Top 10 SaaS Partner Programs

Here are the saas-only partner programs we found to be most successful in terms of not only their adoption, but also in terms of the strategy when they were put into action, and what they mean to their partners. 

1. HubSpot

What is HubSpot: HubSpot develops cloud-based, inbound marketing software that allows businesses to transform the way that they market online. Its service portfolio includes social media publishing and monitoring, blogging, SEO, website content management, email marketing, marketing automation, and reporting and analytics.

Founder: Brian Halligan
Director of Strategic Partnerships: Kevin Raheja

Why is HubSpot’s partner program on this list?

HubSpot’s partner program boasts some impressive statistics, with 59% of their agency partners using retainer pricing for new clients and 81% of agency partners being confident closing deals.

HubSpot’s partner program has 4 options:

  1. Agency Partner Program
  2. Sales Partner Program
  3. App Partner Program
  4. Startups Partner Program

Incentives & Benefits

  • A Channel Consultant, your onboarding specialist
  • A Channel Account Manager, your sales growth coach
  • Exclusive in-depth sales training
  • Partner-exclusive events
  • HubSpot tools for agencies
  • White-labeled Content
  • HubSpot CRM
  • Tiers and Benefits

Notable partners:

Why we love their program:

Their program is an established and efficient option for marketing agencies.

We wanted to implement a perfect inbound solution from day one, and that’s why we partnered with HubSpot. As a HubSpot partner, we’ve grown our web traffic by 226%, boosted leads by 267%, and now 90% of our clients are on retainer contracts.”  – Mikko Seppa, Co-Founder

When I petitioned to start HubSpot’s partner program, I received push back from almost everyone. At the time, HubSpot was in the middle of raising funding and it was absolutely critical for us to exceed our revenue targets. Therefore, focus was critical and the executives were worried about the distraction a partner program would bring. By just working with a few agencies, I was already unintentionally causing some challenges for a few other teams.
Moreover, investors told us that it was premature to build a channel sales program until we proved a bigger market existed. They said we’d have trouble recruiting resellers if we couldn’t show them the market opportunity.

Peter Caputa, Former VP of sales for HubSpot & creator of HubSpots partne rprogram — now CEO of DataBox

2. Salesforce

What is Salesforce: Salesforce is the Customer Success Platform. Their social and mobile cloud technologies—including our flagship sales and CRM applications—helps companies connect with customers, partners, and employees in entirely new ways.

Founder: Marc Benioff
Head of Partnerships: Brooke Foster Gardner

Why is Salesforce’s partner program on this list?

The Salesforce Partner Program is built exclusively for the cloud and takes advantage of its customer engagement models, economics, and potential.

Their program is split into two groups:

1. AppExhcange Program

  • Build on the Salesforce platform
  • Sell with the Salesforce AppExchange
  • Grow with AppExchange Partner Resources

2. Consulting Program

  • Move up the program tiers by growing your Consulting Partner Trailblazer Score
  • Acquire certifications

Incentives & Benefits:

Consulting Partner Benefits Include:

  • Referral Incentives
  • 2 Lightning CRM licenses
  • Access to the Partner Community
  • Instructor-led Training Discounts
  • Training
  • Partner Roadmap Webinars
  • Partner Forums
  • Use of Salesforce Badge

AppExchange Partner Benefits Include:

  • AppExchange Listing
  • AppExchange Marketing Program
  • Access to the Partner Community
  • 2 CRM licenses
  • Social Repromotion
  • Author Blog Post
  • Partner Webinars

Notable partners

  • Wunderman
  • Dentsu Aegis Network
  • Lyons Consulting Group

Why we love their program:

Salesforce is another established and recognizable brand that is easy for agencies to partner with and hit the ground running.

“Salesforce is leading the way in delivering the personalized experiences that customers expect— this is driving unprecedented growth for our partners, in every industry and every market around the world.” – Tyler Prince, EVP Industries & Partners, Salesforce

Learn more about Salesforce’s partner program here


3. PandaDoc

What is PandaDoc: PandaDoc empowers sales teams to simplify the process to generate, negotiate, and eSign proposals, quotes, and contracts. PandaDoc integrates with your CRM, saves your team time, and provides transparency into your sales performance.

