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How To Find SaaS Partners?

  • 4 min read

Growth through partners

Successful SaaS companies leverage partners to grow. Partners are even more crucial when expanding and operating internationally. But how do you find partners to grow your business as a SaaS company? This article will explore just that.

What are partners?

In the context of SaaS, partners are essentially companies that help you market share and revenue. How they do it and the extent of it will differ greatly depending on their company and the nature of your partnership. You can have partners that will literally do all the selling for you and bring you a signed customer contract or perhaps partners that will bring leads in the very initial stages that you need to work.

What partner types can we work with?

If you are a company with a SaaS product, there are several kinds of partners you could potentially leverage to grow. Below we discuss some of the most common types of partners.

Reseller partners

Reseller partners sell your software with a margin on top. The balance of margin reward here and how it’s structured depends typically on how much lead generation and selling the partners handle.

Service partners

These types of partners provide services around your software like implementation, ongoing support, etc. More often than not in the SaaS world, service partners would also resell your software.

Ecosystem partners

Larger companies with more mature products can attract ecosystem partners. These are essentially partners that develop software to work specifically with your product.

Non-competitive complementary partners

This type of partner, very often overlooked in my experience, are companies that offer a complementary product that is not a competitive threat to you. Let’s say, for instance, you are selling HR systems; a company specialising in developing automated recruitment tests could be your partner. They are offering something outside of your area of expertise. You could do joint campaigns, refer business to each other, etc.

How to find partners?

Let’s look into different ways you can find these different kind of partners to grow your SaaS business.

We can start with general advice applicable to all partners and then look specifically into the different partner types.

Some general things you can do:

·        Explore with trusted people in your network, see what partners they recommend for you.

·        Talk to your customers and see what kind of companies they work with that could be related to your software.

·        If you’re looking for partners in new markets, talk to your existing partners to see if they can put you in touch with anyone or recommend anyone.

·        Do as much of your own research as possible, new potential partner companies are popping up all the time that people might not be aware of.

Now let’s look into a bit of advice on specific partner types.

Reseller partners: Look at companies that are already reselling your software. Also, look at companies that are reselling other products within your niche. Of course, with this you need to be quite careful and protective of your IP initially.

Services partners: All of the advice above also applies to services partners. Additionally, you can look into companies that are offering services in your space but not yet reselling your software type in general and get in touch with them to see how much interest there is. So for instance, continuing with our HR example, look into companies that are providing HR transformation services that presently don’t recommend HR platforms as part of this process or perhaps don’t yet have ties with your organization.

Ecosystem partners: Look at companies that either have great potential or has already gained momentum in the marketplace to see if it makes sense for both parties to be in your ecosystem/platform.

Non-competitive complementary partners: Talk to your customers and see what kind of software/services they purchased in addition to your product.

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