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Top 12 SaaS Channel Partner Programs

These are the top 12 SaaS Channel Partner Programs based on how the enable their partners to succeed.

Here are the top SaaS Channel Partner Programs based on a few important criteria: 

Their Willingness to co-market and promote their partners

Co-marketing involves working with mutual involvement in any traffic/lead/user/customer-generation campaigns. A great example of this is Wistia’s Soap Box promotion where they featured a few of their top agency partners in a number of different types of content including blog posts, videos, and events. Its success was share mutually between the agencies involved and the Wistia video platform. Wistia definitely took on the bulk of the effort, but it was the agency partners involved who gave it credibility amongst the videographers.

Find the most valuable co-marketing opportunities today here.

How well they Support initial sales

From our research, the majority of agencies will choose to partner with SaaS they’ve just learned about or purchased within the first 3 months of demo. They typically see the value of the tool in supporting their services, or a strong intent to refer people to the tool right away. This means they expect support. If your agency partners are supposed to put their reputation in the hands of your software and its support team, much more than the first months’ costs are at stake. Therefore, an added layer of support from your team for those first few implementations is necessary for the partnership to succeed.

How hard they try to send partner referrals

This is huge. And not all agency/consulting/implementation partner programs are setup to send referrals down to the agency. There are two ways to show you intend to send referrals:

  1. Through Product: A partner directory with a CTA that says something like “Get matched with an agency.”
  2. Or, Through Practice: Training and enabling implementation partners to take on the hours of customizing the solution for new clients.

The former is pretty straight-forward. And, here at Partnerhub, we’ve had to create an entire community to support our partner teams to show them strategies to reciprocate early and still maintain ROI focus. 

For the Latter – to explain what we mean by the practice of implementation partner referrals, I’ll share a quote from one of the largest agencies in our network:

“If we see the software company is trying to make additional revenue selling services to customize their own software, as opposed to enabling partners to sell and support those implementations, we won’t partner with them.”

In that relationship, IF the software company wants to have a “Partner” program, their team should be sending new clients down to approved consulting partners for extra services and support. 

If the software is not able to or interested in supporting agencies to win new revenue on top of their product, then they should not waste their time with an agency partner program. An “affiliate program,” maybe. But not a “partner program.”

Which leads to the last point:

They understand the difference between a “Partnership” and a “Vendorship”

This is the summation of all the above points. It is implying that if you ‘sell’ agencies on a financial arrangement where in they are only representing your product for a commission (residuals, referral fees, etc…), then it is not a partnership and the agency is a vendor.

This is why we stress the importance of stacking as many non-compensatory incentives as you can in the foundation of your program: dedicated support, referrals, forums, white-label features, co-marketing initiatives, training and certifications… Anything and everything you can do to build value in your program without paying your partners to be there.

Based on the above criteria, here are some amazing programs we’ve had the privilege to represent to our agency network >>

And now, here are the most reputable SaaS Partner Programs over the last 10 years, overall:

Here are some saas-only partner programs we found to be most successful in terms of not only their adoption, but also in terms of the strategy when they were put into action, and what they mean to their partners.

Find the best fit agencies' partner programs here.

Most of these programs are supported by some of the best PRM software from this list.

1. HubSpot

What is HubSpot: HubSpot develops cloud-based, inbound marketing software that allows businesses to transform the way that they market online. Its service portfolio includes social media publishing and monitoring, blogging, SEO, website content management, email marketing, marketing automation, and reporting and analytics.

Founder: Brian Halligan

Director of Strategic Partnerships: Kevin Raheja

Why is HubSpot’s partner program on this list?

HubSpot’s partner program boasts some impressive statistics, with 59% of their agency partners using retainer pricing for new clients and 81% of agency partners being confident closing deals.

HubSpot’s partner program has 4 options:

  1. Agency Partner Program
  2. Sales Partner Program
  3. App Partner Program
  4. Startups Partner Program

Incentives & Benefits

  • A Channel Consultant, your onboarding specialist
  • A Channel Account Manager, your sales growth coach
  • Exclusive in-depth sales training
  • Partner-exclusive events
  • HubSpot tools for agencies
  • White-labeled Content
  • HubSpot CRM
  • Tiers and Benefits

Notable partners:

Why we love their program:

Their program is an established and efficient option for marketing agencies.

