deal was sourced or the value the partner is brining
PIO: Partner has “initiated” the opportunity. They have either found the original opportunity or an upsell to a current customer.
Assisted: GitLab-sourced opportunity where the partner assists our sales team in closing the deal
Fulfillment: Partner only processes the order and doesn’t provide additional support to close the deal
Distributor: If the DR - Partner are buying from a GitLab authorized distributor
Fulfillment Partner: Only applicable if the DR - Partner Deal Type is Referral and the deal is being transacted thru another partner
Platform Partner: Customers Platform that GitLab is being deployed
Influence Partner: Other partners, generally GSI’s or alliances that have helped influence the deal
Rules of Engagement on Channel Deals
Deal registration approval is based upon order of receipt of the registration, qualification of the opportunity, partner ability to deliver in-country/region support, partner relationship with customer. Final deal registration approval decision will be made by GitLab Sales.
Only one partner can earn a deal registration discount per opportunity. Partners, other than the partner granted the deal registration discount that request a quote, will receive the fulfillment discount rate.
New customer opportunities or new opportunities with existing customers can qualify for deal registration. Add-on sales to renewals can qualify for deal registration.
Approved deal registrations have standard 90-day expiration from the date of original approval (Deal Registration extensions beyond the initial 90 days approval are at the sole discretion of GitLab).
GitLab collaborates with partners holding the approved deal registration and is available to support partners throughout the entire sales process.
In the event the engagement is dissolved, the GitLab Sales Rep will generally notify the partner by phone or email. GitLab will reconsider other deal registrations submitted for this deal, in chronological order of submission. If there are no other registration requests submitted, the GitLab sales rep will typically initiate engagement with a reseller of the GitLab sales rep’s choosing.
Managing Special Cases
Creating MSP Opportunities
A Managed Service Provider (MSP) purchases licenses on behalf of an end user. The MSP will be the owner and manager of the licenses but their customer - the end user - is the one using the licenses. This creates specific needs in GitLab Salesforce opportunities to ensure proper reporting and compensation.
When you have an MSP opportunity, the Sales Reps need to follow these additional steps:
Step 1: The opportunity must be created using the MSP partner account, NOT the potential customer on whose behalf they are purchasing.
Step 2: Change the opportunity owner to the correct Sales Rep that owns the end-user account even though the opportunity is created under the Partner MSP account.
Step 3: Fill out the Partner and Deal Registration Information Section per the following:
DR-Partner: this must list the MSP’s Partner account (same as the opportunity is created under)
DR-Deal type: “Resale”
Step 4: When filling out the quote for this opportunity, select the MSP quote template.
Invoice owner: The MSP Partner (same as DR-Partner referenced above).
Special Terms and Notes: Name of the End-user Customer (the MSP owns the licenses on behalf of).
Creating a Service-Attached Opportunity
A Service-Attached opportunity is created to track when a partner offers their own professional services along with GitLab licenses. This is separate from the license sale and respective Salesforce opportunity.
To create the opportunity, the partner must register the deal on the partner portal. The opportunity needs to be created for the service-attach opportunity alone. The service-attached opportunity should never be a part of, or added on to the GitLab product sale opportunity.
For proper reporting, ensure that all the correct fields are used to notate that this is a partner service-attached opportunity.
DR - Partner: The partner account providing the services
DR - Partner Deal type: Services Attach
DR - Partner Engagement: N/A
GitLab Sales needs to add the GitLab product sales opportunity as the parent opportunity to the service-attached opportunity.
As the opportunity progresses, use the stages of the opportunity (0 - 7) until the agreement documentation is received that the customer is moving forward. Once the agreement for the Partner Services is completed (i.e. SOW, quote, order form), change the opportunity to Stage: 10-Duplicate.
For opportunities where there are multiple partners bidding on the same opportunity, it’s important that each partner gets the appropriate pricing for the opportunity.
The GitLab Partner Program provides partners with set discounts based on their engagement in opportunities (see definitions below) and their partner program track.
Partners are not eligible for discounts on sales or renewals of Bronze / Starter licenses.
GitLab employees can access the discount table here. Partners can find the discount table in the Asset Library on the GitLab Partner Portal.
Partner Initiated Opportunity - PIO
A PIO is any new sales opportunity that was brought to GitLab via a Deal Registration. A PIO could be:
An opportunity with new customer to GitLab
An opportunity with a customer/prospect with which GitLab is already engaged, but was not aware of the specific opportunity
An existing customer upgrade to a higher pricing plan - including from our free/core product. This could be for a customer that was originally sold direct.
