One year ago this month, the GoToEco Framework was born. Since then, it seems like everyone is talking about the power of the ecosystem, the decade of the ecosystem, ecosystem-led growth, PL[X], you name it. There is a growing conviction across the entire C-Suite that ecosystems may be the next big lever of growth as traditional, direct GTMs experience increasing headwinds. And there’s data to support those convictions, such as McKinsey’s famous projection that ecosystems will drive $80 trillion or ⅓ of total global revenue up from less than 2% today.
A vision to transform GTM
Our company’s stated vision is to transform business by unlocking the potential of the ecosystem. To do this we believe that companies need to look well beyond how they work directly with partners and communities, to create an expanded understanding of uncovered hidden gem ecosystem opportunities.
Consider the simple picture below. Your customers and your partners engage in Ecosystems that are not line-of-site to your GTM. This can take the form of your customers or your existing partners dealing with adjacent technologies that you don’t currently engage around or your partners working with other partners:
How to find adjacent opportunities in the ecosystem
Learning about these adjacencies may unlock hidden ecosystem opportunities.
And even in the well-understood quadrants of the diagram, we often forget to talk to our customers and our partners about how new GoToEco motions might improve customer outcomes.
Our soon-to-be-released Referral Revenue Engine and the Outbound Referral Playbook are all about conducting diagnostic surveys to uncover these types of unmet customer needs. In one use case, of the 10k customers that completed a value assessment survey, 74% indicated that they wanted to be referred to a certified partner to gain additional value. This demonstrates that there is a wealth of unlocked ecosystem potential from within your very customer base.
Best practices to unlock the ecosystem
Here are some best practices in unlocking your ecosystem to get at some of the 15-30x growth that McKinsey is talking about in their prediction.
- Start by becoming more ecosystem ‘aware’. Instead of focusing solely on your own offerings and the partners that help you GTM today, extend your understanding to include how your customers and partners are defining and leveraging ecosystems to create value and drive new innovation. In just the last 10 years, the number of ISVs has expanded by 15x! Proactive awareness about the disruptive, competitive innovation that your customers and partners are exploring will help your organization turn threats to your business into value creation and competitive advantage.
- Engage with your customers, partners, and others to gather regular intelligence on shifting roles and total opportunity. Most companies do not systematically collect data on trends in their customer and partner ecosystems beyond their immediate GTM focus. Ecosystem orchestration tools like Crossbeam and Reveal, among others, can help you gather intelligence, build processes, and create a foundation for value creation by understanding the Total Available Revenue (TAR) that lies within overlapping account data.
- Conduct Deep Outside-in Surveys that are not all about your GTM. We often miss the forest when we only think about the trees, or even worse just our tree. Talk to your internal stakeholders to uncover innovative GoToEco motions, but what’s more important is to talk to your customers particularly about the adjacencies (the Unknown portion of the diagram) and the outside-in ways that you can innovate by leveraging ecosystem opportunities. You’ll be surprised by the insights that unlock ecosystem potential to drive new ARR and increases in NRR and NPS with customers and partners.
If you want to find out more about how Digital Bridge Partners can help you take advantage of hidden gems in your ecosystem, drop me a note or reach out to my partner and Director of Ecosystem Development, Chris Lavoie.
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