Nearbound Daily #469: No BS Guide to Revenue 💰

Nearbound Daily #469: No BS Guide to Revenue 💰

Micaela Richmond 6 min



Time for real talk


In partnerships, we often lead with relationships. It makes sense. Partnerships are built on relationships…right?!


Here’s the problem → building relationships, i.e. knowing a lot about your partner’s personal life, doesn’t win any partnerships. It doesn’t help you have conversations with your executive team. It doesn’t make your job indispensable.


The truth is, as a partner person, to value revenue is to value your time (and the time of the person on the other end).


On the Nearbound Podcast, Rasheité Calhoun (Director of Channel Partnerships, AxiosHQ) shared how she uses this mindset to set her partnerships up for success from the get-go. 


In that first conversation, she lays it all out on the table,

For it to be worth the amount of time we’re putting in, this needs to be the outcome. What needs to be true to get to that outcome? Do you think we can get there?

Partner pros often spend too much time building relationships, and not enough time finding paths to revenue.


Your leadership cares about revenue. Your partner’s leadership cares about revenue. And most importantly, both of your customers care about seeing value come from this partnership.


As a partner person, your job isn’t to build relationships. Your job is to uncover value for customers through and with partners.


Keep customer value as your North Star and you’ll both build relationships AND drive revenue.


Click here to listen to the full episode.



Steal this grassroots approach


A few years ago, Rasheité was embroiled in a heated conversation with her leadership. She was trying to get more partner managers when her CRO told her, “We don’t need any more relationship people.”


She fired back, “Good! I don’t want relationships people. I’m looking for revenue people, and partnerships people are revenue people.”


RevenueVaccuum (1)

Partner pros always lead with relationships, but that gives off the impression that they’re not directly tied to revenue. AKA, they’re not a priority.


As a partner person, you make yourself a priority by advocating for this perspective and doing the hard work to prove you can do what you say.


Advocating for the perspective

To drive results, Rasheité is confident and direct about the value she believes she can drive with partnerships.

You need to prioritize me the same way you prioritize sales. Why? Because the leads that I bring in convert faster, are bigger, and are better. I should be carrying about 40% of your revenue. Gimme these resources.

She gives off conviction in both the methodology and her ability to make it happen.


Doing the hard work

The hard work is top-down, then bottom-up.


You have to do the top-down work to get executive buy-in, then the bottom-up work to get individual departments bought in.


Rasheité explained how she gets the ground-level buy-in.

  • She (basically) turns her partner people into SDRs

They use tools like LinkedIn to reach out to partners, saying something like, ”Hey, we have this partnership in place and if we do X, Y, Z, I can help you get to President’s Club. I can help you hit your quarterly goal. Do you wanna learn how?”


She aims for low-hanging fruit — people who already believe in the power of partnerships. Bonus points if it’s a rep who’s trying to make a name for themselves.


Branded low hanging fruit (1)

  • She closely watches and supports that champion to get a first win.

  • Once they get a win, she parades that win everywhere.

  • She then asks her champion rep to introduce her to one of their friends.

  • Over time, she repeats that grassroots process of supporting a win and then getting more sellers on board.

This grassroots approach is important because despite kumbaya conversations, at the end of the day, people in other departments will only work with partner teams if they’re driving tangible results.


Here’s another cherry-on-top tip to get buy-in: when you’re running this grassroots motion, keep a folder of all your wins and showcase them often.


Listen to the full episode of the Nearbound Podcast with Rasheité Calhounand catch her incredible co-sell session at the Nearbound Summit with Xioafei Zhang, Sam Yarborough, and Stephanie Pennell.




A look into AWS’ partner ecosystem


Canalys did a deep dive into AWS’ partner ecosystem to uncover how customers pick partners. 


Here are the keys to customer decision-making:

  1. Specializations — Customers care about your skills and abilities. They’re looking for signals of competency like certifications. 

  2. Cost & Value — With budgets low, cost and value are still important factors.

  3. Industry solutions — Customers want solutions specifically tailored to their industry.

  4. Sustainability — In this study, 89% of customers surveyed expected their partners to have a focus on sustainability.

  5. Case Studies — Do you showcase how customers unlock value? Where specializations and certifications act as an early selection filter for customers, case studies can often be the final differentiator at the end of a procurement process. Customers want to know that you put in the same level of attention and care throughout the entire customer journey.

  6. Existing partner relationships — Partner relationships are built over time and customers prefer to continue deepening existing relationships rather than finding new solutions.

  7. Geographic variations are limited but exist

Canalys estimates the AWS partner economy will grow by 33% to US$ 680.4 billion by 2025. 


If you’re an AWS partner, I’d look at these key factors as a cheat sheet to fill in the gaps.


Where can I level up my marketplace listings, website, or motions to optimize for the things we now know customers care about?


Download the report here.

AWS Partner Ecosystem


  • 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 tacticsListen here.

  • Dec 13th, 2 PM EST —Navigating Change: Dealing with Uncertainty, Restructurings, and Its Aftermath— Join Faisal Mirza (Director in Strategic Partnerships at Adobe) and Scott Pollack (CEO at Firneo) and they discuss how to manage through changes in the organization and deal with its aftermath. Register here.

  • Feb 5-7th in Miami — Impartnercon 2024 —  Partnerships are the future of growth. Join partner leaders to learn what it means to build the future of business, together.  Register here. 

  • March 19-20th — Affiverse’s Amplify Summit — Join them for a 2-day virtual event to help affiliate businesses amplify their performance. Learn about digital, partnership, and affiliate marketing. Register here.



Don’t wait for someone to become nearbound curious. Send them the NbD and speed up the process!

Micaela Richmond 6 min

Nearbound Daily #469: No BS Guide to Revenue 💰

Time for real talk

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