PartnerUp #119 - The Power of Nearbound with Scott Pollack

What is up PartnerUp!

This week, Scott Pollack, Co-Founder & CEO of Firneo joins Jared to discuss navigating partnerships careers and the concept of nearbound. Jared attempts to demystify nearbound and explains why it’s so powerful. He shares that nearbound is what your GTM team does to generate and accelerate pipeline with partners and adds context about why existing GTM methods are failing.

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And here are some highlights from the show:

  • Introductions. 0:05
    • Scott introduces himself and his guest, Jared Fuller.
    • What is nearbound and why is it important.
  • The difference between Prm and partnerships. 1:36
    • Nearbound is different than partnerships.
    • How partner tech was used in prior generations vs today.
  • What is Nearbound? 3:48
    • What is Nearbouond and why it's catching on.
    • The future of go-to-market.
    • Trust is the new data. Partner hacker manifesto.
  • It’s not about partner recruitment, but it is about partner activation. 7:54
    • The outbound era and the inbound era.
    • The near-bound era of 2020s.
  • How to work with people you already know. 10:13
    • Sellers need a Nearbound mindset.
    • Inbound and outbound channels are not going to perform better.
    • Partnerships across the strategy organization.
    • Partnerships are a strategy, not a department.
    • Channel is fundamentally different than partnerships.
  • The difference between channel and partner marketing. 16:33
    • The trifurcation of the channel and partner world.
    • The evolution of partnerships.
  • What types of partners are best suited for these plays? 19:26
    • The eight to 12 ratio of individual contributors to partner people in most tech companies.
    • Partnership types.
    • Scott Pollack, the account executive, pulls up 360 mapping on a rep level.
    • Tight rules of engagement and six cents and drift.
  • How to make the math simple for partners. 25:10
    • Making the math simple for CRM conversations.
    • How Nearbound is changing CRM.
    • The availability of partner data is central to the new movement.
    • All tech is a race to the bottom.
  • Marketing Sales and Marketing success. 28:07
    • How each bucket of marketing can change due to the technological shift.
    • Most B2B now has ABM.
    • Partner sales close faster than non-partner sales.
    • How to get to 100 target accounts, and why it is so powerful.
  • Sales and Marketing. 34:08
    • Why near-bound is important in sales and marketing.
    • Getting partners attached to opportunities.
    • Recruit great partners, but still need to recruit great partners.
    • Partner-oriented pipelines.
  • The importance of having a partner ecosystem. 37:28
    • All of the commitment and responsibility is in the sales organization.
    • Scott is passionate about this conversation.
    • Incorporating near-bound thinking into early-stage companies.
    • The importance of having a partner program in place before selling to the buyer.
  • How to overcome resistance to sharing account-level metadata. 43:24
    • How to overcome challenges with data sharing.
    • Sharing account-level metadata across two companies.
    • Where reward leadership is needed.
    • The three c's, courage, conviction, and curiosity.
    • Scott is the most persistent person in the room.
    • Getting buy-in and tactics.

Full transcript:

Scott Pollack 0:05
Hello, everybody, and welcome to partner school. My name is Scott pollack. I am the co founder and CEO for Neo and we are an education company for emerging partnership leaders. And during our partner school events, we will seek to demystify the mysterious and the ambiguous topics that plague all too many partnerships professionals, because he partnerships is an emerging field that is continuously evolving. And that means that the knowledge how to be an effective partnerships leader doesn't live in a textbook. Instead, it's in the minds of the partnerships, people who are doing the work every day. Now, I've been in partnerships for over 20 years. And one of the byproducts of doing something for a very long time means that you're getting old. And as I get up there, in my years, I've been developing that old man thing when I wonder what the hell are the kids all talking about? And one of the things that I keep on hearing about is near bound, everyone seems to be talking about near bout, and perhaps like many of you, I'm curious, what does that even mean? And that's why I'm excited to be joined here by one of the progenitors of the near bound concept, Jared Fuller, Jared is the co founder and CEO of Parker hacker and the chief ecosystem officer at reveal. And in those capacities, he has been waving the flag about our near bound future. So today, we're going to explore what near bound is all about and what you need to know in order to be prepared for a new near ballad world. Jared, thank you for joining today. Let's jump right into the question that brought us all here. What is near bound? And why is everybody talking about?