“We wanted to implement a perfect inbound solution from day one, and that’s why we partnered with HubSpot. As a HubSpot partner, we’ve grown our web traffic by 226%, boosted leads by 267%, and now 90% of our clients are on retainer contracts.”  – Mikko Seppa, Co-Founder
"When I petitioned to start HubSpot’s partner program, I received push back from almost everyone. At the time, HubSpot was in the middle of raising funding and it was absolutely critical for us to exceed our revenue targets. Therefore, focus was critical and the executives were worried about the distraction a partner program would bring. By just working with a few agencies, I was already unintentionally causing some challenges for a few other teams. Moreover, investors told us that it was premature to build a channel sales program until we proved a bigger market existed. They said we’d have trouble recruiting resellers if we couldn’t show them the market opportunity.Peter Caputa, Former VP of sales for HubSpot & creator of HubSpots partne rprogram." — now CEO of DataBo

2. Gorgias

What is Gorgias: Gorgias builds a multi-channel helpdesk integrated with e-commerce merchants’​ back-office. It allows merchants to manage all their support from one place.

CEO & Co-Founder: Romain Lapeyre

Strategic Partnerships: Billy McClennan

Why is Gorgias’ partner program on this list?:

Gorgias’ partner ecosystem of partners is made up of digital marketing leaders, web development agencies, and call centers. Gorgas aims to help give those digital agencies and call centers the best customer support automation and interaction monetization tools out there.

Incentives/Benefits

  • 20% referral commission
  • Co-sponsoring events, podcasts, and meetups
  • Lead referrals and sharing
  • eComm Customer Experience related content
  • Exclusive training
  • Product roadmap

Notable partners

Why we love their program:

Gorgias makes it a point for their teams to know everything about how their partner acquire customers (SEO, Events, Meetups, Podcast, Referrals, etc) so they can tag along and help them be more effective at those growth initiatives.

Learn more about Gorgias’ partner program here

3. ‍Klaviyo

What is Klaviyo: Klaviyo helps growth-focused eCommerce brands drive more sales with super-targeted, highly relevant email, Facebook and Instagram marketing campaigns.

CEO: Andrew Bialecki

VP, Global Strategic Partnerships: Rich Gardner

Why is Klaviyo’s partner program on this list?:

Klavuyo designed two separate programs, the Agency Program and the Influencer Program

The Agency program focuses on recognizing, growing, and rewarding agencies and consultants that help grow the business of their Klaviyo clients, whereas the Influencer Program is for “brand evangelists,” retailers, and other influencers who have their heart behind Klaviyo.

Additionally, Klaviyo offers two types “Tracks” – the Advisor Track and the Masters Track:

The advisor track is for advisors that give complementary services to current or prospective Klaviyo clients, such as SEO, social media ad management, web development, etc., while the Masters Track is for agencies and consultants that provide clients with all aspects of email marketing.

Incentives & Benefits

  • Online training programs
  • Unique affiliate link
  • MRR referred revenue share
  • MRR managed revenue share
  • Klaviyo Partner Directory
  • Leads from Klaviyo
  • Co-Marketing opportunities
  • Product roadmap session
  • Dedicated IP Pools
  • Priority support access
  • Dedicated channel account management
  • Dedicated customer success manager
  • Partner Portals

Notable partners

“One of the greatest things about the Klaviyo partnership is not just the fact that they work with you to help understand how best to position email marketing and, specifically, the Klaviyo platform to the merchant, but also what you can do from a strategy perspective to help them [the customer] understand how they can drive revenue.”
– Nihar Kulkarni, Roswell Studios

Why we love their program:

Klaviyo is rapidly growing their program and the benefits of those who partner with them. For only having rolled out their partner programs earlier this year, it’s looking very impressive.

At Klaviyo, we understand that for a merchant to truly own their growth, and maximize their marketing channels, they have to draw on a range of tools and expertise. Of course, we see Klaviyo at the hub of these tools, but we have a deep appreciation for the role agencies and others play in helping merchants grow. That’s a key reason why we have invested significantly in building relationships with our agency and technology partners. We’ve designed a unique agency partner program to showcase the different ways agencies support our mutual customers – within Klaviyo and beyond – and reward each partner in a way that aligns with their business goals” – Rich Gardner, VP of Strategic Partnerships, Klaviyo

Learn more about Klaviyo’s partner program here

4. Formstack

What is Formstack: Formstack is a secure workplace productivity platform built to produce ingenious solutions to the everyday work that slow organizations down. From eliminating paper forms to breaking digital silos, Formstack empowers anyone to quickly and easily build custom forms, create documents, and collect eSignatures—all without any specialized skills or coding.

