Mastering the Nearbound Rhythm of the Business: Key Takeaways from the Nearbound Book

Mastering the Nearbound Rhythm of the Business: Key Takeaways from the Nearbound Book

Andrea Vallejo 13 min

After gaining access to key insights on nearbound sales, customer success, and marketing strategies, you might wonder how to put all that knowledge into action.

 

The “Nearbound and The Rhythm of Business” chapter from Jared Fuller’s NEARBOUND and the Rise of the Who Economy is the perfect way to get you started.

Mike Midgley’s key takeaways from Chapter 14 of the Nearbound Book

 

This chapter defines:

  • How to embed nearbound into your GTM teams’ DNA

  • What you have to do to successfully run your nearbound strategy

  • How to boost collaboration between internal teams and your partners

 

It captures the final objective of building a nearbound strategy: empowering YOU to overlay nearbound onto every department by leveraging the right metrics, tech, and processes in the right place at the right time.

 

Here’s a sneak peek at the “Nearbound and the Rhythm of Business” chapter and how it can help you. 

 

What is the “Rythm of the Business”? 

The Rhythm of the Business (RoB) involves mapping out the key events, milestones, and activities scheduled across your business year, ensuring that every team is intimately familiar with the plan—or rhythm—for the months ahead.

 

It begins with building your company culture and culminates in leveraging Ops.

 

“The key to that world-class culture is what I’ve come to term the Rhythm of Business. At Drift, these were the cadences and rituals to enforce precisely what was promoted and tolerated. 

 

There was a daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly, and annual series of cadences and rituals that defined who we were by what we did. Sunlight was everywhere—there was no hiding in shadows.”—Jared Fuller, Chief Partnerships and Ecosystem Officer at Reveal and Co-founder of nearbound.com

 

In this context, culture doesn’t only refer to the values or the story behind your company but also the cadences and initiatives that connect the right information with the right people at the right time—the processes you need to get your work done.

 

Your Ops team is responsible for optimizing and nurturing your company culture to simplify operations through the alignment of objectives and incentives.

 

If you want to embed nearbound into your GTM teams’ DNA, you have to start incorporating partner metrics into your nearbound RoB. And as Jared Fuller would say:

 

“Pull partner data into the regular meetings and rhythms of each department [...] Measure, commit to the effort, and, when greatness shows, reward it.” 

 

Takeaway #1: Do a daily learning out-loud session with your teams

It would be great to read your AEs’ minds; you’d have access to the deals they need support on, their key accounts, and the resources they need. With all this intel, it would be easy to become like peanut butter and jelly with your Sales team.

 

Unfortunately, you don’t have that superpower.

 

However, you can ask your Sales team to share their to-do list, customer stories, learnings from the field, their POVs, and how they support your customers—ideally daily.

 

Once you get the gist of the rhythm of their business, you will be able to identify where you can lay partnerships. Here are a couple of examples:

 

  • Add nearbound data to their existing dashboards and explain how to leverage that data in your 1:1 meetings. Make sure you’re constantly reviewing pipeline and deals. Nearbound data should live right where your Sales team lives: in your CRM.

 

Reveal’s HubSpot widget

 

  • Within your call recording software, add tags, filters, and alerts for movement on deals to identify if a partner is mentioned, or if there is a potential “partner interest” from one of your clients.

     

“Ensure that your leadership and operations team are setting up front-line management for success with the proper visibility on both the team and per-rep basis where they live—their dashboards and reports, not yours.”—Jared Fuller

 

To action the three examples mentioned above, you will need to play the orchestrator role—unifying your company around the partners and people your customers already trust.

 

You have to keep everyone up-to-date and always close the feedback loop.

 

Your top partners and internal teams should always know what happened that day and what your next steps are.

 

Takeaway #2: Understand the weekly wins and opportunities

This time you don’t have to ask anything from your teams, you just have to be curious enough to dig a little deeper to find success stories. Does your company have a weekly kick-off meeting? 

