Crossbeam, Reveal, and PartnerTap: Why we love partner account mapping platforms
Account mapping is an essential part of every partner manager’s skill set. This is the process of comparing your target or account lists with those of a partner, in order to identify overlaps: i.e opportunities.
Partner account mapping is vital, because it enables you to do things like:
- Understand the value of each partner based on the degree of overlap
- Map a partner’s customers and prospects with yours, to enable co-selling
- Spot opportunities for improvement across your partner ecosystem
As important as it is, account mapping hasn’t always been done right. It’s come a long way, though, thanks to the introduction of software tools that make it easier, more accurate, and more scalable.
In this post, we will explore the top three innovators in this space, and share some insights about how to choose and implement the right one for your business.
The bad old days: account mapping via spreadsheet
Account mapping is one of the most important exercises you need to go through when preparing to co-sell with partners. But before there were dedicated SaaS tools for account mapping, it was also one of the most annoying.
Why? Spreadsheets. Partnership teams would have to get on calls and spend countless hours comparing spreadsheets. Or, even worse, they would resort to sending Excel files back and forth, and manually identify the overlaps.
Did I mention that this really sucked? Firstly, it was every bit as time-consuming as it sounds. On top of that, it was never really up-to-date. Human error could - and did - creep in at any time, and the data were never truly secure. Finally, this process doesn’t scale. This one is crucial, because while ecosystems are growing exponentially, partnership teams aren’t.
For all of these reasons, account mapping was never done right, even if its importance was recognized.
Tech-enabled account mapping
Thankfully, there are now dedicated SaaS tools that have changed the game entirely. The dominant players in this space are Crossbeam, Reveal, and PartnerTap. Thousands of companies now use these tools to share up-to-date, accurate data with a few clicks.
These three leading players have slightly different names for what they do, but it boils down to very powerful account mapping:
- Crossbeam: Partner Ecosystem Platform
- Reveal: Collaborative Growth Platform
- PartnerTap: Ecosystem Sales Platform
Getting started with account mapping tools
Here is a quick guide to exploring account mapping tools and their capabilities.
1. Sign up (Crossbeam and Reveal offer free tiers).
2. Connect a data source (like your CRM).
3. Invite your partner to do the same, or find partners who are already there.
4. Choose which populations and account-level data you’d like to share with your partner.
5. Review your overlaps (with partners who have accepted your invite).
6. Make the most of the overlaps you have identified (manually, or with tools like Superglue).
As you can probably tell, we’re big fans of these tools and the solutions they enable. They take what was a complicated, manual process and simplify it, helping partnership teams identify opportunities at scale.
But before you get moving, keep a few things in mind:
Using these tools, you can actually connect with every single partner. But that doesn’t mean that you should. You don’t want to overwhelm your team, and if every minor partner is chasing you for the same introduction to a key customer, you could end up in the hot seat.
Share information with the right people
Just because you can share plenty of information with the Account Executives who own certain accounts, does not mean you need to share it with every partner you connect with. Bear in mind that partners might reach out to the same AE. That might be detrimental to your efforts, especially if it happens often.
Don’t keep your cards too close to your chest
These tools are fully automated, which means your data is actually safer than it would be without them. They’re great at creating rules and processes around data sharing, so you no longer need to keep CSV files with confidential information, floating around where anyone might see them. This is one of the major benefits of using these tools, and you should make the most of it. Don’t be too shy to share valuable information with your top partners. They will reciprocate, and the results could be incredibly powerful.
Consider what comes next
These tools automate account mapping, but that doesn’t mean that the work of creating a scalable process is done. There is still a lot of manual work that comes after account mapping. To streamline that, you’ll need other solutions. For example, you could push that data back into CRM or other tools, to enable scalable automations with tools like Superglue. Our customers use account mapping data to trigger automations, enabling better segmentation and content personalization.
Find the right fit
Earlier, we mentioned that these tools all have free versions that are pretty powerful. But that doesn’t mean you should immediately implement 2 or 3 of them at once. Now, that may be unavoidable in some circumstances. For example, if you’ve implemented a tool, and a key partner decides to go with a different one, you will probably need to follow suit and implement the one they’ve chosen, too.
But don’t overdo it. Instead, take a gradual approach. Each of the tools has a particular focus and strength (more on these later). Figure out what makes sense for your particular needs, and go with the tool that addresses those. Then, once you have established a process, you can tackle a second one, if necessary.
Which tool is right for me?
As with almost any SaaS tool, there’s no one-size-fits-all. We’ve heard great things about all of them, and we work with a number of Crossbeam and Reveal customers. Each one has its own strengths to consider when choosing the best fit for your business. If you're interested in a more in-depth assessment of the pros and cons of Crossbeam and Reveal please check out this blog post.
Crossbeam has the by far biggest network of customers, with over 11 thousand businesses on board. They’re very strong in the US, and they’re extending their offering with a tool for salespeople.
On the other hand, Reveal is a European market leader, with the second largest network of companies. The last we heard, they had around 7 thousand companies. Their UX is extremely user-friendly. And because they’re based in Paris, they take data privacy very seriously.
PartnerTap was the first company in this space, and they’re focused primarily on enterprise. They have very reputable customers, and they also have the capabilities needed to cater to specific business needs.
The next step
Firstly, if you’re not currently account mapping, you should change that. It’s one of the most powerful things you can do in partner management, for reasons we’ve discussed. If you are account mapping, but doing it manually, it’s time to check out these tools. Trust me, they’re awesome, and they’re game changers.
But if you’re already leveraging any of these tools, congratulations! Dive in and figure out what you can do with all this data, and how you can create scalable processes so that it’s not just left lying around. I’ve talked to many companies who love their new automated account mapping setup, but aren’t sure how to use the data in a scalable way.
My advice: explore this topic more. It will definitely be worth your while. There’s so much you can do to drive revenue via account mapping. And while it’s not exactly easy, we now have the tools to make it doable.
Other blog posts
Building a business case: A guide to uncovering your partner org's revenue potential
You know what they say – money talks! And if you listen really carefully, it’s telling you it’s time to calculate a business case for advanced partner activation and co-selling! Here’s how you do it, using our handy business case calculator template.
Why a partner activation funnel is the key to co-selling at scale
This may be the most important blog post we've ever published. We spent the last year working with some of the world's best SaaS companies figuring out how to create a predictable revenue engine. Here's what we learned.
Crossbeam vs. Reveal: The ultimate partner account mapping showdown
In this post, we answer one of the greatest burning questions of our time: Crossbeam or Reveal? Crank up your standing desk, because we’re about to take a flying leap into the thrilling world of account mapping platforms.