Jared Fuller 1:36
Well, first off, thanks so much, Professor Pollack, for bringing me to school here. It's always great to chat with you. I love these conversations and loved our Convo that led to this one. I think that near bound is very different than partnerships. And you might go Wait, what? How is it different I thought you were just using near bound as a replacement word for partnerships. And let me try to demystify this as simply as I can. Near bound is based on what it's based on the concept of a network and a network effect. And the innovation that came from these what are called account mapping tools, I think it does a disservice to the technological innovation underneath it. We do not quite understand as an industry, the degree to which a networks database, so not just your CRM, but the totality of all the CRM is in your network in your ecosystem in your partnerships, right. So these are all relevant words can affect everything built on top of it. So today, what's built on top of your CRM, sales marketing, right? So like, we do sales engagement we assign accounts, marketing's passing things over, when that underlying data infrastructure changes, and you're able to all of a sudden use near bound data, right, so your partners information, then all of a sudden, we get to flip how all partner Tech was used in prior generations versus today. I'll give you a perfect example. Everyone on this call should know to some degree what PRM is partner relationship management, right. PRM was built for a world where partners came to you. Right? So these were a channel or agency partnerships, where they were generally or resellers, right? Or even referral, were partner programs were working the partner ecosystem, and then PRM could manage the deal registration back to us. But let's be real honest, for a second. Are any of your techer ISV partners registering deals with you? Come on, there's no account executive that just sold one of your target accounts a month ago, that's thinking I need to go register this deal. For my integration partner. No one does that your account executives don't do it. I know they don't. So why would you think that other account executives will they won't? But guess what you can do? You can run near bound plays. So what is deer bound? You're bound are the plays that marketing teams can do to market with partners, not partner teams, marketing teams, near bound sales, for example, are the plays that sellers can take to activate and work with partners and I can break those down. But the reality is that near bound is the vehicle by which, you know, outbound sellers do things without bound accounts. Right. sellers do other things with inbound accounts. Well, let's assume that you've done a good job. And you've got alignment with leadership. What the heck do sellers do with near bound accounts? That's what near bound is what your sales team does to generate pipeline with partners, what your sales team does to accelerate pipeline with partners, and we go to near bound success as well. So that's why I've generally referred to it as nearby GTM. What are the plays that marketing teams can do, that sellers can do and the success teams to do so that way you stop acting like a partner source revenue department that has a giant number on your head, and you start orchestrating as a strategy for every department, that's what near bound is. And that's why it's catching on faster than any other category creation play I've been involved in. I mean, we have Have companies as large as HubSpot shouting the word near bound, it was at Box partner day. I mean, the word is catching on and guess who it's catching on with Scott CROs CMOS. I think because of the proximity to the words, inbound and outbound, right? It forces that marketing and sales leaders are thinking about something more tactically practical than the totality of all things, ecosystem and partnerships. It's too complex for them. But if we start talking about near bound plays, near bound marketing campaigns, near bound sales plays, now all the sudden, we're having the conversation that we should have been having with our executives the entire time.

Scott Pollack 5:39
So, you know, you've referenced that near bound is the future of go to market, you're kind of talking about it's not partnerships, it's it sits on top of partnerships, maybe just help us put that into context. So if Neubau and you consider to be the future of go to market, what was the past of go to market and why isn't your bound in the future? Yeah, so

Jared Fuller 5:58
I broke this down. It's ironic that the narrative fits in very well to let's say, the partner hacker manifesto that I wrote a year and a half. But a year ago, year, a couple months ago, this one read 10s of 1000s of times, like it really struck a nerve in that partner hacker manifesto was called trust is the new data. Right, so Clive Humby, in 2006, boldly Procrit claimed that data was the new oil. Well, data, obviously was the newer oil, like look at Salesforce is Doc price from 2006 to 2022, or 2023, from Amazon's right, like, people made not just billions, but trillions off of data over the past 1516 years. So data was the new oil. Well, this decade, though, is precipitated by something fundamentally different. And that's that the way that we buy has fundamentally changed. It's absolutely changed. And I just did a podcast yesterday, Scott with another Scott, this gentleman's name was Scott lease. If no one knows who Scott leases Scott lease is one of the top five goats of VPs of sales in b2b Tech, or SAS. Scott has, you know, has six figures and following on LinkedIn, and is widely respected as one of the best VPs of sales of all time. His community had about 38,000 people in his community, he had Thursday night sales. He's done a bunch of things surfen sales summit where he builds really intimate connections with top VPs of sales and CROs. And what Scott was telling to me last night was that as a VP of sales, as a CRO, he believes that network in near bound is the only lever left. That's the only the only differentiation is your network, as a business and as an individual. And I'm like, Shit, this is what I was saying, a year and a half ago, when I was launching partner Hackard. Like there's going to be a movement, sales leaders are going to come over to our side. And what's resonated with Scott, more than anything else, if not the totality of partnerships. It's not about partner recruitment, right? It's not about partner engagement. It's not about partner activation, it's, Hey, let's assume that we have some partners that are activated partner program, if you can't produce partners that care about us. You know, like, that's not the sales team's problem, right? But the Celsius problem is, hey, now we have some integration partners, we have some service partners, what the let's assume that we're aligned at the CRO level, what do we do? How do we get there? Well, this is where we go through the kind of the different eras the outbound era was precipitated by was the 2000s. The database, right? The database, the fact that we were able to take sales activities and make them digital. So we could send outbound emails, we could make outbound phone calls, and we could track them. Right. So we now had an online cloud based database. And then whenever everything got in the online cloud database, we entered the inbound era, the 2010s. So everything became automated. Right, so we started to send, you know, programmatic ads out to people and emails based on what list they sent in. And there was a lot of inbound marketing, automation, contents, nurture, get them in a list, right? Send them a you know, drip journey with an ebook or whatever the heck it was, right. Now, in the 2020s. We're in this near bound era where there's too much data. There's too much automation, there's too much noise. And how we buy has fundamentally changed and Scott recognize this too, Scott lease. How we used to buy was based on words like how we google something, how do I do X? How do I do Y? What do I do with this? Now what do you get if you go to Google, and you search, like how do I do whatever you get 14 SEO dribble, like listicles that are just so unhelpful, that are clearly SEO optimized game garbage. I mean, look at the review sites. Is not every review of every product you see online. 4.7 stars 4.5 There must be something totally wrong if it's 4.9 it's clearly juiced like 4.7 stars or bus like nobody trust online information anymore, but we trust the people who've been to the places we want to go. That's why it's the near bound era. It's not, we don't ask how questions we ask who, who has done the thing that I'm trying to do? Who's been to the places I want to go. So as a seller, you need a near bound mindset to be able to go, I'm not just going to go attack this account, I'm going to surround this account with people they're already doing business with, I'm going to help them and I'm going to get intel back. And I'm going to work this account by being with people that they already trust. So that way, when they say, you know, who should I look out for this solution? You're the name that comes up. So I think that we're in three different areas. It was the outbound era, that it was the inbound era, we're clearly in the near bound era, go to Network, go to community, go to ecosystem, ecosystem, lead growth, partnerships, this that whatever it is, the whole point of near bound is to give you something tactical, though, that you can go do with your sellers, with your marketing people. And I think that's why it's the the Enter of the new new era, like, let's be honest, in one year, are your inbound channels or your outbound channels going to be performing better in 12 months from now than they are today? Let's take a really fucking honest answer here. They are not, there's no situation in which a CMO or CRO can look me in the eye and say that one year, my outbound and inbound channels are going to be performing better than they are today. Absolutely not. So that's why it's the near bound era, you have to go to the people that have already done the thing that the customer is trying to do, who already have trust with that customer and work with them in as a partner person. If you're not doing that with your marketing team, if you're not doing that with your sales team, then you're a siloed, individualized department and you're gonna get caught. That's what silver, we need to demonstrate this in these other departments,