Additional licenses sold, often at time of renewal.
True-ups to an original partner opportunity.
The opportunity must be new to our sales team, and can be for a new or existing customer.
This can be for either a resale or referral opportunity.
The partner is expected to assist the GitLab Sales team in closing the sale. It does not mean that the SAL is not involved.
PIO can be a lead you have been working forever and cannot convert - partner intros or partner services creates conversion or expansion.
If a partner helps upsell or expand an opportunity, the entire opportunity qualifies as PIO.
For US Public Sector, each unique customer opportunity within a single government program can be partner initiated.
For resale, the partner receives an upfront discount that is dependent on the partners track within the GitLab Partner Program.
Referral rebate payments are paid out no later than 45 after the end of each GitLab fiscal quarter.
The determination of PIO is at the sales rep & CAM determination and tracked via SFDC opportunities.
Partner Assist Opportunity
Any opportunity where the partner assists our sales team in closing the deal.
This assistance may include any or all of the following: a customer demo/POV, an executive introduction meeting, delivery of services, helping with the transaction, financing. Often this is leveraging the partner's incumency.
Partners need to submit a Deal Registration for Partner Assist. Since it is for a GitLab sourced opportunity, it does not qualify for PIO, but should be tagged as Partner Assist in Salesforce.
The determination of Partner Assist is at the sales rep & CAM determination and tracked via SFDC opportunities.
Partner Fulfill Opportunity
Any opportunity that was fulfilled by a partner but closed independently via the GitLab sales team.
The partner has only processed the order and didn’t provide any meaningful support to close the deal.
Services Attach Opportunity
Any partner delivered services that are provided to the end user in support of a GitLab deployment.
This will result in a 2.5% upfront discount from the product for resales opportunities and a rebate if partner is not involved in resale.
The resale discount will be administered as an upfront discount from the GitLab license price on the most recent product sale net license price.
This is stackable for up to three (3) independent services engagements over a twelve (12) month period, provided by the partner to a single end user.
The maximum discount or rebate is 7.5% with any combination of upfront or post sales partner branded services.
Partner Services engagements must meet the following partner services engagement deal size minimums to qualify:
1st deal: => $7,500 in services
2nd deal: =>$10,000 in services
3rd deal: => $10,000 in services
Partners must register a Services Attach deal registration and provide proof of performance to qualify for the incentive.
Rebate payments are paid out at the end of each GitLab fiscal quarter.
Rebates and referral fees may require CRO approval.
Partners can earn a program discount for reselling GitLab Professional Services delivered services.
To qualify for the Services discount, the services must be included on the order of a deal registered opportunity.
Incumbent partners qualify for program renewal discounts. The partners that transacts the most recent sale (IACV) are considered the incumbent
A different partner can earn an incumbency discount only through formal written communications from the customer. This can be provided via email from an authorized representative from the customer.
In some cases, a customer purchased their most recent subscription directly from GitLab, but is directed to a partner for renewal. Partners are encouraged to engage with these customers, but their first renewal of a formerly direct customer will not be discounted for partners.
To earn partner discounts, partners will be required to meet compliance requirements (i.e. in good credit standing, have provided quarterly updates on customer, review within 30 days of renewal, etc).
Tender offers are ones where the customers are requesting multiple bids for a project.
Each partner bidding should register the deal. Since all partners would be engaged in the sales process and would be creating a bid, all partners qualify for Partner Assist discount (% based on their program track). If the first partner registering the deal was early in with the customer (pre-tender) and introduces the opportunity to GitLab, that partner could earn a Partner Initiated Opportunity (PIO) discount. If the partner earning the PIO is not awarded the deal, they would not receive additional referral compensation.
Any partner offering services would qualify for Services-Attach incentives in addition to any sales discounts for which they would qualify.
For partners to transact according to program discounts, they must agree to the GitLab Partner Agreement.
To earn partner discounts, partners will be required to be program compliant.
Non Contracted partners may transact on a one-off basis, only with approval of channel leadership.
Unauthorized partners are ones that have not signed a GitLab Partner Agreement.
A key goal of the GitLab Channel Program is the success of our authorized partners. We are developing our channel to provide coverage across geos, customer segments and vertical markets. Since the program was just launched in April 2020, we have not onboarded enough partners to support every sales opportunity. As we continue to build out our channel coverage, there will still be a need to utilize one-off, unauthorized partners for specific sales opportunities.
