In this episode of SaaS Connect by Cloud Software Association, Zach Svendsen, Senior Director of Alliances and Business Development at Tipalti, and Simon Bouchez, CEO & co-founder at Reveal, share their combined experience in SaaS partnership programs.
Zach built his partner team at Tipalti, an accounting software financial technology business, from scratch starting in 2019 when there were only two people. Today, they boast more than 25 partners.
Simon has been in SaaS for the last 10 years and is CEO and co-founder at Reveal, a business intelligence solution that is purpose-built for the embedded analytics market.
The discussion centers around partner commission. The conclusion is that if it is focused on commission alone, the program will fail because success means building trust and engagement with your partners beyond a paycheck.
Included in the discussion:
- The benefits of commission structures depend on your objectives with partners. For example, at Reveal, they are looking for deals that are incremental and set acceleration, and how they can get deals to close faster or with a higher win rate — two things they are willing to pay a lot of money for.
- Collaboration, transparency and providing resources for partners is more important for success as opposed to paying commissions. In addition, commission, although a small part of the process, can break everything.
- If you pay commission, the process must be streamlined so that it works efficiently — or you’ll be spending too much time on the payouts.
- When structuring a commission policy, instead of making a beat on revenue, make it on profitability.
- How to track and structure to know who’s performing, and whose commission is justified.
- The first step to get CEO buy-in — a good way to approach this is to compare sales growth versus partners growth.
- Commission splits between all parties.
In summary, “At the end of the day, commission is a tool to get the bigger pie.” – Simon Bouchez
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