In this blog we’ll discuss:
You’ve kicked off a new partnership with enthusiasm and high hopes. You set your mutual goals, mapped accounts, and shortlisted some lucrative co-selling opportunities.
But when asked by leadership, “How is Nearbound impacting our business?”, you can’t confidently answer.
Here are the facts: Nearbound is the future of driving revenue and customer satisfaction. And just like with every major shift in business, old-school conventions will need to be changed and challenged. This includes how we track and showcase the key performance metrics to gain buy-in.
Every Go-To-Market (GTM) team wants to source revenue, and they have their very own way to achieve this goal.
Sales teams own the outbound channel to increase the deals that are close/won. Marketing teams owns the inbound channel to generate MQLs. Partnership owns Nearbound to drive partner-sourced revenue.
The problem is that those metrics and channels aren’t correctly aligned.
So, if those channels and initiatives aren’t aligned, the answer to, “How do you attribute the effort?” right now is: you don’t. All attribution systems are broken, because, at the end of the day, GTM teams are not aligned on the right metrics.
Every team is trying to achieve 100% of their KPIs by doing siloed activities. Everybody is stepping on each other’s toes because there’s no strategic connector between these activities.
There’s a simpler way to align all GTM motions by equipping partnership, sales, and marketing channels with Nearbound intel.
The Nearbound Methodology is a revolutionary approach. It focuses on the power of partner ecosystems to boost B2B GTM strategies. This helps to accelerate the sales cycle and increase customer retention. By leveraging the trust built between customers and their service providers, organizations are able to close larger deals more quickly.
“We must acknowledge the shift from the ‘how’ economy to the ‘who’ economy. Buyers are asking who can solve our problem? This puts trust and relationships at the core of the buying process.” —Jared Fuller, Chief Ecosystem Officer at Reveal and PartnerHacker.
Here’s how to measure Nearbound impact.
Measuring Nearbound is not about reinventing the wheel, it’s sending more power to it!
To do this in your KPIs, you need to dethrone partner-sourced revenue as the end-all-be-all KPI for partnership efforts. It had a great reign, but every king must pass the crown eventually.
Why? Because while partner-sourced revenue is a valuable metric, what’s even better is submerging each action so that it has the support and influence of a trusted partner. By doing so, it focuses efforts, increases deal size, decreases time to close, and increases the Lifetime Value of the customer.
THAT’S the power of Nearbound.
Instead of measuring partner-sourced as the main KPI to track the success of Nearbound activities, establish KPIs that help you think bigger and align with your organization's goals.
Key metrics may include:
Partnership KPIs are different from the sales teams’ metrics and can vary depending on the type of partner. But most of the time, it’s all about partner-influenced and partner-sourced revenue.
You can measure and ensure partner-influence by tracking:
For example, you’re finding it hard to get traction in an account where you’ve had some positive conversations in the past. If a partner helps you gain introductions to key people within the account to move the needle, their involvement should be attributed to helping to close the deal.
You can measure and ensure partner-sourced revenue by tracking:
For example, your partner spoke with their customers about your products at their recent event and arranged some follow-up calls with you and these customers. Off the back of these calls, you generated some new opportunities for your Sales teams.
You can also focus on measuring these KPIs:
Nearbound sales is what AEs and PSMs do to source pipelines. The key is building trust, influence, and value with the buyer by leveraging a network of influential individuals, including partners, analysts, and experts who have achieved similar goals to the buyer.
With Nearbound, besides measuring onboardings and meetings booked/held, there should be some sales activities in your CRM that are tracked that tie the partner play. Here’s where we highlight partner-influence, for example:
Once you’ve nailed down your KPIs, use the data to implement the "Intel, Intro, or Influence" strategy to engage partners and their customers in the sales processes.
These 3 I’s are key plays that will help you move a deal forward or to open a pipeline. Utilize partner insights to gain valuable information, facilitate introductions, and influence customer decisions based on trust.
Nearbound marketing is the integration of partner intel into your GTM motion. This helps to leverage existing connections to get the right message to the right people at the right time. Nearbound helps marketing teams build stronger partner relationships, understand their target audience better, and create more effective campaigns for better outcomes.
