A Lack of GTM Support for ELG Could Cost You Millions in Revenue

A Lack of GTM Support for ELG Could Cost You Millions in Revenue

Zoe Kelly 7 min
By Zoe Kelly

By the end of 2022, the average SaaS company with 500 to 999 employees cut partner-influenced revenue targets in half, losing out on $1M in influenced revenue per quarter. 

Alternatively, companies of most other sizes either maintained or raised partner-influenced revenue targets. 

So, what changed from 2021 to 2022 that resulted in such a drastic difference in revenue targets? The answer has nothing to do with cuts to SaaS spending, a change in ability to hit KPI targets in 2021, or layoffs: While 60% of partnership teams at companies with 250 – 499 felt more supported by their internal teams, only 35% of partnership teams at the 500 to 999 employee size reported feeling more supported. 

To be clear, it’s not that companies at the 500 to 999 employee size lost go-to-market (GTM) alignment around Ecosystem-Led Growth (ELG). However, partnership teams that received more GTM alignment maintained or increased their targets, while those that didn’t lost out.

Below, we’re sharing how a lack of GTM alignment impedes partner-influenced revenue (potentially costing millions) and how you can get buy-in from your sales, marketing, product, and customer success teams.

Improve your GTM alignment, and partner-influenced revenue will follow

Companies with 500 – 999 employees were the biggest anomaly when it came to changes in partner-influenced revenue between 2021 and 2022. 

Let’s look at what partner-influenced revenue targets looked like in 2021 and 2022. 

Many companies kept their revenue targets the same or increased them. Including:

  • Companies with 1,000 or more employees increased partner-influenced revenue targets by $500K per quarter. 
  • Companies with 200 to 499 employees nearly doubled their partner-influenced revenue targets and were accountable for an additional $1M per quarter.

Below is a breakdown of the quarterly partner-influenced revenue targets by company size in 2021 and 2022.


Source: 2022 State of the Partner Ecosystem Report


Source: 2023 State of the Partner Ecosystem Report

When you add up the numbers, companies with 500 to 999 employees may have lost $4M in partner-influenced revenue in 2022 while companies with 250 to 499 employees nearly doubled theirs. 

To note: We collected the data from more than 500 partnership professionals in December of 2022. We are looking at the data as a snapshot of the year as a whole, but keep in mind that SaaS companies may have adjusted their targets at various points during the year.

Partnership professionals at companies with 250 to 499 employees had more company support in 2022 and increased their partner-influenced revenue. Partnership professionals at 500 – 999 employee companies had equal or less company support and cut their partner-influenced revenue in half.

When a partnership team doesn’t have company support, they are unable to effectively drive ELG. This is because the most effective ELG strategies require the efforts of marketing, product, sales, CS — and those strategies improve results for all of those teams and drive revenue up across the board.

Failing to drive this alignment can cause pain points in GTM workflows: 

  • Sales teams cold email a prospect instead of getting a warm intro for a partner, missing out on the opportunity to 100X the likelihood of the deal closing in 34% of the time. Only 8.5% of outreach emails receive a response (Backlinko).
  • Marketing teams spend time putting together a target lead list for a webinar instead of using account mapping data to surface high-quality leads that are already using products that integrate with theirs. Only 44% of MQLs pass through sales as a potential good fit (Gartner).
  • Instead of working to integrate a partner’s product that solves a needed use case, a product team expends time and resources to build something from scratch.

Alternatively, partner teams who are supported and can drive ELG bring more in revenue.

For example: 

  • Account Executives at Friendbuy use the Crossbeam Salesforce widget to identify where they can include partners in the deal cycle. Now, 35% of opportunities for Friendbuy are either partner-influenced or partner-sourced.
  • The RevOps and Growth team at Census surface partner data to inform their strategy that has led to a 34% increase in annual contract value.
  • The partner team at Intercom discovered that customers with four or more integrations have higher spend and retention, educated the sales and customer success reps on how to leverage this, and increased their partner-influenced revenue by 157%

How to get buy-in from your internal teams: 

Companies of various sizes have growing pains, and at the 500 to 999 size, there may be issues with alignment due to increase in employee size and expansion of teams across markets. Here are a few ways that you can get buy-in from each GTM team:

Simplify how you talk about your integrations. The partnership team at Bynder reduced the number of integrations their sales team could pitch to a prospect from twenty or more to three. As a result, their sales reps have an easier time understanding their integrations and can recommend the right ones to their prospects or point them to the right internal stakeholder who can.

Highlight the impact of integrations to your product team. The partnership team at Lucky Orange calculated that 75% of their customers were using at least one integration and presented this information to their product team at their monthly check-in. Now, the product team prioritizes building integrations.

Calculate the impact of your ecosystem on churn. Break your customer list into sections based on integrations adopted:

  • Customers who have adopted 0 integrations
  • Customers who have adopted one integration
  • Customers who have adopted 2-4 integrations
  • Customers who have adopted five or more integrations

Then, determine how many customers in each of those buckets churned and calculate the percentage.

Use this information to encourage your customer success team to learn about and suggest integrations to customers. 

Set up office hours for sales reps to come and check their prospect list against your partner data. Partners can give your sales reps intel to revive deals gone dark or jump on a sales call to add more value to the prospect. Make yourself available for consistent check-ins to see when a partner can help your sales reps and provide them with: 

  • A list of which companies can help influence a deal via real-time account mapping 
  • A short blurb about your partners as well as success stories about how customers have used those integrations 
  • A name and email of a good contact at partner

Use these stats to get buy-in from your leadership team until you’re able to track your own results. We track every stat that we get that proves the value of ecosystem led growth. Some highlights:


Get exclusive access to more industry stats by becoming a Crossbeam Insider.

Zoe Kelly 7 min

A Lack of GTM Support for ELG Could Cost You Millions in Revenue

Between 2021 and 2022, companies with 500 to 999 employees reduced their partner-influenced targets by $4M a year. Partnership teams that received more GTM alignment maintained or increased their targets, while those that didn’t lost out.

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