Solving the Partner Prisoner’s Dilemma to Drive Partner Success
CJ19. One of the biggest sales frustrations, for both the partner and the vendor, is when there’s a lack of cooperation in sharing account data. This episode features Bob Moore, a serial entrepreneur, CEO, and Co-Founder of Crossbeam. Bob is on a mission to help companies that are partnered with each other bring shared data into their conversations to drive partner success.
Bob shares what he calls the Partner Prisoner’s dilemma, the all too familiar situation where vendor reps and partner reps don’t want to share sales information. And we talk about a big lesson that Bob learned at his prior startup, RJ Metrics, around product market fit. He’s applying that lesson at Crossbeam and tells why anyone starting a company or thinking of launching a product needs to focus on this too.
Partner Prisoner’s Dilemma
- Crossbeam solves the “Partner Prisoner’s Dilemma” where both the vendor and the partner don’t share information because they see it as too risky. Yet if they would cooperate, both parties would have a much more successful outcome.
- The benefit of cooperation is in the overlap between the vendors accounts and prospects, and the partners’ accounts and prospects. But if vendor and partners are holding back their data, you can’t draw that Venn diagram.
Big Shift in the Channel
• The maturity of the API economy has transformed software integrations. What used to be hard and required an Accenture to get the project done, is now easy.
• SasS, combined with APIs, is pushing a shift from the traditional reseller/system integrator channel model to technology partner programs.
• The challenge is how to extract revenue influence from these partnerships. Crossbeam is helping companies leverage their integrations by finding co-selling and co-marketing opportunities that are force multipliers.
Bob’s Big Lesson
- Raised about $25M in venture capital and grew his prior company, RJMetrics, to about 150 people before selling the company to Magento.
- Initial growth period was fun, but growth can catch up on you. Had huge success selling RJMetrics for eCommerce, so thought they could bring it into education, tech companies and other verticals.
- Learned that you can build an awesome product that does cool things, and there can be a huge market you’re going after, but if you don’t product market fit, the overlap between your product and the market, you’re not going to win.
- You have to really spend time and energy in hand-to-hand relationships with your clients to ask the hard questions and make sure that what you’re hearing is genuine interest that translates into a path to creating economic value for that audience and revenue for your company.
The Crossbeam Solution
- Crossbeam is a SaaS solution that allows two companies to share sales, account, prospect, and other data in a safe and secure way to create more value.
- Crossbeam serves as a data escrow service that provides a secure SOC2, GDPR compliant relationship between both companies. This gives an environment where you can combine the data from a variety of sources, find the overlap, and never have to worry about the underlying raw data that doesn’t overlap being exposed. And that unlocks a whole new world.
- Has a network effect in that the more vendors and partners who use it, the greater value all parties get from the solution.
Share ThisThe universe of interconnectivity between products has exploded in the last decade and even more so in the last handful of years - @robertjmoore Click To Tweet You can build an awesome product that does a lot of cool things. And you can identify a really, really big market to go after. But where you find opportunity in a startup is at the intersection of those things - @robertjmoore Click To Tweet The observation from SasS and the maturity of the API economy is that legacy channels are being replace by new technology partner programs - @robertjmoore Click To Tweet
Links & Resources
- Follow Bob on Twitter and LinkedIn
- Learn more about Crossbeam
- The Partner Prisoner’s Dilemma
- How Superhuman Built an Engine to Find Product/Market Fit
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