Nearbound Daily #461: The CRO: B2B's Master Code Breaker 🕵️

Nearbound Daily #461: The CRO: B2B's Master Code Breaker 🕵️

Micaela Richmond 5 min

The expertise of a CRO: cracking market enigmas


The market is a puzzle. It’s an enigma, difficult to crack and understand.


If you’re a fan of history or ever watched The Imitation Game with Benedict Cumberbatch, you’ll remember the Enigma machine.


In World War II, Alan Turing, a mathematical genius set out to crack the German enigma code. The stakes were high and if successful, the English would be able to decipher intercepted intel and use that intel to end the war.

B2B SaaS isn’t as high-stakes as World War II and the market isn’t as tough to crack as the German enigma, but there are some similarities.


At the Nearbound Summit, Bobby Napiltonia (ex-Salesforce, ex-Twilio, and SaaS advisor) and Jared Fuller (Chief Revenue Officer at Reveal) shared the number one thing CROs need to be thinking about in 2024.


Bobby Napiltonia explained it like this,

The market is correct and we have to figure out this puzzle.

Like Alan Turing, every great CRO must become obsessed with breaking a high-stakes code. For CROs that enigma is the market, and the stakes are “winning” at go-to-market.


Most of the industry implements worn-out playbooks prescribed by ivory-tower-intellectuals with no skin in the game.


Great CROs on the other hand use their knowledge of the market and the various routes to market to create company-specific strategies for their go-to-market teams.


Cracking the market enigma is a CRO’s most important work because through that a CRO can build an effective strategy and direct their teams.


You may not be Alan Turing cracking the German enigma in World War II, but as a CRO, you have the incredible challenge of cracking the market enigma.


It’s daunting, rewarding, and your route to a better FY’24.


Listen to the full session with Jared Fuller and Bobby Napiltonia to learn more about what CROs need to be thinking about in 2024.


Laying the groundwork for successful co-selling


Co-selling is more than chasing referrals—it’s about strategic collaboration.


So to make sure you’ve set yourself up for effective co-sell collaboration, you’ve got to lay the proper groundwork.


Xiaofei Zhang (Head of Platform and Strategic Partnerships at ActiveCampaign) and Judd Borakove (Partner at Red Monkey Consulting) mentioned two pre-work recommendations at the Nearbound Summit:

  1. Assess your company’s GTM strategy

  2. Use the “5 T’s” framework to determine if your two companies are a good fit

Assess your company’s GTM strategy:

Xiaofei Zhang shared that co-sell is not one-size-fits-all. Your company’s approach to co-sell will be determined by its GTM motion.


For example, Xiaofei explained that because ActiveCampaign utilizes a PLG motion, rather than 1-1 account mapping, it makes the most sense for them to layer partners into their up-market segment and collaborative growth motions.



Listen to the full session with Xiaofei Zhang.


Use the 5 T’s Framework

Judd Borakove then introduced the 5 T’s Framework, a better way to think about alignment.


The 5 T’s are:

  • Terminology: What does co-selling mean for your GTM strategy and how can partners help your Sales team close more deals?

  • Tools: What platforms and data are going to help you build an efficient motion and relationship?

  • Tactics: What are you going to do and how are you and your partner going to win together?

  • Team: How are your Sales, Marketing, Product, and Customer Success teams working? What’s the current GTM strategy? How do you plan to align all GTM teams?

  • Target partner: Who is your IPP and how can you build a win-win relationship? What are your overlap and common open deals?

Instead of ending up with a misaligned partnership, do a bit of pre-work.


It makes buy-in easier and it sets the partnership up for collaborative success. 


Read what top co-sell leaders like Xiaofei and Judd have to say about taking your co-sell motions to the next level.


How to set partner efforts free


Partner efforts are trapped.


GTM Partners put it like this,

Too often, partner efforts get trapped in a department and run in isolation from other Go-to-Market motions and teams.

Isolating partner efforts isn’t how you unlock their full revenue potential. On the contrary, it’s how you stifle partner revenue potential.


In their recent report on understanding Partner-Led Growth, GTM Partners shares four key concepts:


  1. The five partner types

  2. How to measure and track performance

  3. Determining which programs are best for you

  4. Using GTM O.S. to go from program to growth motion

Get the full report here to find stats and frameworks, and listen to Sangram Vajre (CEO and Co-Founder at GTM Partners) and Lindsay Cordell (Partner at GTM Partners) explain the research at the Nearbound Summit. 

Nearbound Presentation 110623 (2)

GTM Partners built this 2x2 model to help you decide which partner-led program is right for you! Download the report now.

Stuff you don’t want to miss!

  • Nearbound Summit 2023 Recordings—The future of GTM is Nearbound. Watch the recordings to hear how B2B leaders across departments unite with Nearbound strategies and tactics. Listen here.

  • Nov 29, 2 PM EST —WTF is a System Integrator?— Join Omair Rana, Former Microsoft Director of Partner Strategy, and Scott Pollack, CEO at Firneo, and get ready to demystify System Integrators (SIs) and their pivotal role in the tech world. Register here.

  • Nov 30, 1 PM - 4 PM EST —The CRO Playbook: How to fix sales in 2024— The old sales playbooks don’t work. Join GTM Partners for their Leadership Summit. CROs, CEOs, and sales leaders will unite to define how to fix sales in time for 2024 SKO. Register here.

Share this with a CRO


One of the most important roles in a company is the CRO. Share this Nearbound Daily with a CRO you wildly respect!

Micaela Richmond 5 min

Nearbound Daily #461: The CRO: B2B's Master Code Breaker 🕵️

The expertise of a CRO: cracking market enigmas

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