Nearbound Daily #471: Uncover Your Shadow Partner Program

Nearbound Daily #471: Uncover Your Shadow Partner Program

Ella Richmond 4 min



Field of dead partner dreams


I love the movie Field of Dreams as much as the next person, but the reality is great product never beats great go-to-market, and great go-to-market never beats great ecosystem.


A graveyard of “great partnerships” follows behind partner pros with a “build it and they will come mindset.”

When you choose the wrong partner, what will normally happen is…nothing. No adoption. No leads being shared. No business value created.Franz Josef-Schrepf (Strategic Partnerships at StreamYard)

Don’t leave a graveyard of partnerships behind you.


Instead, tap into customer insights and run low-investment experiments.


No one said you had to go all in, all at once.


Test out the value, see if customers respond, and if not, you can invest time and resources elsewhere.


Watch the Build, Buy, Partner session with Laura Padilla (Partner and Head of BD at Sapphire Ventures), R.J. Filipski (Global VP, Business Development and Ecosystem), and Iris Ng (Head of Corporate Development & Strategy at Qualtrics) to learn how to the best build partner value. 



BEWARE of “boardroom exercises”

The ‘right’ partner is someone who can help you achieve your goals.
Franz Josef-Schrepf

Your best partners aren’t decided in a boardroom, they’re decided on the ground level.


They’re the ones who can actually help you achieve your goals.


I was listening to the Firneo mini-class on How To Prioritize the “Right” Partners to learn how Franz Josef-Schrepf (Strategic Partnerships at StreamYard), Xiaofei Zhang (Head of Platform and Strategic Partnerships at ActiveCampaign), and Scott Pollack (Co-Founder & CEO at Firneo) (three partner pros I admire!) think about the topic.


Here’s what I learned: a good partnership strategy leads to productive partnerships and a bad strategy leads to meaningless partnerships.


More companies are in the bad partner strategy boat than would like to admit.


Franz explained why.

I’ve seen people emphasize the strategy side over the execution side,

Boardroom exercises like IPP can be valuable, but you must be cautious that the result isn’t an overly idealistic strategy. Because at that point, it’s not strategy, it’s delirium. (Sorry for the tough love!)



Firneo 2023-12-11 at 8.58.13 AM

Instead of IPP, Franz recommends uncovering your shadow partner program.


If you want results, get on the ground level and start with low-hanging fruit.


Who are the partners you already work with, the partners that your CSM teams might already be familiar with? Is your product team already talking to anyone about a product integration?


Franz explained,

By uncovering your “shadow partner program” (the partnerships that already informally exists) you can uncover your “shadow IPP” rather than coming up with it in a boardroom.

Let your customers tell you who your IPP should be. Look for customer signalsand remember, partner value comes in many shapes and sizes. The value you provide a partner may look different than the value they provide you.


Listen to the full session here, and check out Firneo’s other events and classes for partner pros here.




Those kicks are FIRE 👟🔥


Burger King is attempting to make a comeback with younger generations through a product partnership with Fila they’re calling, “forged in fire.”

The collaboration to produce the limited-edition collection aims to target Gen Z who are interested in fashion brands.

The partnership has produced the FX-33 sneakers and other items, which, according to the accompanying ad, have been forged in fire to combine the flame-grilled promise of the BK brand within the FILA design of the fashion collection.

Who woulda thought feet and food?!


Read more here.


The Collab Born from Fire - Burger King Our Work Ogilvy 2023-12-11 at 8.54.01 AM


Lookin’ for a new opportunity?


Box lives and breathes the nearbound ethos, and lucky for someone, they just posted a job listing.


Check out that job requirement — Fluent in Nearbound GTM Tactics


If you’re reading this…you might just be the person they’re looking for. 😉


Apply here.




  • 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.

  • 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.



Know someone who’d love the Box job opportunity? Share it with them!

Ella Richmond 4 min

Nearbound Daily #471: Uncover Your Shadow Partner Program

Field of dead partner dreams

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