When the B2B Marketing Exchange (B2BMX) reconvenes at The Phoenician in Scottsdale, AZ, Feb. 27 to March 1, attendees will have ample opportunity to discover why enabling an expanded partner ecosystem is critical to driving demand and revenue.
With B2B buyers spending less time interacting with a sales representative and more time making purchases digitally, the traditional transactional channel is expanding to include a powerful ecosystem of diverse partners. As a recent survey discovered, a growing majority of companies are building robust partner ecosystems to influence the B2B buyer journey before, during, and after the point of sale is recognized and valued.
According to the survey which was conducted by HubSpot, the customer relationship management platform provider, Canalys, an independent analyst company, and Partnership Leaders, a community for partnerships and alliance leaders, 93% of enterprise organizations and 78% of all organizations have a partner program. Almost two-thirds of organizations view partnerships as essential to their future growth.
At B2BMX, keynotes, break-out sessions and workshops will offer information on why and how marketing leaders should prioritize investments in their partner ecosystem initiatives or begin the process of developing new programs.
Keynote speaker Larry Walsh, CEO and Chief Analyst at Channelnomics, has been keeping tabs on the world living with persistent economic instability. As interest rates, geopolitical tensions, supply chain disruptions and changing business models conspire to sap business confidence and cloud forecasts for what comes next, Walsh believes companies need to embrace new models, routes to market and optimization value propositions to remain relevant. In his presentation, Walsh will walk through a journey of the next decade of change and prescribe what companies in the end-to-end value chain needs to do to thrive in dynamic economic conditions.
Maria Chien, Executive Advisor, Partner Ecosystem Marketing at Forrester, is a leading expert on why and how channel organizations must be responsive to shifting business trends and related requirements. With an explosion in the size and complexity and diversity of B2B organizations’ universe of partners, channel teams are playing an instrumental role navigating business goals and challenges.
To prepare for the ecosystem economy and optimize go-to-market strategies in 2023 and beyond, partner ecosystem marketing and channel leaders must evolve their marketing and demand strategies to align to the complexities across the entire partner ecosystem. In her presentation entitled Driving Partner Ecosystem Success Through Intentional Alignment, Chien will share insights into the trends, data, and best practice considerations required to successfully market to, through, for, and with ecosystem partners.
A panel discussion by influential partner ecosystem evangelists will continue to review the impact the impact that channel programs have on revenue. Titled Ecosystems And Big-Bang Revenue: Why C-Suites Are Exploring The Sales Impact Of Expanded Partner Programs, this Sales Summit Impact track session will review the evolution of partner programs from initiatives that focused primarily on resellers to go-to-market motions that added on complicated networks of co-product developers, influencers, referrers, and services providers.
During the panel discussion, which will be moderated by Kristine Stewart, Founder and CEO of The Lexington Group, Asher Mathew, Co-Founder of Partnership Leaders and VP, GTM – Data & Sales Intelligence Cloud at Demandbase, Kelly Sarabyn, Platform Ecosystem Advocate, HubSpot, and James Hodgkinson, SVP, Ecosystems at 360insights, will review the market trends driving ecosystem program adoption.
They will discuss the most significant challenges that ecosystem explorers can expect to face. And they will offer recommendations on how business leaders can drive the internal and external collaboration critical to accelerating a successful ecosystem program.
Luxy Thuraisingam, VP of Global Partner Marketing and SMB at Cisco, returns to B2BMX to share how the multibillion-dollar business company is tackling the rapidly-growing small and medium business customer segment. The company recently shifted responsibility for its SMB business to the Global Partner Organization to accelerate growth. With more than 87% of SMB companies looking to channel partners as “trusted advisors,” Cisco is confident that it can more effectively meet the needs of this massive market with and through partners.
During this session, Thuraisingam will discuss how her team is driving brand preference, designing a partner-focused digital lead engine and simplifying tools to empower channel partners with effective demand generation and marketing resources.
As a growing number of small and midsize businesses, consultants, and influencers strive to boost their income by referring the people they know to companies they trust, implementing an engaging program that helps them fill sales funnel with reliable leads takes careful planning.
In her workshop, Andrea Kayal, CRO at Teampay, will share step-by-step instructions on the process of planning, implementing, promoting and maintaining a referral program. Prior to joining Teampay, Kayal implemented a referral program that delivered leads that converted from meeting to opportunity 60% of the time and then closed at a rate of 35%.
Take-aways from her workshop will include information on:
Expected to account for more than $130 billion in B2B revenue in 2022, digital marketplaces represent a sales and marketing channel that few brands can afford to ignore. And as more companies engage discerning B2B buyers, especially those who lean into exceptional customer experiences, optimizing every touchpoint on their digital journey is critical. During a panel discussion, marketplace-savvy marketers including Jamie Mendez, Vice President, Ecosystem Transformation & Programs at Pegasystems, Heather Margolis, SVP Marketing at 360insights, and Stephen Lawrence Sr. Manager, Global SMB & E-commerce Marketing at Cisco, will share the best practices that optimize their digital storefronts and those of their ecosystem partners too.
“It’s clear that partner ecosystems are playing a more critical role in GTM programs for B2B companies, large and small,” said Andrew Gaffney, SVP & Editorial Director of Demand Gen Report and Channel Marketer Report. “Not surprising, many of our attendees have asked that we expand our already robust offering of channel partner focused sessions at B2BMX. Considering all of the research highlighting the critical role that partners play in engaging customers and prospects all along their buyer’s journey, we’re striving to ensure our conference stays well ahead of that trend.”