This talk was given by Jamie Tharp, Vice President, Partnerships & Business Development of Justuno at SaaS Connect 2019 in San Francisco, March 26-27, 2019. Get the slides

Selling through agencies is a great way for channel programs to thrive. But not every agency is a good fit for every channel.

Jamie Tharp, VP of Partnerships at Justuno, gave SaaS Connect’s audience some insight by explaining the ideal agency profile, or IAP.

For a business’ channel to truly see success and revenue growth, they need to understand which agencies can best help them achieve their goals, and why.

What is an ideal agency profile?

Most channels have written goals and growth plans. An ideal agency profile, then, is how a business can achieve those goals.

In short, an ideal agency profile should go in detail about the kinds of agencies your company wants to partner with to build a powerful channel. Here are some of the things you should consider:

  1. Best fit: managed services provider partnership or referral partnership?
  2. Managed services: To which services does your software map?
  3. What is your ideal agency team setup?
  4. How many employees are at your IAP?
  5. How does your price point compare to the agency’s typical tech stack?
  6. What financial model does the agency prefer? Resell? Commission?

Having these things written down before looking for agencies to partner with can help ensure you’re partnering with the right ones.

When is it too late to create an IAP?

If you built a channel with an attitude of simply working with whichever agencies will have you, you’re probably not seeing the results you want from your channel. However, this doesn’t mean it’s time to give up, or that you can’t get value from an IAP.

Many channels find the 80:20 rule to be true. In other words, 20 percent of their agencies are creating 80 percent of their revenue.

So, take notice of which agencies are producing most of your revenue, and put most of your effort toward building partnerships with them. Then, figure out what those top-performing agencies have in common, and use that to create your IAP.

What do your IAP stakeholders care about?

Stakeholders will depend on the agency. Sometimes, you will be working with a head of strategy or client services. Sometimes, there will be a head of partnerships or a partner manager role. Or, sometimes, there is an account manager or strategist.

Identify trends and learn how to best support these roles.

How do you make your first sale through an IAP?

Once you figure out these stakeholders, and how your team can give them what they want, the process of making a sale is quite simple.

An initial call can help build action items. Take the time to map the path from first engagement with a new partner to first sale. That will help you identify lead sources.

Onboarding is also an important part of the process. Take care of these new partners, and make sure you give them the tools to succeed. If you know exactly who you’re working with, because you have your IAP, this process will be all the easier.