The KPIs that the marketing team tracks depend on the campaign they launch, but some examples include:
However, to track Nearbound’s impact, marketers should also focus on generating Nearbound Qualified Leads (NQLs). The best way to do this is through co-marketing initiatives (partner influence/attach activities) like:
Here’s another pro-tip for your next marketing campaign:
To know if the NQLs are actually qualified, use your Reveal account to identify their partner signals (the higher the signal, the higher is the chance to convert). This feature is included in the pro and power plan.
Partner attribution plays a significant role in the revenue mix, comprising outbound, inbound, and Nearbound initiatives. While the GTM teams may be unaware, it is worth noting that the sales and marketing teams, perhaps unconsciously, drive a substantial portion of leads through Nearbound-related activities (a.k.a. partnerships).
However, the process of attributing credit to partners is often poorly defined. To rectify this, it is crucial to delve into how GTM teams contribute to these efforts.
If the ultimate goal is to prioritize partner attach (partner influence) as the North star metric and achieve a partner attachment rate of 25% of the company's Annual Recurring Revenue (ARR), it becomes essential to ensure equivalent levels of contribution across all GTM teams.
Only by establishing a balanced distribution of inputs throughout the organization can the desired 25% partner attachment rate be effectively realized.
The Nearbound Revenue Platform links to your CRM and can be helpful for staying on top of key partnership metrics. Reveal enables you to track all your partner-sourced and partner-influenced opportunities so you’re the first to know when your partnerships made an impact.
Before entering any partnership, make sure you use a Partner Scorecard template to proactively track the progress over time of your KPIs against specified goals and targets.
Partner scorecards enable Partnership Managers to have a standardized framework to structure their performance conversations with partners, to help them understand how they are tracking against expectations, and to compare their relative performance with similar partners.
Without this type of measurement framework, you could fall into the trap of either:
To attribute the impact of Nearbound sales, you first need to measure it. And the best way to do so is through an input of your CRM or using the Pipeline function of Reveal.
Here’s another pro-tip for attributing Nearbound’s impact from Per Allin, Head of Partnerships Growth at Contractbook:
“To track Nearbound impact, focus on partner-influence by tagging every partner activity in your CRM. Whether it is Salesforce, HubSpot or inside Reveal, it is going to allow you to create a deal, opportunity or activity record, which means that you are able to create a field that allows you to include partners in that performance.”
This will allow you to confidently say: “X partner was sourced/influence in this deal.”
To learn more about how Per Allin generated 2x to 3x more demo meetings through partner influence plays (providing Nearbound intel to his BDR and AE), click here.
Marketing can leverage the real-time insights provided by Reveal to target accounts based on partner overlap and customer statuses.
For example, to “measure” or “attribute” Nearbound Qualified Leads (NQLs) (considering the partner-sourced KPI), you can use the “New Prospects” feature to export all the new prospects from your partner.
Another Reveal feature that you can use to track and attribute Nearbound’s impact is offline account mapping. You can add accounts to your Reveal Pipeline from an Offline Account Mapping, or assign an 'Offline partner' to an account in your Reveal Pipeline.
For example, you can keep track of the opportunities you created from co-hosting a webinar (from the attendees’ list), even if your partner hasn't joined Reveal.
In this case, the attribution—with commission or internal recognition—will be to both the partner and the marketing team, since the partner sourced the lead (a prospect that didn’t exist in your CRM), but the marketing team is doing the outbound or inbound initiative to convert that lead (either a time decay or linear attribution model).
Leaders: it’s time to ditch your old-world metrics if you really want to see an increase in revenue.
The first step is to create goals within your GTM organization that are partner-specific, as well as ensure that those activities are mandated and logged in the daily life of your teams. Don’t hold back impact by tripping up on attribution models. Instead, focus on creating a unified Nearbound strategy.
This approach prioritizes trust, relationships, and collaboration within a network of partners, ensuring that all stakeholders benefit from the collective intelligence and resources of the ecosystem.
See how Reveal can help unify teams with secure, integrated data here.
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