The verdict has long been in: partnerships are the future for B2B technology sales. But just because you know partnerships are important, doesn’t mean it’s easy to find them.
This is why PartnerStack launched its marketplace. The PartnerStack marketplace is home to over 80,000 active partners and 200 programs. The best way to think about it is as a matchmaking network for partners, particularly affiliates, to find other partners and programs.
If you’re in the process of obtaining buy-in for a partner program, the PartnerStack marketplace offers an incredible jumping off point for your team. Here are all of the ways that you can use the PartnerStack marketplace to win.
Secure your share of an (evolving) trillion dollar industry
By 2024, B2B online marketplaces will bring in 30% of global online B2B sales. That’s a meaningful bite of a pie worth about $7.9 trillion. B2B buyers increasingly prefer digital channels over in-person sales. In fact, 44 percent of millennials say they’d prefer no interaction with a sales rep at all.
Marketplaces have become a standard part of the online B2C buying experience, and they have influenced the expectations B2B buyers have of their digital sales experience. Participating in a B2B tech marketplace like PartnerStack gives B2B companies the opportunity to meet — and exceed — these expectations.
“The Partner Stack Marketplace is a gathering place for companies looking to form business relationships with other companies,” says Andrew Kim, Director of Network Growth. “We boast the largest collection of B2B SaaS affiliate programs compared to all of our competitors.“
Integrate yourself into your customers’ non-linear buying journeys
Today’s B2B buyers can find information about potential products in several places online. They can gather significant research before ever interacting with a specific vendor. This means that vendors no longer own as much of the buyer’s journey as before. The best strategy is to simply go where their customers are going to get information. One of those key destinations is B2B marketplaces.
B2B marketplaces give buyers a place to type in their requirements and get a list of potential solutions back. They can compare and contrast these solutions based on price and other important specifications. There are also multiple decision-makers involved who all have their own research and information. Joining a marketplace like PartnerStack gives vendors an opportunity to let their brand speak for itself in comparison to competitors. It also exposes vendors to customers that they hadn’t included in their ideal persona list or go-to-market strategy. But as Kim explains, it’s not as simple as just adding your company profile and products to a marketplace. You still need a strategy for making the most of your marketplace presence.
“You need to make sure that you have the right offering, the right targeting and the right program to see success. On the partner side, you need to make sure when you're coming into the marketplace you have an understanding of what your pitch is. These partner program managers see thousands of applications each day. You need to stand out. You need to have your promotional materials ready, like, 'Hey, our brand owns this YouTube channel and we have three million subscribers.' The more information that you provide about the level of engagement, the level of effort, as well as the level of reach that you have, the more likely it is that a program will accept you.”
Efficiently manage your acquisition budget versus your retention budget
B2B contracts are typically long-term and high-value. As a result, retention budgets tend to be higher than acquisition budgets. Participating in an environment like the PartnerStack marketplace can help B2B tech companies amp up their acquisition efforts without taking too much away from their retention resources.
“Our marketplace is an incredible place for you to get started with your recruitment,” says Kim. “We've seen a lot of cases where some companies are using channels to experiment with their own product. They’re essentially using indirect salespeople and direct partners as an extension of their business. They say, ‘We're trying this new message. Go test it by trying to sell it, see whether it works, whether it doesn't work, come back, and show us what the results are.’ That way, they can make a concerted effort in terms of making that investment directly.”
The PartnerStack Marketplace helps create a more cohesive digital experience
Customers want a smooth digital experience. The same goes for partners that vendors are trying to recruit. In the past, vendors held the power when it came to forming partnerships. Today, partners have evened out the balance of power, because they have several vendors from which to choose.
These partners also have high expectations for the kind of digital experience they receive. They are evaluating the quality of different partner programs and the support each vendor provides to decide whether to continue investing resources into promoting that vendor’s products. If a vendor has to constantly email your team to follow up on a late payment or to get information on a new product or training for their teams, it won’t spell good news for their continued investment in your program. On the other hand, a seamless payment, training, and information-sharing experience can help build a better partner-vendor relationship.
“PartnerStack is an ecosystem platform. It helps you build, manage, and grow your ecosystem,” says Kim. “Part of managing your ecosystem is being able to manage a relationship with your partners, making sure that you pay them out on time, making sure that you cut down on fraud, making sure that you're able to engage those partnerships and those relationships and foster them. That's what our core platform allows you to do. But then part of building and growing an ecosystem is not just about fostering existing relationships, it's about being able to find new ones. The marketplace helps bolster your current relationships and your current ecosystem by helping you find and work with new partners and build new relationships.”