Alex Glenn’s The State of Agency-Tech Partnerships [Report] reveals an interesting fact. According to Glenn’s research, one of the main reasons why agencies (whether marketing, design, or consulting agencies) decide to end partnerships with SaaS companies is a lack of referrals.
Agency partners across the board value the same thing in tech partnerships: referrals.
Through extensive surveys and data gathering, Glenn discovered that “[small] and large agencies believe communication, training/support, referrals, and ease and value are extremely important for an attractive partnership.” Mid-size agencies, he noted, value product stability and referrals above all else. What Glenn’s research is telling us, then, is simple: when SaaS vendors fail to drive substantial referrals to their agency partners, they’re in deep trouble.
Of course, agencies aren’t the only type of partner that see referrals as essential to a good SaaS partnership. Any partner who provides B2B services or solutions that work hand-in-hand with your tech to make your customers’ lives easier, would value referrals in a partnership.
I’ve written before on three questions potential partners are likely to ask when vetting SaaS vendors. Another question partners are likely to ask in their initial meeting with you is ‘How are you going to bring us new opportunities?’ (I.e. ‘What’s your partner SaaS referral strategy?’) Getting this answer right could push you to the top of their vendor list.
The bottom line? Keeping partner churn to a minimum requires having a robust partner SaaS referral strategy in place.
A marketplace can revitalize your partner SaaS referral strategy.
Your private, eCommerce-enabled marketplace could be the pièce de résistance when it comes to setting up a SaaS referral strategy designed to provide your partners with a steady supply of new opportunities. Transforming your static partner directory page into a living, breathing, tailored SaaS marketplace not only gives your partners added visibility, it also automates the match-making process and streamlines your partners’ sales process by supporting pre-packaged, ready-to-go tech/service bundles and centralizing communication.
How Morphed’s white-labeled marketplace infrastructure helps you maximize, simplify, and streamline partner referrals:
· Increased partner visibility: A marketplace is a great way to allow your customers to easily and intuitively explore the depths of your ecosystem. A private marketplace showcases only accredited partners, making it easier for your customers to find providers they can trust (and easier for your partners to convert qualified leads).
· Instant, hands-free matchmaking: Ditch the tedious and time-consuming process of manual matchmaking and hands-on introductions by directing your customers to self-serve by browsing your marketplace, or directly linking them to a particular partner’s service bundle listing for instant, tailored matchmaking. Your referral process couldn’t be speedier!
· Streamlined partner sales process: Partners are able to strike while the iron is hot by offering pre-packaged, ready-to-go, ‘bestseller’ service and solution bundles to qualified leads. This cuts out the drawn-out back-and-forth most customers and providers have to wade through before settling on the right solution or service package.
· Centralized communication: Our Customer Portal (or deal room) provides a secure, centralized portal for all client communication, from first touch all the way through project delivery and beyond. Because all communication takes place in the Customer Portal, project communication becomes much simpler and easier to follow. No more confusing, disjointed email threads with multiple contacts.
· Perfect platform for promoting referral agreements: Referral agreements generate qualified leads for partners by offering incentives (for example, a 10% discount) to customers when they sign up with a partner via your marketplace or ecosystem. A private, commerce-enabled B2B services marketplace provides the perfect platform for promoting referral agreements and getting these incentives in front of customers.
Our marketplace infrastructure doesn’t just maximize and accelerate your partner referral process, however. It also gives you and your partners a set of tools that enable you to refine and streamline the sales process, while providing leads with a stellar customer experience:
· Pre-packaged service bundles and ‘best seller’ packages are quick wins when it comes to those customers who are ready to buy, or those that only require small tweaks to the existing bundle.
· Our Customer Portal Invitation can be used to easily track conversions and keep tabs on the status of your customer’s project.· Flexible payment functionality powered by Stripe makes it easy to set up milestone payments based on each project’s particular needs.