SaaS B2B partner programs are a great way to increase revenue without adding unnecessary costs to the end users. They also come along with a bunch of great co-marketing opportunities. Hubspot, for example, uses its partnership program to account for 40% of its revenue.
There are several types of partnerships, and each comes with its pros and cons, including cost and reach. Finding the right partnership for you and your product takes research and, in some cases, trial and error.
Here we have simplified the process into three basic phases: Strategy and setup, Alignment and outreach, and Enablement and ramping.
Get ready to make the most out of your partnerships.
Read also: Why build a SaaS Partner program?
Strategy and Setup
First things first, you need to figure out some important information about your company and its offering. Then you take that information and figure out who the best partner for you could be. This will most likely require a team meeting and brand strategy meeting.
There are some objectives you must finish before moving on to phase 2. These objectives are:
- Finalize the partner journey – How you want it to start and end
- Figure out the ideal partner profile – Who will best show off your brand
- Create a task list (on a project management software) – Keep the goals set and easy to refer back to, and keep track of.
- Add your goals to Google Analytics – Best way to see changes
- Figure out your partner benefit grids – What they get based on the work they do.
When you find a partner, it is important to have a bilateral NDA signed, and give access to any analytics you and your team deems necessary for them to have in order to bring in success, such as analytics on clicks and signups.
Recommended reading: Reditus vs First Promoter
You must document things in order to keep everyone on the same page. Some of the things you need documented are:
- Development requirements
- Create a partner page that your current partners can refer to and future ones can see
- Create partner program rules
- And sign contracts
Once this is all done, you can move on to phase 2.
P.S. You never want to compromise the integrity of your business so please take time to plan it out.
Alignment and outreach
No company works well unless all departments are aligned. With your partners in place, sales and marketing needs to be brought into the loop. Here’s how it works:
When partners have questions, they ask sales, sales give them answers and marketing uses those questions and answers to update FAQs and promotions. This whole process is based a lot on listening for producing more marketing content.
You now need to figure out your outreach and onboarding process. This has some trial and error involved. We need to figure out what messages work to bring in partners, and help in the onboarding process.
The best thing to do is to get sales and marketing working together again to map out the process of both. Make sure you are including both informational material and sales advice in your messages throughout the process. Put your customers in the centre of your organisation so you know exactly what is going on and everyone is aligned.
Enablement and Ramping
This is the fun part, where you get to see all of your hard work, working! Onboarding has started and your partners are sending you referrals left and right, now you need to create an environment that gets partners excited about working with you.
Your culture should be metric based KPIs. This way your partners can easily see what’s going on, and they can also keep track of how they are doing. You should also create a partner only newsletter that allows you to easily reach all of your partners with exciting news, and any changes or incentives that might happen.
To ramp up the program, you need to create more video content and hire or train a partner manager who is in charge of all communications to the partner. At this stage, the whole team has done enough backend work to be able to hand it off to one person.
Learn more in our glossary about Affiliate Marketing
Following these 3 phases will put your company in the best position to succeed and make sure that your program is off to a good start.
It is important to note that you should always listen to feedback, no matter how trivial it might seem. It is all-important. If you have any questions, please reach out.