Scott Pollack 11:48
if I can take it back a level. So just to kind of recap what I believe roll hearing what nubone is fundamentally is a way of taking the concept of partnerships and making it less about how many partners can I get and more about? How can I infuse partnerships across the organization, enable my marketing, sales, etc, teams so that partnerships as part of their strategy infused across the strategy organization that I get? Okay, we want to say about that.

Jared Fuller 12:15
What I would say is yes, and what I'm what I'm trying to articulate, by speaking so passionately about this is that we need to recognize the moment that we're in two years ago, we did not have this opportunity to make that big of an impact on the business. Right? When we say the word partnerships, or channel or alliances or business development, or resellers or referral, whatever those other words are, they were not landing. They are not getting buy in. Right language has a network effect. And what I noticed with near bout is that CMOs and CRO start using it immediately. They go okay, now we need to figure out our near bounce strategy. Right? It makes sense I, my AES work outbound accounts that work inbound accounts, what the heck is okay partner accounts that are from a partner? where how do we proactively engaged? We're asking the right questions. And my point is, if you can align your strategy to do that, across these different departments, we have the opportunity now more than we had even a year ago, right, it's your time to shine. And I believe that just by talking about all things, partnerships, with each depart, like the conversation with your CRO and your cmo should be different. It's not the same. You shouldn't be talking about partner recruitment with your CRO and your CMO, you really shouldn't. But you should be talking about what nearby and marketing and how to attach partners, to more marketing campaigns. And you should be talking about near bound sales, and how to attach partners to more sales activities. Those conversations are tactical, right to roll up to a strategic objective of let's say, 1/3, outbound 1/3, inbound 1/3 near bound, right, that might be a best in class or healthy revenue mix, right? Your three major channels that can apply to social, they can apply to email, they can apply to calls, calendars, events, you know, anything? So that's what I would say is so important about this conversation, why I'm speaking so passionately to it is that we are at a moment where these conversations should be happening. And they're more receptive than ever. Because why, like I said, the other channels have stopped producing period.

Scott Pollack 14:19
Yeah, I know. And I love one thing that you've been saying for a while now, the idea that partnerships is a strategy, not a department and what I'm hearing is that near bound is a mechanism for infusing partnerships as a strategic imperative into the entirety of the organization. But I do want to ask you one specific question, which is, a lot of the language you're using about driving accounts and sales seems very much like it comes from the world of chattel sales. And so what I would want to understand is, what's different? Is this just new fancy language that is unto itself valuable to create the knowledge and thoughtfulness about partnerships in the sales department, or is it just Channel Sales with a with another word?

Jared Fuller 14:59
I don't think A channel sales with another word. And let me give you a very specific example channel is fundamentally different than partnerships. And if anyone wants to disagree on that, let's talk about it. Channel comes from the world of let's say telco, right? Where you needed local presence for distribution of hardware. Whenever you were selling giant deal, let's say PBX systems, right? So you'd have an office tower. And there's all these people, you know, top to bottom, and you needed all of this local servers and hardware to make phone calls. Right or to do internet connectivity. Now, everyone, I mean, literally, you text someone and there's a one gigabit two gigabit internet speed to your home, right? Like, that world no longer exists. Now, there's still plenty of companies that have channel programs, but channel programs are actually business units. These are contractual relationships with an anticipated sell through and what's changed so much about channel versus today? Is it in 2012? Or 2013? There were what 400 500 mahr tech companies. Today, there's 12,000. Right, there was maybe a few 1000 ISPs today, there's 200,000. Your brain can't compute the exponentially different world that we live in where a channel in having a dedicated business unit, that means that you have a go to market operating model, Scott, in that operating model, you have channel partners, and there's an anticipated what sell through, you're actually booking the revenue for your sales team, and your channels separately. Right channel is about a partner that's committed to doing 1 million, 2 million, 5 million 10 million 100 million in sales, right. And then you're putting channel marketing resources behind those partners. You're putting channels sales resources channel, that enablement, you know, things like through channel marketing automation, which can be valid, but because there is so much choice, very few people, I mean, Jay McBain talked about this as 2019, the trifurcation of the channel, right? The non transacting partners are now showing up everywhere in the buyers journey. You know, so partner channel world is different than partner world, right partner world is a department where you're doing things that are a lot more amorphous, like, I don't know, co marketing, or building an integration, or any number of different things like influence on the customer success side, that is not tied to a sale or a transaction. Right? So channel was about the transaction and point of sale partnerships, it was about a wider remit in terms of customer value, but it's kind of fluffy. And what ended up happening unintentionally, is that the people from the channel background didn't necessarily translate to the partner background because they're like, how do I prove impact? You know, the CRM is up, in my case, to dry partner source revenue, but we don't have a channel program, right? My partners are not signing up to do millions of dollars of revenue a year, even if you have the right tearing program. So that's the difference between channel and partnerships. What part with near bound is is an evolution of partnerships. It's it's naming the actual plays that a sales organization can do with partners. So I'll give you a perfect example. I've signed reseller deals and I would call that a channel. Right? Because there's some there's some commit, alright, you're gonna do a million dollars, right of sales of my product over the course of the next year. Right. So like, I have gross margin on that. It's a dedicated line item. That's fantastic. But then, let's say six cents and drift ISB partnership that I built, we were doing at whenever I left six cosell deals a day. Where are sellers? We're helping sellers at six cents and vice versa, you know, about averaged about six times a day. How do I report that as channel revenue? I can't it's six cents had nothing to do with a transaction. They weren't referring deals. Yeah, they did occasionally. But they also weren't selling deals. They were influencing deals, they were insuring us to new contacts, they were giving us intel about the accounts that we use to close the deal that we otherwise wouldn't have. And that's what I recognize, hey, this thing that I'm doing with sixth sense, is fundamentally different than channel. And it's the actual application of partnerships where sellers are doing the work. I had 55 sellers, Scott, how could I with a partner team of four or five people potentially have as much overlap and reach is my field organization of 55. Right? There's an average of an eight to 12 ratio of individual contributors to partner people in most tech companies. Near bound is about how you get these partnerships. So you've already spent all this time activated into the hands of the people that are actually on the front line and own the majority of accounts.

