B2B partnerships are mutually beneficial business-to-business (“B2B”) relationships. These relationships leverage co-branding between your brand and others in similar or complementary industries in order to increase sales, customer engagement, and mindshare for all brands involved.
When you enter a B2B partnership, you would be partnering with other brands whose products or audiences complement your own. These partnerships require strategy, and although they can take some legwork to get off the ground, they can provide you with significant opportunities for revenue growth and co-branded loyalty.
Example of a B2B Partnership:
You are a brand that offers commercial accounting services. You partner with another brand that sells tax-preparation software. The tax-prep brand promotes your financial services to its customers, and you promote their tax filing software to your customers. Your mutual teams also come up with co-branded marketing strategies to build trust between the loyal customers that already trust the offerings of each brand.
B2B partnerships can be greatly effective for generating leads and increasing sales by incentivizing other companies to deliver new value and sales opportunities. The incentives could include a flat fee, sales commissions, revenue share, or lead share depending on the agreed-upon terms.
By gaining association with other trusted brands, marketers benefit from these partnerships by promoting brand trust and generating new leads that would’ve otherwise taken time, effort, and resources to build from scratch.
These types of partnerships can expand your reach by introducing new customers to your brand that you may not have had access to before. This can be largely beneficial to the effective scaling of your products or services in new markets. When you partner with complementary brands, you start to capitalize on the value that your shared authority and familiarity brings to the table.
Like many partner programs, B2B partnerships are often built on CPA (Cost Per Action) or CPL (Cost Per Lead) payout models. The events that result in a conversion would depend on the vertical or industry that participating brands are a part of as well as what you are trying to promote for your own brand. While the list below is not exhaustive, it contains a handful of common B2B conversion events.
Lead generation or referrals
Purchases of products or services
Software or app installs Free or paid trial signups
Subscriptions to recurring product purchases or services
Subscriptions to newsletters, eBooks or webinars
As mentioned above, B2B partnerships are often built on CPA or CPL payout models. Let’s take a look at how you might pay a B2B partner for conversions.
You can set up payout models by customizing your Template Terms in impact.com. You could even set up a combination of models to build the payout structure that will best suit the partnership and your program goals.
Remember our example scenario from earlier? You are a brand that offers commercial accounting services and you’ve partnered with another brand that sells tax-preparation software. Using this scenario, we’re going to walk through a few possible payout models based on actions or leads.
Description and example scenario
A fixed payout model means that your partners are paid a preset amount of money for every action or lead.
For example, say that you agreed to a $100 CPL relationship with the tax-prep company. The tax-prep company promotes your service bundle to its customers, bringing you in qualified leads to send down your sales pipeline. You pay out $100 for each qualified lead they send you.
Commissions or Revenue Share
Commission or revenue share models are percentage based.
For example, you and the tax-prep brand agree upon a set percentage, or commission, for each action or lead sent. For promoting their $100 self-serve tax filing feature, you get a 10% commission per purchase. For each customer that signs up as a result of your promotions, you are paid out $10.
In return, they promote your monthly accounting services on a rev-share model. You pay them 10% of the total annual revenue that a customer signs for. If a customer signs up for your $100 in monthly services on a 12-month contract, you pay out a 10% share of the total $1200 in signed annual revenue, or $120.
Using Partner Funds Transfers (PFT) in impact.com, you can manually payout your partners in a way similar to that of a paid placement. This could be used in scenarios where the partnership or specific promotion is a one-time deal and not ongoing.
For example, tax season is coming up and you know there will be plenty of customers looking for help with their taxes. You negotiate a promotion where you mention the tax-prep brand in all your customer-facing emails during March and early April. The tax prep company sends you a PFT through impact.com for $5000 in exchange for your email promotions.
As you begin to consider which brands could make great partners, think about what you are looking to get out of the partnership.
List your responses to the relevant questions below to get a better idea of how to identify promising brand partners:
Which target audience segments do you hope to reach through your partnership?
Which verticals, products, and services complement yours?
Which other products and services will customers need to buy before or after they've purchased your product or service?
Which, if any, category experts (professions, hobbyists, etc.) can provide credible recommendations for your products or services?
Which other types of products and services do your target audiences tend to consume, and which brands provide those products and services?
Are there businesses in your competitors' markets that could be strategic to partner with to gain market share?
Do customers prefer to have financing options available for your product?
If so, which financing options (monthly payments, peer-to-peer lending services, cryptocurrencies, etc.) would you consider, and who supplies those enabling technologies?
B2B partnerships require planning and coordination from all brands involved. In order for the partnership to be successful and effective, you'll need to get contact with the other brands' marketers, or partner program managers, and discuss the ways you'd like to promote and represent each other's offerings.
Identified the brands that you'd like to work with.
Contact their team and discuss the potential for a partnership.
To send a message to a prospective partner in impact.com, navigate to the Discover homepage and use the search field at the top of the page to locate a specific partner by name. Then select their icon to view more information. Select the envelope icon to message them and discuss a partnership.
If the decision is made to move forward, each brand would apply to the other brands' program as a partner.
Join on a dedicated contract after an agreement is made on what actions and payouts will be used.
Conversions would be tracked on impact.com, and payouts would occur as they are set by your contract terms.
Navigate to the Discover homepage and select More on the top of the page to browse companies that are well-versed in B2B partner programs. When you see a brand you are interested in partnering with, select their icon to view more info or message them to discuss terms.