How to Contribute Millions in Sales Pipeline via Warm Intros and the

How to Contribute Millions in Sales Pipeline via Warm Intros and the "Fast Follow"

Olivia Ramirez 9 min
By Olivia Ramirez

Ecosystem-Led Growth (ELG) is the fuel for modern sales. Deals with partners close 46% faster and are 53% more likely to close. Sign up for Crossbeam Insider and get ELG plays like the “fast follow” sent weekly to your inbox.

“Now’s not the right time.”

“I just don’t have the budget.”

“We’re happy with XYZ tool.”

Sales reps know these objections all too well. But implement the “fast follow”, and they’re less likely to hear these objections at all and more likely to close the deal.

“Fast follow” isn’t a new term. In the wider tech industry, a “fast follow” could mean launching a new company immediately after another in the same category (using a similar business model and/or product strategy). “Fast follow” could be used for any number of things – sending a follow-up email right after a meeting, immediately opening a book after pouring a coffee, posting your webinar on social media as soon as it ends. 

Our favorite definition of the “fast follow”: immediately asking your partner for an assist when they’ve closed a deal with your prospect. It goes like this: Your partner signs a contract with a new customer. Your partner intros your sales rep to their new customer, or your sales rep reaches out independently mentioning your joint value proposition. Your sales rep gets a call on the books, and the call is kinda like this: 


“Hey, so I’d love to show you how our product…” 

“We’re ready to sign!”

Okay, so the sales conversation will vary depending on the context. The “fast follow” play is a key tactic that Ecosystem-Led companies are using right now to engage their prospects at the right time and close the deal. 

At #supernode23, Andy Cochran, Head of Strategic Alliances at Drift, spoke about how he uses partner intro requests (PIRs) and has begun rolling out the “fast follow” to engage prospects immediately when they become customers of his partners. Below, you’ll learn how Cochran implements their PIR strategy coupled with the “fast follow” to multiply Drift’s partner-sourced pipeline and bookings.

How Drift Implements PIRs Coupled With the “Fast Follow”

Using Crossbeam and the Crossbeam Salesforce Widget, Cochran’s team can see which of their prospects are customers of their partners. The Crossbeam Salesforce Widget enables Cochran and his sales team to see which partners could provide a warm intro directly from the account dashboard. By knowing which of their prospects are customers of their partners, they also have valuable insight into what their prospects’ tech stacks look like.

Using partner data, Cochran can strategize the timing of his team’s co-selling motions. Here’s where the “fast follow” comes in. 

An example: Cochran’s team knows that Drift is complementary to products like account-based marketing (ABM) platform 6sense. A customer using both products can combine 6sense’s rich account data intelligence with Drift’s personalized conversation capabilities to drive more conversions. So, when one of Drift’s prospects purchases 6sense, Cochran’s team knows it’s a good time to reach out to their prospect and begin the sales conversation.

The account mapping matrix in Crossbeam

90 days after their prospect becomes a customer of their partner, Drift’s team reaches out. This 90-day wait is key for ensuring that their prospect has been enabled in their partner’s software and that Drift’s sales team can communicate the value that Drift would provide on top of their prospect’s existing workflow. Drift’s team then puts in a partner intro request (PIR), or a request for a warm intro

Check out how Cochran’s team submits a PIR in the below video:

A partner intro request (PIR) submission in Salesforce

Cochran hits the “Partner Intro” button in Salesforce to submit the PIR on the account level for sourcing (and on the opportunity level for influencing). In your PIR, Cochran suggests including information that could provide your partner with context about your team’s relationship with the prospect. Including: 

  • Stage in the sales cycle
  • Context about previous conversions your sales team has had with the prospect, if any 
  • Stakeholders your team is in contact with 
  • How they fit into your ICP
  • A specific use case you could see providing value (especially relating to your joint value proposition/integration with your partner) 

He also recommends including a clear call to action (CTA) that eliminates ambiguity when reaching out to your partner. A few examples: 

  • Get account insights 
  • Compare notes about the account
  • Get an intro and align on mutual success plan 

Cochran’s team has implemented 775 total PIRs (122 in FY23), which have contributed to a total pipeline of $34M.

Image courtesy of Drift from Supernode 2023

Why and How You Should Implement the “Fast Follow”

Let’s take a step back. In total across all Crossbeam users, there are 115.9 million prospects overlapping with their partners’ prospects. If you or your partner signs one of these prospects before the other, there’s a prime opportunity for a warm intro.

