3 Reasons to Start Partnering with Other Partners in the Ecosystem — Now

October 4, 2017 Molly Hoffmeister

How to find partners that can fill product gaps, drive pipeline, and help you tell a broader story to customers

The true secret to expanding your influence as a partner in the Salesforce ecosystem lies in aligning with other partners to offer business-wide solutions to customers. We learned this when sitting down and talking with Salesforce partners in this recent ebook.

These partners have mastered the art of leveraging an ecosystem for sales — and have the results to show for it. Check out a few of the reasons how and why — as well as a few tips direct from our partners — below.

Fill current product gaps and offer more robust solutions.

Building everything in-house that your customers need to successfully solve problems is often not a realistic approach if you want keep up in today’s market. By teaming up with complementary products in an ecosystem, you’re able to fill white space for your customers without reinventing the wheel:

“Working with other partners in the ecosystem has definitely been the key to selling ‘beyond our means.’” — Joshua Pines, Co-founder and Head of Corporate Development and Marketing, Sirenum

Look for partners that fill a gap in your product, or enhance the performance of your product with complementary functionality, and investigate new ways to go to market together. For examples of Salesforce partners who have done a great job of this, check out AppExchange EVP Leyla Seka’s recent guest post for MarTech Advisor: Best-Kept Secret to Ecosystem Partnering (Hint: It’s Not About Money).

Tell a broader, cross-departmental story to customers.

If you’re not sure where to find the right partners to go to market with, talk to your customers. Find out if they have other apps in the ecosystem that they’re using in-tandem with yours, if other departments in their company use ecosystem apps, or if they have existing gaps that they’re looking for solutions to fill. These are the ISVs that you should be seeking out for partnerships.

“Partner with other ISVs to solve real problems for customers. Problems that they can’t fix easily themselves.” — Audun Moen Stuland, CEO, Questback Salespulse

As an added bonus, your customers can also tell you how they use these solutions in conjunction with yours on a day-to-day basis—giving you a readymade story that you can share with prospective customers when going to market with other ISVs. And this is huge: when you can tell customers a broader story about using multiple apps to address company-wide issues rather than selling a single point solution to solve a pain for one department, selling to the C-suite gets a whole lot easier.

Identify common stacks in order to spot low-hanging fruit and build pipeline.

Once you’ve talked to your customers complementary products, don’t stop there: find out who your partners are partnering with as well. Identifying stacks of products that function well with yours can an effective way to identify low-hanging fruit that can lead to significant pipeline. For example, if you can tell a compelling story about how four solutions work together to solve a broader problem, that opens the door for you to seek out companies that are using two or three of those four solutions and explain why they should complete the set — based on what they’re already doing.

The best part of this scenario is, the customer wins, too. Technology stacks are powerful things, but they can be very overwhelming for customers to navigate. Who wants to figure out which five tools out of thousands of options are going to solve for one workflow? Teaming up allows multiple companies to approach a single customer with a straightforward value proposition for how their various point solutions can address a larger pain point.

The bottom line is, selling collaboratively in a business ecosystem can yield huge results, but it’s important to remember that seeing optimal results requires time, dedication, and creativity. The most successful partners invest in the resources and relationships to make it happen.

“Understand that you only get as much out of the Salesforce partnership as you are willing to put into it. Invest the time to be a part of the ecosystem, community, events and relationships. There are many golden opportunities available for those who strive to find them.”—Rolie Ryan, Director of Marketing, Leankor

Ready to learn more? Download the full e-book for more tips on selling in a business ecosystem.

3 Reasons to Start Partnering with Other Partners in the Ecosystem — Now was originally published in Inside the Salesforce Ecosystem on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.

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