What are typical commission ranges for referral partners for Enterprise B2B SaaS?
There is a rough set of parameters that most folks in general for lower volume, higher ACV partnerships:
- 10% for a warm lead.
- 20% for a lead that wants to buy, i.e. a Qualified Opportinity.
- 25-40%+ for a customer closed by the partner — i.e., “on partner’s paper”. Sometimes, these are booked as net of the revenue share if the rev share is high.
Key is these are % of first-year ACV … not an annuity.
Some of these numbers may sound high, but in sales-driven SaaS, they aren’t. If it costs you 100% of your first year ACV in sales & marketing costs to close a customer … and a partner can do it for less than half that, that’s a bargain. At least for a while.
Where it gets murky and mucky later is once your brand is established, the partner value often plummets. You’d get the lead anyway. Then, 25% seems awfully rich.
This tends to work itself out, as the partners then migrate up the value chain, adding implementation services or other next-gen value-add.