Selling Better Together: Leveraging Nearbound and the Who Economy

Selling Better Together: Leveraging Nearbound and the Who Economy 13 min

In this article you’ll learn: 

  • Why the How Economy is plummeting
  • Why the Who Economy is the key to success 
  • How the GTM teams can leverage the Who economy in tandem with Nearbound

It’s very likely that your organization is using a mix of outbound and inbound strategies. 

But these two strategies leave out a vital piece of the puzzle

In this new world, you’re not going to achieve 100% of revenue if your strategy only includes 2⁄3 of the picture. Outbound and inbound strategies are good, but they aren’t enough. 

The truth is that you are losing at least 33% of your revenue opportunities.

⅔ of the revenue that Inbound and Outbound are helping you achieve

There is a third strategy that overcomes all the filters and blockers that outbound and inbound face by leveraging the trust built between your partners and your potential customers. 

This strategy is NEARBOUND

Nearbound is the GTM strategy that centralizes partnering with companies your buyers already have a relationship with to increase revenue and retention. Having a Nearbound-led strategy in tandem with a Nearbound Revenue Platform, like Reveal, has helped top companies influence their revenue. 

  • Payfit had an increase of up to 60% in lead-to-demo conversion rate and an increase of up to 50% in demo-to-customer conversion rate. 
  • Rydoo had a 3x increase in pipeline. 
  • Contractbook generated 2x to 3x more demo meetings. 
  • AssessFirst had an increase of 4x in client integration and increased their lead generation by 100%. 

Nearbound helps you drive 100% of your revenue

But why is the market shifting at such a rapid pace? Let’s break down the How vs. Who Economies, and how to leverage the Who Economy with Nearbound. 

What was the How Economy?

Over the last few decades, customers and prospects were trying to increase their expertise and knowledge on several topics due to all the new technologies in the market, as well as to level up against their competitors’ strategies. They were trying to find out: 

  • How to use X tool? 
  • How to solve X problem? 
  • How to perform better? 

These kinds of questions led organizations to create strategies to capitalize on the buyer’s need for information: outbound and inbound. 


The Outbound Era revolutionized sales by digitizing the process and focusing on reaching the target market. This allowed for precise measurement of sales activities like emails, phone calls, and contact lists, leading to predictable revenue. 

The goal was to answer the buyer’s questions by bringing the information directly to them. 

As outbound strategies and technologies evolved, both the quantity and quality of outreach increased. Yet, excelling in outbound sales became increasingly challenging as everyone improved, leading to more interruptions. 

Ultimately, there are limits to how many interruptions the human brain can handle, regardless of how targeted they may be.

"Over 56% of sellers miss quota despite all the new sales technology"—Tiffany Bova, Salesforce.


The era of inbound focused on marketing automation and attracting the target market. Instead of relying on cold outreach, the emphasis shifted to bringing customers in through relevant content, intent-based nurture sequences, and educational touch points throughout the buyer journey. 

Basically, when buyers asked the question, organizations tried to be the first solution they saw. 

Even with high-quality and relevant information, people have limits on how much they can absorb. Buyers no longer want to be forcefully funneled; they seek better ways to filter out irrelevant information. 

The abundance of marketing content and nurturing activities has created a saturation effect. Consequently, customers are turning to trusted sources rather than advertisements or search engines for their purchasing decisions.

Enter the Who Economy

We aren’t saying these strategies are bad. In fact, they’re pretty darn useful. The problem is that the How Economy has bombarded people with these strategies. It’s an info overload, and because of it, no one really trusts companies anymore. 

Plus, it’s getting harder and harder for companies to execute these strategies. 

  • SEO is getting gamed. Every time you Google something the results are less and less helpful. 
  • Buyers are filtering your information. It is now harder for the cold emails you send to get to people. 
  • Blockers are real. There are blockers on tracking, pixels, and all of the methodologies that help you target your audience with ads. 

Buyers are hungry for that human element. They are seeking out people who have been where they want to go, or that they have worked in close proximity with. They are going to sources like LinkedIn, Partnership Leaders, or PartnerHacker to find real people like them who have faced the same real problems.

