CASE STUDIES

How Vendasta drove over $1.8M in affiliate program profits in less than 2 years with PartnerStack

“As we go into 2024 and build our reseller model, guess what's our foundation? It's PartnerStack. We know that we can build upon it, we know that we can make changes upon it, we know that we can experiment upon it. So that's where that trust really comes in.”

Kassigan Naiker
Director of Marketplace and Alliances
  • Vendasta came to PartnerStack looking for a marketplace to source affiliates and ended up fast tracking their affiliate program goals by 250% with PartnerStack’s all-in-one partner ecosystem.
  • Vendasta utilized PartnerStack’s built-in workflows, such as triggers and partner groupings, to automate repetitive manual work and save over 37.5 hours a month. 
  • Vendasta uses PartnerStack to engage partners with challenges and resources to drive revenue while decreasing churn, achieving $1.8M in affiliate program profits with a churn rate of less than four percent.

Vendasta is an all-in-one ecosystem of interconnected tools that enables experts to help their SMB clients thrive and sell at scale. From a marketplace where you can access new products and services, a scalable platform that allows you to operate profitability, and a login portal for clients, Vendasta is an end-to-end solution for experts looking to be their client’s exclusive technology partner.

Vendasta came for the affiliates and stayed for the ecosystem

Kassigan Naicker, Director of Marketplace and Alliances at Vendasta, was given a familiar initiation in the world of B2B partnerships: Grow the affiliate program as fast as you can.

In the beginning, the affiliate program was the focal point of Vendasta’s partnership program. In an effort to drive more affiliates and grow the program, Vendasta was following the lead of one of its competitors and using the same piece of software. Unfortunately, it proved to be of little value, providing some links and eventually collecting dust and tech debt.

That’s when Kassigan started exploring other options and PartnerStack came up as a potential solution. Kassigan wasn’t new to PartnerStack, having utilized it at a previous company. With a goal to fill the bucket of new affiliates, it was PartnerStack’s built-in affiliate marketplace and Network that ultimately drove the adoption. But what drove Vendasta to PartnerStack wasn’t all that kept them there. 

The thing that really got us looking at PartnerStack at the beginning was the marketplace. But then we found so much more… When we got through the software it’s like, okay, this could be much more than just going and getting affiliates,” shares Kassigan.

Manual partner workload, meet platform automations 

Vendasta is no stranger to the power of ecosystems, existing as one for digital experts with a built-in marketplace, platform, and client portal. When tools exist in a connected ecosystem, they integrate with one another to automate workflows and offer the ability to optimize systems from a bird-eye view. It was no surprise that Kassigan went from utilizing the affiliate marketplace to automating and growing Vendasta’s entire partner program with PartnerStack.

Beforehand, it was tedious, a lot of toil, a lot of manual work, a lot of frustration with not connecting really much with our own system,” Kassigan says. After joining PartnerStack, Kassigan started to explore and tinker with more features, including automations, triggers and groupings, to optimize their entire partner program workflow. 

After consistent adjusting and experimentation, Kassigan shares that PartnerStack’s “automations together save 37.5 hours a month. It takes a little bit of time to get to that point where full automation happens, and you have to let it take that time.

As Kassinger insightfully points out, automating workflows comes from consistent experimentation and adjustments. To do so successfully, a solution is required that allows you to be flexible and agile. PartnerStack’s interconnected tools enable Vendasta to turn experiments into evergreen parts of the program that drive growth and revenue.

PartnerStacks scales capacity, not overhead

One of the latest trends with B2B businesses is operating with as little headcount as possible. Beyond the assumed benefit of lowering overall operating costs, the bigger principle at play is that it allows businesses to move faster. The more lean a team is, the less approval hurdles there are slowing down projects.

Vendasta and Kassigan are no exception, stating, Myself, my team, our company [are] very agile.” PartnerStack allowed Kassigan and his team to remain agile while scaling their partner program to the point that they saw it as an extension of their team. 

We consider ParterStack another part of our team, it’s like an employee on the team. And it not only saves us time, saves us money, helps us think in different ways, it allows us to be agile because we can integrate and make changes [with it].”

Engaged affiliates are successful affiliates

With outsiders looking to measure a partner program's success by its revenue, insiders are managing the program to measure it by the health of the affiliates — as engagement happens throughout the ecosystem. Every partnership manager knows: Engaged affiliates are successful affiliates. This past year, Vendasta’s affiliate program broke revenue goals and its partner program won PartnerStack’s “Best Partner Experience Award” for their partner-first approach.

When Kassigan was tasked to grow Vendasta’s affiliate program as fast as possible, he was given a rough timeline of five years. Thanks to PartnerStack, Kassigan notes that, “Within two years we exceeded expectations. We’re up there as one of our top demand gen programs competing with paid and organic.”

In addition to fast tracking their affiliate program goals by 250%, Kassigan highlights, “from a profitability standpoint, our affiliate program, after paying out commissions and such, was at $1.18M last year.”

Broken down further to, “We ended up being something like $0.26~ cents to bring in every dollar. Our CAC payback is much longer through our paid and organic programs.”

Coming from the perspective of another all-in-one ecosystem, Kassigan was well equipped to understand the importance of engaging and empowering their partners through PartnerStack’s tools and features to nurture success.

A challenge a day keeps partner churn at bay

PartnerStack’s dashboard was one of the primary tools Kassigan utilized to connect with partners. What started as a place to share resources evolved into a tool to engage partners with challenges. Kassigan shares,Then one thing we didn't even realize is oh, we can do announcements, we can do challenges. Okay, let's start! It's now part of our every day, every week, every month repertoire.”

A significant indicator of the impact of Vendasta’s partner-first approach is their churn rate of around four percent, sitting below the affiliate marketing industry average of around five percent. Kassigan attributes much of that to partner engagement, to keep it that low, I think a lot of it has to do with not just the experience, but being able to train and teach utilizing the LMS system, so that the affiliates know exactly what we're about.

Vendasta’s affiliate program evolves into a reseller program

Thanks to the incredible success and profitability of Vendasta’s affiliate partner program, partnerships are going to play a bigger role in the company's future roadmap. In speaking about their plans for 2024, Kassinger shares, Thanks to our partnerships with PartnerStack we’re now going to be building a reseller program because of the success that we’ve had with our affiliate program.” 

Vendasta and PartnerStack operate under a similar philosophy: An ecosystem of interconnected tools and resources better enables partners and vendors to build trust and scale their business. 

“PartnerStack is our foundation. And as we go into 2024 and build our reseller model, guess what's our foundation? It's PartnerStack. We know that we can build upon it, we know that we can make changes upon it, we know that we can experiment upon it. So that's where that trust really comes in.”

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