Does Your B2B SaaS Org GET the Ecosystem?

Last week we ran a quick survey with partner leaders attending Supernode and with folks in the GoToEcosystem community to understand if your organization GETS the Ecosystem. The survey focused on where companies stand in relation to Digital Bridge Partners’ GoToEcosystem Maturity model.

Check out our SaaS Connect Keynote for more info on what the GoToEcosystem Maturity Model is all about.

We Got Some Really Interesting Insight

Our questions centered on topics like leadership awareness of Ecosystem Impact on top level and functional business outcomes, how developed Ecosystem planning is, alignment across functional groups, and the maturity of internal shared processes and infrastructure.

Leadership in the organizations surveyed is very much aware of how important Ecosystems are in helping them achieve top-level objectives, such as revenue, growth and retention. In fact 79% of respondents said that either all, or a majority of, their organization’s leadership is aware of the Ecosystem's potential for impact, and that the C-Suite is most aware.


The problem is not a lack of awareness or understanding at the top. The problem is a lack of shared organization wide awareness, effective joint planning, and alignment on shared processes and infrastructure.

Ultimately, C-Suite Leadership needs to ensure that the entire organization is brought up to speed and make sure leaders across the organization share the vision. Marketing and Sales appear to be somewhat aware of the importance of ecosystems, followed by Product Leadership, with Customer Success Leadership well behind the curve.

This lack of shared awareness translates into a lack of shared and aligned strategies and plans. Only 11% of respondents said they had a fully aligned Ecosystem plan in place. There is some good news though as a majority are either working to get a plan in place (60%) or working to gain alignment across the organization on the plan (30%). As the chart below indicates, Marketing is ahead of the curve, with over 55% of respondents reporting high alignment (represented by the red and blue bars), followed by the Product Org at 48%, and Sales at 46%. Again, Customer Success lags:

Work is Underway But There’s a Lot Left To Do

The same is true when it comes to translating plans into action. Respondents told us that their internal cross functional Partner engagement processes and infrastructure were for the most part either being developed (40%) or only partially mature (46%). Marketing and Sales were making the most strides towards development, while Customer Success lagged behind.

What can leaders and individuals in Ecosystem roles take away from this? Somehow, C-Suite and leadership awareness needs to be translated into organizational action. In particular, organizations behind the curve, such as Customer Success and Product Organizations need to be brought up to speed.

Recommendations for Leadership:

  1. Conduct assessments of where the organization stands
  2. Begin creating roadmaps for change across the organization in order to bring everyone on board with the process. Here’s a short video we did on the topic of a template to drive alignment across the org.
  3. Document Ecosystem ROI for lagging functions such as Customer Success and Product Teams.
  4. Evangelize the power of tools like @Crossbeam and @Reveal to deliver GoToEcosystem value across the orgs.
  5. Start ensuring that planning is supported by operational action, including alignment across specific team processes and roles

There’s a huge opportunity right now for organizations to take advantage of leadership awareness and understanding, translate it into discrete outcomes, and move from knowing to achieving. For example, it’s a relatively easy business case to make to Customer Success on Ecosystem impact, based on obvious retention and upsell/cross sell conversion rate benefits. Product Teams can also be converted based on opportunities for Innovation and Network Effects. See our previous article for specific tips and tricks.

Leaders should take heart - the path to maturing your ecosystem has been charted, and Digital Bridge has developed a playbook for action.

DM if you’d like to get the slides from our presentation at SuperNode giving an overview, or reach out to see how you can learn more.

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