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What if my channel partners ask me to give my SaaS product for free?

Partnership Q&A:

What if my #channelpartners ask me to give my SaaS product for free 🎁 to their users to build a track record in the beginning?

Should I do that?

💬 We discussed it with one of the experts who has 10y experience in channel sales.

If your product is difficult to sell, you have to give a high margin (commission) to partners.

But if you need an install base, sometimes you have to give it for "free". But I would not give it for FREE, instead ask something in return.

Here is a few options:

✔️ Try and buy - you limit the scope of usage. When they expand to other departments, they will buy it.

✔️ References - it’s like a marketing investment. In return, the product should be referenceable.

✔️ Partner's internal use only, or to be used in strategic projects , as part of your partner program.

Like Microsoft does - TOP partners have $XXK in license value that they can use to fund strategic projects.

✔️ If you sell more than 1 product, you can put the product that is harder to sell in the pack, when they sell the other one.

💡 I would not give anything for free unless you use your "free product" as a currency (references, etc.).

And then it's still a good idea to prevent devaluing your product. Consider creating ”reference VOUCHER” or “competition replacement VOUCHER” program instead of calling it FREE.

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