Your Guide to Preparing for Your Next Partner Pitch Meeting

Your Guide to Preparing for Your Next Partner Pitch Meeting

Olivia Ramirez 17 min
By Olivia Ramirez

You’ve booked a meeting with your dream tech partner. You know you’ve got 30 minutes to make a good impression and convince them a partnership with you is worth their time. What you choose to include (or not to include) in your pitch deck can send an array of signals to your partner. 

Show your partner that there’s a high overlap count between your customers and theirs, and your partner will offer to build the integration before you get the chance to say “API”.

Fail to mention your GTM teams, and your partner will wonder if you can actually deliver on your promise of a year-long co-marketing campaign — or if your team is stretched too thin. 

We’ve compiled a list of the most compelling talking points for your next partner pitch meeting. Eliminate skepticism and accelerate welcoming your partner to your tech ecosystem. Your future brilliant partner pitch deck awaits:

Skip ahead: 

#1: Reveal a High Overlap Count

#2: Reveal Strategic Overlaps

#3: Discuss the Serviceable Addressable Market (for You and Your Partner)

#4: Include Your “Better Together” Story

#5: Share Your Customers’ Feedback (Including Their Wins and Their Pain Points) 

#6: Share Results From Similar Partnerships (or With Mutual Customers)

#7: Include Details About Your Go-To-Market Team

#8: Give Them a Future Look at Your Partner Program

#1: Reveal a High Overlap Count

Before your pitch meeting, ask your potential partner if they’ll do a quick account mapping exercise with you. 

You can map accounts in either of the following ways: 

  • Use a partner ecosystem platform (PEP) like Crossbeam, and get results securely and in real time. 
  • Swap spreadsheets (but risk inaccuracy and limited control over data visibility) 

If you choose to use a PEP, you can make it easy for your partner by giving them flexible options: 

  • Inviting your partner to your existing PEP.
  • Asking your partner to upload a CSV of select accounts (if they’re not ready to connect their CRM). 
  • Deciding to reveal only the overlap count (e.g. revealing that you and your partner have 100 customers in common but not revealing any other account information). 
  • Selecting specific account lists and/or limited details at the account level to share.

Depending on the lists you compare, your overlaps can help determine what your go-to-market (GTM) strategy should look like. 

If you have a high overlap between your customers, you should prioritize building an integration

If you have a high overlap between your prospects, you should prioritize co-selling

GTM activities according to account mapping overlaps 

A high overlap count can convince your partner to launch a co-marketing campaign with you. 

“We just had a feeling that we had the same target audience, and they were open to looking at Crossbeam data,” says Eric Melchor, Partnership Ambassador at Bonjoro on their partnership with Design Pickle. “And we found out there was a good overlap, and we did a campaign with them last year.”

An example of a LinkedIn message Melchor sends to potential partners suggesting they map accounts:

Image courtesy of Eric Melchor 

A high overlap count can also convince your partner to build an integration with your product (especially important if your company doesn’t have an open API).

“We were able to get on calls with [the partner], but they would always say, ‘We’re sorry. We have to prioritize [other integrations],” says Krishanth Thangarajah, former Head of Global Technology Partnerships at Freshworks. “I was thinking, ‘Why can’t we use Crossbeam and look at common customers?’ Well, we saw 1,000+ common customers, and they got excited looking at those numbers — and they were ready to build the integration.” 

He adds, “For them to prioritize [building the integration], they wanted something to validate it. And Crossbeam came to the rescue.”

How to include the data in your partner pitch deck:

Once you know the overlap counts between you and your partner, put the number(s) front and center. Be clear about which account lists you have overlaps between (e.g. your combined “customers” lists, your “customers” list and your partner’s “prospects” list, your “opportunities” list and your partner’s “prospects” list). Only share the most compelling overlap counts. Then, speak to the potential revenue you could generate as a team and the GTM efforts you should prioritize. 

#2: Reveal Strategic Overlaps

Another account mapping win: reveal overlaps between a shortlist of your partner’s most strategic accounts and your “customers” list. 

“A large company will invest in building the integration if it solves a pain point for their customers, or if it solves a pain point for a large enough customer,” says Brian Jambor, Head of Partnerships at Nacelle.

If the right number of strategic accounts overlap with your “customers” list, the partnership will be well worth it for your partner. 

Let’s say each strategic account is worth approximately $75K in annual recurring revenue (ARR). Your partner’s account executives (AEs) have hit a roadblock, and the sales cycle has lasted longer than anyone could have anticipated. 

If the overlaps exist, the deal size of the accounts you could influence far outweighs the cost of developing the integration. 

