Nearbound Daily #571: Sapphire Ventures’ Guide to Building an Effective Partner Strategy Framework

Nearbound Daily #571: Sapphire Ventures’ Guide to Building an Effective Partner Strategy Framework

Ella Richmond 5 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.



Customers evolve, so evolve with them

The market is a living and changing thing.


It’s made up of dynamic humans who are constantly learning, growing, and adapting to new information and technology.


That’s why it’s so important to live in-market.


It’s not enough to define your ICP, build out a persona, and talk to a few customers.


You need to embed yourself in the market, so when things change, you know.


I heard a phrase recently,

It’s not about finding product-market fit, it’s about keeping product fit.

Likewise, for nearbound, it’s not about finding your market, it’s about surrounding them and keeping your pulse on the ways they’re evolving.




Sapphire Ventures’ guide to building an effective partner strategy

Successful partnerships have the power to change the trajectory of a company.

Legendary partner leader, Laura Padilla, has built partnerships for companies like Zoom, Nutanix, Box, and Riverbed.


Now she’s a part of Sapphire Ventures, one of the world’s premier VC firms.


Together, they compiled a guide to help you build the most effective partner strategy possible.


This is a HUGE market signal—a big VC firm is focused on partnerships and ecosystems.


According to Laura,

This framework provides the building blocks you need to think through various partner motions and establish a baseline from which you can build. The framework is modular, so you can choose which sections to leverage depending on what you want to develop.

The guide opens by introducing the 4 P’s of Partner Ecosystem Success: Product/Platform, Program, People, and Partners.


These are the four fundamental categories of success.




The report defines each.


Product/platform: Whether you’re a single or multi-product company, clearly understanding the customer problem that the product(s) is solving, as well as various intersection points and crucial integrations, is critical for training partners on how to work with your product.


Program: The success of the program relies on developing the right partner program that attracts partners to sign up and drive the desired behavior, in alignment with the corporate strategy.


Partners: Defining your ideal partner profile is essential to understanding the attributes of an ideal partner by each necessary motion, such as competency (employee skills/makeup and sales vs. technical), coverage/reach (geo and customer size), company size (capacity), industry expertise and commitment to the partnership.


People: Hiring the right talent for your team with the necessary skill set and partner access (channel sales vs. technical alliances) will require different expertise.


And the full report breaks down each section, including information like:

  • Partner program categories

  • Partner program journey

  • Ways to approach a product/platform partner program

  • Partnering to add more product value

  • Partnering with large public companies

  • Customer and partner services/sales motions

and more…


Download the full guide here.



McKinsey: companies prefer integrated over best-of-breed

The best product no longer wins. Today, it’s the most integrated product that wins.


Jared Fuller always says,

Great product never beats great go-to-market. Great go-to-market never beats great ecosystem.

McKinsey data validates this.


According to their studies, companies prefer simple, bundled solutions over one great siloed product.

Security is the only category where more decision makers prioritize the highest-quality product over convenience, which makes sense in that the biggest tech priority for enterprises would also be the one for which they are most reluctant to compromise on quality.

Read the full report.





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 5 min

Nearbound Daily #571: Sapphire Ventures’ Guide to Building an Effective Partner Strategy Framework

This is a HUGE market signal—a big VC firm is focused on partnerships and ecosystems. According to Laura Padilla, this framework provides the building blocks needed to think through various partner motions and establish a baseline.

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