And we see the disadvantages of working with partners:
– Resource efforts to create a partner network are significant, but they are predictable (20% of partners work if they are not stimulated).
– The results are unpredictable – there are very few tools for managing an independent company.
– In the context of a startup, few people want to deal with an unknown brand and a new product – there is simply no trust in it.
– The cost of SaaS services is low and not always ARPU from the client will suit the partner. In our case, this is 100 rubles for a mailbox or 250 for all services.
That is, in the case of Quickme, working through a partner channel turned out to be profitable – there are obviously more pluses than minuses.
Affiliate programs are a key direction in building work with a partner channel, which determines the financial conditions of work, competency requirements, levels of participation and ways to support partners.
Theory and hypotheses
SaaS Partner can be: reseller, consulting (specialist in the subject area of the solution), integrators (in the context of adapting the service to the requirements of the client). When working with potential partners, in my practice I use the BCG Matrix projecting it onto partners. A very curious tool when evaluating potential partners, which helps to understand the effectiveness of working with them. After superficial work with the tool, I will never go with a startup to Softline (“cash cow”) – I don’t want to be the 5000th solution in their product line and have a hard time talking to people with a halo. The universality of the BCG is that it clearly shows that a partner company must want something – to develop a business, use technology, be interested in developing new directions. An example of who I like is https://business-host.ru/, a clear “difficult child” and Business Mail will perfectly complement the partner’s service pool.
We are developing several vectors of relationships with partners. Quickme resellers are classic, hosting providers, cloud providers, system integrators, virtual integrators, SaaS services marketplace (similar to the App Store for SaaS). Partial list of partners We pay from 50 percent of the cost for a license. There was a practice when they paid and 90 – they invested in a channel that “shot”. Technology partners – Parallels, ISP, talking with Jelastic Bitrix 24 Marketplace and Zingaya. This category either allows you to integrate with resellers, or complements / implements / improves the functionality of the application. In fact, we are successfully moving towards the first category of partners through technological partnerships. Infrastructure partners can also be included in the second category – this is the very case when someone’s SLA is better than yours. From the point of view of observing the canons of SaaS, we are for creating installations on the partner side (SaaS practice is one multi-tenant version of the product) – as a result, support becomes more expensive, but we get much more. Partners “from the subject area” (consultants, consulting specialists) – no (due to the lack of the subject area of business automation), partners represented by public organizations for SMB (OPORA) – no – we do not believe.
Economics of working with partners (anything for money)
Theory and hypotheses
The economy of the company’s money work and I could not ignore this important issue. The key points that you should pay attention to when forming a pricing policy in working with partners are the license price and the discount provided.
1. Cost. The larger the SaaS check, the more comfortable it is to discuss working conditions with a partner, provided that the ARPU from your solution is approximately the same as the same indicator from the current client base. An example – with a check of 100 rubles for a license, I can talk with a telco or hosting providers and all parties will be comfortable. A strong minus of SaaS – a low average check excludes partner management tools – compensation for marketing activities or additional motivation for sellers.
2. Discount. An important question is what kind of discount is “not a pity” for a partner and why pay it. Partner discount you pay for
– indirect marketing.
– partner’s client base.
-his loyalty to you.
Read about Importance of Brand Identity
We give 50% of the cost of the Quickme license to the partner and we consider this percentage to be quite justified. Of the pitfalls, the presence of free versions in the line and you should not take risks with Freemium – this is not sold through partners, unless it is open source or a platform like Salesforce, on which a partner can earn. The experience of abandoning such a pricing scheme was described in a previous article by colleagues from Copiny. Although, in our case, we are at risk – we are ready to give mailboxes and pricing for file storage to the side of partners – the first will probably lead to UPSELL for a collaborative solution, the second will increase loyalty to partners.
What to do?
In January of this year, we launched the startup Quickme, a SaaS service at the intersection of unified communications (UC) and collaboration tools. The first point is why we created exactly such functionality and features of Quickme, and the second is what approaches formed the basis of the service and the philosophy of creating the product, which helped us to move away from the niches of solutions existing on the market (competitors) as much as possible and adapt Quickme to the needs of small distributed teams.
We see the excellent experience of the respected 1C company, which managed to build a partner network of 10,000 companies (and operating in the SaaS segment), we see the excellent practice of Salesforce partner solutions and my personal opinion – nothing prevents SaaS service developers from following the path of building a partner channel and who doubts, write and we will help. An incomplete pool of our partners is here and we are glad that the partnership is bearing fruit.