In this series, we’re breaking down key findings from our 2018 State of AppExchange Partner Report, highlighting how successful SaaS companies leverage the Salesforce AppExchange. Download the full report here!

In October 2017, CodeScience and Lighter Capital commissioned a survey digging deep into the business environment for current and future Salesforce AppExchange Partners. We wanted to identify how successful companies are leveraging Salesforce, so we could make recommendations to help SaaS companies get the most out of their AppExchange presence and the greater Salesforce ecosystem.

We received hundreds of responses and synthesized our key findings into a downloadable report — but wanted add more context around specific focus areas. This is what we learned from the responses related to product use cases and company-related insights.

There’s a Correlation Between AppExchange Presence and Company Growth

Among respondents, there’s a demonstrated relationship between AppExchange partnership and forecasted company growth. The more that is invested in the Salesforce channel, the better the outcome, with OEM providers growing faster year-over-year. The data shows that AppExchange partners are optimistic about the direction of their companies and opportunity within the Salesforce ecosystem as a whole. 72% of respondents said they will increase employee headcount in 2018 at least 20%.

With Salesforce Ventures recently announcing $50M in new funding, building upon their $100M platform fund, it’s easy to see app volume expanding quickly and fueling growth among companies that embrace technology.

Multiple Apps Mean More Opportunities

While the majority of companies responding to the survey have a single AppExchange offering, many are identifying revenue potential in selling more than one app.

We learned from our research that 43% of respondents have more than one product on the AppExchange.

Having more than one offering allows companies to solve different problems within the same area, paving the way for cross-sell opportunities among existing clients who begin with a single offering.

The Best Companies Get Connected

Among the most common reasons people come to us for help is because they find navigating the Salesforce ecosystem formidable. With different requirements, points of contact, and challenges across market offerings, it’s not always easy to know where to start — or how to utilize your Salesforce team and the broader ecosystem.

An interesting statistic that emerged from our research is that a significant number of ISVs have multiple license agreements across OEM, ISVforce, Connector, and Checkout. (more on these agreements here). Our survey revealed that 42 percent of partners have more than one partnership type within the ecosystem.

We’ve focused this year on sharing tips for first-timers that make the AppExchange less mystifying and strategies for those already on the AppExchange to maximize an app’s value. The better the understanding of the ins and outs, the more opportunity partners can realize.

The Right App Can Reshape an Industry

Through our research and in working with more than 100 companies on AppExchange development, we’ve seen that app development isn’t only effective in traditionally technology-forward industries. Even in old-school fields, companies can utilize an app placed on the largest B2B app marketplace to disrupt the status quo and connect with customers.

Perhaps the starkest example of this is with nCino, which brings banking into the modern era through cloud technology. According to Trisha Price, nCino EVP Product Development & Engineering, the Salesforce platform offers the flexibility to bring a new solution to market successfully.

“We want to focus on building a banking application, not infrastructure,” Price says. “Banks have never had a critical process like lending run in the cloud, so the number one thing is building trust that our solution is infinitely scalable and secure. We get all of that by building on top of the Salesforce platform.”

We were able to partner with nCino to accelerate their backlog, helping them release new features faster, and drive new business, adoption and retention. We are thrilled to share that at Dreamforce 2017, Salesforce announced that nCino won the first annual Appy Award!

Based on some of the conversations we had in San Francisco, other companies in “traditional” industries took note of the potential business impact an AppExchange app could generate with the right offering.

For part two, we’ll dive into findings related to company growth. If you’d like more insights now, download your copy of the report!

2018 State of AppExchange Partners Report - Download Now