The question of the hour: what’s your take on an ecosystem?
Most people have a concrete idea of what an ecosystem is — here are the top three depictions:
- “An interconnected network of cross-functional players who work together to define, build, and execute market-valuable solutions for customers”
- “A long overdue reboot of what SaaS distribution should be: vendors with increasingly complex products, traditional distribution stepping up service offerings, MSPs focusing on narrower specialist practices as end customers seek deeper, more meaningful relationships to help them stay agile and ahead of their markets.”
- “Partners, Community, Influencers and Marketplaces coming together to provide fully integrated solutions for clients”
But what we didn’t expect? This👇
And definitely not this👇
Do people invest in their own ecosystem?
There was no clearer verdict. Everyone said yes, which means we’re onto something big.
What’s more, 65% of respondents reveal they’ve already joined an ecosystem outside of their own while 15% have not yet pulled the trigger.
All this buy-in piqued our curiosity, so we peeled back the layers of the people behind partnerships.
Folks run partner programs from all over the world, occupy various roles, and belong to assorted industry verticals:
For many, this isn’t their first rodeo in partnerships — and definitely not their last.
Regardless of who’s put in the work and for how long, all partner types get love, although some more than others.
Just as it takes (at least) two to make a partnership, most companies employ two dedicated ambassadors to head up their partnerships team.
But company size and industry carry the biggest influence on team composition and volume. Partnerships teams ranged from as few as one to as many as 100+.
Now, let’s talk cash. 🤑
Money matters, and to get far (enough), companies invest variable amounts in partnerships, ecosystems, and integrations annually. While some leaders invest $100K and higher, others can make their ecosystems work with just $10K — most held their investment amounts close to their chests.
What goes in, must come out. Annual Recurring Revenue ranges are worth taking note of this year with respondents sharing the below:
Indirect channel revenue is an undeniable piece of the pie. On one occasion, a company drives as much as 95% of their company revenue from ecosystems, but most fall within the 20–30% bracket.
Despite even the most lavish cash injections into partner programs, companies face roadblocks to scaling their ecosystem strategy. Limited engagement from other companies, lack of internal alignment, and product fit are just a few of the culprits.
- Short-term pipeline vs. long-term sustainable practice
- Insufficient preparation and falling back on legacy thinking
- Proving ROI on day 1, 30, 60, and 90
- Under-staffed and under-resourced
Most companies feel they’ll hit the bullseye on their overall 2022 revenue targets, but their confidence wavers in nailing their partnerships revenue.
Certain insecurities about ecosystems and hard-hitting questions keep many up at night:
For actionable strategies, inspiration and to help de-escalate their anxieties, many companies turn to industry leaders like:
The data for The Partner Ecosystem Market Pulse survey was collected in September 2022. Updated findings will be reflected in upcoming PartnerStack published survey results.