Nearbound Daily #557: Alexis Petrichos' Quick Start Guide To SaaS Partnerships

Nearbound Daily #557: Alexis Petrichos' Quick Start Guide To SaaS Partnerships

Ella Richmond 6 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 aimed to bring about the decade of the ecosystem. Join the movement here.





Falling is part of the game

The pirate island paradox states:


If you haven’t been there before, you can’t explain how to get there.


No matter what industry you’re in, you can’t help people achieve success if you haven’t been there before.


Why? Max Traylor (The Consultant’s Consultant) explained the scenario on the Nearbound Podcast.


Them: I have a problem I need help solving.


You: Here’s a map to help you solve the problem.


Them: Wow this looks like a good map!


A month into their journey they hit an unbelievable storm. Then they want to turn back.


Them: I’m done with this. You didn’t say anything about the challenges along the way.


And that’s usually where conversations end because if you haven’t endured and gotten through similar storms you won’t know how to help.


If you’re going to be a change agent, you have to do this next part.


Max Traylor kept on going…


The way to give someone confidence to push through that storm is to say—Here’s the video of ME doing it, falling on my face, recovering, and everything being fine in the end.


Falling on your face is a part of the game. It’s not all sunshine and rainbows.


Winning in partnerships is not going to be easy, but it’ll make for a heckuva story.




Quick start guide to SaaS partnerships

Three years ago Alexis Petrichos (Director of Strategic Partnerships & Ecosystem Marketing at Chili Piper) went from SDR to Partner Manager.


Alexis on LinkedIn


To help other partner pros make the transition into partnerships, he built a Quick Start Guide to SaaS Partnerships detailing how you can activate the partnerships department in the first 2-3 months.


He breaks the guide up into 3 sections: tech partnerships, channel partnerships, and internal work.


Quick Start Guide SaaS Partnerships 2024-04-02 at 2.15.36 PM (1)


Click here to get the full guide and go drop a quick “THANK YOU” to Alexis on his LinkedIn!




Chief Partner Officers weigh in on the CPO conversation

Partnerships are critical for companies to achieve scale, reach, differentiation, and customer success, but do we need a dedicated Chief Partner Officer to lead the success of partnerships?


Greg Sarafin (EY) and Nicole Denzen (Microsoft), two CPOs, shared their thoughts on Unlearn with Kelly Sarabyn and Asher Matthew.


Here are three interesting perspectives on the CPO conversations.


CPOs drive partner-obsession in a company.


Nicole believes that for companies to build substantial partner ecosystems, someone inside of the company needs to obsess over partners.


"Ever single one of our partners are companies unto themselves. They have leadership teams, boards of directors, shareholders, customers, and they have their own strategies. They will never 100% match the Microsoft strategy.

Companies need partner leaders because you need somebody who’s going to spend their waking hours thinking about how you make those two things work in concert, you acknowledge where you’re going to compete with one another, and then you find those magical places where you can collaborate and do great things for the market, society, customers…"—Nicole Denzen, CPO at Microsoft


CPOs need to influence key business decisions.


When partnerships are done well, they’re a huge part of the company’s capital allocation and overall GTM strategy


Greg explains,

“The reason there should be a chief partner officer is because partnering is a L-0 function and like all L-0 functions, the head of it should be at the decision making table particularly when you consider that when it’s done well it’s a huge part of the capital allocation strategy of the enterprise as well as the overall go-to-market strategy of the eneterprise…and therefore is a critical member of the management team to inform adequate business decisions.”— Greg Sarafin, CPO at EY


CPOs should not be directly compared to other C-suite roles.


When people talk about the CPO role, they often compare it to every other C-suite. Asher explained why this might not be the right approach.

“The CPO role is going to get compared to the CMO role, the CCO role…having been a CRO before, I know how tough it is to prioritize and optimize revenue. That’s an internal job. The CMO role is all about optimizing and prioritizing markets. To me, the CPO role is all about optimizing and prioritizing relationships.—Asher Matthew, CEO at Partnership Leaders


What do YOU think? Should there be a CPO in most organizations?


Reply with your thoughts and we’ll feature them in an upcoming Nearbound Daily!


Click here to listen to the podcast conversations with Nicole and Greg.




Following HubSpot’s CEO Yamini Rangan, Jill Rowley joined Karen Ng and Brain Garvey on Good Morning Ecosystem to talk about social selling, ecosystems, and the changing B2B buying environment.


Tune in on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, or YouTube.


GME - Episode 2 - Thumbnail (1)




Stuff you don’t want to miss!

  • TOMORROW—April 10th—Setting up Partnerships Amongst Mission-Aligned Companies— Join Nicolas Alexander (Head of Partnerships & Policy at Thallo) and Scott Pollack (CEO at Firneo) where they will dive deep into aligning commercial terms with your company’s values for sustainable partnerships. Register here.

  • April 24th—Partnerships Secrets: Cory Snyder Teaches Partner Recruitment—’s Head of Partnerships, Cory Snyder, spills the tea on how he’s growing his partner program in 2024. Powered by PartnerStack. 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 6 min

Nearbound Daily #557: Alexis Petrichos' Quick Start Guide To SaaS Partnerships

Three years ago, Alexis Petrichos (Director of Strategic Partnerships & Ecosystem Marketing at Chili Piper) went from SDR to Partner Manager. He calls it 'one of the toughest transitions' of his life.

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