The Language of Partnerships

Partnerships Glossary

Decode the buzzwords of the partnerships space.

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In SaaS, distribution refers to the channels through which a product is sold to a customer, encompassing the entities and processes that are used to deliver cloud-based software to end users.

Distribution can be performed through direct selling and selling through intermediaries, which are referred to as distributors. Direct distribution is when the vendor sells the software directly to customers. Indirect distribution involves third-party distributors or resellers to end users. Both direct and indirect distribution can be utilized by vendors as part of an overall distribution strategy.

Example: Revello utilized both a direct distribution strategy, selling their software straight to customers, as well as an indirect distribution strategy, using resellers to reach a wider market and outsource some of the sales work.



In a partner ecosystem, a distributor is a business that serves as an intermediary between vendors and resellers in a channel partnership. These sellers can include value-added resellers and system integrators. Distributors are in charge of procurement and payment between vendors and resellers.

Distributors are especially important for vendors who need support running their channel program, whether because they're new to the industry or because they have a very high volume of sales to manage. Aside from payment and procurement, distributors can also take on further roles in educating resellers on products, providing presale training or demos, or assisting with contract negotiations and marketing.

Example: Fireforce had a distributor to bring their software to resellers, educate them on its use, and accept payment on behalf of them. This helped Fireforce get their product to more resellers since the distributor could handle the direct management of the reselling process.


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Pay per action advertising is a kind of advertising in which you only pay when a user carries out a specified action. Actions can include subscribing to a newsletter, visiting a webpage, purchasing a product, or other notable events in a purchasing journey.

Pay per action advertising is similar to pay per click advertising, in which the marketer would pay for each click an ad gets. While a click can be considered an action, the difference between the two is the pay per action advertising can focus on conversion events.

Example: Liam ran a pay per action ad campaign for his online sock store in which he paid each time a user purchased a pair of socks.

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