How to manage a B2B SaaS Affiliate Partner Program

5 minutes read
Sarah - 25.07.2022
How to manage a B2B SaaS Affiliate Partner Program

How do you get your core message in front of more people?

If you're a B2B SaaS company, you may choose to consider creating a partnership program. According to PartnerStack, PartnerStack programs achieve 119% year-over-year financial growth.

Any business owner dreams of finding a new channel that drives this kind of result. But, in order to build a successful partner program, you need to be willing to put in the resources too...

In our last blog post, how to create a partnership program, we touched on the Partnerships pyramid.

Type of partnerships pyramid

In summary, if you're new to the partnerships game, the pyramid looks at first building an affiliate partner program before moving on to a referral program and lastly, a reseller program. Why? Because, as you move up the pyramid, you will need to invest more resources.

In this article, we will explore how to successfully build and manage an affiliate partner program.


What is an affiliate partner program?

With affiliate marketing programs, you pay your partners a commission for every customer they bring in. This is typically achieved through tracked links.


Types of affiliate partners for B2B SaaS organisations

There are three types of affiliate partners you can work with as a B2B SaaS organisation:

Bloggers and content creators

Bloggers are individuals who write about your product on their own blog or website. They are often experts in their field and can provide valuable insights to your potential customers.


An influencer is somebody with a large following who can promote your product to their audience. Now, we're not just talking about the Tik Toker's and social media gurus. These people leverage their personal brand in order to drive brand awareness and conversions.

Vertical marketing partners

These are websites that create content around a certain industry vertical that is relevant to your service. serious affiliate marketers have an established reputation and therefore can help build credibility around your service.


How to grow your affiliate partner program

  1. Create a landing page and ensure it's easily accessible from your home page.

  2. Begin promoting your affiliate partner program through inbound channels. You should be sharing it across your social media channels, linking to your landing page in blogs, and tapping into your email marketing audience.

  3. Leverage a partner network. Partner networks, such as PartnerStack, bring together a large network of companies that are already eager to participate in relevant partner programs. PartnerStack's PRM consists of 65,000+ partners that you can tap into.

  4. Create an 'ABM' campaign. By this I mean, identify a list of target affiliates you think would be a good fit for your program, develop an outreach plan, and create a campaign to begin targeting these potential affiliates.

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How to structure your affiliate partner program

There are a few key components to consider when structuring your affiliate partner program. When determining how you will compensate your affiliates, you should also be reviewing the payment structure of your competitors. This could be a distinguishing factor if the partner chooses to promote your service more heavily over your competitors.

Common commission structures:

  1. Flat rate - A set dollar amount per lead or conversion

  2. Revenue share - A recurring percentage of revenue generated within a specific time period. This is common for B2B SaaS companies as you typically have varying order sizes, and companies may choose to update their plan on different timelines. 

Common reward structures

  1. Cost per click - You pay a set amount each time the affiliate's link is clicked

  2. Cost per lead - You reward your partner based on the number of conversions your affiliate links generate.

  3. Cost per acquisition - Your partner is rewarded based on the sale.


Tip: When choosing the flat rate or revenue share % for your affiliates, be sure to first calculate your average cost to acquire a customer.

How to keep affiliates engaged in your partner program

The success of your affiliate program depends on the number of affiliates you partner with, how engaged they are, and your reward system.

Losing your top-engaged affiliates could significantly hurt your partner program. In order to keep them engaged, here are a few tips:

  1. Create a competitive reward structure. Be sure to benchmark this structure against your competitors a few times each year.

  2. Ensure your website is easy to navigate and conveys value propositions to your affiliates' target audiences.

  3. Make it easy for affiliates to join and get started. The application process should be simple, and you should have clear expectations for new partners.

  4. Keep your partners updated on your program's goals and objectives.

  5. Offer support for your partners.

  6. Create educational materials. These resources can make or break your affiliate partner program, especially if your product/service is constantly evolving.

  7. Ensure they can withdraw payments on their own timeline - this should be a key decision making factor when choosing your PRM.

  8. Offer digital assets the affiliate can use when promoting your software.

  9. Have a contest or bonus structure in place that encourages affiliates to hit specific milestones


Don't forget to show your appreciation for your partners' efforts.

Think about what you want from the partnership and what your affiliates need to be successful. By aligning these objectives, you can create a partner program that everyone benefits from. If you take the time to set up your program correctly, it can be a powerful tool for growing your business.

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