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The Best Partnership Ecosystems Learnings of 2022

B2B SaaS took ecosystems beyond integration this year.

Ecosystems are more than a trend — in 2022, they’ve become a business model. During what Scott Brinker dubbed “the golden age of ecosystems”, fresh concepts and understandings of exactly what an ecosystem is in B2B SaaS have started to solidify across the industry throughout this year. Here at PartnerStack, we define partnership ecosystems as the orchestration of all your indirect channels that scale customers, growth, and revenue. Because, let’s be real, that’s what they do.

You’ve heard that 95% of Microsoft’s revenue is generated through its partner ecosystem. You’ve heard that Shopify’s partner ecosystem brought in more than $6.9 billion back in 2019. With an ecosystem that has more than 700 channel partners around the world, Atlassian brings in a third of all its business this way. It wasn’t until Apollo committed to their partnerships program that they saw a 1,641% increase in their average partnerships revenue just this year (with only one person at the helm). It’s clear, partnerships can be lucrative and a great way to win at growth, and ecosystems are worth the hype.

As we prepare to head into 2023, we wanted to share some of our major ecosystem learnings. Here is a roundup of some of the most insightful ecosystem learnings we’re carrying into the new year with us.

Our top partnership ecosystem learnings of 2022

We learned how to become an ecosystem-led company

Back in June, Ecosystem Week took the SaaS world by storm. Industry experts and partner professionals united to address the market’s demand for efficient growth. Taking ecosystems beyond tech integrations was an inevitable part of the evolution — it became obvious that in order to be a key player in the software game, becoming an ecosystem-led company is how you win.

We learned what to expect if you were to launch your ecosystem right now 

From channel partner strategy to independent software vendors (ISV) to value-added resellers (VAR) to system integrations (SI) and beyond, we found out just how channel partners and indirect could benefit them all.

Read more: How to recruit your first 100 revenue generating partners.

three shopping carts on a stylized background of planets

We learned how to become a T-shaped ecosystem leader

Unlocking a new company role model for partner leaders to strengthen their career growth, we discovered just what a T-shaped ecosystem leader was and how to become one. We broke down the top attributes of this type of B2B SaaS leader, provided examples of what they can do, and provided a healthy career vision for folx looking to grow in partnerships.

We learned why strategic alliances are essential parts of your ecosystem

The thing is, strategic alliances are a key part to your partner ecosystem. These types of relationships offer growth opportunities, insight and so much possibility. After all, these alliance partners create alignments on core competencies, business strategies and goals for mutual benefit. The wins are worth the effort.

We learned how app marketplaces can help your ecosystem thrive

If you were to dig into the center of partner ecosystems, you’ll likely find an app marketplace. From how to get started with app marketplaces to shifting into a new world of revenue-driving potential, we got to the bottom of just how partner ecosystems can benefit from an app marketplace (and how to get started with one). 

We learned together is better and integrated with Reveal

Our own ecosystem grew when we integrated with Reveal, the leader in account mapping. This integrated ecosystem now gives partnership teams the opportunity to find opportunities shared with partners, track the progress of every deal from opportunity to closed-won, automatically pay partners for the deals they close, and more. 

Today’s customers are savvy, know what they need and want, and are demanding well-integrated technology to support efficiency and results. Through ecosystems, we’re changing the way the world sells software to meet the demands of our customers. While learnings were rich this year, we expect the lessons of 2023 will strengthen us even further.

Partnering up feels right because in 2022, it makes no sense to go at it alone.

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Find the answers you need from experts

Data-driven insights from world-class ecosystem leaders.

Get exclusive data and insights from our Research Lab

Unlock ecosystem data from the PartnerStack network of more than 80,000 active partners. Ecosystem leaders like you can now benefit from focused research into their specific business needs.

“We weren’t leveraging the platform enough, we never had anyone dedicated to partnerships. There were no allocated resources”

"PartnerStack is the best ecosystem platform on the market. We've done a lot of research, and no other tool can bring together agencies, influencers, distributors, customer referrals, and affiliate partnerships all in one place."

WORD OF THE WEEK

Joint venture

noun
[joynt ven·chr]

A joint venture is a business collaboration between two parties on a project. Both parties will benefit from bringing their shared resources and knowledge, and neither party will take on the sole burden of the risk.

WORD OF THE WEEK

Buyer persona

noun
[bahy-er per-soh-nuh]

These depictions of target customers help to define your company's ideal target customers.

WORD OF THE WEEK

SaaS partner programs

noun
[sas pahrt-ner proh-grams]

SaaS (software-as-a-service) partner programs are a systematic way that software companies form mutually beneficial relationships with agencies, influencers, and other companies to drive business results.

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