Leveraging Ecosystem Clusters to Drive Many:Many Reciprocal Co-Sell

November 3, 2023

Co-selling is getting a lot of attention these days as organizations realize that selling with partners yields higher returns, faster time to revenue, and longer-lasting customer relationships.

It helps direct Sales teams counter declining returns from traditional outbound motions.

Co-sell opportunities and requirements

Much of the focus today is on how to drive co-sell in 1:1 or 1: Many relationships.

Soon companies will turn to the next step of co-sell innovation: building Many: Many clusters of partner relationships that agree to sell together, ideally aligned to customer value roadmaps that include multiple offerings.

A challenging question in this model is how to orchestrate co-sell motions across multiple partners. It’s a question that will quickly get the attention of partner and revenue teams who see the massive potential in co-selling with partners.

However, they are also confronted by some of its complexities and challenges, including the need to make sure partner revenue and customer success organizations participate reciprocally in the giving and receiving of partner assistance.

We present a groundbreaking programmatic strategy that harnesses well-established principles of reciprocity and standardized co-selling procedures. These essential elements serve as the keys to significantly amplifying your and your partners’ co-selling revenue, potentially tripling to sextupling your results.

The challenge: Ensuring reciprocity

In the diagram below (a 1:Many model), the key to driving sourced revenue is ensuring that both you and your partners are engaging reciprocally (e.g., you both agree to give intros) and aligning on standardized co-sell motions (e.g., you both align on how you’ll share and track the intros).

1:Many Co-Sell Model

Let’s assume that you want to orchestrate co-sell motions between you and 4 Strategic ISV Partners A, B, C, and D with whom you have high mutual overlaps, common ICPs, and a great working relationship. You have promised that you will help them first and ask that they reciprocate. And, you’ve set in place a program with standardized co-sell motions (e.g., partner assists to provide intros and influence).

In this 1:Many model, there’s only one problem, you have nearly zero impact over how any of the partners behave and the partners’ Customer Success teams seem unwilling to change their SOPs to consistently provide you with introductions to their customers who are simultaneously your prospects.

While you are orchestrating internally and driving outbound requests for intros, you do not influence whether the partner responds to these requests or reaches out to ensure that gives and gets happen reciprocally.

What to do?

The solution–ecosystem clusters

Creating an Ecosystem Cluster aligns you (the client) and your 4 partners A, B, C, and D, in a reciprocal sharing of customer relationships aligned to partner prospects.

In this program, Partner teams, CROs, and CCOs come together to drive Nearbound Orchestration (NOE) with the same leadership as partners and commit to reciprocation, aligned co-sell motions and the overall managed services costs, expectations, and deliverables as a group, ensuring uplift for all involved.

Many: Many Co-Sell Model

Such a program would start out with a lead ISV (client) and align with at least 4 other similarly sized tech partners. The picture above depicts one client and 4 partners but that’s just the crawl state, at maturity a larger SaaS company could accommodate dozens of tech partners in the same Ecosystem Cluster program (perhaps with tiers).

If you meet the requirements as outlined in the opportunity/requirements slide at the beginning of this article, have your CRO and CCO on board, and have 10 or so partners with whom you share high overlap and a common ICP, you are in the sweet spot to execute a Nearbound Ecosystem Cluster.

We are building Managed Services designed to execute the NOE so DM us if you’d like to hear our approach to driving predictable, efficient, Win/Win growth for your Nearbound Ecosystem.