SaaS Partner Program – A Full B2B Guide

Is your SaaS business not getting the results you expect from traditional advertising? Right now, a SaaS partner program is a much more cost-effective and efficient way to scale your strategy.

As of 2021, there were 25,000 SaaS companies in the world, with the United States accounting for 15,000 of them. In 2022, global SaaS end-user spending is expected to reach $176.6 billion. Furthermore, by 2025, cloud technologies are predicted to account for more than half of commercial IT investment. In such a situation, establishing a SaaS partner program has become critical for facilitating growth and revenue generation.

As a SaaS company, you must do more than just serve your clients. This is why SaaS marketing is critical for success.

A solid SaaS marketing strategy is required to expand brand reach. To increase your chances of success, you might want to consider creating a SaaS partner program, since partnerships underpin the majority of successful SaaS businesses. These partnerships can increase your business’s revenue in both the short and long term.

A partner program might vary depending on the goals of the business. Working professionals create a partner ecosystem by forming partnerships with one another. This involves aligning sales, product, strategy, marketing, and other departments in order to form enormous partnerships. These partnerships represent the future of SaaS. A partner program assists the company in delivering value and business opportunities.

This article delves into B2B SaaS partnership programs, including what they are, why they are important, the many types of SaaS partner programs, and how to create a strategic plan around them.

What is a SaaS partner program?

A SaaS partner program (also known as a channel partnership) is a partnership with third-party companies or individuals that agree to assist the market and/or distribute your software to new audiences.

You reward your partners with cash, tangible bonuses, or sales commissions as an incentive to assist you in increasing your sales. Whatever the incentive, one constant remains: the more software sold, the greater the partner’s reward.

Understanding that a SaaS sales partner does not become your employee is critical. Even though your partners will sign a formal agreement to market or sell your software, they will continue to be autonomous organizations.

Types of SaaS B2B Partner Programs

In the B2B sector, there are numerous types of SaaS partner programs. The main pillars upon which these connections are built are as follows:

  • Size of the company
  • Goals
  • Time frame
  • Budget
  • Resources

Here are the five most common types of SaaS partner programs from which to choose:

1. Reseller partnerships

You license partners to sell your software through their own channels in a reseller partnership. Most reseller partners sell your SaaS alongside other applications in their software marketplaces.

However, resellers go beyond simply providing another distribution route. They also provide value to the purchase, thus the name “value-added resellers.” Resellers are educated to assist consumers with all aspects of software use, from installation and customization to customer support.

2. Referral partnerships

In a referral partnership, you choose existing customers to refer your software to friends, family, and others with whom they already have a relationship.

Referral partners are well-equipped to communicate what makes you unique because they are already customers who have used your software. Because of the high level of trust between linked peers, these recommendations are highly successful.

Because of the limited scope, referral partnerships typically generate fewer sales than other types of partnerships. However, all of those leads are warm. Referrals are more likely to buy from you and continue with your software in the long run. (This is ideal if your SaaS is a subscription-based application.)

While being equivalent to consumer referral programs, referral partnerships are more formal arrangements with hand-picked partners.

3. Affiliate partnerships

Affiliate programs are among the most popular SaaS partner programs. In this model, your company collaborates with content creators, website owners, and marketing agencies to market your product.

On the other hand, affiliates drive leads to your platform and encourage them to buy directly from you, as opposed to resellers, who sell your software on their platforms.

Affiliate partners use a unique affiliate link to direct their audience to your sales page on their website or other digital channels.

They also create marketing content, such as reviews and testimonials, in order to persuade as many people as possible to purchase.

When a user clicks on the link and purchases your software, you reward a cash commission to the responsible affiliate.

4. Integration partnerships

A non-competitive software company whose products integrate with yours is referred to as an integration partner. Your product is listed in the partner’s marketplace as a product that integrates with its own.

Integration partners, like affiliates, add links to your website on their own pages and receive commissions when visitors to their site make a purchase. However, their goal is significantly more specific than affiliates because they simultaneously promote all of your SaaS products.

While some integration partnerships include monetary rewards, the true value of this partnership is the brand exposure and sales your SaaS companies offer to each other.

5. Agent or broker partnerships 

Agents and brokers market to potential clients who are likely to buy your software. They build meaningful relationships with leads and direct them to your website, and for each successful sale, you reward the responsible agent.

Agents may not have used your items previously, but they are prepared to help market your firm in exchange for compensation.

Agents, like affiliates and referral partners, do not sell your products. They only direct interested buyers to your platform, where they can complete their purchase.

How to Create a B2B SaaS Partnership Model?

Did you know that some companies report that  SaaS partnership program accounts for 40% of their revenue? Here are the essential components of a SaaS B2B model for partnerships:

Strategy

The most important part is to write down the company’s goals. Finish your partner journey by determining the perfect partner profile, and the goals you want to attain, keeping track of your goals, and finalizing your benefit grids. Sign a contract, keep the deed clear, and track metrics like signups and clicks. You must document integrations, supplementary needs, and program guidelines for partners, among other things.

Alignment

It will be beneficial to align the sales and marketing processes for partners. Listening and updating information for partner teams is part of this. You must plan your efforts by incorporating informational resources and sales materials into your messaging.

Putting your customers first is the key to a successful SaaS partnership!

Sales Enablement

This is where your efforts will bear fruit. At this point, your product will be referred to, and onboarding will begin. You must check references and create an environment that your partners will enjoy. Using metric-based KPIs will allow you to track your progress, and sending weekly reports will also be beneficial. Another thing you can do is create a custom newsletter that informs you of any changes or incentives that may occur. To provide greater support, you must develop a system that integrates all communications.

Conclusion

SaaS partnership programs can become complex. You must remain watchful and automate everything. Because channels are typically large, they might not be easy to manage. In that instance, collaborating with the correct companies can eliminate the risks of things going wrong. You will see an increase in revenue, a stronger brand presence, enhanced networking, information exchange, and technological advancement.

Do you want to start a SaaS partner program?

Scaleo provides a cloud-based platform that can manage and track all forms of SaaS partner partnerships. Our powerful platform automates every step of the process, making it simple for your business to grow.

Try Scaleo free for 14 days, or contact our managers for a free trial call.

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Elizabeth Sramek
Elizabeth is a Senior Content Manager at Scaleo. Currently enjoying the life in Prague and sharing professional affiliate marketing tips. She's been in the online marketing business since 2006 and gladly shares all her insights and ideas on this blog.
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