For Developed Regions - Most P0 and many P1 countries. GitLab Sales teams, work with your CAM to identify authorized partners in your region.
GitLab Sales teams should use existing, authorized GitLab partners, including our distributors, whenever possible.
For FY21 Q2 and Q3, one-off partners can provide fulfillment transactions utilizing the Fulfillment contract. Additional instructions for opportunities sold via fulfillment partners are available in the Handbook.
Q4 and beyond - VP approval required for one-off partner requests.
For Developing Regions - GitLab Sales teams, work with your CAM to identify authorized partners in your region.
Use fulfillment contract for one-off partner deals
On a quarterly basis, the Channel team will revisit developing countries to determine if there is a continued need for fulfillment partners, or if we have the necessary coverage with authorized partners.
Partner Program participation sign ups must be initiated by the Partner in the Partner Portal application form which can be found here. In the partner application process, channel partners review the partner contract, including both the resale and referral addenda, review the partner program guide, complete their application form and agree to program terms and conditions. Technology partners are not able to agree to the terms and conditions during the application process.
If an authorized representative of the channel partner accepts the agreement terms, they (or the person entering the application) will need to select “Yes” that they agree to terms on the application form. Once they have agreed, they will automatically be set to “ Authorized” and will get immediate access to the partner portal. At this time, partners will be set up in both Salesforce and the partner portal at Authorized and their track set to Open.
The partner will receive an email confirming the receipt of their application, and applicable Channel Sales or Alliance Manager will receive a New Partner notification email from Partnersupport@gitlab.com notifying there is a new partner applicant in that region. Channel Sales Managers will be notified of each partner application in their regions, whether they agreed to the terms or not.
Upon receiving notification they will be responsible for reviewing the partner’s information and deactivating any inappropriate partners. They will also need to set the Partner Type in Salesforce for newly authorized partners.
For partners that have questions about the contract or need to negotiate terms and conditions, Channel Sales Managers are responsible for working with the partner offline to address questions and come to agreement on program terms. Upon receiving the New Partner Applicant notification email, the applicable Channels Sales Manager needs to complete the following:
Contact the partner and qualify them
If the decision is to move forward with the partner first check to see if a partner account already exists in Salesforce. If it is a duplicate, request for the accounts to be merged by the Channel Operations team. If the decision is to deny the partner then go to step #7.
To start the contracting process click the Legal Request button in SFDC on the partner account record.
Request the appropriate contract addendum (Resale, Referral/Services or both OR MSP OR OTHER). Default should be Resale and Referral/Services.
Once the contract is fully executed and attached to the partner account record in SFDC the following fields need to be updated by the Channel Sales Manager and are required(*) in order to save the account
*Change Partner Status = Authorized
*Select Partner Type
For partners that signed standard contract terms, set Partner Program Status to “New”.
Please update the partner record to be as complete as possible.
For additional information on the Partner Program review here
Once a partner is authorized, each SFDC contact for that partner will automatically receive a message with login credentials to the portal.
Additional partner employees can go to partners.gitlab.com to register. \ Once they are linked to an authorized partner account (they must select the correct account upon registering), they will automatically receive a message with login credentials. If the account is still a Prospect they will not have access until the account has an executed contract and is moved to Authorized.
If the decision is to not move forward with the partner,
Channel Sales Manager needs to set Partner Status = Denied
Technology partners use the same form, but are not able to agree to the terms and conditions. Once they submit the form, they will be set to active. If the Alliances team wants to establish a contract with the partner, they must follow the Legal Request process in Salesforce.
If for any reason, a partner account needs to be created in Salesforce directly, requests for account creation can be made to #channel-ops within Slack.
To incentivize working with our Channel partners, 'Channel Neutral' means that we will not reduce $ value to individual sellers even if the Channel business reduces total iACV to GitLab (via discounts or rebates).
More information can be found on the compensation page.
Channel Neutral Comp
For FY21 the sales team will not absorb any channel partners standard contractual discounts.
They will be compensated at the non-channel net value of the deal.
Channel Discount must come from the New Partner Program. Any discount in excess of partner limits will not be factored into Channel Neutral compensation
Channel Marketing Processes
Complete process for submitting an MDF proposal request for funds and detailed instructions regarding the approval and claim process can be found in the Channel Partner Handbook under MDF.