CEO: Chris Byers 

VP of Partnerships: Zak Pines

Why is Formstack’s partner program on this list?

The Formstack Partner Program is an ecosystem of Formstack solution experts and complementary technologies. We amplify the impact of our products and culture by working with partners to co-create products, solutions, and customer outcomes that exceed what we could do on our own. 

Incentives & Benefits

  • Partner training and certification as well as reseller and referral commercial options. 
  • Training, certification, and dev accounts
  • Personalized certification badges
  • Rapid-response partner team
  • Single-source partner for forms, document generation, and digital signature 
  • Referral fees for lifetime of customer
  • Partner portal to manage referral program 
  • Accelerating referral fees based on partner tier  
  • Co-marketing, including Partner Interview Series 

Notable partners

Why we love their program:

Formstack built a partner program around how to be successful working with their products. Their team offers expert product guidance, responsive feedback and support, partner development accounts, training and certification, proactive idea sharing and collaboration, and referral and reseller commercial options that reinforce their continued investment in partners

"Partnerships are about delivering value for our clients. Formstack's enablement and responsiveness are off the charts." - JoAnne King, Healthcare Advisory Services Director, Coastal Cloud

Learn more about Formstack’s partner program here

 

5. Okendo

What is Okendo: Okendo enables fast-growing consumer brands like SKIMS, Buck Mason, and Zitsticka to leverage their most powerful asset; their customers. Okendo has all the tools brands need to capture and showcase customer-generated content including product ratings & reviews, photos and videos and Q&A. Brands use this content to build shopper trust, drive conversions and maximize CLTV.

Co-Founder: Matthew Goodman 

Partnerships: Adena Merabi

Why is Okendo’s partner program on this list?

The Okendo Partner Program is for agencies and consultants wanting to assist Shopify merchants implement a high-performance customer reviews program.

Incentives & Benefits

  • Revenue share
  • Partner Portal
  • Co-marketing opportunities
  • Exclusive access
  • Partner Training

Notable partners

Why we love their program:

“At MuteSix we’re hyper-focused on providing the best solution to our clients, so it was a no-brainer to partner with Okendo. They’ve created a platform that is unrivaled in product, service or price, and the partnership has provided us with valuable exposure through co-marketing opportunities and more.” - Steve Weiss, CEO
“Okendo is a key component of our best-in-class eCommerce success strategy with Shopify Plus. As a partner, Okendo provide our clients with white glove onboarding and an unrivalled set of features. Collaborating with Okendo on high-visibility and complex eCommerce projects is always a seamless experience.” - Cal Wilson, Founder, The Working Party

Learn more about Okendo’s partner program here

6. ReCharge Payments

What is ReCharge Payments: ReCharge Payments makes it easy for people to sell subscription products online, and helps them create an amazing remote-first culture.

CEO & Co-Founder: Oisin O’Connor

VP Growth & Partnerships: Samir Said

Why is ReCharge’s partner program on this list?:

ReCharge’s platform and API are used by over 600 partners, and their 10% revenue share for each merchant partner is a significant perk for many partners. ReCharge also created an open API architecture which enables their teams to develop experiences that are highly specialized for each merchant’s needs.

Incentives/Benefits

10% Revenue Share for the lifetime of affiliated merchants

Co-marketing Opportunities

Demos and development support

Access to the latest features

Notable partners

“On our agency side there are a number of notable partners we’re closely aligned with. This is typically a combination of strong industry knowledge, a consultative approach to mutual merchants and an in-depth and proactive knowledge of ReCharge as a platform.”

Why we love their program:

Their 10% revenue share per merchant adds up to be a major perk for partners and helps drive a win-win scenario for everyone involved.

Learn more about ReCharge’s partner program here.

