A new year typically marks new goals for business growth and this year is no different. But in order to have a strong start, you need data that will steer you in the right direction. To help you better understand the coming trends in the industry, we’re excited to announce the release of our 5th Annual State of AppExchange Partners Report

The scope and shape of our report have evolved over the past five years to develop into the well-rounded report you see today. What started with the release of our first report in 2017 at Dreamforce has grown to become our most-read asset each year.

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Our State of AppExchange Partner Report is the only analysis of its kind, as it provides an independent look at the Salesforce AppExchange. We gathered insights from nearly 100 senior-level executives to uncover trends around growth, technology, platform investments, ecosystem performance, and more. 

In this year’s report, we explore how the rising tide of Salesforce’s growth is lifting up the foundation of the ISV ecosystem. The report is broken down into six sections, and you’ll discover how other AppExchange partners are leveraging Salesforce in the following categories:

  • Product & Company
  • Growth
  • Technology & Platform
  • Salesforce as a Channel
  • Diversity & Inclusion
  • Investments (powered by Crunchbase)

Below are a few highlights from the report, but we encourage you to download the report to get the full story.

Navigating the Channel: An Alliances Leader Roundtable

New to our report this year is a special insert titled “Navigating the Channel,” where we’ve distilled key learnings from an alliances leader roundtable that CodeScience hosted. Moderated by CodeScience Chief Revenue Officer, Sean Hogan, the roundtable discussed building Salesforce success from an alliance perspective with Gauri Chawla, VP of Global Partners and Alliances at inriver; Drew Quinlan, VP of Strategic Alliances at RingCentral; and Matt Morris, VP of Alliances at Odaseva. 

In order to gain momentum in the ecosystem, the leaders at the roundtable all agreed that finding product-market fit is paramount. Once that happens, it will be that much easier to attract customers to your product. Drew recommended focusing on how your product fits into the broader Salesforce ecosystem, saying, “It’s a crowded ecosystem. To get any kind of scale and attention, it takes a tremendous amount of investment and time and energy and effort. So what I do internally is I ensure that everybody understands that there are multiple pieces of value that you can extract from a partnership like this. Influence revenue is huge. Having a very strong story about how you fit your product set into people’s existing tech stack is worth its weight in gold.”

Product & Company

About three-quarters of all partner responses stated that their top priorities going into this year are improving features to existing products and creating net new products. When product priorities are analyzed based on role or department within an organization, there is a relatively even distribution among all of the priority choices. Although the mix between new and improved features vs. net new product development may have shifted over the years, when combined, these product priorities have remained dominant. 

Surveyed ISVs attribute much of the value of their partnership to access to Salesforce’s massive install base and the visibility and network effects of the partner ecosystem. 

Responses also showed that Salesforce’s credibility with customers is clearly perceived as being the top component for success in the marketplace. 

Growth

As with the previous year’s survey, partners reported an ecosystem that continues to succeed in the face of the pandemic’s ongoing challenges. A healthy majority of partners stated that their organizations were able to successfully adapt despite unprecedented challenges. These partners indicated that being customer-centric with a clear understanding of target markets helped them see continued growth in 2021. 

Although having a customer-centric orientation was down slightly from last year, it maintained a slight overall lead in terms of importance to success. Partners also acknowledged the value of a differentiated product from the competition. 

Of note in this time of “the great resignation”, respondents expressed that in order to thrive, an organization cannot rely on its product or infrastructure alone; the business has to work from a customer-centric point of view while also valuing its workforce. 

Summary

Ultimately, this year’s report reinforced the steady strength of the Salesforce ecosystem and its partners. The AppExchange continues to be the most mature SaaS partner program driving the

largest results. In our 2020 report, there was a marked fervor in our interviews, echoing the strength of the ecosystem even in the heart of the pandemic. Though partners were still positive about the outlook of the ecosystem, they were tempered during this tense time period. In comparison, this year’s interviews presented a resounding affirmation that the economy is back and that the ecosystem is sailing full steam ahead. 

These are just a small sampling of insights from our report. To explore the report yourself and discover key learnings that will help you build your Salesforce success, download it here.


Companies build their Salesforce businesses better with CodeScience. It is our mission that no ISV navigates Salesforce alone. If you’re looking for guidance on your product, help supporting your customers, or just need to ask an expert, get in touch today!