Deeper Dives

The Pros of Multiple Partnership Programs (And the Cons of Having Only One)

In today’s technology climate, diversifying your GTM channels with multiple programs just makes sense.

Partnership programs are one of the fastest ways to scale your business and expand your reach, no matter your business model. As more companies integrate partner ecosystems and grow their resources, having access to various channels. Implementing diverse strategic partnerships into your business can increase leads and reduce financial risk while giving you flexibility and a competitive edge.

Here, we’re highlighting more benefits of multiple partnership programs and explaining why diversifying your go-to-market channels is a crucial partnership strategy.

See more: PartnerStack vendors with multiple partner programs see a significant increase in average monthly revenue.

Understanding partnership programs

At their core, partner programs connect companies to other resources like marketing, referrals, resellers or distributors. While most partnerships aim to earn revenue (one of the easiest metrics in determining a successful partnership), that isn’t necessarily the only goal. Meanwhile, the types of partnerships vary by program. The most common partner program groupings are:

  • Affiliate programs: when a business or individual promotes your services or product in exchange for a commission. 
  • Reseller or co-seller programs: when partners take your product at a discounted rate and sell it to their customers at a profit. Channel partners can offer products or services through their sales channels for an incentive. 
  • Referral programs: when existing customers are rewarded for sharing your service with others.

It’s becoming increasingly important that partner managers increasingly think beyond just these partnership types to critically identify how partners are impacting their sales funnel (ie. through marketing, sales or customer success). This helps identify common or holistic goals that can be met with various partner-led motions across programs.

Benefits of multiple partnership programs

How can multiple partner programs benefit you beyond the bottom line? There are plenty of reasons you may want to integrate various types into your go-to-market channels.

Increased revenue opportunities

Implementing diverse partnership programs into your partner ecosystem has many advantages. The main benefit is that it diversifies your revenue stream, allowing you to access different revenue sources and thereby reducing financial risk if one particular partner experiences a setback.

A broader reach

Expanding your partnership programs also lets you tap into a larger market and expand your potential customer base since each partner has its own ecosystem. Those are ecosystems you might never reach otherwise, or they could take a long time and require more investment to access without a partner.  

An image that shows a plane raining coins to demonstrate how multiple partner programs give a broad reach

More innovation and a competitive advantage

Having access to a broader network of partners and partnership programs can also increase collaboration and innovation. You may also have access to new or specialized expertise to leverage when conceptualizing future technology integrations. By branching out and creating diverse strategic partnerships, you increase the overall value you offer your customers and clients. 

Related: Here’s how to prioritize integration partners in 2024.

Increased credibility

These partnerships can also lead to increased brand awareness. After all, this is a small landscape and word of mouth matters. When others see you leveraging multiple opportunities and creating successful partner programs, it can go a long way toward building trust, visibility and credibility.

Drawbacks of relying on a single partner program

When you rely on a single partner program, you lose all the above advantages. However, there are other important disadvantages to explore when relegating yourself to a single partner program.

A higher dependency risk

Using a single partner program means you rely solely on that program for success. So, if something changes within the program, it can significantly impact your business. You may also lose negotiating power should your partner decide to change the terms of your partnership. Expanding your partnership programs lessens that dependency.

An image showing a hand picking a flower, representing selecting the exact right partners

Limited audience reach

Relegating yourself to one partnership program also limits the audience you can access and may, therefore, stall overall growth. You may fail to generate new leads, particularly if competitors are tapping into those unexplored markets through their own partnership programs.  

Flexibility constraints

The market is constantly changing and consumers are used to immediate gratification, so it’s important to adapt and pivot. Being tied to one partnership program may limit that flexibility, particularly if you don’t agree on a direction or changes to the partnership strategy. Diversifying allows you to explore more options.

See more: Learn how PandaDoc uses PartnerStack’s all-in-one ecosystem platform to support and scale multiple partner programs.

Choosing the right mix of partnership programs

Expanding and growing your partnership programs isn’t about scaling at all costs; it’s about growing intentionally. That’s why it’s important to choose the right mix of partnership programs for your company and your overall goals and needs.

Identify your business needs

Before pursuing partnerships, ask yourself what you need from them. Are you looking to drive traffic? Support clients? Expand your reach? Drive sales? Some combination of all of those? Revenue is easy to measure, but there are other objectives to consider. Have a clear idea of what you need a partner to bring to your business and choose different partnerships to reflect that. Remember, knowing (and communicating) what you can offer your partners in exchange is also essential.

You might also like: How to set strategic partnership KPIs to drive revenue in 2024.

Select compatible partners

Research your partners and understand their culture, credibility and goals before onboarding. It’s always a good idea to select partners with similar business values and objectives. Choose to work with those who are willing to foster a positive partnership throughout the entire lifecycle. Picking up random partners without doing the work upfront can lead to a negative experience later on. Be intentional with how you select your partners and also how you work with them.

Balance investment and return

Before diving into partnership programs, consider how you will manage your resources across those programs and be ready to adapt when necessary. Assess partnerships as they progress to ensure you’re dedicating enough resources and finances to them, foster communication and strong partner relationships and pivot when necessary to maximize your return on investment.

Ready to expand your partnerships ecosystem? Explore how PartnerStack works to scale SaaS businesses.

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Joint venture

[joynt ven·chr]

A joint venture is a business collaboration between two parties on a project. Both parties will benefit from bringing their shared resources and knowledge, and neither party will take on the sole burden of the risk.


Buyer persona

[bahy-er per-soh-nuh]

These depictions of target customers help to define your company's ideal target customers.


SaaS partner programs

[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.

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