Nearbound Daily #437: Be a partner-worthy company 👊

Nearbound Daily #437: Be a partner-worthy company 👊

Shawnie Hamer 5 min

Databox has uncovered the secret to accelerating the most valuable marketing and sales channel: word of mouth.


CEO Peter Caputa will teach you what he’s learned about building a fast-growth, high-margin business through partnerships. Register here.


Build, buy, or partner?


The question has been asked countless times, but according to Charlie Munger, we need to flip this question on its head. 


Instead of asking, "When should I build, buy, or partner?", we need to ask, "How are my biggest ecosystem partners deciding when to build, buy, and partner?"


If you’re playing in an existing ecosystem, chances are those companies are asking themselves the same question. 


So, instead of approaching growth through a company-first perspective, take a moment to consider the ecosystem


Maybe you’re a great company to acquire. Maybe they’d love to partner with you.


Or maybe you still have some work to do.


If you invert the question, you can build a strategy that helps you to become the company they want to buy or partner with.


Connor Jeffers’ story about building hapily inside the HubSpot ecosystem is one of our favorites! Listen to him and Scott Brinker tell it at the Nearbound Summit on November 7th.


And if you’re interested in how the build, buy, or partner decision is made in big ecosystems, register to hear Laura Padilla, R.J. Filipski, and Iris Ng. 

The decline in B2B sales


A recent 2023 B2B Sales Benchmark Report shows:

  • Only 29% of reps made quota through 2022

  • Win rates decreased by 15% in 2022

  • Average deal values dropped by 32%

  • The length of sales cycles increased on average by 32%

And the latest data from RepVue shows that over the last 12 months, the number of AEs who reported hitting their goals dropped to 39.5%.


We asked sales leaders why B2B sales is declining. Darin Alpert shared:

First and foremost, are the macro conditions such as the COVID pandemic…Now we have a mix of companies pushing the brakes on spending and growth. The focus went to sales rep productivity and more productivity per rep versus just throwing as many bodies as possible—focusing on top-line growth versus profitability.



Tom Slocum explained:

First, most of the products and companies out there are positioning themselves as nice-to-haves when going to market. They’re not meeting their buyer’s expectations. That leads to the second point: companies are so stuck with the traditional methods that they’re not adapting.This is creating dysfunction and friction in the buying process, and people aren’t buying because they’re turned off by it.

The state of B2B sales has been clobbered by things much bigger than us, but we’ve also created a lot of bad habits in the process.


Learn how to break these bad habits and win in the changing landscape from legendary sellers like Mark Roberge, Scott Leese, and Stephanie Pennell. Register for the Nearbound Summit 2023.


The woman in the red dress 💃

New partners are always tempting, but remember that it’s better to build out your program with long-lasting partnerships than it is to collect a bunch of new ones. 


Stuff you don’t want to miss!

  • Join the official Nearbound Summit community brought to you by Partnership Leaders — Partnership leaders’ goal is to connect people interested in learning about partnerships around the world. Join here.

  • October 25th —Firneo Partner Strategy Forum (Day 2): How to Prioritize the RIGHT Partners— Learn how to make sure you’re investing your (limited) resources in partners that will generate a meaningful. Register here

  • November 1st —Firneo Partner Strategy Forum (Day 3): How to Get Executive Buy-In for Partnerships— Learn how to secure resources & support from key stakeholders that are critical to partnership success. Register here

  • November 6th-9th —Nearbound Summit 2023— The future of GTM is Nearbound. Join us for the biggest-ever remote experience in GTM where B2B leaders across departments unite to share how they’re winning with Nearbound strategies and tactics. Register here.

  • Enroll before November 14th —PXP Academy Partner Manager Certification Course— Join the interactive learning session that equips you with everything you need to be successful in your daily job as an operational Partner person. Register here.

  • November 16th —Elevate Your Presale GTM with Tech Partners— Learn from industry experts like Kelly Sarabyn (HubSpot), Jared Fuller ( and Reveal), Sunir Shah (AppBind), and Alexander Buckles (Forecastable). Evolve your GTM strategy with tech partners. Register here. 

  • Enroll by November 17th —Firneo’s Mastering Partnerships Strategy (4-week course)— Registration is now open! Learn how to diagnose and solve your partner program’s biggest challenges from the world’s top partnership leaders. Use the code "NEARBOUND" for a 1:1 Strategy Coaching package (worth $1,000) for FREE. Enroll (or check out a free preview) here 

  • April 19th-20th —SaaS Connect 2023— It’s that time of year again! Get your spot early for the 11th annual partnership conference in San Francisco, hosted by Cloud Software Association. Register here. 

Solving partnership paradoxes 


Learn from Mark Kilens and Nick Bennett why positioning and messaging are the keys to unlocking growth. 


Join them at Marketing Day at the Nearbound Summit

marketing Nick and Mark.9

Register now

Shawnie Hamer 5 min

Nearbound Daily #437: Be a partner-worthy company 👊

Build, buy, or partner?

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