Scott Pollack 19:41
So you've talked about a few different types of partners. I want to bring up a question that Tanner just asked he asks about what types of partners are core Jr. About it's a tech partners ISVs and we talked about is it solutions partners and services companies or is it agencies or all the above?

Jared Fuller 19:57
We might skip ahead and then come back to this box. I know You wanted to get into this a little bit later. I've mentioned my three eyes of like near bound sales plays, for example. So Intel intro and influence, right, those are the three eyes. And what I would say is what types of partners are best suited for these plays? For example, let's say you just signed an Accenture. Right, a big for GSI. Do you want the totality of your sales team? And let's say you're able to get some, you know, overlap data with some nearby network data with Accenture? Would you want your entire sales team trying to engage with Accenture? Well, if you haven't done that before, and you go through for the first time, you'll realize no, you don't. Right, because Accenture will will take any call and will waste all of your time to the umpteenth degree. Right. You really need to understand what deals it's potentially viable to work with Accenture on. Right. But you might just see that, I don't know. Accenture just closed an opportunity. Right in the last month. Okay, that one's interesting, right? They just closed them. They have some influence. But everything else is an opportunity to Accenture, like literally everything is an opportunity, you will see your entire customer base, you know, in the enterprise, where Accenture has everything as an OP. And there's 20 People working per account. So could you use near bound data? Yes, you just have to be mindful about it. And you have to recognize I just posted this on LinkedIn this morning. Not all choices are equal. Right? Like not all partners are equal. Right? So the top 20% of your partners, right? The 8020 rule that just exists like don't fight it, it exists, it just is. It exists in pea pods, right? It exists all the way to your partners, I promise, the Pareto principle applies everywhere. That 20% of partners, whether they're SI Partners, or tech partners, you absolutely should be running nearby and sales plays with. Right, so it doesn't matter if they're agency, it doesn't matter if they're ISVs. Obviously, if they're ISVs, you're going to have more overlap. But a really healthy way to go about doing this in near bound is I'll give you like a really tactical thing you could do with near bound cells place today. You pull up 360 mapping on a rep level. So Scott, we're talking about an account executive, let's name a fake account executive will call us Scott pollack. He's the he's the quota Crusher, right. So your account executive, Scott, and I'm partner manager, Jared, I sit you down, like say, Hey, Scott, let's pull up your list of your accounts. Let's say you have 100. And then we're gonna sort that, by the accounts with the most partner overlap. You know, most recently, so you might see your top 20 accounts out of that 100 have five or more partners, where they have a close customer that you're trying to reach out to. So now we've gone from 100 accounts, and like, I don't know which accounts I'm going to work with partners to 20. Okay, great. Now, of those 20, which partners are the best ones to go and work with? And we'll look at things like oh, that they just became a customer of two of my integration partners in the last two months. Scott, do you think there was some buying intent or a business initiative that resulted in this account purchasing two pieces of tech that we integrate with in the past too much? We'd know what that business initiative is? Probably, like, otherwise? What are we We're gonna just send cold outbound emails based on stuff on LinkedIn and their website, like how 2015 You know, 2015, like, not even all of us were on iPhones or Androids, right? It's like football is still existed, come on, like we're in a whole different world now. So that that account executive can then reach out to those integration partners and be like, Hey, I noticed you just signed this customer, you know, blah, blah, blah. I'm curious. This is what my value proposition was for this account. But I imagine you were probably selling into a business initiative that got this deal done. Could I perhaps learn more so that way, I'm coming alongside what you felt was important to the customer that's near bound, that's near bound Celie. That's isn't that different than channel. This is not about a partner Bri or referral. Right. It's not about a partner of registering a deal, they would have never brought it to you as my point. And as a cost as a partner manager, you would have never reached out to that partner about that account. Why? Because you can't go across 100 accounts times 50 or 100 reps and do that solo, you need the rep to do it to prioritize it. Right and then make that connection. And you're just the facilitator, the orchestrator. So in the beginning, guess what? So Tanner, to answer your question, even more tactically, you might be the liaison for every single one of those requests, okay, this ad is trying to connect with this partner is trying to connect with this partner, then you get to a phase of maturity, where you just let them go ham, you display the account executive or CSMs name, you have tight rules of engagement. And that's where I got with six cents and drift, where like, we just we just let the CSM and II names open and they started reaching out to each other. They just logged in activity. So we tracked all of it and I didn't even touch any of those intros. So that's where you can get ISPs are best because you have the most overlap. But you'll notice when you're doing that 360 mapping where I'm sitting down with Scott, the account executive, some of the best partner relationships will be agency or they will be si and what we're doing on a month The basis is we're choosing which of those accounts are near bound accounts. Right? They're going to have a partner attached to them. Your top 20, right, or 33, whatever. And guess what? Here's how you make the math simple. Scott, I imagine the people that you teach in the partner school, everyone's trying to get to a number. Right? It's some percentage of revenue, right? Like you your partner programs goal is typically not just build a good partner program. It's to drive what you know, 25% partner revenue 33% 50% partner revenue, that's what these businesses are trying to get right. Okay, let me let me make this dumb simple for your CRO conversations. How can you possibly get to that number, unless a corresponding number of accounts that are assigned to account executives equal that revenue target, so let's say you want 1/3 Outbound 1/3, inbound 1/3 Dearborn should not 1/3 of all accounts that are assigned to an account executives be nearby and accounts were that were that rep is committed to working with a partner to break into pipeline or accelerate pipeline. This is math, not magic. I don't see Account Executives pulling rabbits out of hats, especially not in 2023. If you want production and output, the input has to match. It's that simple. And though that's how near bound is changing CROs from going I don't understand this crazy partner motion to like, oh, we just need to sit down and choose which accounts are best fit for partners in this type of messaging and emails, okay, this partner needs to go through you because they're still early, oh, this partner is very mature that he can connect directly with the CSM. Great. You're just building the motion, you're building the sales motion around nearby.