CEO: Mikita Mikado
Head of Strategic Partnerships: Ingrid Sanchez

Why is PandaDoc’s partner program on this list?

PandaDoc makes it simple for both agencies and affiliates to sign up for their partner program and immediately start submitting leads. Users can select their preferred payment method and get paid on the 15th of each month!

Incentives & Benefits:

  • 10% of the first-year revenue for every qualified lead you send to PandaDoc
  • 60-day tracking cookies for lead attribution
  • Earn up to $1,000 on the first payment your referral makes
  • Be included in the partnership directory

Notable partners

Why we love their program:

Their program is easy to sign up for and simple to understand – Sell PandaDoc and get 10% of the first year’s ARR.

Learn more about PandaDoc’s partner program here


4.  Zapier

What is Zapier: Zapier lets people easily connect to and automate the apps they use. Partners, including Salesforce, Intuit, Google, and Dropbox, utilize Zapier to offer their customers integrations with 1,000+ apps. The Zapier Developer Platform enables developers to add APIs for private or public use.

CEO & Co-Founder: Wade Foster

Head of Partnerships: Cody Jones

Why is Zapier’s partner program on this list?

The Zapier partner program is interesting because all of its benefits are free. But to incentivize access more benefits, you will need to get more users and maintain healthy integrations.

Incentives/Benefits

  • Buzz-building Launch Campaign
  • Integration Support
  • Listing in Zapier’s App Directory
  • Leads from Zapier’s App Directory
  • Case Study on Zapier’s blog
  • Participation in Promotional Launches

Notable partners

Why we love their program:

Their free structure with tiers of benefits for high-performing partners is an effective model for any agency to dive into.

Learn more about Zapier’s partner program here


5. Klaviyo

What is Klaviyo: Klaviyo helps growth-focused eCommerce brands drive more sales with super-targeted, highly relevant email, Facebook and Instagram marketing campaigns.

CEO: Andrew Bialecki
VP, Global Strategic Partnerships: Rich Gardner

Why is Klaviyo’s partner program on this list?:

Klavuyo designed two separate programs, the Agency Program and the Influencer Program

The Agency program focuses on recognizing, growing, and rewarding agencies and consultants that help grow the business of their Klaviyo clients, whereas the Influencer Program is for “brand evangelists,” retailers, and other influencers who have their heart behind Klaviyo.

Additionally, Klaviyo offers two types “Tracks” – the Advisor Track and the Masters Track:

The advisor track is for advisors that give complementary services to current or prospective Klaviyo clients, such as SEO, social media ad management, web development, etc., while the Masters Track is for agencies and consultants that provide clients with all aspects of email marketing.

Incentives & Benefits

  • Online training programs
  • Unique affiliate link
  • MRR referred revenue share
  • MRR managed revenue share
  • Klaviyo Partner Directory
  • Leads from Klaviyo
  • Co-Marketing opportunities
  • Product roadmap session
  • Dedicated IP Pools
  • Priority support access
  • Dedicated channel account management
  • Dedicated customer success manager
  • Partner Portals

Notable partners

“One of the greatest things about the Klaviyo partnership is not just the fact that they work with you to help understand how best to position email marketing and, specifically, the Klaviyo platform to the merchant, but also what you can do from a strategy perspective to help them [the customer] understand how they can drive revenue.” – Nihar Kulkarni, Roswell Studios

Why we love their program:

Klaviyo is rapidly growing their program and the benefits of those who partner with them. For only having rolled out their partner programs earlier this year, it’s looking very impressive.

At Klaviyo, we understand that for a merchant to truly own their growth, and maximize their marketing channels, they have to draw on a range of tools and expertise. Of course, we see Klaviyo at the hub of these tools, but we have a deep appreciation for the role agencies and others play in helping merchants grow. That’s a key reason why we have invested significantly in building relationships with our agency and technology partners. We’ve designed a unique agency partner program to showcase the different ways agencies support our mutual customers – within Klaviyo and beyond – and reward each partner in a way that aligns with their business goals” – Rich Gardner, VP of Strategic Partnerships, Klaviyo

Learn more about Klaviyo’s partner program here


6. ReCharge Payments

What is ReCharge Payments: ReCharge Payments makes it easy for people to sell subscription products online, and helps them create an amazing remote-first culture.

