Marc Sachdev, Principal Product Marketing Manager at impact.com shares a few thoughts on the modern day partner ecosystem and what trends are in store through 2022 in this short catch-up:
Hi Marc, welcome to this chat with SalesTechStar. Tell us about your time in the B2B tech marketplace and what your journey now is like at impact.com…
It’s an exciting time to be in technology and at impact.com. The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated many factors that were already in process. Trends such as automation and globalization continue to fundamentally change the way companies operate. Organizations that embrace this new way of operating will benefit. While sales and marketing have been primary sources of growth, partnerships have emerged as the third and fastest-growing revenue channel for organizations.
How has impact.com evolved as a platform? Would you name a few upcoming usability features that users can look forward to?
Until a few years ago, impact.com software was often purchased by marketing teams in the B2C space. Over the past few years we’ve seen a lot more interest on the B2B side, particularly with business development and channel partnerships teams looking to activate the partnerships channel to drive leads, qualify opportunities, and close deals. We’ve leaned into that side of the business, adding integrations with the Salesforce and HubSpot customer relationship management platforms, enhanced funnel and leads reporting, and a marketing development funds capability, to name a few. Looking forward, we’ll continue to make it easy to work with all kinds of partners, including resellers.
How have you seen the demand and growth of partner relationship management software become more crucial in sales today? A few thoughts on the key benefits of these platforms over sales teams?
The modern partnership economy was born as consumers increasingly rejected digital advertising. With big tech owning 90 percent of new digital ad spend and implementing privacy updates that wiped out the ability to target, track, and measure display and mobile ads, a new channel to market became critical.
Enterprises of all sizes are forming partnerships because this model enables them to do what they need to do most: grow. Partner relationship management software has historically managed partner-reseller relationships. With the definition of “partner” expanding to include influencers, consultants, affiliates, and others, software platform requirements are changing as well.
For teams looking to revisit their sales tech stack in 2022, what top thoughts would you share?
The year 2022 is all about scale. The acceptance of marketplaces, continued growth of the partnerships ecosystem, and all things subscription are driving unheard-of levels of complexity. If indirect channels are part of your sales goals, it’s important to have an automated contracting, tracking, and payouts process in place. It’s nearly impossible to scale when every contract has to run through legal and monthly payouts are manually sent.
As B2B sales evolves and newer sales tech capabilities help sales teams strengthen other aspects of their process, how do you feel the market will start to shift?
B2B customers are acting more like consumers. They do more of their own research prior to engaging with sales. Companies are responding by directly promoting products and services to consumers through advocates, influencers, and other non reseller partners. Marketplaces are being created as a way to manage supply and demand, now providing a method for consumers to gather information from nontraditional channels — which also happen to be more transparent and less costly.
What are a few martech and sales tech predictions for the new year that you’d like to highlight?
One of the big developments is the continued expansion of the partner ecosystem. Many analysts and other leaders predict current business models will be unrecognizable in a few years. With an ecosystem, partners can offer specialized support at each stage of the customer journey — from awareness through retention. Customers have much more control and many more options. With the move to “everything as a service,” companies need to keep consumers happy throughout the entire journey. And, of course, performance must be measured. Luckily, tools exist for doing so.
Some last thoughts and takeaways?
The new reality of the business world has shifted the who, what, where, and why of business as usual. Companies that anticipate and act on this change have the opportunity to benefit from the disruption. Those that don’t will struggle to survive. To be successful, companies ultimately need to provide value. To do so, they must meet consumers where they are and deliver a great experience. The modern partnership economy is a game changer and impact.com is excited to lead the evolution.
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