Select and Open Partners are able to submit MDF requests via the Marketing Page in the Partner Portal. Partners should be reviewing plans with you prior to submitting an MDF request in the Portal to ensure you are aligned with the proposal.
Partner Logos may be accessed in GitLab Partner Portal in the Asset Library under Marketing. Logos are segmented so only authorized Select Partners have access to the Select Logo.
Partner Flash Newsletter
Partner Flash is a monthly newsletter that recaps important Partner-related information from the month and highlights important upcoming information. The main goal of this communication is to help Partners ramp quickly and grow their GitLab business.
The newsletter is sent to authorized users in our Partner community, the list is gathered and updated from the Partner Portal, new users are added or you can self serve by going to this link.
The newsletter is for communication, the Handbook is for documentation. This means that the newsletter will disseminate updates but lean on the Handbook (and other relevant resources) as the main source of documentation, linking back to it wherever possible. Items will also be referenced in the GitLab Partner Portal.
Prioritize repetition, brevity, user-friendliness and added value
The newsletter will focus on short lists and bullet points and will link out to more robust resources.
Repetition is key to adoption. We will encourage our Channel teams to talk about Partner Flash and will remind Partners in our upcoming Partner Webcast series and on the GitLab Partner portal.
We want Partners to value the newsletter. A key to adoption will be successfully positioning it as THE resource to learn what's new and recap important information. Everything will be tied back to the payoff to the Partner or seller when possible.
We must reconcile the fact that this newsletter is yet another increase in communication. We will leverage it to cut down on other communications when possible.
Be fun to look at and read
A focus on multimedia is important in order to help the newsletter break the monotony of text Partners sift through each day.
We will use images, gifs, emojis, and video where possible. For example, instead of doing a written win-wire, we will interview the individual and embed that 30-60 second video in the newsletter.
Help the Channel operationalize key messages
We will organize information around our 3 main value drivers when possible.
We will frequently reiterate Sales and Channel messages through video clips and use-case examples.
Be an opportunity for the Partner Community to "learn themselves"
A peripheral goal of the newsletter is to advertise helpful resources to the Partners. We will provide helpful information in hopes that it will encourage them to seek out the source of that information and look for additional information once there.
Highlight all aspects that make a big win possible
There are a lot of new Partners and sales reps who are ramping up on GitLab, we want to provide easy to access to information to help them ramp quickly.
We will include context around partners and alliances when they play a role in a deal.
Keep the onus on individuals to stay informed
GitLab is asynchronous, this communication is in place to help provide quick access to relevant topics, the newsletter is not a substitute for the Handbook or other resources salespeople should be leveraging on the day-to-day.
Be general enough to allow us to remain segment-agnostic
The newsletter will include general updates and resources that are applicable to most, if not all, Partners. I
Be built out in the open
The newsletter content will be compiled in an issue each month within the Partner Communication project. Any team member is welcome to contribute or make requests. See more information in the Process section below.
**Uphold our value of "everyone can contribute" – we will measure success and gather Partner feedback often. **
We will measure success using a combination of quantitative and qualitative success metrics. See Measurement section below.
Giving feedback or making requests will be easy, and all input will be considered and addressed.
The team is committed to upholding the value of the newsletter – information should be relevant, feedback should be actioned on, and leadership should help reiterate by pointing to it as a useful resource for their teams.
Based on the requirements above, this is the first iteration of the newsletter format:
The announcement we think is most impactful to our Partners he field. We will try to communicate this in an image with 1-2 lines of text + 1-2 links to references.
Updates on new or updated training + opportunities to reinforce SKO learning objectives. (i.e. Did you know…?/Did you remember that…?)
Messages from our Leadership teams
New and noteworthy resources
Link to that month’s Partner Webcast series
GitLab whitepapers, reports or studies that might help a Partner advance an opportunity through the sales cycle.
Partner Deal of the month (or Deal of the Month if appropriate to share)
Video of sales/CS team member(s) overviewing the opportunity and/or customer and explaining how they won the deal + links to any customer-facing collateral they used (that can be publicly shared).
What's new in GitLab
The top 3 takeaways from the latest GitLab release, mapped to one of the three value drivers and framed in the context of the customer value.
The newsletter is sent out on the first Thursday of each month after our Partner Webcast series has concluded. We can adjust delivery based on feedback from the field, holidays or timing of a Partner focused update (pricing).