You could help accelerate your partner’s deals by: 

  • Recommending your potential integration with your partner to your customer as part of an upsell or cross-sell opportunity 
  • Putting in a good word for your partner with the customer or serving as a reference 
  • Offering to make an introduction to the appropriate stakeholder with the most buying power
  • Providing your partner’s AEs with critical information about the account (e.g. their prospect’s tech stack, current pain points, and buying timeline)
  • Bridging a gap in your partner’s product by way of your integration (thus, eliminating a pain point and helping to close the deal for your partner)

If you’re aware of which accounts are most strategic for your partner, you can also share which of the accounts have switched from your competitors’ product to yours. This information can help your partner understand: 

  • Which products their ideal customers (think: their ICP) are gravitating toward as part of their tech stacks (Ahem, yours!) and why 
  • The benefits of partnering with your company versus partnering with your competitors 
  • How your integration could have a positive impact on retention and churn for your partner

The team at customer data platform Ometria includes a dedicated slide in their partner pitch deck detailing which retailers have switched from their competitor’s platform to theirs and why. 

An example slide from Ometria’s partner pitch deck

How to include the data in your partner pitch deck:

Once you know which strategic accounts you could help your partner with, consider including the below in your partner pitch deck:

  • Which strategic accounts you could influence for your partner 
  • Your plan for influencing the accounts (e.g. initiating a handful of co-selling motion within the first week of partnering) 
  • The potential revenue you could generate for your partner and that you could generate together by selling your integration to similar customers 
  • Why the overlapping strategic accounts have chosen you versus your competitors 

Tip: Focus on one co-selling motion to start. Then, replicate its success. This will help you identify room for improvement in your process, show your partner how you can expect to work together, and give them an idea of the types of results they’ll see (and vice versa).

#3: Discuss the Serviceable Addressable Market (for You and Your Partner) 

Your serviceable addressable market (SAM) includes all of the companies you could feasibly sell your product to through your partner. In addition to determining the SAM your company could access through the partnership, you should also determine the potential SAM your partner could access through you.

For example: 

  • What geographies do you target that your partner also targets? 
  • What customer sizes do you target that your partner also targets? 

Determine how your ideal customer profile (ICP) overlaps, and how you could help your partner: 

Make sure to understand your partner’s key performance indicators (KPIs) before the meeting so that you can speak to the metrics that resonate most. Does your partner care most about partner-sourced revenue, or do they care more about EQLs?

An example of the immediately addressable market with hypothetical partner Lindros & Co:

Serviceable addressable market with hypothetical partner Lindros & Co. From the second edition of our Partner Playbook.

Replicate this equation for specific company sizes and geographies to get more granular about the types of opportunities you could influence for your partner. 

How to include the data in your partner pitch deck:

Include the SAM equation above in your partner pitch deck, and discuss which opportunities (e.g. helping your partner expand in the LATAM region) you could feasibly help your partner with over the next few months, the next year, and so on. 

Additionally, choose one of your existing customers that matches your partner’s ICP, and identify the top stakeholders your partner’s team should be in touch with from the account. Craft a story that resonates with your partner, and include the revenue they could generate by selling your integration together in your partner pitch deck. 

#4: Include Your “Better Together” Story

You already know your “better together” story with your potential partner, and you’ve gathered the relevant data to validate your hypothesis. Including:

  • Customer feedback detailing use cases for using your products together 
  • User activity in your product 
  • Pain points that have led your prospects to buying your competitor’s product over yours 
  • Pain points that have led to your customers churning 
  • The scope and limitations of your application programming interface (API)
  • The direction you’re leading your partner program to achieve your long-term business goals 

Best case scenario: Your partner knows your “better together” story without any hesitation (You even virtually high five. So cheesy.).

Second best scenario: You’ll need to help your partner understand how your combined products will improve their customer LTV (and sales). 

Take Ometria, for example. They know there’s a high demand among their customers to use customer data and site optimization software together. Shoppers are more likely to return to an e-commerce site and make a purchase if they have a good user experience (think: loading times) and if they can easily find and learn about the items that are most interesting to them (think: personalization). 

During a partner pitch meeting with a potential site optimization partner, the Ometria team would pitch their “better together” story like this:

Once your retailers capture their visitors’ attention, we can then nurture them and continue to create a relationship with them so they return to your retailer’s site, have a great experience because it’s optimized, and get personalized content sent to them. 

An example slide from Ometria’s partner pitch deck

An example slide from Ometria’s partner pitch deck

How to include the data in your partner pitch deck:

Include a dedicated slide with your “better together” story, and focus the conversation on how your partners’ prospects and customers will benefit — making your partner’s product an indispensable part of their tech stacks. 

#5: Share Your Customers’ Feedback (Including Their Wins and Their Pain Points) 

Direct customer feedback can serve as a major selling point for getting your partner on board. Gather feedback early on that shows: 

  • The use cases your customers are asking for 
  • How your customers are using your products together (and the results they’re seeing) 
  • The pain points your customers are experiencing with your partner’s product (and how your product could help fill the gap) 

Justin Zimmerman, Director of Partnerships at Salesmsg, gathers information from new customers about how they’re leveraging the SMS marketing platform with other tools in their tech stacks. He identifies the most compelling insights from his customer conversations and generates relevant snippets to share with potential or existing partners. As a result of sharing these snippets, his partners have agreed to building new integrations and to launching new co-marketing campaigns together.