7. Drift

What is Drift: Drift is the world’s leading conversational marketing platform, trusted by top enterprise businesses like Ellie Mae, GrubHub, InVision, Marketo, Okta, Outreach, Eventbrite, Vidyard, and over 50,000 other businesses. Sales and marketing teams rely on Drift to connect with the customers who are ready to buy now.

CEO: David Cancel

Strategic Partnerships: Michele Albanese

Why is Drift’s partner program on this list?:

Drift has three types of partnership offerings: Integration Partners, Certified Partners, and Drift Influencers.

  • Integration Partners are SaaS companies and developers that want to build on top of Drift’s platform. This could be integrations, solutions, or bots.

  • Certified Partners are marketing agencies, consulting firms, and global systems integrators that aim to resell Drift
  • Drift Influencers are Drift customers or brand champions that want to help spread the word about Drift and conversational marketing.

Incentives/Benefits

  • Earn 20% revenue share on Drift software
  • Access to & listing in the Drift Partner Community
  • Co-marketing support and resources from Drift
  • Listing in the Drift Partner Directory
  • Dedicated Partner Sales Manager and Partner Success Manager for your business

Notable partners

Why we love their program:

Drift’s three types of programs along with their unique brand feel make it easy for anyone to partner with them. (They also made this wild video from when they took their Business Development Manager from Six & Flow skydiving).

Learn more about Drift’s partner program here.

8. Smith.ai

What is Smith: Smith.ai is known for superior call answering services. Their friendly, professional virtual receptionists answer calls, web chats, and texts, book appointments, qualify leads, handle new customer intake, answer questions, and make outbound calls for you and your business. You get the experience of an in-house receptionist, at a fraction of the cost.

CEO: Aaron Lee

Strategic Partnerships: Maddy Martin

Why is Smith’s partner program on this list?

We love Maddy Martin and what she’s done with Smith’s partner program. It’s incredible. Smith’s partner program will help your members, peers, and friends win more clients, improve client service, and run a better business. 

Smith offers different programs: 

  1. Referral Affiliate 
  2. Reseller
  3. Wholesale
  4. Paid Influencer Program

Incentives/Benefits

  • $150–225 for every new paying client who signs up for a live-staffed receptionist or chat plan. Or choose $ 25/month Smith.ai account credit per client (while active)
  • Dedicated affiliate manager
  • Co-marketing, co-selling & guest writing opportunities
  • Free live webinar tailored to your audience
  • Free affiliate training & resources
  • Access to Smith.ai Experts & Insiders Group

Notable partners

Why we love their program:

Smith’s partner program is trusted by businesses and the agencies that support them. Agencies will be able to help members, clients and users act on every lead.

“Unlike answering services who just answer the phone and take a message, Smith.ai actually learns about your business and becomes a trusted team member.” - Josh Youngblood, JLY Tax, LLC.
“I get a lot of great feedback from clients about their interactions with Smith.ai. The conversion rate from potential clients is about 50%, which is really great and can be attributed to the good first impression their team leaves.” - Louis DiLello, Chestnut Hill Legal.

Learn more about Smith’s partner program here.

9. Recart

What is Recart: Recart is a mobile marketing platform that helps innovative ecommerce brands reach their customers on a new communication channel, Facebook Messenger. Using Recart, marketers can rapidly grow their email, SMS, and Messenger lists at the same time. Based on real-time behavioral data, Recart automatically engages and opens automated conversations with your customers on Facebook Messenger. We deliver messages for all major ecommerce use cases - abandoned cart, receipts, shipping notifications, product recommendations, one-off promotions with almost 100% open, and 30%+ engagement rates. 150,000+ Shopify stores installed Recart so far and saw an average 61x return on their investment.

CEO & Founder: Soma Arnold Toth

Head of Partnerships: Nicholas Romaya

Why is Recarts’ partner program on this list?

Recart’s agency partner program is for agencies that want to grow their businesses by providing engaging marketing, sales, and innovation for their clients. Experience the power of Messenger and SMS Marketing. 13,000 store owners chose Recart.

Incentives/Benefits:

  • Enjoy exclusive perks, priority support, and industry leading rewards to help grow your agency and make your clients happier
  • 5-15% total revenue uplift on average 
  • Great pricing and rewards for your agency
  • Co-marketing opportunities
  • Access to software, education, and agency support

Notable partners:

Why we love their program:

Recart help agencies generate extra revenue for agencies and their clients.

