The Inescapable Shift To Partner Ecosystems

Partner Ecosystems is the space for future growth: a combinatorial offering, found at the intersection of functional areas, technologies, and industries.

The recent shifts in the market, in the world, and in sales all point in one direction: the shift to Partner Ecosystems. According to a recent Accenture Report, Partner Ecosystems are the key to open up new markets and create a disruptive shift in the market. Accenture asserts that this is the space for future growth: a combinatorial offering, found at the intersection of functional areas, technologies, and industries.

Let’s explore how Partner Ecosystems transforms the way you do business.


The Big Idea

We’ve watched it happening all around us. Partnerships amongst organizations that we’d never thought possible. Yet, when they happen, suddenly it seems to make perfect sense. We find ourselves, scratching our heads and wondering, “Why didn’t I think of that before?”

What kind of partners?

    • The innovator defining and leading innovation: Apple
    • The aggregator for transactions: eBay
    • The orchestrator for building platforms and assembling partners: Alibaba

Think about your industry. Are you seeing partnerships today that you’ve never witnessed in the past? Are you seeing more opportunities for collaboration? Are you noticing connective threads between sets of partners that would be spectacular?


Shall We Dance?

In the Accenture report, industry leaders were interviewed. Across the board, executives said that they thought Partner Ecosystems were the way to go. 

Forward-thinking leaders surveyed see a strong future in ecosystems. 

In just 3-5 years, these executives believe that Ecosystems will:

    • Create new competitive advantage (56%)
    • Help them use data and analytics to better serve customers (50%)
    • Help create new customer experiences (46%)
    • Drive innovation and disruption (44%)

This might remind you of a close friend asking, “would you like to be in perfect shape?” or “would you like to find the man/woman of your dreams?” 

The answer is, “Yes! Absolutely.” 

But then comes the reality. How are you doing in translating your dreams into reality?

In the case of the surveyed executives, perhaps like the answer to your friend, “Not so great, really.”

84% of executives surveyed say ecosystems are important to their strategy. Yet, 37% report being unable to balance current business while exploring the new ones. In other words, their organizations were doing poorly in building Partner Ecosystems.

Let’s look at what could be holding organizations back. 


What’s Holding You Back?

The short answer is: fear. 
accenture statistics on co-selling

While ecosystems promise tremendous value, they also come with risks. Executives get worried. Sometimes, frozen. They are terrified of working with competitors. They get paralyzed at the thought of sharing data. They can’t seem to jump over decades of perceptions that “this is the enemy.” These are the last people with whom they’d ever want to share control of information, data, vision, and customers.

Sound familiar?

The fact is: these are real fears. In old business models, these fears are core beliefs posing as true facts. 

Yet, given the value and potential for growth at stake, there are new models of thinking, partnering, and creating the future. 


What To Consider In A Partner

When faced with tremendous opportunity on the one hand, and paralyzing fears on the other…what is the way through? The Accenture report outlines three crucial areas:

A Strategic Market Play

As in all aspects of a successful business, each player needs to have a clear strategy. With a vision, compelling business case, clear priorities, and defined plays, you can move forward into significant growth opportunities.

While building a strategy, create a clear roadmap outlining plans for incubating, launching, and scaling delivery. In the process, new opportunities emerge for complementary services, products, and solutions. 

A Clear Role

With clear roles, each partner understands how this creates benefit. Benefits are like an upward spiral of win-win: for the customer, for revenue streams, and partner innovation. Clear roles at the beginning enable companies to pick the best complementary teammates. When people have role clarity, it’s easier to create tremendous value. 

A Complementary Partner

The ecosystem business model offers opportunities for a variety of partners. Each must be carefully selected—not only by unique role and value proposition. Some partners may offer different values: such as social partners or solution, sales, and delivery partners.


Picking Your Ecosystem Partner

Ready for picking your best partners?

Look for partners who share complementary capabilities, collaborative mindset, and domain expertise. Explore the intersections that can be used for innovation to build customer relationships and gather critical data. 

As you’re thinking about Ecosystem Partners, look at it from critical functions. 

Market Play: The big idea of disrupting the market to create new value.

Ecosystem Producer: This is the leader responsible for making the play, from start to finish. 

Platform Ecosystem: This is a set of partners involved in building the core platform solution. This can include infrastructure providers, network providers, technology partners, research partners, component suppliers, and more.

Offering Ecosystem: This includes a collaborative set of partners that develop, sell, deliver and service the offerings. This can include partners from solutions, sales, delivery, service, information-content, to social partners.

Customers: Ultimately, the customer must receive exceptional value from the partnership.

As you’re reading this, no doubt, the wheels are turning. What is the market play in your field? Who could be the best partner to make the play? Who would the set of partners be for your ecosystem? And so on…

Once the mind starts thinking of collaboration, partnerships, and expanded business models…it’s good to keep going. 


Simplifying With Co-Selling

In sales, this is where the rubber meets the road. 

Having the idea to create a Partner Ecosystem is exhilarating. Who doesn’t want to create the disruptive offering that is the best thing since sliced bread?

The good news is: exploring partnerships, creating new offerings, and making warm introductions to the right people in your industry has never been easier. 

With partnership Co-Selling, it’s easier than ever to connect-the-dots between your vision and reality. If you’re dreaming of building a disruptive new ecosystem—with Co-Selling you’ve got the tools to succeed.


Sum Up

With the shift to Partner Ecosystems, successful businesses are shaping the market and realizing significant revenue potential. The new value proposition enables a disruptive opportunity for enhancing customer value—at the intersection of functional areas, technologies, and industries. Partnership Co-Selling is what translates your brilliant ideas into reality.

Using a platform like is the simplest way to get your sales team on board. CoSell is a robust platform that makes it easy and fast to automate and scale collaborative co-selling across sales teams. 

If you’d like to explore how partnership co-selling can help you and your team boost sales and win major clients fast - check out our selection of free eBooks.

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