A follow-up email Zimmerman sent to Pipedrive’s Head of Ecosystem Partnerships

A LinkedIn message Zimmerman sent to a potential partner

Identify potential early adopters for your integration from your customer list. Schedule calls with relevant customers to learn how they’d like to use the integration, and ask them if they’re comfortable with you sharing the conversation with your potential partner. You can also ask your customers if you can share screenshots of customer feedback from emails or customer surveys.

How to include the data in your partner pitch deck:

Create a slide in your partner pitch deck that includes direct customer feedback requesting the integration. Include details about how your customers are winning with your partner’s product and yours, how they’re struggling, and the use cases they need. Then, explain how your potential integration would positively impact your partner’s sales and retention.

#6: Share Results From Similar Partnerships (or With Mutual Customers) 

As you build your tech ecosystem, you’ll identify partner categories that are a good fit for your product and business goals. In your pitch meeting, explain the types of results you’ve been able to achieve for partners existing in the same category as your potential partner (like how you’ve shortened their sales cycles or generated leads through co-marketing). Tread the conversation carefully, speaking to the results for partnership types rather than specific partners. You can also include a partner case study to show what you can achieve together for a mutual customer.

Additionally, include a case study or result you’ve influenced for an existing customer that matches your partner’s ICP. This will help contextualize how you can help your partner’s customers find more value in your potential integration.

An example slide from Ometria’s partner pitch deck

You could also share some of the existing partners in your tech ecosystem to help your potential partner understand: 

  • Common use cases for your integrations
  • How their ICP might overlap with your ICP (and your partners’ ICPs)
  • The scope of your partner ecosystem (and your reputation among your customers)
  • Which other partners you could get warm intros to to expand their ecosystem or engage in multi-partner co-marketing campaigns (like RollWorks did)
  • Insight into commonalities among your customers’ tech stacks 
  • What it could be like to work with you and your team (You’ve done this before with other great partners!)

An example slide from Ometria’s partner pitch deck

How to include the data in your partner pitch deck:

Create slides in your partner pitch deck that include results from similar partnerships, and give your potential partner an idea of your positioning in the ecosystem. Share a visual of your tech ecosystem.

#7: Include Details About Your Go-To-Market Team 

Partnerships require teamwork, not just between you and your partner but also across your internal teams and your partner’s team. A lot can get lost if any number of stakeholders aren’t bought in or are juggling too many responsibilities. 

Include information about the people who will be involved in your GTM efforts and the exact responsibilities each stakeholder will manage. For example: Do you have a dedicated partner marketer, or will a member of your marketing team create your co-marketing deliverables? Do you have an Ecosystem Product Manager (Ecosystem PM), or will a member of your Product team fill those shoes?

Tell your partner when you plan to bring your GTM stakeholders in for a meeting to discuss your GTM efforts. Your partner needs to know that your sales, marketing, product, and other cross-functional teams will deliver on your promise. Consider developing a term sheet to put each stakeholder’s involvement in writing. 

In addition to the people you’ll involve in your GTMs, you should also discuss the process. For example: Explaining how you’ve connected your PEP to Slack to enable AE tagging will show your partner that you’ve invested in Ecosystem Ops to bolster your co-selling motions.

Crossbeam for Slack Connect

Your partner may decide to adopt your process as their own, and perhaps you’ll even help them level up their tech ecosystem maturity

How to include the data in your partner pitch deck:

Include a “GTM team” or “Ecosystems Team” slide. Include the names of the stakeholders responsible for bringing your partnership to life, including your Product, Engineering, Solutions Engineering, Product Marketing, and, of course, your Partnerships team. 

Additionally, discuss your process for co-selling and co-marketing. Share information about the tools you use to ensure your partnerships are successful, including screenshots of relevant processes to paint a picture for your partner and to learn about their process, too.

#8: Give Them a Future Look at Your Partner Program 

“This is where we’re heading with our partnership program.” These words sound good, don’t they? Saying them means that you’re thinking long-term, and it sends a signal that your entire team — from the leadership team to sales — prioritizes your partner ecosystem. 

Amir Karmali, Director of Partner Relations at business apps development company Marketcircle, published a statement defining the future of Marketcircle’s partner program. Karmali shared the statement with his partners, asking them for direct feedback. Then, he revamped the statement to include his partners’ suggestions and to ensure he’d be meeting his partners’ needs. As a result, Karmali developed trust among his partners

In addition to sharing future plans for your partner ecosystem, give your partner insight into how your team is growing. If you’re a one-person partnerships team with tons of partners, it sends a signal that you may be stretched thin. If you’re part of a big partnerships team but have very few partners, it gives off the impression that your company doesn’t prioritize your partner ecosystem and you have difficulty getting resources. Discuss how your team is expanding, who will manage aspects of the partnership, and how you’ll get the resources to move the partnership forward.

How to include the data in your partner pitch deck:
Include a slide at the end of your partner pitch deck showing the future-looking roadmap of your partner ecosystem and partnerships team org chart — or keep it casual and open a dialogue about the topic once your presentation is done.

Olivia Ramirez 17 min

Your Guide to Preparing for Your Next Partner Pitch Meeting

Revealing a high overlap count, sharing direct customer feedback, and more can help you eliminate skepticism from your partner pitch.

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