Scott Pollack 26:46
You know, and you've talked about the availability of partner data from tools like cross beam and reveal as being kind of central to this, this new movement to

Jared Fuller 26:54
this new wires, right? Like, that's what made me go holy crap, all of this partnering stuff changes like it's different than PRM. So yeah, it that's for me personally going through not having networks data, to having network data when this can change everything.

Scott Pollack 27:08
Yeah, well, let's get down to the tactics of things like what do you think is going to change? Or, you know, what has changed? And what do you think will continue to change on a day to day level for a partner manager, who wants to start executing your baton plays based on the availability of data through tools like Crosby and reveal, or the tools that are coming down the pipe that will enable even more sophisticated ways to go about? Yeah,

Jared Fuller 27:29
so like, you know, shout out to Robert superglue. Like, I think he's doing some cool stuff there. That could be very interesting. But I think you know, what's to come? I'll talk in some first principles here that I think are fundamentally, like, happy to have an argument about but I believe deeply in the underlying premises is that all Tech is a race to the bottom of the stack. What do I mean by that? Any workflow application that has a light UI, right? If it's wildly successful, it wants to work its way further and further and further down the stack, you know, from workflow to application layer, to or other say application layer to workflow to data to like infrastructure. Right. So some of the fastest growing companies of all time are what? Well, AWS, right, snowflake, right, like you there's a big miss, for like a, you know, Salesforce to miss out on like the snowflake opportunity, right? They're like, oh, shoot, another abstraction layer of data got built underneath us, right. And technically, if you have everything set up on snowflake, you could replace and replatform, Salesforce, with Dynamics or with HubSpot, just as an example. Right? So all tech is erased down to the bottom of the stack. What does that mean is that if you actually change the bottom data layer, everything that's built on top of it, the workflows and the application layers can fundamentally change. So for example, let's just do nearby GTM, which is marketing, sales, and then success, let's talk about how each of those buckets can change due to this technological shift. When it comes to marketing, what is marketing? Well, either you have your list, which is your known contacts that have converted through some mechanism, right? So through an ebook, or webinar, or white paper, a blog post a podcast, following a newsletter, whatever those things are, it's your known List of 10s of 1000s, or hundreds of 1000s of contacts. And then you build lists. Right, so not all contacts in that database are treated equally by the marketing organization. Some are top of funnel, some are midsummer bottom, right? Some are market, some are customers, right, where you do customer marketing versus, you know, top of funnel awareness versus more buying intent, middle of funnel. Let me ask you a question. Knowing what technologies are, what service providers or what partner relationships exist and overlap against that contact database. Does that change how some of those lists should be created? Yeah, of course it does. Like if you have a top target list of accounts, what is informing that top left target list of accounts for marketing? This is a conversation you should go have with your CMO, what is informing the top 1000 accounts that are most important to you most b2b now has some semblance of ABM, if nothing else just accounts, right. First rule of sales is no one cares about your product, second rule of sales as target accounts sell to people. Okay, so which accounts? How was marketing answering that question? Which accounts are we targeting? It would be very dumb of me to not overlap that assumption or use that data to inform what are our target accounts? I mean, do we not have the data on our side? Can they say that like this firmographic information, company size or persona information, title roles in your city, and geo like any of these other considerations are important, right? You don't want to sell a 10 person, mom and pop shop if you're selling a solution for a 2000 person company. But knowing what technology they use, what partner relationships they have, like, it's not just me, I know that if I look at any person's data, that is actually done a volume of partner sales. What are we going to see, Scott? Are the partner deals close faster or slower than the non partner deals? Faster? Faster, typically, right? And do they win at a higher rate or a lower rate than non partner deals? Higher? Higher rate? Okay, so then what other vector do I have to look at that typically has a 2x. Right? So I typically see about a 2x increase in do velocity and a 2x increase in wind rate. What other vector does marketing have where they can get a double? I don't I'm not aware of one is your CMO. So that's how that's how this data can change marketing? Not not just the tactics in which partners to do things with with the target account list themselves. And then you do your campaign planning. Okay, what stuff are we doing around marketing? Well, here's our big message. Well, one other partners have an audience that already believed that message, right? Like, so then we're talking about, okay, that content needs to have a partner attach. Okay, this event we were going to do on this InfoSec, you know, hot topic that everyone's talking about, we should definitely do it with these 10 partners that have this overlap here. All of a sudden, it changes the campaign's where you're thinking, Okay, I need to have partners attached right nearby and marketing, to at least what, again, if it's the numbers 33%, partner revenue, that means that 33% of your marketing activities should have partners attached Period. Period, we already know that they convert better and they convert faster. So like that ask is minimum commit table stakes for you now, as a partner executive, if you cannot get commitment to the revenue number that you're supposed to contribute to, from marketing, that they should have a corresponding amount of activities on a percentage basis? You're fucked. I'm not kidding, I use that. I've always spoke this passionately. But I mean, it honestly, you are in a bad spot. And you need to get out of that situation ASAP. That's an inbound marketing. You have a revenue target, what percentage of marketing activities have partners attached? Do you need to get to that same percentage? And then we go to sales, right? How you got to 100 target accounts, Scott? Well, which ones? You probably we can go through that for success teams to where we're just thinking about that list, what percentage of revenue as partners supposed to drive? And then what percentage of activities have I added in each bucket?

