Nova’s Gaurang Sinha on building a partner-driven go to market strategy

During TechSparks 2021, Gaurang Sinha, Director - Go-to-market (GTM), Nova, discussed building a partner-driven go to market strategy from scratch.
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Email is used by over one-sixth of the global population for work, yet very little innovation has happened in business email over the last two decades.

Titan has built a platform specifically designed for professionals and businesses with features that drive their goals – streamlining workflows, automating tasks, and making conversations richer and more contextual. Founded by Bhavin Turakhia (CEO), Titan is part of Nova Group, which also owns and operates Flock, a communication and collaboration platform.

Nova currently has over 200 employees, spanning multiple offices globally. It serves 300,000 small businesses in over 140+ countries. In August, it announced raising a Series A investment of $30 million from Automattic.

In a masterclass during YourStory’s flagship startup-tech summit, TechSparks 2021, Gaurang Sinha, Director - Go-to-market (GTM), Nova, discussed building a partner-driven go to market strategy from scratch.

He said, “When a company launches new goods or services, to attract customers' attention in the market, partnerships are the hidden fuel for success at scale. For example, Microsoft 365 and Google Workspace predominantly sold through resellers; financial products services partners with retail/e-commerce; web-presence companies partner with marketing agencies; and food-delivery services partner with restaurant management platforms.”

But why work with partners and resellers when a company can directly go to its customers?

“When you’re not a popular brand then it takes a lot of costs to gain customers but partnerships help you to do this in less time and with less money. The second benefit is that a lot of time you find that a certain set of products/services are better as a full-stack offering instead of selling it separately so partnerships help you in that as well. Also partnerships have a higher brand perception of your products,” Gaurang added.

According to Gaurang, one can consider a partner-driven model when they have a product that is potentially going to add value at the point-of-sale (bundling) and when there is a significant base of customers actively seeking to procure an integrated solution.

There are four key stages once you decide to pursue a partner-driven model, Gaurang said — identifying your ecosystem, getting to the right people, delivering a compelling pitch, and sticking the landing. 

“Partnership development/strategic partnership is quite similar to the science of sales like finding the right people, pitching to them, closing the sale etc. Spend some time (around 3-4 weeks) to understand the ecosystem and find the right strategic partner who can help you to maximize the sales and add millions of dollars of revenue.”

Gaurang advised companies to “build the ecosystem map — of the most relevant partner companies + relevant people at those companies."

He added, "Understand the partner’s context and areas of leverage - what does the partner care about? Select the top partners and top problems to solve for, find their coordinates and get meetings with them by building an effective and powerful partnership pitch.”

As per Gaurang, no partnership was built in a day. “It takes a few weeks or months to close a partnership deal with a partner which is significantly valued, having a lot of competition, and a few large players in the space.”

“After the pitch, it’s time to add credibility in the eyes of the people you pitched and that takes time. You have to stay in touch with them, say the same thing through multiple channels, be specific and evidence-based, and stay curious about your partner’s context."

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For a line-up of all the action-packed sessions at YourStory's flagship startup-tech conference, check out TechSparks 2021 website.

Edited by Saheli Sen Gupta

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