partnerships concept

Incorporate Industry Intelligence to Create Win-Win Partnerships

partnerships conceptIt was such a thrill to be able to attend the recent Forrester B2B Summit North America in Austin, Texas, in person! This annual conference for B2B marketing, sales, and product leaders focuses on the latest research, models, and frameworks to engender winning strategies and successful alignment. Forrester did a fantastic job of engaging attendees with mobile apps, events, participation reminders, and co-led sessions.

One of the themes of the Forrester B2B Summit was around the importance of implementing a B2B strategy for your company – what they referred to as a “partner ecosystem.” Put another way, you can’t just be focused on a single niche and still partner effectively within your broader ecosystem. You need to find ways to transfer your institutional knowledge into other areas, which in turn makes mutually beneficial partnerships easier.

One of the sessions I attended was led by Forrester Analyst and Research Director, Maria Chien. She discussed the rise of online marketplaces as a partner ecosystem strategy that has the potential to create better sales returns than a direct or indirect selling strategy. If you haven’t revisited your marketplace strategy recently, it may be time to revisit and see what is currently trending!

The new marketplace is online

Generally speaking, online marketplaces are a way to connect buyers and sellers. You might think of it as the online version of the bustling markets found in many cities around the world, or even your local farmer’s market.

Early versions of the online marketplace targeting consumers include sites like Ebay and Craigslist. More recently, popular sites like Expedia, Uber, and Upwork would also fall under the online consumer marketplace category.

There are also B2B online marketplaces, which help businesses partner with other businesses to procure value-added products and services, boosting the visibility of mutually beneficial companies. B2B marketplaces are gaining popularity, especially within the technology space.

Developing an online marketplace strategy is a prime example of the partner ecosystem concept touted by Forrester, and for some companies, it truly can be a better approach than their own current sales strategy!

  • For the sponsor of the B2B marketplace, they are offering a helpful service to their clients and prospects, giving rather than taking. Sharing is caring, after all!
  • The sponsor organization’s clients or partners who participate as “vendors” in the marketplace gain exposure and access to new targeted leads in verticals they may not have even considered.
  • For prospective buyers within the online marketplace, they find a curated set of potential partner organizations who offer products and services that can add value to the buyer’s business.

B2B marketplace leaders

There are a few companies that I personally am familiar with that are doing a really great job with their online B2B marketplace strategy – and I’m sure there are others as well.

First, Highspot, a popular sales enablement platform, has developed Highspot Marketplace, their customized B2B marketplace. On it, you will find links to numerous organizations with service offerings that complement Highspot’s own – companies that provide sales training, marketing, hiring services, and much more. Some of the marketplace content is complimentary while certain offerings are premium (paid) content.

Another company that is focused on partner ecosystems via a B2B marketplace is Crossbeam. Crossbeam touts themselves as “like LinkedIn for partnerships.” Their Integration Marketplace offers a forum for those promoting their technology-based products and services as well as those seeking to partner with them.

Crossbeam also sends me relevant, insightful articles that talk about how to build and be a better partner organization. I truly appreciate that the Crossbeam organization is focused on “giving” rather than “taking.” I’ve barely even scratched the surface of what I can do with their tool, but I trust them because they have taken the time to know my business.

Proven partnerships

Many times we are drawn in our personal relationships to those who bring out the best in us (and we usually want to reciprocate that when we can). Iron sharpens iron. Similarly, these relationships formed by partner ecosystems (like B2B marketplaces) allow businesses to mutually benefit from one another’s expertise. But I would argue that the real key to these relationships’ success is that both organizations must have a great product but also must be easy to work with.

As the head of strategic partnerships here at Vertical IQ, an integral part of my job is to ensure we as an organization are easy for our partners to collaborate with. In fact, it is a primary element of our company’s sales strategy. If we don’t make it nearly effortless to work with us, then we’re simply not that helpful.

We are fortunate to have established numerous mutually beneficial partnerships here at Vertical IQ. Some of the partnerships in our ecosystem enable us to offer more robust content to our users. Others are integration partnerships where our Industry Intelligence complements the insights or tools found on other companies’ platforms.

In either case, if our products and services provide value on the front end, and we make them accessible and easy to use, it will translate into value proposition delivery by our customers to their customers.

Industry Intelligence made easy

As we all know, not all organizations are the same; their needs vary based on their product offering, their business model, their sales strategy, and more. While each company may know who they should connect with and what their messaging should be to boost sales, some struggle with the why – why someone should choose their company over the competition. This is where Industry Intelligence from Vertical IQ can become an essential element within your company’s partner ecosystem.

Industry Intelligence enables businesses to add personalization and value to their client and prospect relationships, opening the door to tailored conversations and helping them win trust by solving real business problems. And when you partner with Vertical IQ, we strive to make it easy, using our API to embed Industry Intelligence in the platforms where your sales professionals are doing their work.

Add industry insights into a PowerPoint deck with a click. Effortlessly insert industry data into a form or application. Incorporate industry news into a prospect email cadence. Vertical IQ has the ability to create all of these integrations within your company’s systems and platforms so your sales team is equipped with the right data at the right time in the right place. Easy for you, and beneficial to your clients and prospects – a partnership where everyone wins!

Let’s talk about how Vertical IQ can help personalize your sales process and win the trust of your clients and prospects. Contact us today to learn more!

 

Photo credit: fauxels via Pexels

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Groove Puts Industry Intelligence in Your Inbox!

Technology, almost by definition, is intended to make our lives easier (although sometimes we find the opposite is true!). In the workplace, technology can improve convenience, efficiency, and productivity, which in turn saves businesses time and money.

