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Challenges for SaaS Companies In Building Partnerships Businesses

Numerous SaaS CEOs contemplate expanding their business through partnerships, as collaborating with business associates enables entry into untapped markets. These partners play a pivotal role in advocating and marketing your solutions to their existing customer base or new markets. Capitalizing on the resources and business networks of these partners facilitates quicker market entry and cost reduction. Moreover, tapping into their expertise enhances product capabilities, unveiling opportunities for novel use cases and innovations. But what are some of their main challenges? Let's explore them together.

The Growth Journey for SaaS Businesses

The journey for SaaS companies to grow their business is both challenging and rewarding. In the early years, you need considerable investment in developing your solution and getting it market-ready, building your direct sales teams, and onboarding your first 10, 20, 50 to 100 customers. Now comes the next stage: how do I continue my business growth in my local or international markets, how can I do this in an affordable way, and how can I diversify my growth strategies? These are all very important questions as you can either continue to grow via hiring direct sales capability across regions, or you need to start thinking of alternative strategies.

Many SaaS CEOs will consider growing business via partnerships as the business partners allow you to enter into new markets and actively endorse and promote your solutions to their customers or new markets. By leveraging business partners' resources and business relationships, you can often get to market faster and reduce cost, as well as leveraging business partners' expertise, which can enhance your product capabilities and open doors to new use cases and innovations. Additionally, business partners can offer support “customer success” services, leaving the Saas company to focus on product enhancements and complex technical issues.

Partnerships Add Greater Customer Value and Drive Revenue

Partnership “GoTM” strategies have been proven for over the past thirty years, but starting a partnership business from the ground is challenging, and there has been very little support offered to CEOs to progress through the establish, build, and grow phases of partnership business models.

SaaS CEOs are often under pressure to grow their business quickly and start doing business with partners without the right level of resources or structure to their partnership program and GTM model. What are some of the considerations CEOs must think about when growing partnerships?

How Do I Build A Partnership Program That Is A Good Fit For My Business

For SaaS companies starting their journey into partnerships, understanding how to build a partnership program in the right sequence takes quite a lot of experience. What is important to understand is that if you are a SaaS company in the early stages, you can potentially only manage referral and co-sell partners tiers, but depending on your product, you could be a good fit for reseller or white label tier.

To build a successful partnership program, you need to do this in stages, and if you integrate this early into a PRM solution and capture the digital processes, this will help you structure the business partners' onboarding experience, structure the deal registration process, and setting up your partnership portal. Building partnership programs digitally has traditionally been very complicated, so having easy-to-use PRM solutions is game-changing in simplifying the way partnership programs are built and managed.

How Do I Recruit & Qualify The Right Business Partners

Early-stage companies are now always in a position to spend the time to understand which partners will be a good fit for the business and to support this important process, you need to define your ideal partner profile, which links with your business objectives and partnership types.

From a recruitment perspective, you need to have the internal resources to be able to work with a fractional partnership channel consulting company that has a global network of partners and can also manage partner recruitment campaigns at scale. K1 Channel Consulting has over 60,000 global partners in its network and works with many SaaS companies to manage the resource-intensive partnership recruitment process and can rapidly scale your partnerships business.

PRM solutions will also help you improve the partner recruitment process. Using Kiflo, you can properly track the partner recruitment activity and customize the onboarding process per partnership type, which will improve the partner experience.

How Can I Successfully Drive Revenue with My Business Partners

To be able to drive consistent revenue with your business partners, you need to first set up your partnership program and recruit the right business partners, which will improve your ability to drive revenue. For SaaS companies with complex solutions, one of the most effective ways to drive revenue is for your sales teams to sell alongside your business partners, as well as provide structured new business and demand generation solutions that can help accelerate new business.

This article was written by Andy Ranson, CEO of K1 Channel Consulting. Andy has over twenty years of partnership experience across international markets and has built partnership models for SaaS start-ups, scale-ups, and enterprise software companies. For the last two years, Andy went through the process of simplifying the established process and started the sequence strategy work with the built work, and the end result is a fractional partnership consultancy that has a range of rapid accelerators, structure, and resources that will enable saaS companies to build their partnerships businesses that can accelerate growth, reduce risk and make the process of setting up professional partnerships business affordable.