@Rhino you made some good points. I read my text again and sounds a bit like a rant.
Bigger B2B companies and certain niches(like related to internet marketing) don’t have this perception(or they overcame it). CRM tools, many of them have affiliate and partner programs, HR tools, accounting tools, the same…
Just as an example, companies like Shopify, InfusionSoft, FreshDesk, AWeber, HootSuite, Olark, Wrike, WebEngage, Bigcommerce, LeadPages, all Citrix products, these are just a few that comes to my mind that have affiliate programs for years and I know it works for them by the amount of resources they allocate.
Yes, I asked why they think that and like I said in the previous post, it was related to the wisdom of the crowd (usually the circles they are in), but they don’t know exactly why…
The general reputation comes from a past where there weren’t any regulations, the spam was still legal and some big brands attracted bad apples, without any filtering and monitoring in place, which led to abuse. Things are much better now, but the bad reputation still exists in many circles and I don’t know if it’s better to try fix it or just “skip” it using other terms like many do.
However, in B2B(SaaS or not), there weren’t any issues as I know of, so it has no real base/truth. B2B model by default doesn’t attract “bad” affiliates, it’s harder to sell, longer sales cycles, the audience is totally different, etc
The popularity(and reputation in this case) of a channel has a lot to do with how much resources companies allocate from the start. In many cases the ones that tried and seen it fail, treated it with ignorance, something like “let’s try a bit of affiliate marketing”… like Lincoln Murphy from Sixteen Ventures (some of you heard of him, a big advocate of affiliate marketing for SaaS) said something like: “people treat it as another random act of marketing”.
I’ve just talked with the owner of a small SaaS that did about 50k MRR and wanted to try affiliate marketing because some people asked about it. When I said he needs to give at least 20-30% of the revenue as commission he was like “no way, that’s too much” … well, if you want to make it work you need to give something in return. If you treat it like this, of course it will fail. No high quality affiliate would make efforts to sell a product that doesn’t pay him for his work.
I’m in the process to do the things you mentioned in my last topic and here, I’m working on an ebook right now that will answer lots of question about this channel.