Pitching a partnership is not like pitching a product. Our jobs as Partner Managers is to first form an ideal partner persona we want to approach. Then we configure something completely new and valuable (the partner program). Before we start to pitch we need to gather up anything and everything we can offer these prospects to keep them engaged while they go through the months-long process of deliberating/training/selling... And finally, we refine a pitch that is supposed to convince them to take this months-long journey with us...
No offense to the SaaS SDRs out there who work very hard... But converting a partner is a hell of a lot more difficult than convincing a potential user to add their credit card to a 14-day software trial.
Thankfully, we at Partnerprograms are here to help!
Yesterday, we had an amazing session wherein 40 SaaS partnerships leaders were able to watch three tech teams pitch their program to the partnerships lead at a top-tier digital agency, and then hear the feedback on each presentation.
The experience will surely change the way each of those teams present their partner program in the future.
Here are the rules to follow when pitching a partnership:
- No more than 50% of your presentation about the product. - It's not about your product, it's about what you program can do to bring that partner new clients. Save 25% of your time to talk about services the agency can set up and sell to their ICP on top of your product. And another 25% of the time to clearly articulate what is in it for the agency at each stage of the partner track.
- Articulate the partner track. - Break up your partner track into three stages; (1) The co-marketing stage wherein you highlight each other in newsletters and blog content, as well as gift a license. (2) The training stage wherein they are actively working with your team on learning to set up and sell the product. (3) Co-selling stage wherein you are picking out users of yours, and possibly clients of theirs, to make introductions and co-sell with to find that first live implementation. (4) The GTM stage wherein you make formal announcements, add badges, social posts, etc...
- Allow the partner to choose their own adventure. - If you have a lot of directions a partner can take with the product and/or program, use the "Choose your own adventure" strategy. This is where you stop before the start of multiple tracks and ask them which is relevant for their use case. This is especially important when you are limited on time. Don't assume, ask.
- "Show me you know me." - As in, do the research and incorporate the agencies actual client work into aspects of your presentation. A step down from this is incorporating a similar agencies work with your product - not as effective, but sometimes you simply don't know that agencies work so you have to pull from your ecosystem.
- Paint the picture. - You want the partner to have a visual in their head of where they may have seen your product in action. Either with actual visuals or descriptions of something you are confident they would remember clearly.
- Keep it conversational. - No one likes to be talked at. Ask leading questions before going into the 4 main components of your presentation (ICP qualification > product demonstration >> partner track >>> what's in it for them >>>> co-marketing offer + free account CTA + schedule next call).
And as for my CTA - Join Partnerhub. It puts you immediately in front of partner prospects who sell to the same customer persona. And, it's free :)