How do you Build A Strong Partnership Program In SaaS?

How do you Build A Strong Partnership Program In SaaS?
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At a Glance

Strong partnerships in the SaaS industry hold a lot of value. Along with an additional avenue to attract new customers, there is the benefit of forward growth and expansion. For strong partnerships, selecting the right partners is crucial. Having robust partnership relations in the SaaS industry can bring a lot of benefits for all the enterprises involved.


Every day, we’re saying, ‘How can we keep the customer happy? How can we get ahead in innovation by doing this?’… because if we don’t, somebody else will.

Bill Gates, Founder, Microsoft

Building a strong partnership for your SaaS business comes with many advantages and opens a new door for your potential customers. Though the inbound flywheel and strong marketing strategies help to upscale your sales, a good partner program is essential for forwarding growth and expansion of your SaaS business. Building a strong partner program will help you reach the customers you could have never expected to come onboard. Building a good relationship with your partners through a good partner program will also scale your sales. This is one reason you should first look out for choosing the right partners and build a strong community of trust.

 So, here is a guide to build a strong partnership for your SaaS business and make opportunities to enter the new realms of the market. A good foundation for your partner program will also reduce the customer acquisition cost as they act as a part of your external marketing team. This also reduces your inner management team’s pressure, giving them chances to focus on more complex matters. So, let us have a look at how to build a strong partner program.

 How to build the foundation of a strong partner program?

Here are a few important steps mandatory for each SaaS business to develop a strong partnership program. So, breakdown your entire gameplay and start working on it.

1.   Choosing the right partners:

The partners you choose for your SaaS business should have a great influence on your target audience. You should also make sure that their audience or customer should have many advantages by using your SaaS products or deals you are offering. You can choose big content creators for your partner program as they have a huge readership audience, or you may be directly pursuing a firm with a large number of clients. Either way, your product should be relevant to your target audience.

For example, your SaaS product is an app selling makeup and grooming products. In this case, you can establish a strong partnership with a beauty influencer or some famous makeup brands.

2.   Providing many program benefits:

Before you jump into a partnership with any brands or big enterprises, know what they want. Your partner program should be offering them incentives that they are interested in; otherwise, they will not have any reason to come on board as your partner. So, approach them with plenty of options and ask them what their biggest priority is. Now, if you find a good scope of upscaling your scales and expansion through those incentives, you can go to the next step.

3.   Your go-to-market plan:

While you are approaching different agencies and influencers with your partner program, you should share a go-to-market plan with them. Remember, the incentives you provide to an agency will differ from an influencer or a marketer. So, make sure you make three important segments for marketers, agencies, and influencers. While the agencies will be more focused on the revenue terms, the content creators or influencers will be interested in educating and expanding their communities.

4.   The right platform partner:

Once you land the right partners for your SaaS business, you also need a solution to manage communication, tracking, analysis, and payouts. A partnership relationship management (PRM) solution is vital as it provides one solution for all your tedious works. Some of the best partnership management software you can try for your SaaS business are PartnerStack, Allbound PRM, Impact, ZINFI, and others.

Models of partner program for SaaS business

To establish and market a partner program, you should know about various models briefly, the advantages, revenue expectations, time for setting it up, etc.

The three majorly used partner program model are based on:

1.   Reseller partnership program:

Here, you can have more than just a single sales channel so that businesses can collaborate with external third parties to increase visibility. This requires minimum effort from your company and needs negligible time to set up.

2.   Referral partnership program:

This partnership program is based on a commission basis, which helps you expand within your community with existing customers’ help. This partnership program also does not require much time to set up.

3.   Affiliate partner program:

You can add the link to your website or product in your partner’s web content in simple words. This will help drive traffic towards your website and increase consumer-driven engagements. But this takes comparatively longer to set up.

Assets you need to create a good partner program

After you have decided on creating a good partner program, who will be your target audience, what are the incentives you are providing, etc., here are a few points that your partner program should contain while you plan to market it.

1.   An overview page:

This page will describe your partner program’s structural framework, which mainly includes goals, financial models, marketing plans, etc. You must mention the incentives you are providing and what you expect in return.

2.   Partner sign-up page:

This page will allow interested partners to join your partnership program or ask for more detailed information. There should also be an option for further communication with your company if they want to discuss other terms.

3.   Brand resources:

This page will contain all the necessary assets of your brand. Information like product description, brand guidelines, any recent updates should be provided either in the form of an e-book or a partner forum. You can also provide a free newsletter or email subscription options in this section.

4.   Content for marketing:

Even for establishing a good partnership community by landing trustful and loyal partners, marketing is crucial. Apart from your product and brand’s regular marketing, you must curate proper content for marketing your partner program. Make it interesting and impactful so that people sign up for this opportunity.

5.   Partner-tier page:

This site will show the status of your different partners as to where they stand. You cannot know the exact numbers of how many new customers you have through each partner, but more like a surface study of their activeness and marketing strength.

Strong partnerships provide a robust platform for any SaaS enterprise to march towards achieving the targets. So, you must always be on the lookout for potential partnerships to expand your footprint organically.

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