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Most companies should have a component of their sales through channel partners - top VC advice

Most companies should have a component of their sales coming through #channelpartners 📈 - advice to SaaS founders from Balderton Capital, one of the top European VC.

💬 Some people believe indirect channels should only be used after reaching a certain scale, but we encourage you to think about these sales channels early on as it can have a phenomenal power to boost growth and awareness.

Often indirect channels can help you get to a new country much faster than by using your own sales force and be first to market without investing a lot upfront. Some geographies strategically need partners, especially in Asia.

However, for strategic geographies we recommend you build your own sales force and potentially complement it with partners sales.

💡 Right choice of partners depends on your business model and sector

For example, if your product has a strong service component, your best partner might be a company that is precisely good at providing the ongoing service post sale.

Those partners make their revenues in the servicing so they are often willing to take a smaller commission to promote your software so they can sell their service as an add-on.

You might be able to tap-in into their own customer base that is not currently reachable to you directly

😎 Indirect sales channel is a professional sport: hire an experienced leader who has done it before

Watch out for ‘Big Deals’ that end up delivering nothing.

An investment might be needed to enable a channel partner -- they can sell products of many

companies, so you need to make sure yours is the one their reps want to sell and can do so with as little friction as possible. This effort (and cost) should be considered in the decision making.

Image: Salesforce.

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