Partner Programs for SaaS

How to run a Successful Partner Program for your SaaS

As a Customer Success Officer in SaaS, you’ve probably realized that there’s a lot more to the SaaS sector than just providing excellent service. After all, if no one knows about your service, what good is it? SaaS marketing and distribution is crucial as, if not more important than, developing the service itself. It’s no secret that you may sell your business in a variety of ways. From outbound to inbound marketing, and from paid to non-paid platforms, there’s a lot to consider. Any aspiring SaaS startup must develop a solid marketing strategy. But what about SaaS companies that want to improve their marketing and distribution? Those that already have a solid marketing and sales strategy in place and just want to broaden their reach? Partner Program is one of the ways.

Many B2B SaaS businesses have realized the value of partnership programs. Accelerating growth is critical in the early phases of a corporation. While content marketing can help you generate new leads for your pipeline, establishing a strong partnership program can help you accelerate your company’s growth and future-proof it. If you’re a SaaS company and want to establish a partnership program. You’ve come to the perfect place.

How does a SaaS Partner Program benefit you?

Simply said, a partner program is a means for your organization to reward people (or other businesses) for bringing new value or business prospects to it. When it comes down to it, some of the most popular SaaS partner program strategies have two major advantages:

Drive Customer Success throughout the Customer Journey!

  • Taking use of more well-known brands
  • Increasing the size of your marketing and sales initiatives

Each sort of collaboration has its unique set of advantages, but these are universally applicable to any SaaS cooperation.

One crucial point to remember is that a successful SaaS cooperation benefits both parties involved. It’s easy to get caught up in the benefits of your new SaaS alliance. Do keep in mind that your partner should also be able to benefit. After all, that’s the whole point of a partnership. 

If you are looking to prove your value to your partner, use our Proving Product Value Guide.

What are the types of Partner Programs?

  • Referral Programs – Customers are rewarded for suggesting a friend or family member to your company. Both the referee and the new customer are usually compensated in some way.
  • Technical or strategic partners — When organizations collaborate to share information and integrate technology in a way that benefits both parties.
  • Affiliate Programs — Typically developed for influencers, this entails tracking how much unique business one individual can produce for the organization through unique links. The influencer will include a link on their site or in their content, which new customers can use to purchase things. A commission is usually paid to these influencers.
  • Resellers – This is when your product is resold by an organization, consultancy, or another third party. Typically, the margin a reseller earns by reselling your product isn’t worth it on its own, so they’ll utilize it to help them sell a wide variety of products in their own company.
  • Support Partners – When it makes sense, a third party will promote your product to its customers as a support partner. For instance, if you provide training sessions for staff or clients that help them.

5 Steps to a Successful B2B SaaS Program

1. Start-up Setup and Strategy

This is where you will hammer out the fundamentals of your partner program and how it will operate. In this stage, you should focus on the following goals:

The Partnering Process

What do you want the beginning and finish of your relationship journey to be like? What strategy will your partners use to reach you? When is it appropriate to call it quits on a relationship?

The Ideal Partner Profile

As a startup, it can be tempting to accept any business that comes your way, but this isn’t always the best approach. Keep in mind that, as a fledgling firm, partners have the power to boost your development, but they also have the power to halt it if you make the wrong decisions. Any company you collaborate with will have an impact on your image or potential forecast in some way, so choose wisely.

Creating an ideal partner profile is the greatest method to deal with this. Consider the types of businesses that will best showcase your brand and goods. Do you wish to work with companies whose cultures are a good match for yours? Perhaps the prospective partner has a fantastic voice and style, and you’d like to emulate it in the future.

You can begin to link yourself with this company’s culture and strengthen your own by cooperating with them.

Make use of Google Analytics.

You can keep track of your goals’ progress with your partners if you add them to Google Analytics.

Understanding key parts of customer journey is also essential for the success of your partner program.

Make use of project management software

Because establishing a partner program is a project, you should use project management software to keep track of your objectives and milestones.

Partner Advantages

What advantages will your partners receive as a result of their contributions? It’s critical to work out the specifics of all this earlier on to avoid any confusion later on. Different tiers of rewards are a fantastic idea since not all partners will operate alongside you in the same way. If done incorrectly, it might lead to animosity.

Documentation: We understand that documentation can be time-consuming, but it’s critical to iron out the specifics early on. Here’s where you should concentrate your efforts:

  • The procedure for signing a contract – How does the contract appear?
  • Integrations – How will they function?

A partner page on your website might help potential partners understand what a partnership with your company entails.

2. Alignment

You must ensure that your organization and your partners work well together. To begin with, this implies that your company does not have siloed teams and that everyone has the tools necessary to efficiently connect with one another. 

This isn’t normally an issue for startups because most teams are tiny but everyone is probably working in the same tiny room. However, it’s critical to establish the foundation for teamwork and seamless communication from the start. An omnichannel platform is a wonderful method to accomplish this.

You must select how the alignment process will be carried out with your partners. Who do you go to if your partner has a problem, for example? This is often delegated to the sales department in most SaaS organizations. The sales team will then need to follow a procedure to determine what actions they may undertake and what data they can use to answer queries. Making a knowledge repository is an excellent approach to getting started.

3. Outreach

This is where you tell the world about your partner program and start attracting new partners. You have the ability to produce content as well as execute marketing campaigns. You must explain to your desired partner how valuable a relationship with your company will be. It’s preferable to be exclusive rather than inclusive in this situation. If you want your initial partners to be businesses that are a good fit for yours, customize your marketing to attract them especially.

Partnership kick off template

The next step is to plan for onboarding. During the onboarding process, there will almost always be some experimentation. You’ll rapidly figure out what’s lacking from the workflow and how to make it better.

Inspire Excitement

Remember that after you’ve formed a partnership, your work isn’t done. You shouldn’t be just concerned with getting new partners. Remember that partnerships are designed to be long-term and mutually beneficial. You must build excitement for your brand, product, and the relationship itself to secure the survival of your partnerships. Begin by displaying your KPIs and determining how your brand adds value to your partners. Send out communications chock-full of information regarding the success of your collaborations.

5. Intensify your collaborations

It’s time to start ramping up now that you’ve settled on the relationship journey from beginning to end. Your startup has completed enough back-end work at this point that subsequent partnerships will be simple and straightforward. You must increase your marketing efforts in order to recruit new partners. Consider expanding your strategy for your partner program by providing a variety of content categories. Videos, articles, webinars, emails, and newsletters are all excellent ways to communicate.


At the end of the day, SaaS partner programs are a sometimes ignored marketing avenue for SaaS companies. Because content marketing is usually the driving force behind the most successful marketing campaigns, many SaaS companies devote the majority of their resources to providing the finest content available.

We’re not suggesting that this is a terrible tactic. The advantages of a successful content marketing strategy are well-known. It will undoubtedly be advantageous to have one in place as soon as possible.

The point we’re attempting to make here is that there are alternative options available to you. One of these paths is through SaaS partner programs.

A successful referral or affiliate connection might provide you with that extra lift.

Jahan Patel is a content marketer at CustomerSuccessBox. He loves languages and loves writing about growth & businesses. On his off time, you can find him sitting in a cozy cafe reading a book.