And across all Crossbeam users, there are 24.8 million prospects overlapping with their partners’ customers. That’s 24.8 million potential: 

  • Warm intros
  • Closed-won deals
  • Customers with higher LTV than customers who have no influence from a partner 

What if you could identify the period of time when your prospect has just become a customer of your partner? Your prospect’s sales journey, priorities, and top stakeholders are fresh in your partner’s mind, and your prospect has just signed off on buying and using software that complements your own. 

When your prospect becomes a customer of your partner, you can trigger an email outbound sequence from your sales team that mentions your “better together” story with your partner’s software. 

An example: When a sales rep at LeanData, a revenue orchestration platform, observes that their prospect is a customer of their partner using the Crossbeam Salesforce Widget, they immediately enroll their prospect in an email sequence. The email sequence includes information about LeanData, their integration with their partner, and their joint value proposition. 

The Crossbeam Salesforce Widget

There are a few ways that you can initiate the “fast follow”. Your sales rep can trigger or initiate an email sequence as soon as they notice that their prospect has become a customer of your partner. They’re working inside their account dashboards every day, and you can enable them to take action when they (or you) notice the shift. 

Or you can set up any number of automated activities to occur when your prospect moves from one stage of the sales cycle to the next. These automations could include triggering an email outreach sequence, alerting your sales team to reach out with a friendly email notification, or alerting your marketing team to include tech stack insights in their marketing campaigns. 

In our webinar “Everything You Didn’t Know You Could Do With Partner Data”, we cover the basics of using “extract, load, transform” (ETL) and reverse ETL to push partner into any tool in your team’s tech stack to empower your go-to-market (GTM) teams and set up automated activities. You can also use our integrations with Salesforce, HubSpot, Snowflake, and more to put partner data into the tools your GTM teams use every day. Check out the webinar below. 👇

There’s 7.5 million overlaps between Crossbeam users’ customer lists and their partner’s customer lists. By using the “fast follow”, you can boost your number of mutual customers with your partners at scale.

Tip: You can also use this method for initiating upsell and expansion opportunities. If you know that your customers typically grow their accounts with you when they adopt your partner’s software and integration, you can initiate the upsell or expansion conversation when they become a customer of your partner.

Benefits of the Fast-Follow

(You know, in addition to closing deals at the right time.) 

Know when your prospect’s ready to purchase 

There are many insights you can glean from your partner when your prospect buys your partner’s software. Including: 

  • They have budget to buy your partner’s software and may be interested in buying yours as well (particularly if your software works hand-in-hand with your partner’s) 
  • They may be in the process of modernizing their tech stack, if your partner’s software is the next level up from more basic versions of the software (e.g. more advanced use cases, more data visibility, capabilities for multiple teams). If your software contributes to a more modern tech stack, too, right now would be a good time to sell. 
  • Your partner may have valuable intel about the software categories your prospect is interested in purchasing and their buying timeline. 

Cochran uses Crossbeam with 6sense to get more insights about whether or not their prospect is ready to buy. Check out the video Cochran shared during #supernode23 here:

Drift using the Crossbeam Salesforce Widget

Get intel about your prospect

Your partner’s sales team just had a number of sales and customer success (CS) conversations with their new customer.

They have valuable insights like: 

  • Who’s the stakeholder with the most buying power
  • Which stakeholders are most likely to need and use your software 
  • Their new customer’s business goals and priorities 
  • Their budgeting and tech stack plans

This is a wealth of intel that your sales team could use right now to advance the sales cycle and close the deal.

But make sure that your partner’s team is also ready to fulfill their part of the PIR so that your team can use their newfound knowledge thoughtfully and at the right time. 

“Information is great but can become noise very quickly if they’re not able to take action [on] it in that moment,” says Cochran.

Discuss your value proposition while relevant use cases are fresh in your prospect’s mind 

Your partner’s software and its value are top of mind for your prospect right now. Now is a great time to talk to your prospect about relevant use cases using your joint solution and/or integration. Your sales team can mention success stories and case studies in their sales conversations, and they can mention tech stack insights directly in their sales outreach.

Want to get more co-selling tactics straight to your inbox? Sign up below to become a Crossbeam Insider today. Plus, all Supernode 2023 videos, which include talks from partnership and revenue leaders at Okta, Drift, Snowflake, Sendoso, and more, will be released to Crossbeam Insiders in July.

Olivia Ramirez 9 min

How to Contribute Millions in Sales Pipeline via Warm Intros and the "Fast Follow"

Your sales reps can initiate the sales process as soon as their prospect becomes a customer of your partner. They can submit a partner intro request and engage their prospect when they're more likely to buy.

You Might Also Like


This is a test comment.


This is a longer test comment to see how this looks if the person decides to ramble a bit. So they're rambling and rambling and then they even lorem ipsum.