Setting strategy and getting buy-in: Braze’s ELG Sales Tetrahedron

Setting strategy and getting buy-in: Braze’s ELG Sales Tetrahedron

Bob Moore 5 min

I love partnership professionals and the teams they lead. They’ve been our muses at Crossbeam and many have become my close friends in the years I’ve spent working in this space. But it’s important to be intellectually honest about the role that partnership professionals play in bringing an ELG strategy to your company: They are necessary, but not sufficient. 


Without the buy-in of your sales leadership and other executives, your ELG strategy will never reach escape velocity.

What is Ecosystem-Led Growth? Learn more here.

Fortunately, this is a problem with proven solutions. There are many shining examples of companies where senior leadership has chosen to invest in Ecosystem-Led Growth. This results in a set of scalable, efficient sales playbooks that propel these companies into hypergrowth. Just look at Braze.


Braze is a leading customer engagement platform that powers interactions between consumers and brands they love. They went public in November 2021 and have offices across North America, Europe and APAC. 


“Consistent revenue growth requires accelerants, and your partner ecosystem adds fuel to the sales fire,” Myles Kleeger, President & Chief Commercial Officer of Braze, told me recently.


Kleeger and the team at Braze have figured out how to apply sales thinking to partnerships, and their partner ecosystem has since had transformative effects on the shape and efficacy of their sales motions.


“If you look under the hood at some of our most effective playbooks, you’ll find that Ecosystem-Led Growth is at the core,” says Kleeger.


So what is Braze doing so well? Dave Goldstein knows it all. Goldstein has been with Braze for over a decade — having originally served as their very first salesperson, among other firsts — and now serves as VP of Global Solutions Alliances. As you can imagine, he has seen their full journey to hypergrowth and has built up some incredible stories to tell along the way.  


“Consistent revenue growth requires accelerants, and your partner ecosystem adds fuel to the sales fire.” — Myles Kleeger, President & Chief Commercial Officer of Braze


When Goldstein talks about bringing ELG to life inside of Braze, he pulls inspiration from his side job as a volunteer firefighter. 


“In firefighting, we talk about the Fire Tetrahedron,” he explains. “For a fire to start, you need fuel, a source of heat, and oxygen — plus a chemical chain reaction that keeps it burning. Without all four, you’ve got no fire.”


The Fire Tetrahedron


When it comes to rolling out ELG playbooks among the sellers at Braze, Goldstein has discovered that a similar tetrahedron is at work. The elements of Goldstein’s ELG Sales tetrahedron are:

  • Tooling. Get the partner data and tooling house in order.

  • Data. Democratize the data and optimize everyone’s time.

  • Buy-In. Perpetual enablement and buy-in work.

  • Chain Reaction. At the center, a chain reaction of scalable systems and processes is the engine that makes ELG work inside of a sales organization. 

The ELG Sales Tetrahedron


Let’s explore each of these components and the planning work required to bring them to life inside of your organization. 


Goldstein recalls a time before ELG platforms like Crossbeam where this level of tooling was simply not available, and the process of account mapping and data discovery with partners was governed by spreadsheets and emails. 


Braze’s adoption and rollout of Crossbeam among its ecosystem of partners allowed for a transformation that, in Goldstein’s words, “got the partner tooling house in order.” 


The ELG Tetrahedron: Tooling Transformation


With the tools in place to unlock its ELG data layer, the next question for Braze was how to, in Goldstein’s words, “democratize the data and optimize everyone’s time.”


This is a critical piece of the ELG Sales tetrahedron — while it may sound like it takes some control away from Partner Account Managers (PAMs) in the organization, what it really does is radically improve their efficiency and impact. 


Goldstein’s point here is that getting a controlled, focused amount of data directly into the hands of sellers and sales leadership can drastically speed up the value creation process. 


The ELG Tetrahedron: Democratize the Data


“The days of trying to chase every individual account and partner interaction down manually are over,” Goldstein says. “Everything is in our sales CRM and our sellers and sales leaders have access to it. We’ve flipped the model on its head, given sellers control of the process, and now they engage us when they need us — not the other way around.”


The third piece of the tetrahedron is to never stop the important work of sales enablement and earning buy-in from leadership. 

Braze has seen that leveraging partners has resulted in a higher deal close rate, larger average deal size and a powerful source of new pipeline generation.

“I started in Sales and I can tell you with certainty that any new strategy has to be undeniable in its impact before it will be taken seriously,” Goldstein told me. “So when we embark on the important step of bringing salespeople into the fold, we come armed with the data.”


At Braze, the impact has been immense. For instance, Braze has seen that leveraging partners has resulted in a higher deal close rate, larger average deal size and a powerful source of new pipeline generation.


“Put yourself in the shoes of a sales leader or seller and think about the kind of pipeline coverage you need in order to hit your goals,” says Goldstein. “For the ecosystem to consistently help deliver that, at higher deal values and close rates, is profoundly impactful.”

The ELG Tetrahedron: Enablement and Buy-In


Here too, these practices come to life by sheer virtue of having the data in the right places accessible by the right people. This isn’t the sole work of the partnership team — quite the contrary, it becomes part of the regular cadence of business in pipeline reviews, sales training sessions, SKOs, and more. 

Introducing Crossbeam for Sales — Discover, close, and expand deals faster

According to Goldstein, “The Global Sales Leadership goes from the fringes to being firsthand advocates for ELG Sales. They have reports where they can see the sellers who are falling behind when it comes to engaging the ecosystem to drive the best possible sales results.” 


Indeed, with leadership-buy in, Goldstein shows how you tap into a virtuous cycle that connects training to performance to results and back again. 

The chain reaction 

As Goldstein learned in firefighting, when these sufficient conditions are met it takes just one spark to create a chain reaction that causes the fire to grow and grow.


So too does ELG Sales come to life and expand in a chain reaction once the conditions are met and the first wins are put on the board. ELG wins create more data, which leads to better training and more buy-in, more proliferation of tools, more wins, and so on. 


“Set lofty goals and say them loudly,” says Goldstein. “Create those reporting mechanisms to show how you’re progressing toward those targets so sales leadership can see it in real time and come on the journey with you.” 


This article is adapted from an excerpt of the book Ecosystem-Led Growth: A Blueprint for Sales and Marketing Success Using the Power of Partnerships by Crossbeam co-founder and CEO Bob Moore.

Bob Moore 5 min

Setting strategy and getting buy-in: Braze’s ELG Sales Tetrahedron

Successful ELG playbooks are built around four things at their core: tooling, data, buy-in, and the chain reaction between them that fuels accelerated growth.

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