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10 Facts You Oughta Know if You Work in B2B Partnerships

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If you’ve kept up with our blog so far, you’ve likely read a deep dive or two on topics like the co-marketing flip, the bow-tie funnel, or Google and HubSpot’s GTM strategy, to name a few. But, maybe you’d also appreciate more of a bird’s-eye view of where the partnerships world is heading. 

To give you a snapshot of the latest partnership trends, we pulled 10 facts straight from our 2021 State of the Partner Ecosystem Report that we think you should know. 

Partnerships Fact #1: The average salary for partnership professionals in the US is $178,621. 

If your salary is below average and you’re based in the U.S., use this data to build a case for your next raise. In case you’re curious: the average salary for partnership professionals in California alone is $219,853. 

Partnerships Fact #2: The most common KPI among partnership professionals is partner-sourced revenue.

Generally, partnership professionals who are measured on partner-sourced revenue are held accountable for less than $500,000 when their company is below the 250-employee mark. At the 250-employee mark, partner-sourced revenue KPI goals spike to above $1.5 million. 

FACT-263% of partnership professionals are held accountable for partner-sourced revenue

Partnerships Fact #3: During the COVID-19 pandemic, 36% of companies expanded their partnerships team.

We think this is because CEOs leaned more heavily into partnerships as a critical avenue of growth in terms of revenue, product innovation, and market expansion as traditional sales became more challenging due to shifts in spending and budget cuts.

FACT-3 (1)36% of companies expanded their partnerships team during the COVID-19 pandemic

Partnerships Fact #4: Most partnership professionals report to sales.

48% of partnership orgs report into sales. The second most popular? Reporting directly to the CEO.

FACT-448% of partnership orgs report into sales

Partnerships Fact #5: The most common partnerships program is channel

But most organizations with mature partner ecosystems have strategic, technology, and channel partnership programs.

FACT-582% of partnership professionals have a channel partner program

Partnerships Fact #6: Rep-to-rep co-selling is the fastest growing GTM strategy. 

71% of partnership professionals reported using rep-to-rep co-selling as a primary go-to-market (GTM) tactic in 2021, compared to 62% in 2020. Meanwhile, Crossbeam users are 61% more likely to engage in co-selling than non-Crossbeam users. 


FACT-6A71% of partnership professionals used rep-to-rep co-selling as a primary GTM tactic in 2021, compared to 62% in 2020

Partnerships Fact #7: 52% of partnership programs have partner tiers. 

Most partnership professionals who use partner tiers rely on a revenue quota to categorize partners, but 43% categorize their partners arbitrarily.

FACT-752% of partnership programs have partner tiers

Partnerships Fact #8: AWS is the most common marketplace. 

Amazon Web Services (AWS) is the go-to marketplace for partnership professionals, with Salesforce AppExchange as a clear second and Microsoft Azure trailing closely behind. 

FACT-837% of companies participating in cloud marketplaces participate in AWS

Partnerships Fact #9: Most partnership professionals don’t use a partner relationship manager (PRM).

A PRM is a platform that helps channel sales managers and marketers manage and automate various components of the partner management process. This includes functionalities like partner onboarding, enablement for indirect sales teams, and payment for affiliate commissions.

But wait, if most partnership programs prioritize the channel but don’t use a PRM, how do they handle attribution? This leads us to our next fact. 

FACT-965% of partnership professionals don’t use a PRM

Partnerships Fact #10: The biggest challenge for partnership professionals year-over-year is getting more headcount and resources. 

This begs the question: How can partnership professionals get the buy-in they need to expand their teams and acquire more resources? Perhaps investing in tools, establishing workflows, and executing tactics to measure results (also known as Ecosystem Ops) would help. But alas, to get the tools, you need buy-in, and to get buy-in, you need the tools.

FACT-1075% of partnership professionals consider getting more headcount and resources at least somewhat challenging


Now that you’ve got a taste of what’s happening in the partnerships world, how will you operationalize the data? If you’ve got a success story, we’d love to hear it! Send us a note @Crossbeam

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