Nearbound Ops: Leveraging Nearbound Data and Operations to Optimize Revenue

Nearbound Ops: Leveraging Nearbound Data and Operations to Optimize Revenue

Multiple Contributors 14 min

The time is ripe for a transformation in how we approach partnership programs.

 

Many programs stall in the planning phase due to outdated methods, relying on a lone individual armed with spreadsheets and determination to navigate the partnership landscape.

 

This antiquated approach hinders unlocking the true value of partnerships, while other GTM teams thrive with modern operations and tech. However, within this challenge lies an opportunity. Empowering Partner teams with the right resources and technology is crucial now more than ever.

 

As Latané Conant, CRO at 6sense, wisely states, "It’s not about the size of your Partner team. It’s about the infrastructure. Partner operations isn’t an extra—it drives the process."

 

Recently, 5 top GTM leaders gathered in one of HubSpot’s webinars, to discuss the importance of PartnerOps and how to better leverage nearbound data: 

  • Mary Vue, VP of Marketing and Partnerships at Syncari, 

  • Kelly Sarabyn, Head of Product Partnerships and Enablement and Advocacy Team at HubSpot, 

  • Jill Rowley, Head of Strategy and Evangelism at Reveal, 

  • Elliot Smith, Head of Partnerships at 6sense, and 

  • Mike O’Neill, VP of Partner Sales at Box.  

Let’s dive in! 

 

“Partnerships have become critical to the growth and scalability of SaaS companies.”—Elliot Smith

What is a nearbound strategy?

Nearbound is a unique GTM strategy that focuses on leveraging trusted relationships to drive revenue. It is a combination of inbound and outbound methods, where instead of interrupting buyers, nearbound surrounds them with influencers they trust along their purchasing journey.

 

“Nearbound is a surround strategy. It’s surrounding the people and the companies (your partners) that are already nearest to your buyer. It comes from the principle ‘who do we trust?’ and ‘who do we have relationships with?

 

Partner with the best companies based on the shared value for your customers.” — Jill Rowley

 

This approach shifts from telling people how to solve problems to working with individuals or companies who already have trust and influence with the target market. Nearbound involves operationalizing various teams such as Product, Marketing, Sales, Success, and Partnerships to collaborate effectively and drive sales growth.

 

 

And to make your nearbound strategy work for sure, you need more than a one-person Partner team and a manual account mapping process. At least, you should include a Partner Manager, a PartnerOps, and a Nearbound Revenue Platform.

The role of PartnerOps in your nearbound strategy

You might have RevOps in your GTM team, bringing Sales, Marketing, and Customer Service together to drive revenue growth for your business.

 

So, if your RevOps are here to bridge your GTM team’s data and automation gaps, why would you need PartnerOps?

 

 

Maybe small companies with a small partner program and a very small Sales team can make their way through revenue by having only a RevOps team.

 

But as you scale your program, expand your revenue metrics, and increase the size of your Revenue teams, you need someone who can articulate the value of your partnership program at the C-level, and that person is called PartnerOps.

 

Once your program includes multiple types of partners, your Sales team becomes more involved, and you encounter commercial and referral implications, well, good luck if you’re trying to do that all by yourself.

 

“Everything becomes easier when you have a partner in crime that understands the data, how it all stitches together, your ICP, and how that’s different from the partners that you want to acquire, target, and manage, and so on.” — Elliot Smith

 

Suppose you want to understand where and how your nearbound strategy and partners are impacting everything from the build to the sale to the market opportunity. In that case, you definitely need PartnerOps in your team.

 

“PartnerOps is related to data, workflows, processes, and automation. They’re the ones who bring the science into partnerships.” — Jill Rowley

 

The benefits of leveraging nearbound data

To build a strong foundation for your GTM strategy and reach out to your customers and buyers with trust in the best possible way, you need three types of data:

  • First-party data

  • Second-party data

  • Third-party data

First-party data is as simple as the data that you own, residing in your CRM and website. Third-party data includes any data you can integrate into your CRM from external providers, such as intent data from platforms like 6sense.

 

"The two most successful campaigns in 6sense’s history were executed with nearbound data and an ABM platform." — Elliot Smith

 

Second-party data, on the other hand, is the data you agree to share with your partners. It encompasses all the nearbound data you can leverage from your partners. The best way to obtain it is through a GDPR-compliant and SOC II-certified nearbound platform like Reveal.