Learn more about Recart’s partner program here.

10. Sendoso

What is Sendoso: Sendoso, the leading Sending Platform, helps companies stand out by giving them new ways to engage with customers throughout the buyer’s journey. By integrating digital and physical sending strategies, companies can increase the effectiveness of their existing go-to-market programs and improve their relationships with customers. Trusted by over 800 companies, Sendoso is an essential part of successful demand generation, account-based, and customer experience programs. Founded in 2016, Sendoso is backed by $152M in venture funding and has a global footprint, with a presence in North America, Europe, and Asia Pacific.

CEO: Kris Rudeegraap

VP of Partnerships: Cory Snyder

Why is Sendoso's partner program on this list?

Sendoso’s service providers and agency partners know their customers’ sales and marketing needs like no other. They are the experts at implementing successful, fully scalable sending strategies with Sendoso.

They offer two different programs: 

  1. Agency Partners
  2. Integration Partners

Incentives/Benefits:

  • Revenue share
  • Client discounts
  • Co-marketing opportunities

Notable partners:

Why we love their program:

This company has grown so fast on top of partnerships organically. Now they have the right team and a formal program. 

Learn more about Sendoso’s partner program here.

11. DataBox

What is DataBox: DataBox, lead by CEO Peter Caputa (who established the HubSpot partnership powerhouse that exists today), is a “personal data assistant” that pulls all your data into one place and incorporates features like goal progression and smart alerts.

CEO: Peter Kaputa

It’s no surprise that Peter made sure DataBox has a world-class partner program even for a company their size, about 50 employees. We look forward to seeing what DataBox has in store for us!

Incentives/Benefits:

  • Pass-through discounts
  • Tons of co-marketing opportunities
  • The ability to showcase your templates
  • Working closely with the product team

Notable partners:

  • IMPACT
  • Pepperland Marketing
  • Revenue Revenue
  • Nextiny

Why we love their program:

Peter is a luminary in the partnerships game. He is the creator of HubSpot’s partner program and has refined his strategy to build Databox’s program. The best part about their partner program is how embedded it is in the product itself – they showcase their partners’ use of the product in the partner directory AND allow users to download templates their partners have created – further-incentivizing partners to do great things with the product.

Learn more about DataBox’s partner program here.

12. Salesforce

What is Salesforce: Salesforce is the Customer Success Platform. Their social and mobile cloud technologies—including our flagship sales and CRM applications—helps companies connect with customers, partners, and employees in entirely new ways.

Founder: Marc Benioff

Head of Partnerships: Brooke Foster Gardner

Why is Salesforce’s partner program on this list?

The Salesforce Partner Program is built exclusively for the cloud and takes advantage of its customer engagement models, economics, and potential.

Their program is split into two groups:

1. AppExhcange Program

  • Build on the Salesforce platform
  • Sell with the Salesforce AppExchange
  • Grow with AppExchange Partner Resources

2. Consulting Program

  • Move up the program tiers by growing your Consulting Partner Trailblazer Score
  • Acquire certifications

Incentives & Benefits:

Consulting Partner Benefits Include:

  • Referral Incentives
  • 2 Lightning CRM licenses
  • Access to the Partner Community
  • Instructor-led Training Discounts
  • Training
  • Partner Roadmap Webinars
  • Partner Forums
  • Use of Salesforce Badge

AppExchange Partner Benefits Include:

  • AppExchange Listing
  • AppExchange Marketing Program
  • Access to the Partner Community
  • 2 CRM licenses
  • Social Repromotion
  • Author Blog Post
  • Partner Webinars

Notable partners

  • Wunderman
  • Dentsu Aegis Network
  • Lyons Consulting Group

Why we love their program:

Salesforce is another established and recognizable brand that is easy for agencies to partner with and hit the ground running.

“Salesforce is leading the way in delivering the personalized experiences that customers expect— this is driving unprecedented growth for our partners, in every industry and every market around the world.” – Tyler Prince, EVP Industries & Partners, Salesforce.

Learn more about Salesforce’s partner program here.

To find and manage more partners, join Partnerhub!

Alex Glenn

CEO

Founder and CEO of Partnerhub. Proud father. And proud of what our team has built!