29 Sep Using Composable Ecosystem Management To Break Down Market Silos
September 29, 2022
There’s a concept in software and platform design known as Composability. It’s founded on the design principle that elements of a system should be “pluggable, scalable, replaceable, and able to be continuously improved.”
The approach allows developers to reduce complexity and build applications quickly and easily utilizing best-of-breed, independent components that can be combined in an API-driven complete solution.
What if Ecosystem and Partner Leaders took a similar Composable approach to managing partner ecosystems across key ecosystem management functions like ecosystem marketing and ecosystem enablement? Leveraging Composable Ecosystem Management would allow B2B SaaS companies to break down the silos that keep Partner Ecosystems from becoming EPS (efficient, predictable, scalable) revenue engines.
The big idea behind Composable Ecosystem Management is that key partner management functions (critical in the GoToEco process) need to be architected and administered with a level of flexibility that is not common in portal and other partner management systems of old. The Design models of older systems, such as traditional PRM, partner marketing, and partner enablement, presume to manage partnerships in silos and hierarchies that no longer resemble the way partners partner or the way buyers buy.
Today customers want to buy and utilize ecosystem-based, integrated, interoperable, end-to-end solutions. Customers push back on vendors who try to sell siloed solutions that lack the support and endorsement of trusted business partners. And partners want to work with vendors that understand ecosystem orchestration. Vendors who GoToEco, rather than Going to Market with full-stack approaches, are favored by potential technical (integration) and channel (sales and services) partners.
Let’s dig into the ways Composable Ecosystem Management can help drive EPS.
Composable Joint Solutions & Businesses
The foundation for most collaboration in an ecosystem is the Joint Solution. Two partners cannot GoToEco without a joint offering that should, to the degree possible, be treated as its own offering and business opportunity. However, even though most B2B SaaS companies partner-up to create joint solutions, many usually stop there and don’t properly monetize the resulting Joint Business. In such cases, 95% of the Joint Solutions receive sub-scale investments and shadow GTM that leave seven-figure revenue opportunities on the table.
This is a core reason why partner ecosystems do not become EPS (efficient, predictable, scalable) revenue engines.
A composable approach turns a Joint Solution into a Joint Business by aligning four key organizational functions, Product, Marketing, Sales, and Customer Success, across partners. Both partners in this model focus on managing and monetizing the joint solution, rather than their own independent products, aligning independent business activities across the two organizations.
This type of integrated approach provides customers with integrated solutions referred by a trusted source, and results in 34% higher ACV, 50% faster time to close vs direct-only GTM motions, and 70% higher conversion rates, giving CFOs and CROs an unstoppable, EPS revenue engine.
To overcome the narcissistic impulse of most B2B SaaS GTMs, companies need to remember who they serve – the customer. And an ecosystematic approach is required. Everything in a company GTM strategy should be customer first, starting with how the product fits into the customer’s ecosystem stack and how partnerships support a customer value roadmap.
This is only possible with an integrated approach where each business function engages with the ecosystem:
-Product – A maniacal focus on the Product roadmap and features need to focus instead on Joint Solution road mapping and co-innovation strategy.
-Product Marketing – Emphasis on product features or functions must instead focus on Joint Solution use cases, including partner products.
-Marketing – Instead of focusing on creating and converting MQLs, the focus should shift to emphasize joint Account-Based Marketing leveraging partner referrals as the highest impact motion.
-Sales – Direct-to-market demand gen and AE push becomes a race to create 100% partner-attached pipelines. No deals happen if they don’t include and leverage a Joint Solution.
-Customer Success – What was a renewal challenge now becomes a race to 99% renewals built on 2, 3, 4, or more Joint Solutions and customer success built around end-to-end product use cases.
Companies need to continuously remember the GoToEco magic of Win/Win/Win: we only win when our customers and partners win. Regardless of department, OKRs and KPIs must ensure the vendor’s success, the customer’s success, and the partner’s success.
From a governance and management perspective, companies need to be more precise and intentional about the processes, tools, and automation they invoke to drive composable joint solutions. Outdated tools, such as portals and other technologies that lock users into silos and hierarchies, fail to deliver on the promise of Joint Solutions.
Two ecosystem management functions provide good examples:
Traditional vs Composable Ecosystem Marketing
Traditional partner marketing is typically a monolithic one-way motion from vendor to channel (Vendor Product → MDF → Channel Engagement). Composable Ecosystem Marketing is built on a few core principles that companies like Channext lead with. These flip the traditional model by putting the Partner and the Joint Solution at the center. This means that the partner gets to compose the marketing that delivers what the customer needs; the partner decides, not the vendor. Composable marketing management has to happen on a platform, not in a portal.
Traditional vs Composable Ecosystem Enablement
Traditional partner enablement is also mono-directional and hierarchical (Product Enablement → Channel Engagement). Composable Ecosystem Enablement is built on a few core principles that companies like TIDWIT lead with. These allow the creators of Joint Solutions to compose and distribute enablement that is specific to the Joint Solution they sell and made available to any constituent that needs to leverage solution enablement content. This allows Joint Solution partners to compose and evergreen enablement content they deliver.
If you’d like to learn more about how Composable Ecosystem Management helps partner leaders to break silos, click hereto attend our October 5, 2022 webinar at 11 am EDT with Rick van den Bosch from Channext and Will Yafi from TIDWIT.