Scott Pollack 33:23
Have you found any companies or CEOs that aren't engineer bound? And if so, like, how does your average partner leader get a company over the hump? Or is your recommendation just get out of there? If they're not already aligned and not seeing the light then on the Ninja,

Jared Fuller 33:37
I think that's why this conversation is so powerful, though, like this is the conversation that you need to have. That's why I'm speaking so much today about is I think it's how you go when those conversations and aligned to the thing that they probably hired you for in the first place. They just didn't know how to articulate it. There are a ton of great role models out there. And the role models that are out there, it looks so different than your business. Let's say for example, HubSpot, right hub spots, one of my favorite examples on how to do this right, from startup to public, publicly traded company. But it's so hard to look at HubSpot and be like how do I do that? Right. Like, it doesn't make sense how, where they're at and where you're at. So I think that centering around near bound is a, it's positioning, that sales, its marketing, like you need to sell your internal internal company on doing things your way you need to lead. Right, you need to have conviction in your words and be willing to risk. I see that very intentionally. Most people that are unwilling to call their shots are not willing to risk. They're like, I have all of these partner relationships out here, and maybe something good will happen like a big deal of fall out of the cracks, or we'll win this thing. We'll have some influence here. And what you're doing is you're closing off the opportunity to actually call your shot and go you know what we've recruited 150 partners, our top 35 are solid. That means that the 30 be five, we need to get them involved in a court. Like, if we're trying to go from 10% partner revenue to 20%. Marketing next quarter, we're planning right now today on how we do 20% of all of our marketing activities with partners. Like, this is a face to face conversation you're gonna have with your CMO, and then you're gonna have a face to face conversation with your CRO 20% of all sales activities will have a partner attached. If they're not willing to commit to that, that's your battles to fight. And if you can't win it in a quarter, you're you're screwed. A, it could be your company's fault, but it could be your fault. That just by point is that you're gonna have to take that accountability one way or the other, either your program's gonna die, or you're going to start operating with a near bound mindset.

Scott Pollack 35:45
And let's take it down to level two, partner attach, right, that word has come up a lot less is that what does that actually mean? And for companies or the CMO zeros who are not aligned with that, what does it take to get partners attached to opportunities?

