If you’re a hypergrowth B2B SaaS company moving to a platform business model, I’m talking to you.
Building a platform ecosystem around apps and integrations puts you on the super-growth highway.
In the Age of the Ecosystem, you can’t grow your SaaS company without focusing on growing your ecosystem. Customers don’t use your product in a silo; they use it in conjunction with scores of other apps, products, and systems. If your tech doesn’t seamlessly share data with those other apps and systems? You can kiss any last shred of stickiness goodbye. The bottom line is that scaling your SaaS business today relies heavily on building smart integrations with your ecosystem of partners.
B2B buyers want integrated solutions that play well with one another, and they want to be able to purchase these integrated super-solutions from one unified ecosystem marketplace. In fact, research by Vendasta found that the more apps and solutions you sell to a B2B customer, the less likely they are to churn. (Read my post on how partner integrations can increase your tech’s stickiness.) Embedding yourself firmly in your customers’ tech stack, then, requires launching your own marketplace and using it to sell your tech alongside your partners’ solutions and services.
We’ve learned that the best B2B marketplaces include the following functionality:
· Strategic filtering system
In our Apps Marketplace Masterclass article, Help customers find the tools they need, we explained that the searchability of your B2B marketplace can make or break your user experience. No one is going to stick around long enough to purchase an app if they can’t find what they’re looking for in the first place. That’s why a strategic filtering system is essential to providing a good marketplace user experience.
As a B2B marketplace SaaS company, Morphed understands how important your filtering function is. Our filtering system allows you to dynamically display a filter set based on topic, use case, provider, or category. Filters are also stored in a user’s session, making it easy for them to return to the directory listing with the original results set.
· Customized workflows
Personalization improves the UX of your marketplace. For example, streamlining a user’s search process removes friction from the individual user experience and accelerates the buyer journey. The best B2B marketplaces achieve this by creating customized workflows based on CRM data. When a contact lands on your marketplace, base your app and product suggestions and recommendations on known customer data like industry, business size, or previous purchases.
· Custom profile attributes
To best accommodate a wide range of partner types and app or service types, use custom attributes to enable partners to add unlimited characteristics, features, and details to listings. It’s also essential that these attributes can be filtered to facilitate a better search experience.
Again, as a B2B marketplace SaaS business, Morphed has taken this into account and created a dynamic way for SaaS companies to easily create partner profiles using custom attributes. We enable you to build profiles and create attributes that partners can store and use, without needing any custom code. On creation, the admin can make these attributes filtered, so that those attributes appear as filters when a user begins a product search.
The ‘build vs. buy’ dilemma.
Many SaaS companies consider building their own B2B marketplace solution, rather than partnering with a provider like Morphed. However, Chris Samila of PartnershipLeaders.com cautions that this isn’t always the right decision. The resources required to build and maintain a marketplace are considerable, and could be better spent in other areas of your business.
“I think a lot of times they will have a ‘build vs. buy’ dynamic, where they’re like ‘well we could just go build this ourselves, it’s just a webpage with some tiles on.’ And that is very short-term thinking, for a variety of reasons,” says Samila. “One of them is the admin burden of trying to update all those profiles. You need to make it really easy for partners to get in there and update that information.”
Samila adds that customization is another potential problem area worth thinking twice about. “You need a marketplace that has the ability to be quite flexible from the UI and UX perspective. We hit that happy medium with Morphed, where there’s an underlying template that they could leverage to give them a starting point, and then we customized heavily from there.”
Use Morphed’s B2B marketplace SaaS to go to market in record time.
Our white-labeled marketplace solution is highly customizable, tailored to B2B sales, and designed to help you easily connect your customers with partner apps, services, or a combination of both. Our marketplace functionality includes a strategic filtering system, custom profile attributes, and the ability to create customized workflows.