Isaac Morehouse shares his take on the How vs. Who Economy argument on Twitter.

Need more proof? 

  • When asked “How did you hear”, 70% of B2B buyers say word of mouth, podcast, or social media (Refine Labs). 
  • Integrations with existing tech are a top priority to 76% of buyers (E&Y).
  • Deals that involve one or more partners have a 41% higher win rate, close 35% faster, and have 43% higher LTV (Reveal).
  • 95% of Microsoft’s revenue comes through partners.
  • ​​82% of B2B sales leaders say referrals are the best leads (Williams).

Buyers are seeking out the who, and that’s what Nearbound leverages. 

Comparison of the key aspects between the How and the Who Economy

The key is to connect the right people to people. 

Nearbound and the Who Economy

As previously explained, Nearbound GTM is the operationalization of product, marketing, sales, success, and partnerships to drive revenue by working with companies or individuals who already have trust and influence with your target market. 

It’s not trying to reinvent the wheel; it’s a layer on top of your current inbound and outbound strategies that will give them the boost they need to make them so much more successful. 

Instead of trying to reach buyers cold, like outbound, or get them to come to you by searching and coming across your content through inbound, it’s tapping into the people that are already influencing them. 

Allan Adler shares his take on Nearbound’s potential on LinkedIn.

A good Nearbound strategy starts with one question: Who does my buyer trust? You’re probably not the who, but you’d better be partnering with them!

And the best part? Nearbound can be executed across all teams to create higher revenue and aligned efforts. 

Partnership teams and the Who Economy

The Who Economy is a great principle to follow for increasing the success of your partner program. Use these questions to get your program aligned with a Nearbound strategy: 

  • Who are the key stakeholders that you can engage with through a Nearbound Revenue Platform?
  • Who are the potential strategic partners or collaborators within your network who align with your business goals and target audience?
  • Who are the existing customers of our partners that we can connect with to gather insights and feedback on their experience?
  • Who are the potential customers or clients within your ecosystem who can benefit from your products or services, and how can you reach out to them effectively?
  • Who will be responsible for promoting and selling the joint value proposition to your customers?

The questions you need to ask yourself during each phase of the Partnership lifecycle.

Sales teams and the Who Economy

To leverage the Who Economy with Nearbound, Sales teams need to ask themselves questions based on the 3 I’s: Intel, Intro and Influence


To identify strategic partnerships through the right people at the right time you should ask questions like:

  • Who has helped my customer/prospect to solve X problem? 
  • Who has already X technology as part of their tech stack? 
  • Who are the customers or clients of our potential partners whose feedback or testimonials can help you evaluate the viability of a strategic partnership?
  • Who are the key stakeholders, whose involvement or support is crucial for successful strategic partnerships in your industry?
  • Who are the “influencers”(anyone your buyer trusts, not only IG influencers) who can help us reach out to potential partners or create visibility for your partnership initiatives?


To determine a joint value proposition and run it with your partners you should ask questions like: 

  • Who’s the right person to contact? 
  • Who’s the account owner?
  • Who will be responsible for promoting and selling the joint value proposition to your customers?
  • Who will have the final say in approving and implementing the joint value proposition with your partners?
  • Who within your organization should be responsible for coordinating and communicating with potential partners to develop a joint value proposition?


To surround your customers and prospects with people and brands they trust you should ask questions like: 

  • Who are your prospects already working with?
  • Who do your prospects trust as industry experts in your field?
  • Who are your existing customers or clients of yours that your prospects trust and value as references or testimonials?
  • Who are the key stakeholders or decision-makers within your prospects’ organizations that you should establish relationships with?
  • Who are the strategic partners or collaborators of your prospects that you can leverage to build trust and credibility?

Marketing teams and the Who Economy

For you to be able to reach new audiences and markets in a more efficient way–as well as give your sales teams access to more prospects and the ability to generate more leads–you need to start thinking about developing Nearbound co-marketing strategies. 

In case you don’t know where to start, here are some questions you need to ask yourself following the Audience, Value proposition, and Strategy model. 