 

If yes, all you have to do is pay attention to each department’s core metrics, wins, and opportunities, and identify the owner of those stories. 

 

Once you have that data in hand, you’ll be able to easily overlay nearbound, for example: 

 

  • Identify at-risk opportunities and where (and how) partners can help. Don’t forget to also find out the deals where partners didn’t help at all—remember to close the feedback loop. 

 

Reveal’s 360° Goals dashboard in Salesforce

 

Share with your AEs new overlaps, new prospects, deal influencers, and stuck deals, and even have a look into your automated Slack/Teams messages or email notifications. 

 

New Prospects in Reveal

 

  • Publicly share any partner win and reward your partners. Highlight those partners who have helped your Sales team with intel, influence, or intros to open up pipeline. Just as your Sales team (probably) shares a weekly list of the large deals they are working on, share a list of the partners who should be tapped into for large deals. 

     

    To make sure your Sales team knows about which partner can help them, work with your Ops team to embed this data into your daily reports. 

 

Reveal’s 360° Goals with the Source Opportunities view

 

“Your goal is to bake in the partner metrics, anecdotes, and levers for further partner involvement as part of the dashboards or templates used by your Sales team overall, or in each sales segment.”—Jared Fuller

 

Data is nice to have, but it is better when your team and partners know what to do with it. Prepare email templates for your team for partner intel, influence, and intros, and help them schedule meetings. 

 

Your job is to ensure that the activities on specific accounts and initiatives have completed their next steps—remember you’re the orchestrator. Have weekly 1:1 with your team and partners to track partner attach and discuss the next steps.

 

Reveal’s Collaborate feature

 

Takeaway #3: Track monthly progress

Now that you have data about your teams’ strategic accounts and how partners can help them, it’s time to track the progress toward quarterly goals. 

 

Leverage any monthly sync you have with your teams—gather all data possible around customer impact and deals in progress (open opportunities). Here’s what you can do to make the most out of these types of meetings: 

 

  • Get an agenda ahead of time and gather partner data according to each AE’s target account list—showing how partners can help them win bigger and better deals.

  • Ask your reps to share stories about their top wins with partners—this will help you foster the adoption of the partner attach rate metric and will motivate other reps to start/keep working with partners. 

 

You mustn’t be the one telling the stories, for this “motivation technique” to work, these stories have to be told by those who are working with partners. It has to be about them—make your reps and partner famous.

 

  • Add partner stats in each of your reps’ slides (if they have or if a partner helped them) and make sure you have an “in a nutshell” slide with an overview of partner performance to enlighten your entire team. 

  • Make sure you follow up with those who are interested in closing bigger and better deals and build an enablement team meeting. 

     

“This cadence is about prepping for the meetings, the time with the partner, identifying patterns and impact, and the top-to-bottom alignment for both teams.”—Jared Fuller

 

Your partnership role here is to fill in the gaps, try to attach partners where it makes sense, identify the patterns, and communicate the progress made in the month. To give visibility, you can share with your teams’ Reveal data on new overlaps. 

 

New accounts in Reveal’s 1:1 account mapping

 

Takeaway #4: Have quarterly reviews 

You always have to work hand-by-hand with your Ops team, especially during the QBRs. 

 

Each quarter you need to make sure that all the partner data you have is been shared correctly with the rest of your GTM organization. 

 

This will help you build stories that are backed up with data, create “big rocks” for the next quarter, identify where you have to “show up” in the market, and partner with the right companies.  

 

And even though you can’t be present in each of your team members’ QBRs, partner data should always be in every review. And here’s what you can do to make that happen: 

  • Review your team’s previous quarter’s attainment and pain points, and based on that create a QBR template deck with a section dedicated to partner attachment. 

  • Start a cadence of reviewing productivity per rep and partner, and identify the main reasons behind successes and failures about working with partners. 

  • Have pipeline reviews with your GTM teams to help your reps identify where can partners source or influence their deals. Make sure you review your partner dashboard for the attainment of OKRs. 

