This may not come as a surprise to most people, but we’re going to say it anyway: there are a lot of software-as-a-service (SaaS) companies out there, with even more being born everyday. Not only that, but the pace of new software companies entering the market is still increasing. In fact, Jay McBain of Forrester estimates that there will be one million software companies by the year 2027.
And (speaking from our own experience), all that competition means that it takes a lot of time and effort to get potential customers’ attention — and that’s not even counting the time it took to build an attention-worthy SaaS product in the first place. So it’s no surprise that those SaaS companies need every advantage they can find in the fight to win customers’ attention and budget.
Your secret weapon: SaaS partnerships on the impact.com platform
Fortunately, some of the best SaaS businesses out there have figured out a better way to increase their pipeline and drive growth. You can probably guess where we’re going with this: they’re using the impact.com platform to work with partners like consultants, educators, and even other SaaS brands to drive leads, qualified opportunities and signed deals. In other words, they’re taking advantage of the partnership channel, just like we are.
For example, graphic design platform Canva has integrated with Hubspot to make it easy for marketers to quickly sign up for Canva and create beautiful assets right from within Hubspot. HR platform Zenefits is partnering with consultants and CPAs who can recommend their software to small business owners. And Easyship is working with a whole slew of partners like ecommerce agencies, content creators, and comparison sites to promote their shipping software.
Fill your sales pipeline — no matter what it looks like
The first SaaS vendors to see the advantages of managing partners on our platform were the ones with all-online sales processes — in that product-led sales process, our tracking links make it simple to see how many free trials, paid subscriptions, upsells, and renewals each partner generates. But of course, many SaaS companies still focus most of their efforts on driving new leads for their offline sales pipeline, and then moving those leads through the sales process.
Impact.com is excited to announce a new solution designed specifically for SaaS businesses, complete with some new features that make it even easier for all SaaS companies to grow their business on the impact.com platform. Let’s take a look at some of the key elements.
Contract directly with any partner and pay them automatically
Business development and channel teams know how much effort it can take to draw up partnership contracts and get them approved by legal. But it doesn’t need to be that hard. If you’re managing partnerships for a SaaS business, you can use impact.com to quickly create contract terms that reward partners for driving results like qualified opportunities, subscription upgrades, or signed deals. When partners earn a payout, our global clearinghouse automatically pays them in their preferred currency.
Custom contracts let you reward partners for driving any and all events you deem valuable.
Make it easy for partners to refer leads
You can now add a lead submit widget to your partner’s dashboard, making it easy for them to register a new lead. The widget surfaces whichever lead form you already use, which means that it also sends the leads right into your CRM. And of course, we append the partner ID, so that as that lead passes through the funnel in your CRM, the referring partner will always be credited for their work when that lead moves through the funnel.
On the other side of the table, it’s important for partners to be able to see what’s happening with the leads they’ve referred — without emailing you for updates every day. The My Leads report shows your partner all the leads in your pipeline that have been attributed to them, and it shows them where that lead is in your pipeline. And for leads that have converted, they’ll see what sort of payout they can expect.
The My Leads report is found in the partner dashboard under Reports.
Keep your CRM as the source of truth
You don’t need a new system to keep track of or reconcile against your CRM. That’s why we added new integrations with the Salesforce and Hubspot CRMs, which let you keep tabs on the leads your partners drive, right in impact.com. We’ll help you map your CRM fields to the corresponding fields in our platform, so that you can assign value and credit partners for key milestones like lead qualification and of course, signed deals.
The Salesforce and Hubspot CRM integrations let you track changes in your CRM and turn them into Events within impact.com.
Onboard and activate partners quickly
When you add a new partner, you want to make it easy for them to get up and running as quickly as possible. To that end, we’ve created a Resources section where you can host training material, one sheets, case studies, or anything else that will help your partners generate business for you. We’ve also partnered with LearnUpon, a leading learning management system (LMS). Once you create a course in LearnUpon, you can find that course directly in your partner’s impact.com dashboard.
Training material, courses, and other resources can help partners ramp up quickly and sell your solutions effectively.
Keep partners engaged
All relationships need to be nurtured, and partnerships are no exception. To keep your partners engaged and active — and to keep your own brand top of mind for them — you need to check in frequently. On impact.com’s platform, you can schedule newsletters and send them to all your partners at once or to any segments of your partner base you choose. (We’re also developing some new tools that will make it even easier to chat with your partners in real time. More on that at a later date.)
Schedule in-app messages and emails to keep key partner groups engaged and active.
See how partners drive new business through your funnel
Let’s say one partner drove twenty leads last month, and another drove only five. The first partner is more productive, right? Now let’s say that only five of the first partner’s leads ended up signing, compared to all ten of the second partner’s. That extra information is essential if you want to really understand each partner’s value, and that’s where the new Funnel by Partner report comes in.
The Funnel by Partner report shows how often each partner’s referred leads progress to each stage of your funnel.
These new features have got the impact.com team pretty darn excited, not in the least because they’re helping us run our own referral partner program more effectively. But we’re thrilled to be able to support more and more businesses like us who are out there building the best software they can.