Key Trends Discussed at the Summit

Key Trends Discussed at the Summit

Andrea Vallejo 10 min

The Nearbound Summit was full of so many insights and gems shared by 80+ speakers that we lacked space in our workbooks to fit them all. 

 

(Thank goodness we have access to the replays.) 

 

Leaders from every corner of GTM shared how to leverage nearbound to boost the potential of their product, success, marketing, and sales strategies. 

 

And between all the tactical golden nuggets you can find from the +25 hours of content, there were also some key observations and predictions about the state of the market as a whole that can help us think strategically in 2024. 

 

Here are the top 5 trends from the Nearbound Summit you need to consider today to build successful GTM motion: 

Trend one: Leverage automation for scalability

One key point is the fact that building a partner program involves two types of partner experts. Just like there are AEs and RevOps, there are also Partner Managers and Partner Ops

 

Partner Ops often work “behind the scenes”; they are the ones in charge of managing the technology, processes, and workflows that connect the different elements of your partner program to deliver a smooth user experience. 

 

You are not going to scale growth if you keep tracking your nearbound motion in spreadsheets. 

 

“Partner Ops is not well understood and is undervalued. If you want to scale, acquire, build, or integrate, you need a Partner Ops team. Otherwise, all your tracking, selling, and marketing processes are going to break.” –Laura Padilla, Partner and Head of BD at Sapphire Ventures

 

Automation has seemed to take hold in just about every GTM arena but partners. Partner Ops must work with Partner Managers to automate processes. We’re not saying that AI or tech can replace you—customers and partners will always need the human element. What we’re telling you is that you need to leverage technology and your Partner Ops team so you can focus on what you do best: building relationships and gaining trust. 

 

Your Partner Ops team touches a lot of departments, and they help you understand what are you signing up for when building a new partnership or integration. 

 

You can leverage your favorite Nearbound Revenue Platform to access nearbound intel, and automate and standardize processes like identifying and prioritizing the right partners, connecting with partners, tracking pipeline, and building the basis of your co-selling and co-marketing motions. 

 

When you standardize your processes, you can achieve a 3-6x increase in partner revenue (DigitalBridge Partners). 

 

 

Trend two: Quality over quantity in integrations

Having your customers’ and partners’ voices, feedback, and needs in mind is crucial to better prioritize and build an integration

 

When your customers and partners are consistently asking for a specific integration–76% of buyers have integrations with existing tech as a priority–it’s a clear sign that the potential benefits outweigh the effort required to build it. This approach can help you address market demands and expand your product’s appeal. 

 

But let’s be honest, building all the integrations asked by your customers is an impossible task.

 

So, you have to build integrations with a strategic focus. When building integrations, focus on solving key problems for your customers, and always prioritize quality over quantity. 

 

“Build a few very useful integrations for customers, and learn what integrations fit your ecosystem’s biggest use case.“ –Kenny Browne, CEO & Co-Founder of Partner Fleet

 

It’s better to have a few high-quality, mutually beneficial partnerships than many superficial ones. It’s also better to start this journey by building them in-house first, so you can make sure your first integrations have the same high quality as your product. 

 

For your integrations to be as powerful as your product, you need to first build a deep product. Make data live and accessible, and integrations will naturally flow. Make sure you prioritize integrations based on market share, total usage, the readiness of the API, and most importantly customer data or partner/customer feedback.

 

“You need time to build integrations, but there’s no way to scale a platform from 0 to 50, or 50 to 500 if you don’t have more product depth or other players in the space. You have to do your core set well, and identify what’s happening around your ecosystem that is important.” –Karen Ng, SVP of Product at HubSpot

 

When building integrations, focus on depth for a small set of core integrations that align closely with your product. Once you’ve established a strong foundation, gradually expand breadth to cover a variety of integrations and categories.

 

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Trend three: Build a customer-centered GTM motion

It’s not a secret that to build a successful GTM motion you need to center your strategy around your customer. You need to know their needs, their problems, and their technographic data. 

 

But one thing that companies haven’t completely understood (and leverage), is that when you build a customer-center GTM motion, you deliver more value–rather than just sales pitches–making your customers happy.

 

Happy customers = brand advocates = your best sellers

 

“You have to focus on customer impact, not on your own sales. If you don’t focus on customer impact, you will lose the battle. The more focused you are in your customers’ needs, the better partnerships you build and the more revenue you drive.” –Pete Caputa, CEO of Databox

 

You have to put your customers and your partners first before your own short-term interest. If they win, you win. 

 

Begin by mapping the entire customer journey and identify where you can enhance the customer experience. Focus on how you can help your customers achieve their goals rather than just giving.

