How to: Enable an Agency Partner to Sell Services on Top of Your Solution

How to_ Enable an Agency Partner (1)

Find or develop your business case.

I’m not referring to your unit economics or anything related to pricing.

And I don’t mean compensatory incentives like referral fees.

I am referring to the business case for how the partners are going to create value for their agency by incorporating your product into their services.

So, gather your team and ask each other these questions:

What can (or do) agencies sell on top of your
solution?
What would those services be called?
Who those services would be best for?
Can they be sold as an ongoing retainer, or are they implementation-only?
And what margins can they expect from these new services?

As soon as you have this service in mind – let’s call it an implementation + ongoing support and optimization service, then it’s time to:

Create actionable curriculum.

Next, create some actionable curriculum showing agencies how to set up, sell and support new services built on top of your platform. Take the extra step of creating a resources center with assets like:

  • Landing page copy explaining the new service.
  • Pricing tiers they can use.
  • Email copy for introducing this new service to prospects.
  • FAQs and Rebuttals for the agency to use on sales calls.
  • A detailed breakdown of setup and support for the service.

And, if you have it, record with one of your current agency-users asking them to share as much as they can about selling and support services on top of your solution. If that agency white-labels services to other agencies, or is willing to, then allow them to offer that assistance in the recording.

Now, this new service is not for every agency. So your next step is going to be creating a firmographic makeup of agencies ideal for this new service. Criteria like:

  • Current services (found on their website)
  • Employee count (found on their LinkedIn company pages’ about section)
  • Specific tools in their stack which your tool is integrated with or sells well with (found using SimilarTech or BuiltWith)
  • Specific tools in their stack you are technically ‘better’ than (found using SimilarTech or BuiltWith)
  • Current SaaS Partnership (found on their website)
  • HQ Geographic location (found on their LinkedIn company pages’ about section)

After you have a course, and a target agency audience, it’s time to find your initial partners.

Which means it’s time to:

Create a compelling offer for the right agency-partner(s).

Remember, you are asking these agencies to use your product with the intention of sharing it with their clients. Now, you have to assume most of the agencies are not interested in referring clients to an unproven product. And further, they are not interested in your kickbacks (at least not at this stage).

Further, this strategy is not meant to create a customer out of the agency itself. If they want to buy your product, they’ll respond to marketing messages or find you through another channel or marketplace.

The strategy I’m outlining is built to convert ‘partners,’ not vendors.

This is why we strongly suggest entering the agency’s inbox with an offer to use your product free of charge (indefinitely), with some limitations, so long as they are interested in participating in the service offering beta.

The conversation could look something like this:

“Hey {{agency rep name}}, my name is {{your name}} from {{prdouct name}}. I’m reaching out not to sell anything, but because your agency is one we’d love to work closely with as a partner.

Our product is {{product name}} and we are competitive with {{competitor A}}.

We are past product-market fit, have dozens of happy clients using us to further their {{benefit 1}} and better {{benefit 2}}. Now, our goal is to show agencies like yours in the {{agency industry}} how to increase MRR by offering clients a new service which will result in more {{KPI 1}} and higher retention after results are achieved.

Here’s a short course we’ve created to show how to set up, sell and support this new service from your agency to your client’s {{insert course link}}.

If you are interested in participating, our offer is use of one account for your agency free of charge, forever.

Please reply to this email soon as we are only looking for a handful of agencies to build this use case with.

Thank you for the time,

{{your signature}}”

A perfect example of this is our client Frase.io which is an amazing tool that powers conversational intelligence via an automatic Q/A box similar to chat, but with zero need for humans. The tool has an immediate benefit to any website out there to answer questions immediately in a UI people can appreciate. It works by scraping all language on the website – blog to static and product pages, then uses snippets of that text to answer questions in the chat immediately.

Sure, agencies can use it and even refer it to clients, but that’s not as interesting to an agency as a value proposition in your cold outreach or marketing language (unless the agency just happens to have been chatting internally about solving for it at that moment). Further, each of these are not a true “partnership”, and therefore aren’t interesting to people on this website 🙂

What we do with Frase is to show agencies how the output of the Q/A’s from the Frase bot show a large list of content topics the website is missing.

This is where the service opportunity lies for the agency partner prospects…

Our job is now to articulate how a marketing agency is able to use the output of the Frase chat to sell next month’s SEO or Content agenda. That’s billable hours if not a retainer. So we boil that service into one or two packages that an agency can turn around and display on their services page as soon as they go through a week’s worth of vetting and testing out Frase.

The agency see’s that value, they try out Frase with the intention of adding the service, and the relationship is formed.

If you’d like this done for you by our team, please join us by submitting a category request at the bottom of this page.