In the latest episode of PartnerUp The Partnerships Podcast, host and ecosystem partnerships expert Jared Fuller decided to gaze into his crystal ball and share seven predictions about what lies ahead for partnerships in 2022. Here we’ll lay out Fuller’s predictions and dig a little deeper into one that really resonates with us.

Catch the full episode here: 040 – Special! Jared’s 7 Partner Predictions (& Pleads) for 2022!.

Jared Fuller’s ecosystem partnerships predictions for 2022:

Let’s kick off with the complete list of Fuller’s seven predictions:

1. Inflation is going to prompt some organizations to cut costs on their partnership team, particularly those companies that haven’t fully embraced a partner-centric mindset.

2. Innovative companies will re-think partner compensation strategies, and for the first time, equity will become a compensation option.

3. CAC will continue to rise and conversion rates will continue to fall.

4. B2B marketplaces are going to boom.

5. Partner marketing, and co-marketing in particular, will experience a shake-up and offers are going to enter the co-marketing matrix. These offers need to be more valuable than just a free demo or eBook (like discounts, free seats at a conference, sweepstakes, etc.).

6. Partner influence is going to come under more fire.

7. New ecosystem methodologies such as partner-led growth, partner-branded go-to-market functions, and go-to-ecosystem strategies are going to gain traction.

Prediction #4: This year we are going to see a huge rise in the prevalence of B2B marketplaces.

Fuller’s seven predictions around ecosystem partnerships provide a lot to chew on, but in this post we’re going to focus on his fourth prediction in particular. This one – the idea that B2B marketplaces are going to start experiencing massive growth this year – really resonates with us.

Your marketplace is the public-facing front end of your ecosystem.

Jared Fuller

Fuller foresees that instead of simply having a static directory or integrations list page, companies are going to start “bundling partners together” to create truly valuable, holistic offers that are available for customers to discover and purchase via B2B marketplaces.

One of the reasons for this is that as CAC continues to rise, companies are going to need to focus more on retention strategies and will need to use their partners to drive more value to their existing customer base through combined, pre-bundled offers. Fuller refers to Adobe CEO Shantanu Narayen’s idea that retention is the new growth to support this idea.

“A marketplace is the front end to your ecosystem,” says Fuller. “And I think you’re going to see a lot of that this year where the best-in-class companies really double-down on marketplaces to drive value for their customers, so their customers can discover more value from their ecosystem using a marketplace.”

Honestly, we couldn’t agree more with Fuller’s predictions around the rise of B2B marketplaces. In addition to Fuller’s ideas outlined above, we think that marketplaces will become more crucial to the B2B buying process as it will allow SaaS companies to achieve the following:

·  Instant, hands-free matchmaking between customers and partners

B2B marketplaces allow SaaS vendors to connect their customers with accredited partners without having to engage in tedious, manual matchmaking. When customers are able to self-serve by browsing an eCommerce-enabled marketplace, they’re able to find and transact with the service providers they need, without the friction the B2B procurement process traditionally entails.

(We’ve done a deeper dive on this topic in our blog post How to bolster your SaaS referral strategy through your marketplace. In it, we take a look at the impact a marketplace can have on your referral strategy, and your relationships with agency partners in particular.)

·  A frictionless B2B sales process

According to Gartner, 77% of B2B buyers state that their latest purchase was very complex or difficult.

Brent Adamson makes the point that, “As hard as it has become to sell in today’s world, it has become that much more difficult to buy. The single biggest challenge of selling today is not selling, it is actually our customers’ struggle to buy.”

So, the best way to improve your conversion rate is to make your customers’ buying process easier. B2B marketplaces help you do just that by removing the friction from the buying process. Customers are able to browse, find, and compare providers and services with the same ease they browse, find, and compare products in their favorite B2C marketplaces. To achieve this, connecting product data and inventory to marketplaces in real-time is essential for providing a seamless customer experience. 

In addition, once a deal has been finalized, customers need to be able to communicate with providers via the marketplace and track project progress every step of the way. Morphed’s Customer Portal does this by providing a secure, private portal for centralized project communication.

Check out our video demo to see how Morphed’s white-labeled B2B marketplace infrastructure can remove the friction from your B2B customer experience.

ecosystem partnerships

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