ELG and the revenue team: How to break down silos so every GTM function wins

ELG and the revenue team: How to break down silos so every GTM function wins

Evie Nagy 3 min

A core principle of successful Ecosystem-Led Growth is that partnership teams are essential, but they’re not enough. Even as revenue leaders are quickly adopting ELG as the most promising new go-to-market motion, it can’t reach full power unless every revenue function is aligned on using ecosystem data and insights to achieve growth goals.

Fortunately, cross-functional collaboration in B2B SaaS companies is generally a simple undertaking with minimal friction. Just kidding! Alignment around goals and execution requires thoughtful planning, management, and frequent, open communication. But it’s well worth it when everything comes together and the numbers go up.

Kathleen Booth is Senior Vice President, Marketing and Growth at Pavilion, the world's largest private community of go-to-market leaders. You’re not likely to find anyone who knows more about the countless forms GTM strategies can take and what makes them succeed or fail.

“The best GTM teams know that ELG needs to be woven throughout their organization and their strategy. That's the good news,” says Kathleen. “The bad news is that we still have a lot of work to do to get it right.”

To that end, at this year’s Ecosystem-Led Growth Conference, Kathleen led the workshop “ELG and the Revenue Team'' with leaders across partnerships, sales, marketing, and customer success. In small groups, participants shared their function’s frustrations and challenges when it comes to implementing ELG.

Perhaps unsurprisingly to anyone who has started their ELG journey, many of the challenges were around common themes like flawed attribution, misaligned incentives, unfamiliarity with other functions, lack of enablement, misunderstanding about the role of partnerships teams, and siloed leadership. 

CaptionJust a few of the challenges cited as common blockers to effective cross-functional Ecosystem-Led Growth efforts

 

Of course, these GTM leaders didn’t just vent and call it a day. They used these challenges as a starting point to come up with solutions and new ways of thinking about their partner ecosystem and working with other GTM teams.

With a better shared understanding, these GTM leaders identified opportunities to change how they worked across the revenue team and how they thought about their roles in a successful ELG strategy. Here are some of the suggestions and insights that emerged:

  • Sales needs to view partnerships as part of the sales motion and not an "add on". (Related: they also need to improve data hygiene around how partnership-related opps are documented in the CRM.)

  • Attribution may be causing more problems than it solves — partnerships need to be seen as a group effort with collective goals to avoid infighting within teams.

  • Sales and marketing comp packages need to be structured so that they incentivize those teams to work on ecosystem-led deals.

  • Marketing teams can do a lot to move the needle — from deepening their understanding of partners, to driving partner acquisition like they do with their ideal customer profile (ICP), applying their marketing knowledge to the partner space, and working more closely with partnerships teams.

  • Product teams can help by developing more robust product certification programs, and then partnering with other parts of the org to translate that upskilling into pipeline.

  • GTM teams, especially the leaders of those teams, need to get out of silos and commit time to regular collaborative planning and weekly syncs around ELG goals and practices.

  • Partnership teams need to enable sales and customer success with better-together stories, key partner information, and playbooks to help them quickly see results from ecosystem-led sales motions. 

Some participants even used the exercise as an opportunity to imagine ELG implementation from a completely different perspective to find common ground, like Antonio Caridad, Head of Global Partner Operations at Tricentis.

“I made a point of getting out of my comfort zone and doing the exercise as if I were in customer success. I got perspective that I had not thought about in terms of how to bring customer success into the ELG motion,” said Antonio after the workshop. “It highlighted not only that the strategy has to be holistic, but compensation incentives have to be aligned. Because when the whole team doesn't row one way, you're never going to get them to row together. CROs love to believe that teams will do the right thing that’s most effective, but really people will do what's best for their pockets, so everyone has to be incentivized to do that right thing. It was great to hear that validation of that idea from other people who are coming from different worlds.”

Evie Nagy 3 min

ELG and the revenue team: How to break down silos so every GTM function wins


In a workshop at ELG Con, Pavilion’s SVP, Marketing and Growth Kathleen Booth led sales, marketing, customer success, and partnership leaders to envision a cross-functional ecosystem-led success story.


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