This came up again on a call today with a fantastic PPC agency who happened to have a fantastic product they use for clients, but also sell as a stand alone product.
The dilemma for products with managed services operations (sales, quota's...) is clear:
- Agencies will worry if their clients use the product, the agency side will try to sell services to their client.
- Tech companies won't commit to partnering with an agency that seems to not be sure what they want to be in a year (a SaaS company, or an agency, or both?)
- And of course, the CEO of said product/service provider will not be able to create successful partnerships operations for both sides.
My answer is in the video below, but in short:
My suggestion to this agency / product founder was to:
- First create a landing page talking directly to digital agencies about how the work to build business together.
- What their agency arm focuses on (in this case, they just do data analytics and serve optimization suggestions to clients based on the data).
- Then mention how they work with agency partners - do they white label behind the scenes? Do they provide the other agencies exclusive discounts?
- Finally, list out the types of agencies who they do not compete with and will gladly share business between.
This ^ allows them to operate as an agency with partnerships for agencies and incentives to convert agency traffic to want to partner.
Book a strategy call with me if you are a tech company in this position.