If you're in SaaS, you're probably aware there are many different partner types. With strategic planning, it is important to understand what role each partner type plays in the Revenue Funnel.
We created an infographic showing showing where each partner type fits in the funnel. But first, a quick recap on what the 9 different partner types are.
In real life, people use these terms in different ways and the lines between some categories are blurred. In addition, many organizations might be more than one partner type.
These types of partnerships are firmly rooted in driving leads and sales.
Affiliate partners are individuals, agencies, or organizations that share a code or link with their audience that links back to your company's website. It is most used for B2C or B2SMB SaaS companies with self-serve checkouts.
Co-marketing or Brand partners are other SaaS, agencies, or organizations that engage in marketing activities and campaigns with you to market both your companies. These relationships can be short or long term.
Referral partners are other SaaS, individuals, or organizations. Referrals are warm introductions passed on to sales. They work best for B2B SaaS companies with larger contract values.
Product partnerships are those that are firmly based in understanding and working with the product.
In SaaS, original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) are hardware or software manufacturers that embed your product in their products and sell it to customers.
System integrator partners are consultancies or agencies that integrate your system with their customers' other systems. Their customers are usually larger companies utilizing dozens or hundreds of systems.
Technology partners are other SaaS companies who have a product integrated with yours.
These are partnerships that are focused on the processing the purchase and implementing and supporting your product.
Value added reseller partners sell your product to their customers and add value to it either through adding functionality to the product or through their services.
Managed service providers implement and/or support your product, and may refer or resell your product as part of their ongoing service offerings to their clients.
These partnerships reflect deep business alignment between you and another organization and span a number of different areas of the business.
Strategic partners can be any type of organization that has a similar audience or deep alignment with your business goals. Scope for strategic partnerships can include technical integrations, joint go-to-market activities, co-selling, distribution agreements, and purchasing commitments from one another. They may result in a merger or acquisition of one partner.
As an organization, it's important to approach partnerships with an understanding of where they are going to help you in the revenue funnel. This helps you to set expectations, KPIs, and allocate team resources and budget across the organization.
This infographic represents where each partner type can add value. You can download a pdf here.