 

Reveal’s Analytics dashboard

 

Leveraging nearbound data—second-party data—enables you to be more prescriptive with your existing customers, suggesting additional capabilities and use cases, and fostering a more proactive and personalized approach within your partner ecosystem.

 

 

Here’s why you should leverage nearbound data:

  1. Enhance customer engagement: Nearbound data allows you to surround your customers and buyers with trust, enabling you to build stronger relationships and engage them in a more personalized and proactive manner.

  2. Expand market reach: Leveraging nearbound data provides insights into your partner ecosystem, allowing you to identify opportunities for expansion within your ecosystem and collaborate effectively with partners to grow your market presence.

  3. Drive revenue growth: By utilizing nearbound data, you can identify new capabilities and use cases to offer to existing customers, leading to upsell opportunities and revenue growth. Leveraging nearbound data can result in 55% higher potential ARR closed and 27% shorter average deal cycles.

     

"Nearbound data allows you to land and expand your customer base. With it and Reveal, you have an opportunity to discover how a partner can help you expand within your ecosystem and equally assist your partner’s growth."—Mike O’Neill

 

How to identify the best partners to share nearbound data

There might be a lot of use cases on how you may want to leverage nearbound data, let’s focus on sales right now. And Reveal is here to help. 

 

“The access to Reveal kind of puts you at a higher category from a management perspective, participation, and what we’re doing from a campaign perspective as well.”—Mike O’Neill

 

To better select your partners, here’s what you have to do if someone wants to build a partnership with you or you’re recruiting new partners:

 

1. You have to share data with your partner. Only this way you’ll know if it’s worth it or not. Ask them if they have a license for a Nearbound Revenue Platform—Reveal. 

 

2. Once you have access to their data, make sure you identify the overlap accounts. Focus on: 

  1. How many of your customers are your potential partner’s customers?

  2. How many of their customers fit your ICP? 

  3. How many of their customers are not in your CRM?

 

What you’re doing now, is just sharing numbers to identify the potential of that partnership, you’re not sharing any company names or job titles…just an overview of your nearbound data. 

 

Reveal’s 1:1 account mapping overview

 

3. Based on your opportunities, you can decide if it’s worth sharing the rest of your data with your partner. Sharing your customer list is a BIG DEAL, so you want to make sure you share it with the right partner through the right platform. 

 

 

With Reveal you can choose which information you share with your partner. If you have an extensive customer base, and you want to “taste the waters” with your partner or simply build a tier partner program, you can incentivize them by telling them something around ‘the better partner you’re, the more intel we’ll share’. 

 

 

Data sharing settings in Reveal

 

“Partnerships aren’t about one-way wins. It’s not about you just getting new leads, or new upsells. It’s what can I do to make deposits to my partners that will bring value to them. 

 

The ultimate value always has to be for the customer and that’s when we make decisions in who we should partner with and how we should prioritize with whom we partner.”—Jill Rowley 

 

Leveraging nearbound data

Now that you have connected with your partner and are sharing data, it’s time for you to get the most out of it. And Reveal is here to help too.

 

“Reveal helps us know for sure that our partner has our buyer as a customer because that’s what the CRM is telling us, versus trying to infer it or deduce it.

 

It’s really great as a Partnership leader to have 100% certainty that one of my partners has a strong relationship with our buyer, and thanks to that, we can immediately ask for help and support from them.”—Elliot Smith

 

You can leverage Reveal’s HubSpot and Salesforce integrations. With these, not only your Partner Managers but also your Sales team will have access to data like:

  • Your partners’ contact information

  • Intro requests

  • Open opportunities

  • Deal size, win rate, and revenue multipliers

  • When your prospect is a customer of your partner

  • When your prospect is an open opportunity for your partner

 

Nearbound intel from Reveal in your HubSpot widget

 

This can help your Sales team identify whom their prospects already trust (which partners are they customers of), and even if you’re not part of your partner’s tier one program—which might not allow you to see the deal size or closed-won dates—you can see the overlap opportunities. This can help you reinforce your Sales motion.

 

Nearbound play one (partner-influenced revenue): If your AEs know who their prospect is a customer of, they can drive the conversation to include partners. And maybe your prospect doesn’t even know your partners, but if your AE wants to close the deal, they have to work with your Partner team, build a joint value proposition, and then pitch that to their prospect.

 

It’s a no-brainer because you’ll be involving technologies they already trust, and your buyer will gain much more value with you in the picture.

