The fastest-growing SaaS companies have already discovered that strategic partnerships are a key growth strategy to scaling recurring revenue.
These companies recognise that building an ecosystem of B2B partners creates a win-win environment.
In this blog, we'll chat about:
A partner program is an initiative launched to form relationships with other businesses to drive revenue.
Partnership programs can be an important tool for businesses to reach new markets or expand their reach into existing markets.
By collaborating with other businesses, B2B SaaS companies can access new customer segments, market their products more effectively, and improve their overall competitiveness.
An affiliate partner in the B2B space drives traffic to your website through tracked links. They will earn a commission when the traffic converts.
A referral partner differs from an affiliate partner in that instead of generating traffic, their goal is to identify qualified leads. The referral partner will send these qualified leads for the vendor to close.
A reseller will sell your service on your behalf. They will typically have a set of expertise, in addition to relationships with their own audience. They will register the deal and onboard the customer on behalf of the vendor.
The type(s) of partner program your SaaS organisation chooses will depend on your investment, time, and resources available.
If you're just getting started, it's best to approach partner programs as:
Affiliate > Referral > Reselller.
Affiliate partner programs should be launched when you are launching your first partner program and you want to experiment.
If your customers are already referring to your solution, it's definitely worth considering launching a program to scale referrals.
It's best to implement a reseller partner program if you already have loyal partners that understand your service and if you have both the investment, time and resources dedicated to building materials and offering training.
Building out a successful partner program means looking at both the strategy and the tool.
Depending on which type of partner program(s) you want to launch in the short, mid and/or long-term, the right PRM will help drive efficiencies and offer the opportunity to scale your program.
To state the obvious, without partners, your partnership program will not be successful.
The first step in building a partnership program is to identify your target partners. These are the companies that you want to work with because they share your company's values and vision.
A good partnership management tool will offer a network of partners that you can tap into.
Paying your partners can be a labour-intensive job... That is, without the right software.
Skip the spreadsheets and the back-and-forth emails.
The right PRM should automate the processes of paying your partners.
☑️ Let them choose when they want to withdraw
☑️ Automatically distinguish between affiliates, referrals, and resellers
☑️ Easily create custom offers
☑️ Build out different packages for rewarding customers.
Remember how I mentioned that certain partner platforms may require a larger investment? To give a refresher, I believe it was the referrals and resellers that fall into this box.
Since these partners are either co-selling with you or selling and onboarding your solution on their own, they need to have access to training and educational resources. These partners should feel as though they are experts in your solution.
So what does that mean for your partnership software? Well, wouldn't it be great if you could host certifications, offer training, create resources, and offer instant support directly on the platform?
A good way to motivate partners is by segmenting your partner program into tiers. For example, HubSpot achieves this by offering different tiers starting at solutions provider all the way to Elite Partner.
When leveraging software to manage your partner program, you should be able to easily distinguish between tiers, offer custom rewards and set criteria to automatically move partners to different tiers.
Now, these are a lot of features you will want your partnership software to have. Pretty lengthy list don'tcha think?
But, something tells me you know where I am going with this...
*PartnerStack enters the room*