 

“Your customer is at the center. Your ecosystem should surround your customers with the people they are already working with, trusting, and learning. You win when you make your customers successful.” –Jill Rowley, Strategy & Evangelism at nearbound.com

 

Remember that partnerships should be centered around what’s best for the customer. Ensure that partnerships are initiated based on the customer’s needs and success, not just for the sake of the partnership itself.

 

 

Trend four: Data-driven nearbound marketing

While building a nearbound marketing strategy, you need to focus on 4 things: 

  1. Identify your ICP

  2. Having a clear point of view

  3. Understanding your nearbound persona–who are you leveraging to influence your customer

  4. How are you going to identify that persona 

 

Data is crucial for making informed decisions. Even if you don’t have perfect data, use what you have and continue to refine your approach. Insights like who is you customer talking with, who is helping them with their problems, which platforms are they already using, and who they trust, can be instrumental in driving efficiency and growth.

 

“Being able to leverage data to inform decisions is important. Gaining insights to drive decisions and build trust with your customers, your business, and your partners. There’s a lot of intent data that you can leverage to build a business case and demonstrate the ROI today.” –Allison Munro, Chief Marketing & Ecosystem Officer at Vena Solutions

 

When creating a marketing plan, you need to make sure that your message is being delivered to the right people, at the right time, with the right information, and with the right influencer. Send an email to people who actually care about what you need to share. 

 

And how do you do that? Leveraging data. 

 

For example, intent data plays a crucial role in ABM strategy. It involves collecting and analyzing various data points to identify signals of buying behavior. You have to use intent data to send the right trust signals, understand engagement levels, and inform marketing decisions.

 

Leverage the data to identify which partners you can involve in your customer journey to surround them with trust. In Jay McBain’s language: who owns those 28 touchpoints in your customer journey?

 

Collaborate with GTM leaders and content creators who already have a trusted audience. Allow creators to speak to their audience in their voice and build authentic relationships. Then experiment with automated touchpoints with partners, finding the right balance between human touch and automation to achieve scalability.

 

“I think what is going to drive real growth is what we call modern partnerships, and those are influencers, creators, subject matter experts, search providers, consultants, and agencies, who have huge networks, and they use their personal channels to distribute their offers.” –Adam Glazer, President of PartnerCommerce

 

Leveraging trust within the ecosystem, including partners and communities, is a powerful strategy for establishing trust and credibility, accelerating sales cycles, and improving overall metrics.

 

 

Trend five: Shift from cold to warm strategies

Cold calls and emails typically convert at an average of 1%, whereas warm referrals have an average conversion rate of 78%. Instead of focusing the bulk of your efforts on cold systems, consider investing more time in building and optimizing warm systems.

 

How? Prioritize building warm relationships and networks for higher conversion rates.

 

“Build a go-to-network strategy. Build a network of champions, advisors, influencers, creators, partners, etc that can warmly reach the market through.”–Mac Reddin, Founder & CEO of Commsor

 

Buyers trust other buyers, and by implementing a go-to-network model companies have the opportunity to build trust differently by fostering communities. 

 

Engage in micro-communities related to your industry or interests. These communities provide an opportunity to connect with like-minded individuals, share insights, and seek advice. You have to leverage these communities for networking, gaining referrals, and expanding your reach.

 

After you start building your network consider incorporating referral selling into your strategy. Encourage your internal team, advisors, consultants, and investors, to act as referral sellers. This can be an effective way to tap into existing relationships and accelerate the sales process.

 

Plus, if you tap into your new colleagues’ previous work experiences and network, you can easily identify potential connections and ask for influence to ease your sales motion. Just as Scott Leese, Founder of Scott Leese Consulting, will say: 

 

“You’ll never know who you know that matters to somebody else. Build a network and leverage it to gather intel, gain influence, and get introductions. That’s the path forward to run your regular sales motion.” 

 

When seeking help or introductions to your network, provide context and make it easy for others to assist you. Write introductory emails for them, matching their tone and incorporating relevant information. Show that you understand their world and make the process as straightforward as possible.

 

 

A TL;DR

The Nearbound Summit wasn’t a talk-fest; it was a treasure trove of wisdom for anyone navigating the GTM universe. The 80+ speakers spilled the beans on leveraging nearbound for unparalleled growth in product, success, marketing, and sales. 

 

Amidst the avalanche of insights, five standout market trends emerged as your North Star for a successful GTM motion. 

  • Leverage automation for scalability

  • Quality over quantity in integrations

  • Build a customer-centered GTM motion

  • Data-driven nearbound marketing

  • Shift from cold to warm strategies

But knowing the trends is not enough—you also need to action them. Learn how to do it in Reveal today. 

 

 

Andrea Vallejo 10 min

Key Trends Discussed at the Summit


The Nearbound Summit was brimming with golden nuggets, including key observations and predictions that are shaping the path to 2024. Discover these pivotal trends here.


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