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[sas pahrt-ner proh-grams]

SaaS (software-as-a-service) partner programs are a systematic way that software companies form mutually beneficial relationships with agencies, influencers, and other companies to drive business results. Partner programs can take many forms, including affiliate marketing programs, referral marketing programs, reseller partnerships, technology partnerships, customer ambassador programs, and distributor partnerships.

Companies rely on partners to help them drive a wide variety of sales and marketing initiatives, including driving traffic to corporate websites, referring qualified leads, and even closing new business deals directly on a company’s behalf. In technology partnerships, many software companies build integrations that allow data and workflows to pass from one system to the next. For example, Vidyard (a video marketing platform) integrates into Marketo (a marketing automation platform). The two companies also engage in co-marketing efforts to help drive qualified leads to one another. 

See also: Channel sales

Example: As a digital-first environment has increasingly predominated, SaaS partner programs have become a common way that software businesses drive revenue efficiently.

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[sayls fuh·nuhl]

A sales funnel is a marketing model that illustrates the journey of a consumer leading up to the point of purchase. It serves as a visual representation of the steps a consumer takes before buying something.

The sales funnel usually consists of a top, middle, and bottom, but may be broken down into as many as six stages. The top of the funnel represents the awareness stage in which a consumer becomes aware of the product or service. The middle of the funnel is the interest stage wherein consumers learn about the product or service and how it can help them. The bottom of the funnel represents the decision stage wherein a consumer is actively making the decision of whether or not to purchase.

Example: A low-touch sales funnel is a simplified buying journey where there are minimal steps from awareness to point of purchase.

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[sayls spiff]

A sales spiff is a sales performance incentive fund (often written with an extra "f"), which is a short-term incentive used to motivate sales representatives. Sales spiffs can incentivize sales rep engagement and help to meet immediate sales goals.

A sales spiff requires a set sales goal and an incentive, often a financial incentive or another kind of reward like prizes, recognition, or time off. A successful sales spiff requires a clear objective, a clear articulation of how reps will achieve the goal, a timeframe, a budget, and an incentive. When planning a sales spiff, consider the risk of sandbagging (when reps know a spiff is coming so they wait to close deals they could close earlier) and creating an overly competitive work environment (team spiffs rather than individual spiffs can help avoid this).

Example: Kristin was noticing a drop in new leads and sales rep engagement. She planned a sales spiff for her team wherein if they brought in 500 new leads by the end of the quarter, they each received a $500 bonus. The reps worked hard to meet the goal and were happy with their bonus cash.

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Segments are various groups of your customers who share common attribute(s) and therefore need different personalized attention from your team in order to reach their full potential as partners. You can provide various segments with personalized attention in the form of specific engagement campaigns, educational resources, enablement events, or reward schemes. Common ways to segment your partners:-Type of organization (e.g. universities, agencies, SaaS companies)-Job role (e.g. consultants, students, influencers)-Location (e.g. North America, LatAm, and EMEA)-Tier (silver, gold, and platinum tiers — where higher sellers get a larger revenue cut)

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Strategic partnerships are relationships between two entities (most commonly two companies) with overlapping or complementary products or services that aim to achieve a mutually beneficial result. Strategic partnerships are also commonly referred to as an alliance or joint venture.

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