This is an exciting time for SaaS companies building and growing partner marketing programs. This sector is in an accelerated growth phase of its existence – partnership marketing for SaaS companies selling to other businesses not only works, but it is the fastest-growing channel for these businesses today. What is to account for the maturity in this channel, and for the success that software and subscription companies are experiencing? There are two primary reasons: consumer behavior has changed, and there is an entire universe of partners available to recruit into your program who are highly skilled at working with SaaS companies who sell to other businesses.
First, let’s talk about who chooses which SaaS products to purchase and how they shop. Because SaaS technology is a software product, it was historically sourced by IT professionals. Today, technology and SaaS products are as common in the workplace as pen and paper – every employee in the company typically needs to use them in some capacity. Consequently, department heads want to decide which SaaS products will help them accomplish their daily goals and responsibilities in their given departments. The number is staggering; two thirds of all decisions on SaaS products are made by department heads rather than dedicated IT professionals in today’s marketplace.
So what does this mean for the decision-making process? How do SaaS companies that sell to businesses fit into today’s decision-making process? The answer is to go where your audience is and speak to them the way they are asking to be spoken to. Department heads today shop for company products the same way that they shop for products in their home and personal lives; they use Google, industry forums, peer networks, influencers and more. They take advantage of technology and information available and look to them. They are relying on “partners” for opinions, suggestions, and ideas just as they do at home.
Another reason partnership marketing works so well for SaaS companies in today’s marketplace is that the partnership economy is exploding right now with partners who work with software and subscription companies, and they have become incredibly successful at it. The availability of partners for SaaS and subscription companies is because consumer demand for information that partners produce on a regular basis is at an all-time high. Your target audience is out there looking for content that these partners specialize in. Consumers are searching in massive numbers and this sector is on a trajectory to grow year after year.