Jared Fuller 36:00
What does it take to get partners debt? I think this is where people will appreciate the distinction between you know, the totality of partnerships or whatever, like you'll probably see, hopefully, there's some people on here that were at supernode, or their partner hacker, I actually joined the ELD. Alliance that crossbeam announce. And you're like, why would you join, I thought near bounded this, see, this is the thing, you still need to recruit great partners, right? So you need to like, be able to build a great partnership with someone on either on a service level and showing an agency how they can make money around delivering your solution or make their clients wildly happy to be in their stack or recommend it, you need to produce, you know, ISV or tech integration partners that have some joint value and maybe some co innovation, or you need to have on top of both of those are, in addition to co marketing partners that are great to do content, social events with the generate more, you know, partner oriented pipeline, so you need to have these things already set up. That's not to take away from the job of the partner pro to do go do those things. But But what I've seen in the thing that's made me so sick, over the past five, six years, where I've really been focused on partnerships and alignments with sales and marketing, is when great partner people do that, and then they're not able to translate it into revenue. That sucks, that hurts so bad to go sink two, three years of your life into building these relationships and helping people out and setting up these great partnerships. And then you're like, I just can't get sales. To figure this out. It is because you have all of the commitment, all of the responsibility, right? And all of the liability in your sales organization has zero. The point is, is that if you want me to own 10% of revenue, 20% of revenue, that's fantastic. I'm gonna go build a fucking great partner ecosystem, I'm going to help all these partners. But guess what that means from you, you're committing that you're doing a corresponding at least 20% 33% amount of activities, snip this right here. That's the conversation that you need to go out. And if you're not confident about it, DM me on LinkedIn, I'll help you get confident about it. I'll talk to you and your CMO or your CRO about it, because I promise it's in arguable. I've been having this conversation for the past six months. And it's it's landing like nothing I've ever seen in go to market before. I think that's why I'm so passionate about this is that if you're not having these conversations structured this way, there's no way you know, Scott, I just got off a call. That was very sad to me. extremely sad. It was the it was a partner person that was like, Look, we only have referral partners. What do you mean, you only have referral partners? Well, we work our partners to send referrals to us. And then I talked through who their top partners were. And they were all tech companies, by the way, these top partners. And I'm like, so what you're telling me is that you think the account executives and the customer success managers at that company are going to use your referral link in your deal registration portal to proactively send you customers. That new referrals, yes. But your sales organization is not proactively working accounts. So they might have overlap with about 360 mapping with that very same partner. And that sales rep could reach out very intelligent, hey, I'm talking to this contact and this contact at this company. Here's where we're at, here's why I think it's valuable for both of us. What Intel do you have on this account, and we could kind of share notes on them reaching out and doing that activity. You're saying you're not willing to commit to? Well, you know, sales just isn't bought in yet. And I'm like, you're screwed. My advice to them was as their partner program is going to fail. And it is it will fail. I would, I would short that company stock if it was a publicly traded company right now. I would short it because how are you? How could they ever get to this company had about 250 account executives to Scott And they had about 100 integration partners, like maybe 2030 agencies, but mostly the integration partners. So their top 2030 integration partners is where they got most of it. But they have a six person partner team, how are they going to drive 20% of revenue with six people? Let's be honest man, like, we were never gonna make that program was doomed to fail unless they change. This is real proc, like, let's go, let's go capture the moment people I think nearby. And that's why I'm so excited about it. It's facilitating the conversations that's making the rest of the team pick up, you know, partners as a as a go to market lever, and the most effective and efficient go to market lover.

Scott Pollack 40:39
So we've been talking about incorporating near bound into organizations that already have established partner programs, what should people who are maybe at early stage companies, and are establishing a partner motion in their company be thinking about to bring near bound thinking into their organization?

Jared Fuller 40:53
That's a great question and distinction, too. So like, if you literally have no partner program right now, like near bound, I'm probably not speaking to you. Right? Like, this is not something that you do day one, like you need to have a good partnership in place before you start putting sellers in front of this, but you have to. So a near bound mindset can be network, right? It doesn't just have to be partners, like, you need to imbue this across your culture across influence in general. So this could be board members, it could be family members, it could be teammates, it could be customers, the episode was Scott lease, we actually talked just about that. And he was talking about how like, look, go to market is kind of like go to Network. And I'm like, This is crazy. Another framework or word he's like, Well, my point is just simple. And it's easy, like it's actually really close to near bound is that sometimes people where you have a relationship are going to have influence and you know, more control over that buying decision than a formal quote unquote, partner, or you might not have a partner relationship yet. That doesn't mean that the effort should stop there. So what's my point, if you don't have a big partner program started showing how influence in network in proximity to the buyer and understanding of that specific buyer and their needs and their challenges, that Intel and information, the answers to the test is the thing that's most important. That's what's most important, right partners, I think, are the biggest vehicle by which to do that, to operationalize that across a company. But it could be, you know, a board members wife, right, that is also a board member at this other company who has a ton of influence. And she's a rockstar. And getting that alignment call with her might be like, hey, actually, they're about to fire half their sales team, this thing is going on over here, they just had this other challenge. So if I was you, I would only sell into this business initiative, because it's the only thing they care about. Stop acting like all of sales, you need to play on hardmode. And I think that's where the the near bound and the network components could apply more readily to early stage startups is look at who surrounds that account. In don't have so much bias is to who you have to be working with, it could be a person, right? And that's how I would think about it early stages that demonstrate how you can influence accounts through their network. And then you can translate that into a partner program and operationalize it and do partner attach at scale.

Scott Pollack 43:07
Can you be used to help find partners, especially for early partner programs, where perhaps there isn't an established relationship with prospective partners. And there might be reluctance to share data, right, Crosby reveal the whole concept of kind of automating account mapping is a relatively new thing. Have you found that to be the case? And if so, how do you overcome those challenges?

Jared Fuller 43:28
What I would say is that the data sharing component, this, the law is clearly established on this. So if you're having an objection, ping me DM me on LinkedIn. And I'll help you get through this because I have done I have gone through this as much as anyone I mean, I built Scott, I build these partnerships that drift, so high profile Sequoia backed company, with companies like six cents, clear bit demand based zoom info. So these are all data companies. So the nuance of for first party data versus third party versus second party data, CCPA, GDPR. And all the rules and regulations, here's what I can promise sharing account level metadata across two companies that have a formal partnership, where they are both security compliant does not violate any, you know, GDPR CCPA, or personally identifiable information PII regulations. So like there is no actual block to doing this, provided, you do not have a personal specific provision in your accounts that you could not share it with approved partners and vendors. So like, if you're in a big company, that are just investing in partnerships that you might need to go talk to legal and get your MSA adjusted that you can share, you know, let's call it second party data with approved partners and vendors. Right. So presumably, any vendor, right, any vendor that has access to your CRM has shared information. So it's no different than bringing on a vendor that has access to CRM. It's technically not any different because you're not sharing any contact level details.

