named a in the Gartner's
Magic Quadrant for
- Low-code platform
An effective partner program can be a multiplier for a software company’s growth, extending sales, marketing, and brand awareness. Like any part of a software business, with proper care and feeding it can be powerful, but done wrong it can atrophy, drain resources, and potentially damage a company’s brand. Unfortunately, we hear from our partners that too often software companies fail to manage partner relationships properly and end up losing potentially profitable business partnerships. The good news, a few key changes to a partner program can turn it around.
Not every prospect makes a good partner. It’s important not to be over eager and court relationships that might not be a fit. Building solid partner relationships takes resources, and if a company signs up every potential partner that expresses interest it won’t be able to invest enough in the best relationships. At the beginning of the relationship it’s so important to nurture every partner, not just the golden geese, thus it’s critical to reduce distractions. This was a lesson we learned in the early days of bpm’online, and now our partner program is over 400 partners strong and growing every day. Without a clear understanding of where to invest, this could be a distraction to the business.
Partners represent your company’s brand just like a sales representative or marketing campaign so it’s vital to treat them like an extension of your own company. To co-opt the old saying, “to earn a friend you must be a friend” – we say, “to earn a great partner you must be a great partner.” Invest in onboarding aggressively, don’t just make success the partner’s responsibility. Xero provides SaaS for tax and accounting teams, and has invested heavily in training and education – leading to nearly 50% of their sales coming from channel partners. Be flexible to support their needs. Share the product roadmap and like missionaries, it’s important that every partner understands and can sell the vision. Every partner should know exactly who they need to call to get help or get things done. That’s not to suggest companies should cater to every whim, but partners become evangelists quickly for software companies that go the extra mile. As an extension of your company, the more you establish your brand as a leader in your respective space, the more confident the partner will be. Invest in thought leadership, analyst relations, and other 3rd party validation. A key to bpm’online’s successful partner efforts has been our validation from leading analyst firms like Forrester, Gartner, Nucleus and others.
The best SaaS partner programs incentivize partners to invest in long-term customer relationships by sharing recurring revenue. Just as software companies have shifted from the large contract sales models and into recurring revenue models that require ongoing customer success and retention efforts, partner programs need to make the same shift. Symantec received the wrong kind of attention in late 2015 when it relaunched it’s partner program without a recurring revenue opportunity. A partner development team should be able to articulate a clear, repeatable path to success and make it explicit about how a partner can make money not just on adding services, but by getting an ongoing revenue stream from license sales as well.
There are certainly other considerations when developing a strong, sustainable partner program. Things like partner training, enablement content, co-marketing, and other blocking and tackling are crucial tactics to keep it running, but finding the right partners, treating them like part of your company, and providing recurring revenue become the lifeblood of the program that can sustain it long term.
CEO and Managing Partner Creatio
The last 17 years have been an incredible journey for our team at bpm’online. When we started the company, it was just a handful of young graduates with big dreams, ready to work hard to achieve them.
Over the years, we have experienced lots of ups and downs of growing and running a business. However, there has always been one thing that inspired us: the powerful, unique solutions created on the bpm’online platform by our community of partners and customers, many of whom I am proud to call friends.
Our customers and partners use bpm’online platform and CRM solutions to bring business ideas to life through automation. Solutions that they create reflect unique differentiation of their companies, these solutions are their own creations. It is in the DNA of our customers and partners to generate ideas, create, and to change the status quo. And we’re thrilled to honor and support the creators in each of them!
With that, I am very excited to share the news… Our company has changed its corporate and product names to Creatio!
The new name reflects our strong belief that everyone will become a developer, able to automate ideas and create custom solutions in minutes. We call these solutions “creatios.”
We have rolled out the Creatio renaming on October 30, 2019. I hope you’ll enjoy a recording of an online launch event at creatio.com/new-watch
While our name is changing, the strategy, products, our team and commitment to empowering our users with the best low-code / no-code BPM platform and sophisticated CRM products remain the same. The new name only reinforces our vision of creating a world where any business idea can be automated in minutes.
Please visit our FAQ page for more information on the renaming process. As always, I'd appreciate your feedback and I'm happy to answer any questions.
CEO and Managing Partner