There’s a lot wrong with how most B2B companies go to market. One of the central problems and sources of many of the challenges facing CROs, CMOs, and CCOs is, to put it bluntly, narcissism. Engaging with the market based on self-interest and manipulation frequently results in customer, prospect, and ecosystem underperformance.
There’s a better way. It requires a shift away from self-interest and isolation; it involves moving from GoToMarket to GoToEco.
The following graphic seeks to capture the story:
The key foundations:
- Outside In Focus: The Outermost circles (the who) are what matters most. These are our 𝙀𝙭𝙞𝙨𝙩𝙞𝙣𝙜 𝙖𝙣𝙙 𝙋𝙧𝙤𝙨𝙥𝙚𝙘𝙩𝙞𝙫𝙚 𝘾𝙪𝙨𝙩𝙤𝙢𝙚𝙧𝙨 at 12 and 6 o'clock and our 𝘾𝙪𝙨𝙩𝙤𝙢𝙚𝙧𝙨' 𝙀𝙘𝙤𝙨𝙮𝙨𝙩𝙚𝙢 𝙖𝙣𝙙 𝙤𝙪𝙧 𝙀𝙘𝙤𝙨𝙮𝙨𝙩𝙚𝙢 at 3 and 9 o'clock. Through service and generosity aimed at customers, prospects, communities, and partners, we discover the way out of our narcissistic trappings.
- Defined Engagement: The First blue ring describes the three ways that we can engage with any of the 4 groups in #1 - we can engage To them as in a sales, BD or enablement cycles, we can engage With them as in a co-sales or co-innovate motion, and we can engage Through them, as in a resale motion.
- Value Driven: The Multi-color ring (how we add value to the 4 groups) - this is the Co-X part of GoToEco that specifies where, when, and how we Build, Market, Sell or Support through joint GoToEco motions.
As the distinction between partners and customers continues to blur (especially important in platform business models like Snowflake or Amazon Web Services (AWS) this model can help us explain to senior leadership why partners can't live on an island and how an integrated and holistic partner and community-led GTM (that's what GoToEco is) can ensure success in 2022 and beyond.
If you are a Partnerships Leader or individual partnerships pro, it's up to us to share this gospel with our CROs, CMOs and CCOs because many of them still don’t get it.
- Everything (Literally) starts with the Customer’s Ecosystem (9 O’clock in the picture above). All customers and prospects live within a sphere of influence that is composed of their tech vendors, their solution providers, and their communities. Since 86% of these customers seek to start their buying journey with a referral (SaaSQuatch), your company's GTM had better start within your customers' and prospects' ecosystem.
- Adding value within your Customers’ Ecosystem is the magic. Your best partners and communities become relevant to you, your customers, and the partner, when you Build, Market, Sell and Support with, through or to that partner from within the customers' ecosystem. To make that super tangible, when you refer an opportunity to a partner (you are already a trusted member of the customer ecosystem), you add the best possible value to that partner. When they reciprocate, they give it right back to you. The key takeaway is that the value is relevant to everyone. The partner gets a super lead, the customer gets a connected solution, and you get better retention and cross-sell. Magic!
- Partnerships take time and patience, just like building great products. The best partnerships neither start with or are limited to being sales channels and sources of leads. Done right, they end up being the best sources of leads, but it takes time and they begin with building sticky joint solutions. Partners who wire together, fire together (just like Neurons in our brains).
Go tell the story so that we can stop being just another narcissistic, self-centered, B2BSaaS company.