One example of an innovative technological advancement that has successfully streamlined and simplified life for sales and marketing professionals is the sales engagement platform. These systems offer tools, processes, and content that enable companies to move their prospects through the sales workflow more efficiently (and, I would argue, more enjoyably too!). There are a number of great sales engagement tools out there, and the best ones allow users to seamlessly deliver value throughout the sales process.

One way to add value to prospective relationships is to incorporate Industry Intelligence in each touchpoint along the buyer’s journey. In fact, that’s among our top objectives here at Vertical IQ! To this end, we are excited to share that Vertical IQ has recently formed a strategic partnership with Groove.

>> Press Release: Groove and Vertical IQ Partner to Bring Industry Knowledge to Relationship Managers’ Fingertips 

Get into the Groove

Groove is a sales engagement platform that automatically syncs Salesforce users’ emails, calendar entries, calls, and more with the Salesforce CRM. Now, with our products’ recent integration, joint Vertical IQ-Groove customers can easily access Industry Intelligence from their Gmail, Outlook, or any other webpage, via the Groove Omnibar.

This one-click access to timely, relevant industry insight directly from the Groove Omnibar can save hours of research time and facilitate easy incorporation of value-added industry content into your sales workflows.

Whether it’s before, during, or after a meeting, Groove and Vertical IQ ensure that sales professionals have the Industry Intelligence they need to establish and maintain a strong relationship at every stage of the buyer’s journey.

>> Check out this short demo video to see how Vertical IQ and Groove work together!

Integration benefits

The Vertical IQ-Groove partnership is all about efficiency. Our integration enables you to easily keep your Salesforce activities current, but also puts salient information about the industry of the company you’re calling on right at your fingertips within your inbox. Groove keeps track of your sales activities, and with the new Vertical IQ integration, you also can know what to say — no Google search needed.

Organizations with Salesforce should consider taking advantage of this strategic partnership between Vertical IQ and Groove in order to:

  •       Boost productivity: Improve workflow efficiency with easy access to relevant CRM and industry information from the inbox or any other webpage.
  •       Build trust: Gain credibility as a trusted advisor by sharing accurate and relevant knowledge in every engagement with prospects and customers.
  •       Customize every interaction: Surface relevant and detailed information to have impactful conversations that drive the deal forward at every stage.

A “Groove-y” strategic partnership

For sales and marketing professionals, sales engagement platforms are intended to make your life easier. By integrating with Groove, Vertical IQ allows you to easily incorporate Industry Intelligence into value-added conversations – right from your inbox. What a fantastic way to put relationships first and talk to your customers about what is most meaningful to them!

Joint customers of Groove and Vertical IQ can take advantage of the integration immediately at no extra cost. Contact your Groove or Vertical IQ account manager for more information.

We’re so excited about this new product integration that we’re actually going to be adding Groove to our own sales and customer service toolbox here at Vertical IQ. We can’t wait to experience for ourselves the power of this “Groove-y” collaboration!


collaboration putting puzzle pieces together

Banks & Their Clients Reaping Rewards of Vertical IQ/S&P Global Collab

collaboration putting puzzle pieces togetherSome collaborations just make sense. David Bowie and Queen. Michael Jordan and Nike. And of course, chocolate and peanut butter. But don’t forget about one more: the auspicious collaboration between Industry Intelligence and Market Intelligence!

We announced the strategic collaboration between Vertical IQ and S&P Global Market Intelligence just over a year ago and signed our first shared customer in March of 2021. Since that time, we’ve not only added a number of new joint customer-organizations, our shared financial services customers continue to see the benefits of how these two intelligence products work in tandem.

>> Related: S&P Global Market Intelligence and Vertical IQ Announce Strategic Collaboration to Support U.S. Financial Institutions

A comprehensive intelligence solution

The S&P Global Market Intelligence platform provides market data, sector analysis, and sector-focused news. Their Commercial Prospecting Solution leverages loan origination and property data for more than 25 million commercial real estate (CRE) properties –  90 percent of the U.S. CRE market – and business listings for more than 15 million businesses. S&P’s database enables banks and credit unions to screen for lending opportunities and to more efficiently source and close deals.

S&P Global Market Intelligence’s collaboration and product integration with Vertical IQ provides their clients with access to our Industry Profiles, which cover the small-medium enterprise (SME) landscape across more than 94 percent of the U.S. economy, as well as our local economic profiles for over 300 metro areas and 3,100 counties.

By integrating Vertical IQ’s Industry Intelligence into S&P’s Commercial Prospecting solution, financial services professionals gain access to the tools, research, and insights they need to further help SME business owners thrive.

“S&P Global and Vertical IQ have been an integral part of our loan growth in my market. The platform gives me the answers to most of my questions on any commercial property in the state of Texas. This allows me to make warm calls on potential customers as opposed to cold calls. In 2021 alone, we can track approximately $30 million dollars in new loans that are solely attributed to the S&P tools, a calendar year increase of nearly 45 percent.”
Corky Randolph, Market President, Rockwall, Alliance Bank

A win for bankers and SME business owners

SMEs continue to be the bedrock of the U.S. economy, and financial institutions are a critical partner in their success. This Vertical IQ-S&P Global collaboration, which merges our Industry Intelligence with their Market Intelligence, gives bankers easy access to the comprehensive, actionable information they need … right at their fingertips. It’s a one-stop sales readiness solution!

To learn more about S&P Global Market Intelligence, visit www.spglobal.com/marketintelligence.

 

Photo credit: Vardan Papikyan on Unsplash

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