Companies' focus is shifting to solutions that deliver complex business results as they strive to digitally transform their businesses. This opens up new avenues for strategic collaboration. Partnerships have aided the growth of some of the most successful SaaS companies, including Salesforce, HubSpot, and Stripe.
The basic method for developing a partner program should be a model that can easily be passed on to your channel partners, allowing them to be active advocates for your product and brand while also being rewarded as your business grows by assisting them in developing their own. At the same time, the partner program can act as a path of success for customers as well as a sales channel.
Establishing a successful partner program can create important competitive advantages for obtaining and generating revenue. In addition, when companies use affiliate marketing for their partner programs for instance, they gain the benefits of building long-term relationships, such as better interaction between partners, complete transparency and visibility, accelerated growth, higher brand awareness, increased revenue, and greater participation.
A partner program is a great way to drive growth. Aside from building a great core product and focusing on growing your user base, there are a few other key points you can do to successfully enable a partner program.
Define Business Goals, Vision, And Executive Support
Developing a shared vision and mission statement can serve as a framework for defining the strategies in enabling a partnership program. It's time to start shaping your plan, identifying who your potential partners are, and writing down the type of channel operating model that will work best for your business.
Create A Customer-centric Sales Process
To do this, you need to identify the right partners that are most relevant to your business and who would be willing to engage in your partner program, give access to new customers and be compensated accordingly. As with co-selling, you need to work with your partners to ensure that their processes for selling your products and services meet customer requirements.
Recruit The Right Partners The Right Way
It all starts with choosing the right partners.
Are you looking for...
Affiliate partners, who can drive traffic to your website and campaigns, such as affiliate marketers, influencers, and content creators?
Referral partners, such as consultants and your own customers, who send qualified leads to your sales team?
Reseller partners, such as agencies and value-added resellers (VARs), who control the entire sales process and send finished deals to your company?
Like hiring a new employee, selecting the right partner requires knowing what you're searching for and what you anticipate them to do. An ideal partner profile is a set of specific criteria for identifying suitable partners, such as coverage, compatibility, capabilities, capacity, creditworthiness and commitment, to ensure they have the attributes required to meet the company's priorities and the needs of its target customers.
Businesses like SocialBee, Unbounce, Teamwork, Maropost, JungleScout, Omnisend, and many more use PartnerStack to assess the growth potential of their current partners and plan partner training. Looka used PartnerStack to create an automated affiliate program that keeps partners engaged and accounts for over 33% of the company's gross profits.
PartnerStack enables partners to succeed faster by providing a clear path to success, allowing them to access partners who share their values and contribute more and more net revenue each month, and building a scalable process for onboarding, engaging, and rewarding partners.
Grow Your Existing Partners
You can significantly influence the effectiveness of your program by empowering your partners. In addition, with proper support systems, you can create incentives that help your channel partners develop greater autonomy in their sales efforts.
Ultimately, the success of your affiliate program depends on providing the right training and support to your channel partners to sell a product on your behalf. Offer training programs to help your partner understand the opportunities, and get their feedback on how what they would like to be compensated based on the sales they generate. For instance, Looka created a tiered commission structure where partners who drive more than $200 in sales over a 30-day period would increase their commission rate from 25% to 30%. This not only made the partners more engaged, the company saw a 6x increase in partners who made a sale over 100 days.
Analyze How Each Partnership Is Performing In Relation To The Goals
Ultimately, depending on your business model and objectives, your partner program may differ from what has been outlined above. The important thing is to consider the outcomes you want your partners to achieve as well as the value you can provide them in order to encourage that behavior.
You should be very specific in your requests and requirements, as well as very generous in terms of the additional value a partner can expect. When there are specific goals and benefits, everyone, including partners, performs better. Make sure you have a process in place to easily track everything – a partner portal for entering all leads and providing metrics is ideal, but a spreadsheet will suffice. The most important thing is to be open and communicate frequently!