Nearbound Daily #570: Use Chris Lavoie's 2x2 Matrix To Prioritize Partners

Nearbound Daily #570: Use Chris Lavoie's 2x2 Matrix To Prioritize Partners

Ella Richmond 4 min

Welcome to the Nearbound Daily Newsletter—the #1 partnerships newsletter in the world keeping thousands of partner professionals on top of the latest industry principles, tactics, and trends. is a project of Reveal. Join the movement here.



A $2.6 billion mistake

In 2016, Bob Moore (CEO of Crossbeam) was building RJMetrics, a data analytics company, when a headline flashed across his phone: Google had purchased Looker, his competitor, for $2.6 billion.


This was the moment that took him down the rabbit hole of ecosystems, ecosystem-led growth (nearbound), and eventually starting Crossbeam.


He believes,

Partner ecosystems will be the most prolific and efficient growth lever businesses can build in the modern era.

We do too.


He continues,

Every thriving venture scale company in the modern era is doing these two things well:

  1. Building a compelling software that delivers its specific value proposition to a specific user persona; and

  2. Seamlessly integrating their value proposition with the complementary products and services that exist in their market.

How do you think your business is doing on these two?



Use this 2x2 matrix to prioritize partners

Nearbound is not the work of the partnerships team alone.


It’s a go-to-market motion that, according to Bob Moore,

focuses on the partner ecosystem as the primary way to attract, convert, and grow customer relationships.

In his book (around page 140), he shares Chris Lavoie’s (Head of Partnerships at AfterShip) 2x2 partner prioritization matrix.




Plot each of your partners on this matrix to gain clarity on where your focus should go.


Based on this matrix, Bob has created four categories for partners.

  1. The holy grail

  2. Next best choice

  3. Uphill battle

  4. Waste of time

Holy grail: These are your priority partners who deserve as much attention and technical investment as you can give them.


Next best choice: These are your high-potential partners who may prove to be strategically valuable in key deals, but aren’t sending you leads on a regular basis.


Uphill battle: These are your partners with a huge overlapping market, but your JVP isn’t the most compelling. You’d turn to these partners for co-marketing activities, but not much else early on.


Waste of time: These are your partners to watch and wait. Nurture the relationship because you might have a stronger partnership in the future.


This is the kind of exercise to save and come back to every once in a while.


Over time, partners will move in and out of quadrants. Keep an open mind and never write partners off or think your partnership is something to bank on forever.




Oura announced on Monday that its product will be available in select target stores.


Oura gets to distribute its product through the Target network and Target gets to align itself with a leader in health tracking.


For Oura, the goal is distribution. For Target, the goal is brand building. It’s a simple partnership, but will prove to be impactful for both companies.


Read more here.





Stuff you don’t want to miss!

  • May 2nd—The Era of Ecosystem Orchestration is (Nearly) Here—Join 360 Insights and their close partners to unveil their new ecosystem project that stands to redefine their marketplace forever. Register here.

  • May 7th—MartechDay 2024—Join Scott Brinker (VP Platform Ecosystems at HubSpot) and Frans Riemersma (Founder, MartechTribe) to release the latest Marketing Technology Landscape graphic. It’s a celebration of the thousands of talented people working in martech, at brands, vendors, and across the community. Scott and Frans will also be interviewing key leaders for their deep domain-specific knowledge. Register 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.


You’re all caught up.



See you tomorrow



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Ella Richmond 4 min

Nearbound Daily #570: Use Chris Lavoie's 2x2 Matrix To Prioritize Partners

One of the biggest challenges for partner professionals is prioritization. Use this 2x2 matrix over and over again to overcome that challenge.

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