Building strong, long-lasting relationships with your partners is just as important as building enduring relationships with your end customers. In fact, because so many of your customer relationships are effectively mediated by your partners, the strength and longevity of both relationships go hand-in-hand.

Not only does it look bad – and create confusion for the end customer – when you experience high partner churn, it also makes it difficult to deliver an outstanding customer experience if you seldom make it beyond the partnership onboarding stages.

Improve your partner relationships by building a tailored SaaS retention strategy aimed at reducing partner churn.

Below, we explore five important aspects of a SaaS retention strategy aimed at strengthening and solidifying your relationships with your partners and resellers.

1. Share your strategy with your partners.

We get it: you might feel a little hesitant about this step. But if we’ve said it once, we’ve said it a hundred times: transparency and honesty are absolutely essential building blocks of any successful partnership. Lay your cards on the table upfront, and expect the same level of openness from your partners. Real teamwork is impossible unless your partners understand your partnership goals and have clear visibility of your action plan.

2. Engage in meaningful co-marketing with your partners.

Meaningful co-marketing strategies can help both you and your partners boost brand awareness, reach new audiences, find new leads, and close deals. A distribution partnership model works particularly well in a partner relationship, especially when you have your own ecommerce-enabled marketplace, where you can co-market products and services with your partners. In a distribution co-marketing model, you ‘bundle’ your product or service with a partner’s product or service, and market them as the perfect fit for a holistic and super-effective solution. (Just be sure to hammer out the finer details of delivery, communication, and responsibility with your partner beforehand.)

3. Craft a vendor go-to-market strategy.

A dependable and actionable vendor or partner GTM strategy is an essential part of your SaaS retention strategy for partners. Your GTM strategy not only acts as your blueprint for selling yourself to prospective new partners but also as your guiding light as you proceed with the partnership itself.

Consider the following aspects when creating your vendor GTM strategy:

a. Set your partner network goals.

b. Define your distribution channels and methods.

c. Detail the services offered and their unique value.

d. Clarify your positioning.

e. Determine a clear pricing structure.

f.  Evaluate the program in action and adjust the partnership as required.

4. Use the right incentives and partner motivation strategies.

Motivated partners are successful partners, and successful partners stick around. Thus, building and retaining strong partner relationships relies on finding ways to motivate and incentivize your partners. We’ve picked this apart in our previous blog, 4 partner incentive programs for modern ecosystems.

Another way to motivate partners is by providing them with exposure through your own digital channels. Zapier is an example of a brand that does this to great effect. This article explains how Zapier motivates their partners by helping them with lead generation. To do this, they use their editorial engine and SEO skills to create content about their partners, as well as dedicated landing pages.

5. Include a Customer Portal in your partner program’s benefits.

According to McKinsey & Company, by 2025, nearly a third of total global sales is predicted to come from ecosystems, meaning, a key benefit of any partner program worth joining should be finding ways to help their partners succeed.  

One excellent way to facilitate partners’ success is by giving them access to a Customer Portal (for example, check out the Morphed Customer Portal). Giving partners access to a Customer Portal and private, eCommerce-enabled marketplace provides the following benefits:

  1. Generate revenue through a new sales channel by promoting pre-packaged partner services in your own marketplace.
  2. Turn static proposals into ecommerce proposals that convert.
  3. Showcase your partners and easily connect them with your customers.
  4. Simplify communication between your partners and customers.
saas retention strategy

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