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How Sales Teams Use Ecosystem-Led Sales to Hit Revenue Goals

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Ecosystem-led sales is working with partners to generate leads, convert new customers, and grow existing accounts. Your sales development representatives (SDRs) and account executives (AEs) will hit their goals faster with partners. Tech and channel partners can share valuable intel about your prospects with your SDRs, provide warm intros to help them break into new accounts, and help your AEs close their opportunities faster (and for a bigger deal size).

There’s a reason why storied venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz is willing to bet on companies who prioritize partner-generated pipeline, rather than direct sales-generated pipeline. An ecosystem-led sales approach allows companies to do more without adding more people and partners.

“Partnerships are more important than ever,” says Sarah Wang, Managing Partner at Andreessen Horowitz. “You’re bringing in pipeline, you’re shortening sales cycles, and you’re increasing conversion rates. That’s a need-to-have, not a nice-to-have.” 

The stats for companies that embrace ecosystem-led sales are impressive:

  • RingCentral upsells 3x as frequently with partners than without, and the dollar amount of those upsells is 4x the rate of upsells with no partners involved. 
  • Highspot observed that partners contribute to 58% of the revenue generated by their top sales reps and that working with partners influences a 65% greater deal size.
  • Partner-influenced deals close 50% faster than any other other deals at Freshworks. 

Co-selling doesn’t need to be complicated. Adopt the following steps, and your sales team will inherit faster sales cycles without needing to leave the tools they use every day. What to expect:

Step #1: Know Which Partners Can Advance An Opportunity 

Let’s say there’s a prospect in your pipeline that your sales development representative (SDR) is struggling to break into. In this article, we’ll refer to your SDR’s prospect as a hypothetical company, “Hextall & Co.” The right partner can facilitate a warm intro between your SDR and a stakeholder at Hextall & Co. and help them qualify the prospect.

Your partnerships team can use Crossbeam, a partner ecosystem platform, to learn which partners have existing customers, open opportunities, or prospects in common with your pipeline. If your partnership team observes that 30 partners have your SDR’s prospect Hextall & Co. as an existing customer, that’s 30 people who could potentially make a warm intro for your SDR. 

The account mapping matrix in Crossbeam 

Next, leverage Sales Edge, a network-based co-selling solution in Crossbeam, to identify the partners who would have the most influence in advancing your SDR’s prospect through the funnel. Sales Edge automatically sifts through your overlaps with partners so your SDRs and account executives (AEs) will know exactly where to focus their efforts with partners. This partner data gets pushed directly to your team’s sales stack — via Salesforce, LinkedIn, or weekly emails to your team — so your sales team can reach out to partners for help during their typical workflows. 

While using Sales Edge, your partnerships team observes that, historically, your partner Imaaga has boosted the close rate for your sales team by 40% and they have Hextall & Co. as an existing customer. Imaaga has a high likelihood of helping your SDR to break into and qualify Hextall & Co. 

Step #2: Reach Out to Your Partner for Help

As your SDR researches their prospect Hextall & Co. on LinkedIn, they’ll receive a notification through the Sales Edge Chrome Extension informing them that their partner Imaaga can help. Your SDR can then kick off a Message to Imaaga in one-click. 

The Sales Edge Chrome Extension in LinkedIn 

Depending on your partner’s relationship with the prospect or opportunity, your SDRs and AEs will request different information or assistance from your partner. 

If your SDR’s prospect Hextall & Co. is Imaaga’s customer, your SDR can: 

  • Ask Imaaga to put in a good word for them with the prospect and recommend your software 
  • Ask Imaaga to include your software or integration in Hextall & Co.’s new customer kickoff meeting 
  • Educate Hextall & Co. about your software and share relevant success stories from their customers
  • Use BANT (budget, authority, needs, and timeline) to qualify prospects with partners 
  • Make an intro to the potential power user or stakeholder with the most buying power 
  • Learn about the prospect’s current tech stack (hint: You can also get tech stack insights about your prospects and customers directly in Crossbeam), pain points, and future business needs 

If your SDR’s prospect Hextall & Co. is Imaaga’s opportunity, your SDR can: 

  • Ask Imaaga if they’ll include your software and/or integration as part of their request for proposal (RFP) for Hextall & Co.
  • Ask Imaaga to put in a good word for them with Hextall & Co. and recommend your software
  • Educate Hextall & Co. about the value of your joint solution or integration and share relevant case studies from existing customers
  • Team up with your account executive (AE) to sell your joint solution together 
  • Use BANT (budget, authority, needs, and timeline) to qualify prospects with partners 
  • Make an intro to the potential power user or stakeholder with the most buying power 
  • Learn about the prospect’s current tech stack, pain points, and future business needs 

Your partner can reply to your SDR directly via the Sales Edge Chrome Extension in LinkedIn. Your partner can then answer your SDR’s questions directly, set up time to chat and discuss intel about the prospect, or go ahead and make the introduction. 

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Email alerts via Sales Edge

Using the Sales Edge Chrome Extension on LinkedIn

Your sales team can also receive email notifications from Sales Edge whenever a partner closes an opportunity in your pipeline. This will enable them to reach out to partners who are currently engaging with their prospect or opportunity.

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Know immediately when your partner closes an opportunity in your pipeline with Sales Edge

Note: You can also see which partners will have the most influence on an account and reach out to them directly in Crossbeam through the Sales Edge Deal Navigator.

Step #3: Track Your Most Effective Sales Wins, and Drive Predictable Revenue

Through the Sales Edge Salesforce Attribution Export, you’ll understand attribution across each stage of the sales cycle. You can track every touchpoint and win your sales team has with a partner via CSV export to Salesforce, so you can leverage insights like: 

  • The percentage of your pipeline sourced or influenced by partners (Using Crossbeam, Vidyard 14x’ed it’s partner-sourced revenue)
  • How your top sales reps are contributing to spikes in revenue growth through individual partners, and how your less advanced sales reps are improving their close rates with partners
  • How individual partners contribute to conversions, retention, and account growth
  • Which partners are making the most warm intros for your team, including you in RFPs, and closing the deal, so you can prioritize working with the partners who contribute to the most revenue growth

Note: In the upcoming months, you’ll be able to sync your team’s activities and wins with partners automatically via the Salesforce Custom Object. Stay tuned for this release!

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The Sales Edge Messaging Dashboard in Crossbeam

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As of 2022, there are more than 11,000 companies on Crossbeam. You can use Sales Edge to co-sell with any of them. Get started with Sales Edge in Crossbeam.

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