Scott Pollack 44:58
I suppose. A lot of times a blockage is less under, you know, legal regulatory standpoint and more just like a philosophical basis or, or just organizational inertia, a new process to implement to incorporate data sharing into a partner discovery call, have you found where that reward leadership's

Jared Fuller 45:14
needed Scott, and this is why I'm speaking so passionately about this is that you cannot be a passive participant to this transformation in your company, you have to lead it. So either you're an entrepreneurial partner Pro, that's going to stake your reputation in your career, on helping your organization move from old world go to market that is not working, your team is not hitting their numbers. Marketing is not improving outbound is not improving, your pipeline is missing, and you're close, when revenues missing. Are you a passive participant on that ship? Or are you taking up the partner flag and marching to leadership and going, I'm going to help turn this ship around? If it's organizational resistance, what kind of BS excuses that like, you aren't going to have a job there in six months? Do you not recognize that people? You won't, the layoffs are not getting better, they're getting worse. I was just on a call with a brand name company, Scott that you've heard me talk about brand name, they have an 80 million cash on hand. It's a platform that I use very frequently, the CRO was fired, the CMO was fired, the CTO was fired. Half of the sales organization was laid off. And I was just talking to them a week and a half ago about how they need to make this shift. And I'm like, how did this just happen? It's continuing to happen. Like it's not going to get better in AI is only going to make it worse, companies are gonna have to operate on about 1/3 of their headcount that they currently operate with. It's it's this problem is going to compound so like if you're saying things to be like organizational resistance, that means that in the three C's, curiosity, courage, and conviction, people that change the world or change their company, they have a lot of conviction. At minimum, they have a little bit of courage. But if you're just curious, you're just a passive participant. It takes change, it's gonna take leadership, and that's hard. But that's the reality, you have to go change these people's minds and say, like, you know, I'm damn glad that I have Scott Pollack in the boat with me to figure out this partner thing, because he has a lot of conviction on how we're going to do this. And a lot of, you know, roadmap and tactically like how we're going to make it happen. So I've often said, Scott that like, if I'm not the most persuasive person in the room, I will be the most persistent. You know, like, you better be persistent on this, you better get in front of executives, and tell them the way that it needs to be, and figure out how to make that happen. Or you can make an impact of that organization.

Scott Pollack 47:38
I've learned how to do a proc here. And no doubt, you are certainly one of those passionate, and I personally appreciate that, as someone who's been, you know, waving the flag of partnerships for a long time, it's great to hear the kind of excitement in your voice and the people rallying behind it. Because I think that is the movement that Hi that is

Jared Fuller 47:56
you have to believe what I'm talking about to go change other people's minds. Because why? So these are hard conversations guy, you know, these are hard. You've been in that you've been in them, they're not fun. But guess what also is not fun, passively losing week over week taking punch after punch to the face and being the third wheel, right, our third rail, like no one can touch partnerships. It's the silo thing, like, you know what I'll take everyday hard choices, easy life, not easy choices and a hard life. And that's often what partner people are doing is they're making easy choices. They're allowing the probabilities that exist out in their ecosystem to play out, and maybe something great will fall out. But they're not making hard choices and saying, I'm putting my line in the sand, we have activated partners that are ready, we can attach them to the corresponding number of marketing, sales and success activities. We're not moving forward until we get agreement on these things. Now, you might ask how great now we're talking about the things we should have been talking about all along. We have to agree on the level of output that we want has to be met with the level of input period. Can we agree on that executive team? Again, this is math, not magic. If we cannot agree on that, I will be blowing us up on that every day or every week until we do. And then asking the question, well, how would we do that? That's what I've been trying to talk to you about all along. Right. Like, that's the point is, once you get the buy in, and then now you're talking tactics, okay, how do we do this with marketing? Great. Now we're, we're committed that 20% of partners must be attached to all marketing campaign. Hell, yeah. What a refreshing conversation after you've got past the hard work.

Scott Pollack 49:36
Yeah. Jared, I love it. For those who want to know, where do we go from here? A couple of next steps here. But I want to ask you, people who want to continue to follow you and the nearby movement. How should they follow that?

Jared Fuller 49:48
Just hit me up on LinkedIn. So Jared, fuller, sign up at partner for we send out partner hacker daily. It's the number one read the newsletter in partnerships. We have 10,000 plus members, and it's a delight At least simple little mini PhD and partnerships every day, I was just at a conference last week where an executive at a publicly traded company said that they read it every single morning before they wake up their kids. So I'm like, hey, that's that little bird has a writer's blocks every day. So sign up at partner Hit me up on LinkedIn, I'm always happy to help. I'm pathologically helpful, meaning you shoot me a DM. I'm happy to help.

Scott Pollack 50:25
Awesome, Jared. Thank you. And now class is over. But you might be wondering beyond continuing to follow Jared and subscribing to the partner hacker daily. Where do I go from here. So I want to share one more thing, which is if you want more of this, if you feel like you're navigating this this universe alone, we've got more. And as you can see from today's session, I don't the other partner school events that we've hosted, there is an infinite and increasing complexity in partnership, there's new language, there's new concepts, and frankly, make your head spin. And there are also dozens of tactics and strategies that you need in order to be successful as a modern partnership leader. And frankly, it takes most people 10 years at least to figure things out, and also to get comfortable and confident in the role. And so if you you know, during that trial and error, period, you can feel like you're you're figuring things out for yourself. So you might be asking yourself, Where do I go? If I don't have 10 years of my career to spare? What do I do if I don't want to feel uncertain and unconfident as I navigate that? How do I start learning and growing and creating progress right now? Now, if that is what you were wondering, let me tell you about something that we built at fonio. That could help. It's called the certified partnerships professional program, and it's an eight week interactive experience for emerging partnership leaders. So if you feel like you are still trying to connect the dots between all the many, many skills needed the many activities that you need to do to be effective at partnerships and build effective, impactful partnerships. This is the program for you

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