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Affiliate Marketplaces are to partner programs; what Cell phones are to landlines

Just as people skipped (or abandoned) landlines in favor of cell phones; so too can you skip the cumbersome hassle of legacy B2B reseller programs.

By running your partner program through an Affiliate Marketplace you can get straight to where the internet-based market is headed: affiliate referral programs, that provide influencers the core functionality they need to get started referring quickly.

Many ISVs (and SIs) have a well-developed network of partners, that is clear. Heck, at one point, we all had great landlines – many of which are now used for DSL internet and TV connections.

Similarly, even as we add affiliate partners and tools to support them, we can maintain or transform the existing “relationship-based” partnerships of the past – leveraging the affiliate component of the relationship and get it optimized for lead development in the evermore internet-centric sales world.

Reseller relationships are highly effective. No doubt, they work – often for large, deal specific connections. They are so good (in either practice or theory) that, many times, they are backed-up by broad partner agreement supporting a repeat experience.

But the challenge with these partnerships and any partnership for that matter remains: repeatability is elusive.

Not only does turnover in an organization stress the partner “relationship”, but the challenge of educating and empowering folks at the frontline is tough. What makes sense at the executive level or for one deal, doesn’t radiate.

Many times, the capital and political investment required to “represent” a product as a reseller is a hurdle too high. Even after closing a deal together, implementation partners can remain reluctant to invest in skilling-up resources on an ISVs product. Or, influencers simply aren’t equipped enough with the tools to resell. On top of it all, salespeople and consultants are busily focused on their core business.

To solve this attention problem, many are preferring the simpler affiliate referral model which is more well-suited to the internet - one where the ISV does all the work to sell their product and the influencer gets paid for referring the deal. This works well for ISVs who prefer to deliver the sales muscle to represent their product, as well as for the ISV who simply want referrals.

“Just send me the lead and I’ll sell it.”

The affiliate concept is simple, in theory, but more complicated in its operational practice.

As the Affiliate model gains momentum and Covid-driven shifts push more interaction to the internet, fortunately, there are SaaS-based solutions which simplify the challenge of getting started and getting to scale.

Just like the move to cell phones which brings with it not only mobility, but also all the capability and apps of a smartphone; so too does the listing of your partner program in a Partner Marketplace bring with it, not only eyeballs of people looking for products to represent, but also all the tools to support them, including: partner sign-up, onboarding resource repository, deal registration, affiliate referral links (down to the rep level), and payout commission tracking.

Organizations looking to redefine their existing reseller partner programs or those just starting out in the channel are skipping over the clunky reseller model, going straight to affiliate referrals…enabled through systems available from an affiliate Partner Marketplace.

Read More:

Chicken-and-Egg

The Airbnb of the Channel

If you have a partner program and are looking to implement an affiliate referral program, you might want to consider:

The Public Marketplace is a: SaaS-Based listing of your product, in front of 100,000’s of affiliates who are looking for B2B products to represent.

The Private Marketplace is a listing of your program and partners, on your site, where you drive customers and partners to look at your program and referral offering.

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