 

“The Reveal difference is that it tells you what your buyer’s tech stack is because of the partners you have. It tells you what ecosystems you can play into. It tells you which solutions you have to talk about to your buyer that align into your partnership.

 

Reveal helps strengthen the field and partner go-to-market, as well as the conversation that you can have with your buyer about their tech stack and the things they are working on.” —Mary Vue

 

Reveal’s 360° Goals dashboard on the source opportunities goal

 

Nearbound play two (partner-sourced revenue): If your Sales team is stuck in one deal because either their prospect is ghosting them or they don’t have the right intel or contact, they can easily request an intro or intel directly from your CRM.

 

“Reveal helps us to get an introduction to one of our partners in 5 minutes, to help us understand how they won, and what our buyer cares about, so we can be really precise in our targeting.”—Elliot Smith

 

Imagine having access to your buyer’s procurement process, the decision-makers in the account, and the champion in your buyer’s team, all in a 5-minute process.

 

Get intro button in your Salesforce and HubSpot widget

 

You just have to be careful whenever you ask for an intro. You’re putting your partner’s credibility at stake, so don’t ask for intros if you’re not willing to do at least the same for your partner.

 

Must-know facts about tracking

You can run those plays and more, but if you don’t know how to prove the impact behind your nearbound motion, it won’t matter. Here are some facts about tracking that you need to know about if you want to run your nearbound plays: 

 

Fact #1: Partner-sourced revenue is a lead gen engine; this isn’t hard to prove, but when you want to demonstrate whenever a partner influenced a deal, well, you need data.

 

If you want to run a nearbound motion, data must always be present.

 

The perfect way your PartnerOps can help you is by sourcing and sharing data like:

  • The number of deals in which a partner had an influencing role and its conversion rate versus the ones that didn’t have partner influence.

  • Your number of opportunities where the partner was involved.

  • The resulting number of deal wins secured through that partner’s involvement.

  • Your partner’s engagement level.

 

Fact #2: You need a well-enabled Sales team, leadership, and Ops level that can allocate partners across your entire GTM organization. You have to automate this process to help govern and show how each team performs.

 

The amount of partner sourced and influenced revenue is important for managing the performance of reps, PAMs, CAMs, and making the business case at the C-level. It will help you identify how much you are investing in partnerships versus how many larger deals, conversions, and revenue you are driving.

 

A quick enablement play 

If you want your Sales team to start leveraging partners, you will have to do more than just add a partner-related KPI to their list. You have to enable them.

 

It’s going far beyond telling the right stories or how deals convert faster when a partner is involved.

 

“Getting your Sales team onboard with your nearbound motion requires spreading the story, giving constant enablement, getting the muscle working before you impose a metric to your Sales team.”—Kelly Sarabyn

 

What has worked for Mary Vue in the past is to build a Sales enablement session that includes what the Partner team is, who is on the team, and the benefits your internal teams (in this case, sales) can have from leveraging partners. 

 

You have to teach them how to engage with partners so they can maximize their value.

 

Once you give them the “theory,” it’s time to practice. You kind of have to go hand in hand with your Sales team in the first couple of deals, teaching them how to leverage partners for closing deals faster.

 

It might take 3 or 4 deals to see true partnerships advocacy. But once you nail it, you can start making partner-related KPIs mandatory and start building a commission program to incentivize the use of partnerships.

 

To achieve that, you need a partner leader and a PartnerOps team that can tell the story with data on how to leverage relationships.

A final word

To successfully execute a nearbound strategy, having a dedicated PartnerOps team is crucial, especially as your program scales and the complexity of partnerships increases. 

 

PartnerOps play a vital role in sourcing and sharing data, providing insights into partner involvement, deal wins, and engagement levels. This data-driven approach helps in managing performance, making informed decisions, and showcasing the value of partnerships to stakeholders.

 

And if you combine nearbound data with PartnerOps you will never have to worry again about proving your value to your C-suite. And Reveal is here to help. 

 

Book a demo now to see how Reveal can elevate your PartnerOps game and unleash the power of nearbound data. 

 

I’m in!

 

 

Multiple Contributors 14 min

Nearbound Ops: Leveraging Nearbound Data and Operations to Optimize Revenue


PartnerOps are vital in sourcing and sharing data, providing insights into partner involvement, and winning deals. Learn from 6 top partnership leaders how to better leverage nearbound data and partner ops.


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