6 minutes

The Nearbound Manifesto

Simon Bouchez, CEO
September 1, 2022

Remember when Inbound and Outbound were enough for companies to generate sustainable revenue growth?

Over the last five years, B2B CAC has grown 60%1, human attention span has declined by 88%2, and ads have become increasingly pricey. In 2020, the average CPC in the B2B industry was $3.33, this year it increased up to $4.903.

Additionally, a study by HubSpot showed that 50% of your prospects are not a good fit for what you sell. In other words, your revenue team is likely spending more than half of its time with prospects that have zero chance to turn into customers.

These are just a few signals that traditional channels have become insufficient to generate sustainable growth.

But here’s the thing: there’s another revenue channel that's already available to you in whatever industry you’re in.

We call it Nearbound, and we believe it’s the most powerful revenue channel today. And our belief is backed by abundant evidence.

Nearbound is so mighty that it increases your win rates by 41% and your deal sizes by 43%.

It’s so efficient that it generates on average $56M sales pipeline and gives you access to 14,000 qualified prospects.

Nearbound isn’t meant as a replacement for Outbound and Inbound. It’s a layer that when added to your Go-to-Market strategy, gives it incredible power. 

Last decade’s biggest B2B revolution was Inbound and Marketing automation.

This decade’s biggest B2B revolution is Nearbound. And most B2B leaders are starting to realize it.

So what is Nearbound?

Nearbound consists of leveraging the full power of your ecosystem, i.e. the companies close to you, near you, to influence your entire revenue funnel from lead acquisition to customer retention.

Words have power. “Nearbound” shifts the focus from the partnerships’ activity—the act of creating business connections—to the partnerships’ impact. And it simultaneously shifts the way you see yourself and others see you within your organization.

Remember when Marketers became the stars of Inbound? It’s time you become the star of Nearbound.

Let’s look at a Nearbound example.

Your ecosystem is an amazing source of signals.

As an example, one of Reveal’s users—a Customer Engagement Platform—paid particular attention to signals coming from Customer Data Platforms.

These two categories don’t compete, their value proposition is highly connected and they both target the same personas, but by sharing intelligence they can help each other in a compelling way.

Anytime a company purchased a Customer Data Platform, it would signal they had shifted to buying a best-in-class technology stack, and sorting their data was often the step right before leveraging it, i.e. buying a Customer Engagement Platform.

It gave our user invaluable information about when to start selling to its partner’s clients. As a result, they were able to focus SDRs and AEs on the right leads at the right time, and generate fast growth.

This example embodies the Nearbound channel. To leverage this channel and benefit from Nearbound’s power, all they needed to do was implement these 3 steps: 

Implement these 3 steps to benefit from Nearbound’s power.

Step #1 of Nearbound is identifying your ecosystem.

Think about all the companies that target one or more of your personas. Think about all the companies that offer a value proposition that complements or connects with yours.

Whatever signal matters most to your business—whether it’s identifying when a prospect modernizes their tool stack, when they buy a product that integrates with yours, or when they take a step that often happens right before they buy your product—find which companies can share that signal with you.

These companies are your ecosystem. And they often go far beyond the partners you have identified.

Through Reveal data, we found that companies that share signals with 10+ partners generate 291% more sales pipeline than companies that share signals with 1 to 3 partners.

Considering this increase, imagine how much more impact you can create if you were to share intelligence with hundreds of companies.

As an example, one of Reveal's users is sharing intelligence with more than 200 partners alone. And as a result, they’re generating 40% of their company’s sales pipeline. This is the power of your ecosystem when you scale it.

So the first Nearbound revolution is a philosophical one. It means you start thinking beyond the traditional concept of partnerships.

In fact, it’s time you start thinking as big as your ecosystem’s size.

Step #2 of Nearbound is Collective Intelligence.

Collective Intelligence is our unique human superpower, and if it has led our species to generate so much progress in a relatively short amount of time, imagine what it can do when applied to B2B.

For decades, intelligence was siloed in the B2B industry. But no more.

Intelligence is increasingly open and collective in B2B as more and more ecosystem technologies (like Reveal) now allow you to share unlimited intelligence with unlimited partners safely.

This is the massive opportunity with Nearbound.

It’s partnerships, at scale. And we believe it’s a game-changer not only for partnership professionals but more broadly for B2B revenue.

As a result, we’re witnessing a growing divide between two types of partnership professionals: those who leverage their ecosystem at scale thanks to technology, and those who limit their impact to what’s within manual reach.

My question to you is: which side will you be on?

Step #3 of Nearbound is data activation.

What’s the point of all that data if you’re not leveraging it, right?

This is the step where your skills combined with technology are much needed.

To activate ecosystem data, you need to make sure it is fully integrated.

Firstly, it needs to be deeply integrated into all your Go-to-Market teams’ reflexes and processes. From Business Development to Customer Success, including Marketing, Sales, and Product.

This requires proper training, enablement, and strong alignment. Partnership professionals who achieve this create monumental ROI.

The success formula here lies within incremental ROI. Don’t expect to borrow the time of your fellow Go-to-Market teams’ if you’re not providing tangible ROI in exchange. Convince them with results. Start with a few internal early adopters. Show your proof of concept. Just like anything else, If the ROI is evident, wide adoption of Nearbound will be organic.

Secondly, ecosystem data needs to be embedded into the rest of your Go-to-Market tech stack: your CRM, your Marketing Automation, Customer Engagement, and Sales Engagement platforms. Essentially, it means putting your ecosystem data where it can create the most results.

Embedding your ecosystem data within both your Go-to-Market teams’ processes and their tech stack is critical to delivering Nearbound revenue. And we believe this is the best use of the extra time you’ve freed up for yourself by automating so many of your partner processes: account mapping, pipeline management, ROI tracking, and more.

Nearbound is the new partnerships.

Just like Inbound didn't mean Marketers couldn’t create highly custom approaches when it made sense, Nearbound doesn’t mean you should let go of a successful strategic partner program. It just means you shouldn’t limit yourself to it anymore.

To unlock Nearbound’s potential, companies need to scale their partner processes and interlock partnerships’ goals with their Go-to-Market counterparts.

This is how Partnerships will transition from a revenue by-function to becoming a revenue channel in its own right.

Imagine a world where you receive quality insights on thousands of accounts, within and beyond your CRM.

Imagine a world where you drive unquestionable impact for your entire Go-to-Market organization.

Imagine a world where you finally get a seat, the seat, at the table.

It’s the world of Nearbound, and I’m excited to invite you to join in.

Leverage Nearbound's power: Start now.

#CollaborativeGrowth #Nearbound #CollectiveIntelligence #WhoSharesWins.

 1 Source: Subscription CAC Study, Microsoft, MarketingSherpa Search Marketing Benchmark Guide

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