Over the coming quarter, the primary objectives among many businesses globally will involve cross-border and digital expansion in addition to product diversification, an analysis of nearly 10,000 firms across 145 countries. As they pursue those goals, the companies will create more and more B2B sales opportunities as they seek to build up their enterprises.
The analysis by global B2B platform Powerlinx found that firms generally are focused on expanding, and they need help in the process. The growing demand for partners that can assist online expansion reflects the rapid growth of the online B2B market, which Forrester Research estimates at $559 billion, or twice the size of online B2C sales last year, according to Powerlinx.
In its research, Powerlinx found that nearly 40 percent of businesses are seeking to reach new geographic markets or expand their online presence instead of focusing on existing-market customers. Moreover, 12.5 percent want new partners to help them diversify their product range and application, more than 10 percent are seeking a partner to help them raise capital, and 3 percent are preparing to explore an exit and require external parties to assist in that process.
Such formal partnerships will help the businesses grow, move them out of their comfort zone and increase their opportunity for expansion, according to Powerlinx co-founder and CEO Doron Cohen.
“Businesses aren’t coming to the platform with only a request to find new customers,” he said in a statement. “Instead they are recognizing that growth comes from setting objectives that are more tangible and that, in most instances, they need an external party to help them meet their goals.”
Moreover, the search for partners to support cross-border expansion reflects opportunities in developing economies, and the recognition that expertise is necessary to navigating through such terrain, the data suggest.
The analysis also highlights data suggesting where companies would like to work with others to accomplish specific objectives. For example, the Powerlinx analysis found, 23 percent of businesses are interested in learning more about partnering with a firm looking to manage an exit, 19 are interested in potentially offering solutions to diversify another company’s product line, 18 percent are interested in potentially assisting another in raising capital, and 13 percent are interested in determining how they can assist another’s geographic expansion.
“Importantly, there is a growing awareness by business leaders that they can grow their firm by helping others meet their expansion targets,” Cohn said. “That is the ultimate power of strategic partnerships.”