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ELG Con 2024: Takeaways From the Inaugural Event

We’re sharing our debrief from the first ever Crossbeam x ELG Alliance event.

We spent last week in Austin for ELG Con, the first ELG (Ecosystem-Led Growth) event hosted by Crossbeam and the ELG Alliance. It was two days of interesting content, amazing food, talented leaders and even a little bit of go karting at COTA (spoiler: this might have been our favorite part!). The sun stayed out (for the most part) and we were able to take advantage of a lot of time outside. 

The event was a success and a great experience for everyone in attendance. The varied content forms allowed for discussion, collaboration and cross-functional learnings. When you pair strong content with an amazing venue and a great crowd of revenue leaders , you end up with an unforgettable event.

Highlights from the ELG Con 2024

How can we sum it up? From the people we connected with, to the things we learned, it was truly a memorable two days. The first evening we were able to meet attendees, go kart around COTA and ride an elevator hundreds of feet into the sky to check out the race track from above it. The second day kicked off with memorable content and ended with fun drinks and conversations with countless attendees. 

Scaling with hyperscaler marketplaces 

One presentation that really stood out was the chat between Sydney Sloan, CMO of Drata and Crossbeam’s CMO, Alex Poulos. Sydney spoke a lot about launching and scaling on hyperscaler marketplaces and shared what she’s learned from her experiences — at Drata and beyond — on how to be successful. Their focus on bringing their customers to AWS directly, and the differentiation and attention that comes with this was particularly interesting. Sydney spoke about PQL’s (partner-qualified leads) and how they, despite being hard to track, have real value that exists in showing impact to release marketing funds. 

Takeaway: For a lot of SaaS companies in attendance, learning about the sophistication of AWS and tips on how to win was super informative.

See more: The ultimate Network listing checklist for 2024.

Brainstorming with the best in the biz

We also had the pleasure of joining a breakout session with Pavilion’s SVP of Marketing and Growth, Kathleen Booth in the afternoon. We brainstormed on some of the challenges that partnerships leaders face with attribution, sales, marketing and customer success and the ways that different teams can better support the partnerships organization. 

Takeaway: It was refreshing to see and connect on the commonalities across organizations, while problem solving ideas.

Choosing the right structure for partnerships is key

Learning from larger organizations, like HubSpot, as well as smaller services providers about how they structure their teams illustrated the importance of understanding your partners in making decisions. Technical and integration partnerships require very different resources than implementation agency partnerships. What your product solves for and the types of partners that support it should drive where the partnerships team reports into. 

Takeaway: This collaborative discussion really sparked conversations where a lot of true learning happened.

We ended the day (before the after party) with a special dinner we hosted with some exciting partnerships, sales and marketing leaders. Check out the photo below to see the fun group that we were lucky enough to enjoy a lot of tacos with after a long day of learning!

A group shot of the dinner at ELG Con 2024

ELG in action: Case studies were a huge standout

It can be easy to talk ELG and use account mapping tools, but actually understanding ELG’s potential to transform your workstreams takes a lot of hard work and active choices to involve partners often. We heard from three leaders on applying ELG in their organizations with clear frameworks and prioritization matrices to support this. 

ELG Case study: Cloudera

First up was Steve Moroski, SVP at Cloudera who brought humor and excitement to his session speaking to the ELG pillars that Cloudera utilizes. He touched on the value of expanding your ecosystem, the team cadence of operation and the importance of sales executive communications. He touched on AWS as well with a focus on investing the right way when launching and building the partnership to ensure the efforts are worthwhile.

ELG Case study: Stripe Ecosystem

We then heard from Tim Tsao, the Head of the Stripe Ecosystem and a customer of PartnerStack as well. He touched on the outstanding partner growth metrics that Stripe has achieved, and the importance of doubling down on quick wins especially in the early days of launching partnerships and ELG. To implement and push projects forward, he recommends using the RAPID framework to make decisions in an efficient manner.

RAPID framework (recommend, agree, perform, input, decide)

We can’t wait to try this out to make faster decisions on what we should focus on now versus what isn’t as large of a priority.

ELG Case study: Typeform

Last but not least we heard from Kristen Habacht, the CRO at Typeform. Like PartnerStack, Typeform is successful in partnering with HubSpot and achieving growth in their partner ecosystem. Kristen spoke to the power PLG and ELG together and how it has allowed Typeform to keep their customer success and sales teams very lean. She also touched on killing integrations that aren’t activating which allows focus for more important partnerships.

Related: Effective strategies for managing channel partners.

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