Reveal’s 360° Goals with the Influence Deals view

 

The secret to finding the quarterly gaps relies on how well you structured the foundation of your nearbound RoB. If since the beginning you worked with your Ops team, and you tracked the right metrics (partner attach rate, deal velocity, size, win rate), adding this layer of intel into your teams’ QBRs slides will be a piece of cake. 

 

“You should have the data prepared and be ready to tell the story of both high-level impact over the quarter for both companies and the individual plays and collaborations between your and your partner reps that worked together.”—Jared Fuller

 

Takeaway #5: Present an annual overview of your program 

Do you like attending your company offsite? It’s always fun until you have to prepare your annual report and present it in front of your entire company. The silver lining is that this is the perfect moment to make your partners and your team famous. 

 

And we know you might only have a couple of minutes to present, so here’s what you have to do to leverage those two—spotlight—minutes:

  • Showcase quick stats about what your team achieved last year. Chose metrics that are aligned with your company goals: 

    • Pipeline sourced/influenced by partners, 

    • Partner attach rate to marketing campaigns, 

    • Partner attache to pipeline and closed-won deals, 

    • Retention with partner attached, 

    • Partner influence in your target account list or install base

  • Introduce your annual plan and your partner value prop. You don’t have to share every detail, but what you can do is introduce a couple of partners that are going to help your GTM teams achieve their goals. Share their partner overlaps, their partner presence per territory, win rate, and the motions you have in mind for each partner, etc. 

  • Let other teams share nearbound success stories. Just as with the monthly success stories, you have to incentivize the rest of your GTM team to share their success stories with partners. You can even create a rep/ partner award competition like Pento

  • Make sure you work with your Ops team and finance to embed your nearbound motion into the annual operating plan and model.  

 

To follow up on your annual presentation, you can offer training and enablement sessions with your internal teams on how to work with you to bring partners into deals, marketing activities, or retention motions. 

 

“If you are going to live, build, and win in-market with the network of people who surround your customers, then you must have an equal quality of rhythm for those external parties. Your goal is to unite not only the folks within the walls of your company but also the parties your customers already trust. Be intentional on an annual basis.”—Jared Fuller

 

Ease this process by working with your Ops team to implement new processes like the Reval Engage feature

 

Reveal’s Get Intro button 

 

The annual kickoff meeting is not about each team having their 5 minutes of glory, it’s about alignment, especially if you’re in the Partnership team. And to be able to do that you will have to understand from A to Z your ecosystem and your company operating plan. 

 

Here are some questions you can ask yourself as a starting point: 

  • How many partners are attached/ partner attach rate on a unit/segment basis?

  • How many partners are overlapped? What’s the nearbound opportunity?

  • What does “good” look like? Prep for enablement, training, and coaching.

 

TL;DR

If you want to overlay nearbound into each of your GTM teams’ processes, you must center your company culture on what you want to promote, what you tolerate, and the daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly, and yearly cadences and rituals that reinforce them. 

 

But this won’t happen overnight, you have to be the mastermind (and orchestrator) ready to support your GTM teams overlay nearbound to achieve their goals faster, and to do so, you have to understand the rhythms, goals, and processes of your company and your GTM teams. 

 

“Nearbound culture is about understanding the ways your and your partners’ teams are working, the goals they are working towards, the places they are working in, and integrating your nearbound strategy into the daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly, and annual actions that make up these rhythms. Make seeking help through nearbound second nature to those you are working alongside, and watch the growth happen in real-time.”—Jared Fuller

 

If you want to access all the to-do lists, examples, strategies, and success stories from Acquia and Drift get your copy of the Nearbound and the Rise of the Who Economy.

 

Get your copy. 

 

Andrea Vallejo 13 min

Mastering the Nearbound Rhythm of the Business: Key Takeaways from the Nearbound Book


Learn how to integrate Nearbound into every aspect of your business, from GTM teams to annual planning, and become an orchestrator of nearbound success.


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