CEO & Co-Founder: Oisin O’Connor

VP Growth & Partnerships: Samir Said

Why is ReCharge’s partner program on this list?:

ReCharge’s platform and API are used by over 600 partners, and their 10% revenue share for each merchant partner is a significant perk for many partners. ReCharge also created an open API architecture which enables their teams to develop experiences that are highly specialized for each merchant’s needs.

Incentives/Benefits

10% Revenue Share for the lifetime of affiliated merchants

Co-marketing Opportunities

Demos and development support

Access to the latest features

Notable partners

“On our agency side there are a number of notable partners we’re closely aligned with. This is typically a combination of strong industry knowledge, a consultative approach to mutual merchants and an in-depth and proactive knowledge of ReCharge as a platform.”

Why we love their program:

Their 10% revenue share per merchant adds up to be a major perk for partners and helps drive a win-win scenario for everyone involved.

Learn more about ReCharge’s partner program here


7. Gorgias 

What is Gorgias: Gorgias builds a multi-channel helpdesk integrated with e-commerce merchants’​ back-office. It allows merchants to manage all their support from one place. 

CEO & Co-Founder: Romain Lapeyre

Strategic Partnerships: Billy McClennan

Why is Gorgias’ partner program on this list?:

Gorgias’ partner ecosystem of partners is made up of digital marketing leaders, web development agencies, and call centers. Gorgas aims to help give those digital agencies and call centers the best customer support automation and interaction monetization tools out there.

Incentives/Benefits

  • 20% referral commission
  • Co-sponsoring events, podcasts, and meetups
  • Lead referrals and sharing
  • eComm Customer Experience related content
  • Exclusive training
  • Product roadmap

Notable partners

Why we love their program:

Gorgias makes it a point for their teams to know everything about how their partner acquire customers (SEO, Events, Meetups, Podcast, Referrals, etc) so they can tag along and help them be more effective at those growth initiatives.

Learn more about Gorgias’ partner program here


8. Drift

What is Drift: Drift is the world’s leading conversational marketing platform, trusted by top enterprise businesses like Ellie Mae, GrubHub, InVision, Marketo, Okta, Outreach, Eventbrite, Vidyard, and over 50,000 other businesses. Sales and marketing teams rely on Drift to connect with the customers who are ready to buy now.

CEO: David Cancel

Strategic Partnerships: Michele Albanese

Why is Drift’s partner program on this list?:

Drift has three types of partnership offerings: Integration Partners, Certified Partners, and Drift Influencers.

  • Integration Partners are SaaS companies and developers that want to build on top of Drift’s platform. This could be integrations, solutions, or bots.

  • Certified Partners are marketing agencies, consulting firms, and global systems integrators that aim to resell Drift
  • Drift Influencers are Drift customers or brand champions that want to help spread the word about Drift and conversational marketing.

Incentives/Benefits

Earn 20% revenue share on Drift software

Access to & listing in the Drift Partner Community

Co-marketing support and resources from Drift

Listing in the Drift Partner Directory

Dedicated Partner Sales Manager and Partner Success Manager for your business

Notable partners

Why we love their program:

Drift’s three types of programs along with their unique brand feel make it easy for anyone to partner with them. (They also made this wild video from when they took their Business Development Manager from Six & Flow skydiving). 

Learn more about Drift’s partner program here


9. Unbounce

What is Unbounce: Unbounce is a landing page platform and one of Canada’s fastest-growing tech companies with offices in both Vancouver and Berlin. Unbounce has powered over 650 million conversions to date and serves more than 15,000 customers worldwide.

CEO: Rick Perreault
Strategic Partnerships: Ty Lingley

Why is Unbounce’s partner program on this list?


