Guest Column | August 19, 2019

How To Make SaaS Partnerships Profitable

By Rob Spee, Channel Journeys Consulting

Bryn Jones, PartnerStack

Bryn Jones

Founder, CEO, PartnerStack


Toronto, ON, Canada

Year Founded



Enable SaaS companies to leverage partnerships in order to grow revenue, increase distribution, and go to market quicker and more efficiently.

Channel Experience

6 Years

"The channel has changed a lot in the last 10 years. The best thing people can do is poll your partners and figure out what they want and actually give them different options." -Bryn Jones

The partner landscape is very different from it was just 10 years ago. Old channel labels like VAR and System Integrator no longer make much sense. A reseller is just as likely to also be a referral partner and a developer. And the compensation and incentive models vary depending on the role the partner is playing.

Managing multiple partner types with different compensation models is just the challenge that Bryn Jones decided to solve. I spoke with Bryn about his company, PartnerStack, and what he’s doing to make a SaaS partnerships more profitable in my Channel Journeys podcast.

Key Take-Aways

  • Building successful SaaS Partnerships takes time. Develop and roll out a step-by-step playbook for what you want to accomplish over a two-year period.
  • For each partner type, define partner personas the same way that marketing defines buyer personas.
  • Find 10 channel partners that fit that persona. Work closely with that group of partners to show results in the first three to six months. Then move on to another group.
  • The channel is becoming centralized. Bring your various channel programs such as reseller, alliance, and cloud into one flexible program and one management tool.

Take Action - One Thing You Can Do Today

Choosing the right incentives for these new partner models is a challenge. Run A/B testing with different incentives, just like marketing A/B tests email campaigns. Then give your partners options on their incentive structure. Listen to the complete Channel Journeys podcast with Bryn for more tips on making your SaaS partnerships more profitable.

Robert Spee, Channel Journeys ConsultingAbout The Author

Rob Spee is founder and CEO of Channel Journeys Consulting and host of the Channel Journeys podcast. Rob applies his channel expertise to help clients create and execute channel strategies to accelerate revenue growth. His global channel experience spans from building channels at startups to vendors and distributors like Arrow, BMC, Carbonite, and SAS. Follow Rob on Twitter and LinkedIn.