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Next phase of Xero’s platform growth will be driven by the community

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Chris O'Neill

Dec 1, 2022

A version of this blog was originally published as part of HubSpot’s ‘State of Partner Ops and Programs 2022’ report – you can read the full report here. 

As we continue to grow as a global business platform, our partnerships are an invaluable part of how we support and provide #beautiful solutions to our customers. I was excited to be asked to participate in HubSpot’s ‘State of Partner Ops and Programs 2022’ report. Not only have I been able to share the amazing work Xero is doing with our partners, but also get great insights into how the broader ecosystem community thinks about the value of partnerships.

These insights can be applied to businesses of all sizes, so I encourage all business owners to think about how you can make the most of partnerships in your business. 

Fine-tuning a business ecosystem

A business ecosystem is akin to an engine, with gears that work together to drive reliable performance and rapid innovation on behalf of customers.

The spark that drives your engine is your company vision – your dream and true north. This vision creates a shared sense of purpose throughout your company and with your customers and community. 

Marketing is the starter gear that makes prospects aware of your company and product. Partnerships can turbo-charge your growth by expanding your customer value proposition, reducing time to market, and increasing retention. Sales is the power gear in the engine. Customer Success is the oil, keeping the engine humming, ensuring that your customers achieve the best possible outcome using your product or service.

HubSpot partnered with Canalys and Partnership Leaders to survey ecosystem and partnership leaders and understand their views on the state of partner operations and programs. 

Positively, 65% of survey respondents said ecosystem partnerships were ‘very important’ to an organization’s future growth.

That aligns with how we think about the future at Xero and the growth of our platform. We believe the next wave for enduring companies centers on community-led growth. 

The driving force of our community

You might have heard of product-led growth (or PLG) – the philosophy that product is the largest source of sustainable business growth, so you use it as your central means to attract and retain customers. Indeed, Xero is a product-led growth company.

Like PLG, our community is a force at every stage of our funnel. Our community builds awareness and educates small businesses on the power of cloud accounting, co-creates a product that delights and converts more small businesses to Xero, and empowers and enables SMBs on how to use Xero to improve their business in meaningful ways. 

Ultimately, this vibrant community turns Xero customers into fanatics, and fanatics tell their friends.

Our philosophy is that there is never going to be a single vendor or product that works for every single small business or advisor.

This is why partnerships with like-minded businesses are so crucial for Xero. The key to success is community-led growth, built around co-creating solutions that delight small businesses. 

We are creating a global business platform, and it’s important to support and leverage our partners’  innovations to solve unique customer challenges. We know we can’t solve all our customers’ problems alone. 

As an example, we worked closely with HubSpot to develop and manage a direct integration between the HubSpot CRM and Xero. This enables HubSpot and Xero customers to streamline their workflows and accomplish more as their HubSpot contacts and invoices sync to both systems.  And like with all our partnerships, we are continuing to investigate more ways to simplify how our shared customers can automate data flows between platforms, saving our customers and their advisors even more valuable time.

Working holistically with teams across Xero – from sales, marketing, customer experience – to create what we call #human connection points with our partners is central to a thriving community. We run community and customer focused events like our regional roadshows to stay in touch with our partners like HubSpot across the world. 

Being open about your vision fuels the sense of purpose across your community and your growth alongside your partners.   

Thanks to HubSpot for getting us involved. If you haven’t read it already, check out the full report.

If you want to try out some of the Xero Ecosystem’s Apps and Services check out the Xero App Store here.

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