When doing a co-marketing initiative is important to identify the target audience you want to address, to do so, you can ask the following questions: 

  • Who are the common customers you share with your partner?
  • Who are your new prospects that are your partner’s customers? 
  • Who are you trying to reach as a result of this initiative?
  • Who is your target audience following on LinkedIn? 
  • Who are your customers or clients that you can engage with to understand their needs and preferences?

Value proposition

To identify the value proposition first you need to understand why are you partnering up, and why should people attend your webinar, read your blog, open your email, etc, to make sure you have a high success rate you should make yourself these questions: 

  • Who is the best “influencer” to host your webinar?
  • Who are the experts on the subject?
  • Who are the potential partners who can collaborate with you on joint marketing initiatives to maximize your impact?
  • Who is the best person to send the email? 
  • Who is the key attendee that can help you increase the value of your initiative? 


Finally, it is time to decide the strategy that you should follow to implement that desired initiative.

  • Who are the industry associations or communities that can facilitate introductions and connections to relevant stakeholders?
  • Who can help you open another communication channel to promote your content? 
  • Who are the marketing experts or consultants who can provide guidance and best practices?
  • Who are the content creators or industry experts who can help you amplify your message?
  • Who are the data and analytics experts who can provide insights into your customers’ preferences and behaviors?

Leadership and the Who Economy 

When your company needs to change direction, leadership teams should find a trustworthy person who can help them make this change. Asking the following questions can help find that person: 

  • Who are the team members within your organization who have the skills and expertise to effectively deploy X initiative?
  • Who are the industry leaders within your network that you should build relationships with to enhance your organization’s visibility and credibility?
  • Who are the potential strategic partners or collaborators who can help you achieve your business objectives and drive growth?
  • Who are the investors who may be interested in supporting your organization’s initiatives?
  • Who is the partner who can assist you in crafting and delivering your messaging to your target audience effectively?

The Nearbound Revenue Platform 

To find the best “who’s” that are going to drive the most success in your Nearbound strategy, you need a tool to help you. Reveal is the Nearbound Revenue platform that helps you identify and leverage the who’s that already exist in your ecosystem. 

Here are some examples of how to find your “who” in this equation. 

For Partnership teams

To answer, “Who are the potential customers or clients within your ecosystem who can benefit from your products or services?” you can use the Account Mapping feature. But this time, use the “my prospects vs customers” filters to see all of the partner’s customers that are your prospects, and the “partner’s customers not in your CRM” to find net new prospects. 

For Sales teams

To identify strategic partnerships you can use Nearbound intel like “Who has already X technology as part of their tech stack?” use the 360° Mapping to identify who of your customers is a customer of X company, and who is an open opportunity for your partners.

For Marketing teams

For example, to identify “Who are the common customers you share with your partner?” you can use the account mapping feature with each of your partners with whom you have already shared CRMs and click on the “Common customers” button.

For Leadership

To identify “Who are the potential strategic partners or collaborators who can help you achieve your business objectives and drive growth?” you can use the Nearbound intel in your partner’s overview. Prioritize by the percentage of each Market and Persona overlap, Win Rate, and Revenue Potential. 

Next steps 

Embracing the Who Economy through Nearbound allows you to connect with trusted individuals and brands, establish meaningful partnerships, and build credibility with your target audience. By asking the right questions and leveraging these relationships, you can position your organization for success in the dynamic business landscape.

The future is not answering How, but working with the Who. In this new era, helping each team drive ⅓ activity is the only way to drive ⅓ of the results. 

If you don’t partner with those your buyers already trust, you will lose. It’s hard to overcome the cold-start trust problem. But when you partner, you get to tap into the trust that already exists.

That is Nearbound. When you layer it onto your inbound and outbound, you win. In case you’re wondering who can help you do that, the answer is crystal clear. 

We can. 

Are you ready to leverage Nearbound and the Who Economy? 

Let’s do it! 13 min

Selling Better Together: Leveraging Nearbound and the Who Economy

Nearbound and the Who Economy can revolutionize your revenue strategy by leveraging existing relationships and trusted individuals in your target market.

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