Strategic partnerships can be game-changers for SaaS (Software as a Service) companies. Sales revenue is clearly of vital importance, but it takes more than just those numbers to make things happen on a larger scale. Relationships are the bedrock of business. If you are looking to drive growth, a strategic partnership can be a very powerful tool to help your company increase its audience, build upon the brand, and tap into new markets. All of this, in turn, can prop up your sales team and boost your overall growth.
Finding a Strategic Partner
You will want to find a partner that shares your goals beyond the sales numbers. Of course, driving sales is a key part of success, but when done right, a strategic partnership can fortify brand value in a way that can lead to great things for each partner, both internally and externally, as well as for your shared customers. A suitable partnership can expand the reach of your product and even position your company as a true leader in the industry. There are several different types of strategic partners available to you.
Strategic Financial Partner
This type of partner can be an investor, accountant, banker, or advisor. They will focus on finances, but they can also aid in creating new solutions to boost sales, or even cut costs if that’s an issue.
Strategic Marketing Partner
Strategic marketing partnerships can boost business with little added cost. You just need to find the right business that makes sense as a partner and shares common goals for growth for both companies. Consider how your audience can benefit them, and how their audience can benefit you. It can help you remain competitive in the marketplace and even access new distribution channels. This type of partnership can also enhance your credibility by linking your business with other strong brands through social media and co-branded content.
Strategic Technology Partner
Your business is in software, so you know what you’re doing. But that doesn't mean you shouldn’t seek out new options to hone your technological offerings. Maybe there is a way to change how you do business or changes that can be made to design and implementation networks. You may have a great service, but don’t close yourself off to ways to improve upon it with the right partner. Finding someone who has cutting edge ideas in one of the most competitive sectors can make a world of difference. Just consider all that companies are making possible by partnering with AWS (Amazon Web Services).
Mergers and Acquisitions
A merger or acquisition can be a solid strategy to improve a company’s productivity, bottom line, and overall health. M&A transactions that serve as strategic drivers can include investment in growth in new sectors. A bigger company can diversify its portfolio by acquiring specialized firms to broaden its offerings. Other strategic motivations for M&A include consolidation to boost market share, improvement of a product’s time to market, reduction of competition, acquisition of intellectual property, or exploitation of economies of scale. M&A often makes a great deal of sense for SaaS companies due to the nature of the technology sector and its need for talent and access to innovation.
This partner would be another company that sells your product or service for a commission or revenue credit. Make it worth their time to push your product and they will be motivated to close every sale. This can increase the adoption of your product and drive brand recognition amid new channels.
Under this relationship, both companies refer each other leads or deals. Both sides work together, with one company referring a lead and the other working to make the final sale.
This way you do not have to source all of your opportunities on your own, but you can still vet each sale and maintain control over in which leads you should invest time.
Referral Channel Partner
A referral channel partner will forward you sales leads for a base commission or revenue share, helping your sales team to close.
Resell relationships arrange for a partner to sell your product independently on your behalf. Under this partnership, you get the most revenue for the least effort on your part. Reselling can also lead to integrations that can expand your market and product usability, and even result in bundling your product with other SaaS products.
How Do I Get Started?
Do an assessment of the businesses that share your space in the market. Think as strategically as possible. See who is doing what, and who is doing it best. Look for a partner who makes sense and may be the right fit. How can they benefit you? How can you benefit them? A common goal can go a long way in accelerating growth for both businesses. If a potential partner approaches you and it doesn’t provide mutual value, don’t just jump in because it’s convenient. There needs to be alignment across the board that makes sense and benefits everyone. You might even want to consider putting a member of your team in charge of creating strategic partnerships, or hiring someone to specialize in it. Because relationships are such an important element of creating effective partnerships, this person should be adept at connecting with others and maintaining healthy rapport.
You can also enlist the expertise of an M&A advisory firm to help you identify the right strategic partnerships for your company. At Benchmark International, our experts have connections you will not find anywhere else, giving you access to exclusive opportunities that you may have never even dreamed of for your business. And we really know our stuff. Reach out to us for a chat. We’d love to hear from you and work together to explore the ways that we can be the ultimate game-changer for your future.
Americas: Sam Smoot at +1 (813) 898 2350 / Smoot@BenchmarkIntl.com
Europe: Michael Lawrie at +44 (0) 161 359 4400 / Enquiries@BenchmarkIntl.com
Africa: Anthony McCardle at +27 21 300 2055 / McCardle@BenchmarkIntl.com
ABOUT BENCHMARK INTERNATIONAL
Benchmark International’s global offices provide business owners in the middle market and lower middle market with creative, value-maximizing solutions for growing and exiting their businesses. To date, Benchmark International has handled engagements in excess of $6B across various industries worldwide. With decades of global M&A experience, Benchmark International’s deal teams, working from 12 offices across the world, have assisted hundreds of owners with achieving their personal objectives and ensuring the continued growth of their businesses.