Incentives/Benefits

  • 20% of recurring revenue on your referrals
  • 20% for the first 3 months
  • No limit on how many referrals you make or how much recurring revenue you earn
  • Get paired with a dedicated referral coach for training and marketing support
  • A personal reporting dashboard in PartnerStack to let you see your progress
  • Access to promotional resources including content and sales material

Notable partners

“As the best-in-show landing page software on the market, Unbounce makes it SO easy for me to create residual income by recommending and referring clients and other marketers.” – Denni Griffith, Marketing Efficiency Consultants

Why we love their program:

Unbounce makes it simple for partners to join their program, and their uncapped referral and recurring revenue limit makes it exciting for partners to see how far they can take the program.

Learn more about Unbounce’s partner program here


10. Quickbooks

What is Quickbooks: QuickBooks is an accounting software package developed and marketed by Intuit. QuickBooks products are geared mainly toward small and medium-sized businesses and offer on-premises accounting applications as well as cloud-based versions that accept business payments, manage and pay bills, and payroll functions.

CEO & Co-Founder: Sasan Goodarzi (Intuit)
SVP, Global Platform & Partnerships: Kyle Jenke (Intuit)

Why is Quickbooks’ partner program on this list?

Quickbooks offers a 4-tier ProAdvisor program that unlocks benefits right from the star to help clients with their accounting needs. Program members move up through the tiers by earning points for various achievements such as new client subscriptions and completing certifications. As they move up the tiers, more benefits are available.

Incentives/Benefits:

  • Discounts on client Quickbook Subscriptions
  • Discounts on Quickbook Payments
  • Listing in the Find-a-ProAdvisor Directory
  • Constant Contact email marketing tool (subscription discount)
  • Squarespace website builder (subscription discount)
  • Online training and certifications
  • Free Quickbooks Online Accountant

Notable partners:

“The ability to help clients anytime, anywhere is awesome. Who says you have to work in an office as an accountant? With QBOA, I can work from anywhere and help clients across the country!” – Pam Morin, President at RPPC Inc.

Why we love their program:

Their point-based system for moving up the tiers makes it exciting for agencies to access more benefits from Quickbooks as they build their business.

Learn more about Quickbooks’ partner program here


Honorable Mentions

We’d like to recognize a few companies who began their partner programs earlier than some may recommend but are still crushing it:

Image result for databox logo

DataBox

DataBox, lead by CEO Peter Caputa (who established the HubSpot partnership powerhouse that exists today), is a “personal data assistant” that pulls all your data into one place and incorporates features like goal progression and smart alerts.

It’s no surprise that Peter made sure DataBox has a world-class partner program even for a company their size, about 50 employees. We look forward to seeing what DataBox has in store for us!

Learn more about DataBox’s partner program here


Optimizely

Optimizely was founded in 2009 and is a leading testing and data platform that enables businesses to deliver continuous experimentation and personalization across websites, mobile apps, and connected devices.

They are another example of a company that invested in a partner program relatively early on, and only 6 years after their founding they were described as being a “disruptive force in the online testing space.”

“Forrester named Optimizely a “disruptive force in the online testing space” for 1) Building out sophisticated enterprise capabilities, 2) Differentiating itself through above-average feedback from customers on the usability and ease of use of its testing platform, 3) Having the strongest agency and services partner programs.” – Dan Siroker, Co-Founder & Executive Chairman of Optimizely

Learn more about Optimizely’s partner program here


Kiite.ai


Kiite was founded in 2017 and sells knowledge sharing software. They help sales teams capture, organize, and share the companies “tribal knowledge” with sales reps to land more deals. While still being relatively new and under 50 employees, they have built a robust partner program that has since proven to be a valuable asset to the startup.

Kiite’s partnerships weren’t just about affiliates or co-selling, their partners are using Kiite as a delivery platform for their own consulting work and can share, advocate, and push content to clients on an on-going basis. 
It’s hard to ensure adoption takes place when all you are doing is sending over a PDF. Instead, Kiite lets you deploy and track the progress of adoption. This way, there is a symbiotic relationship between Kiite and their partners.

Learn more about Kiite’’s partner program here