If you think that having the partners, the program, and, frankly, the business will be enough to generate revenue and build long-term partnerships, we've got some bad news for you. It won't be enough and, if the pandemic has taught us anything, it is that connections are everything.
We all know that getting that win-win in any partner relationship takes a lot of planning and work, and resellers are no exception.
SaaS reseller partners can be the rocket ship that propels your channel sales, expands your customer base, and provides great new and countless revenue opportunities and access to highly qualified audiences.
But the question is, what will it take to transition your company from simply working with resellers to reaping the benefits of truly fruitful relationships?
Let us show you how.
- 1. Understanding Reseller Partners
- 1.1. Traditional Resellers
- 1.2. Value-added Resellers (VAR)
- 1.3. White-label Resellers
- 2. Why it's Important to Build Strong Relationships With Reseller Partners
- 2.1. Promotes Partner Loyalty
- 2.2. Keeps Your Brand Top of Mind
- 2.3. Enhances and Aligns Your Offering With Your Partner’s Target Audience
- 2.4. Offers a Competitive Advantage
- 2.5. Attracts New Partners
- 3. How to Build Strong Relationships With Reseller Partners
- 3.1. Make Engagement Seamless
- 3.2. Understand Your Partner's Needs
- 3.3. Enable & Support Your Partners
- 3.4. Incentivize Partners to Foster Commitment
- 4. Conclusion
Table of contents
The best way to describe a reseller partner is to consider them an extension of your sales team.
Simply put, a reseller acts as a middleman between the SaaS provider and the customer, selling directly to the end user. The partners have more say over how the product is sold and are paid a percentage of the sales.
However, each type of reseller has a distinct scope of work and a unique set of extended functions, and there are numerous different types of resellers you can choose from to become one.
Some examples of these types of resellers include:
As a traditional reseller, you sell another vendor's software/solutions to your customers without making any significant changes.
In a value-added model, a reseller company offers consulting, integration, implementation, training, add-on solutions, or add-on products, in addition to reselling the vendor's product.
This is how the "value-added" services are provided.
White Label reselling means rebranding and reselling already existing products and services, transferring ownership to a third party to be resold at the price and brand image desired by the partner.
However, as a white-label reseller, you must first purchase a license or the product before you can rebrand and resell it as your own.
Now that you understand the various types of reseller partners, let's look at how to build a strong and valuable partnership with them.
We’ve seen the number of competitive partner programs drastically increase over the past few years. This means we are in a time when not only are partner needs pressing, but also in a time where there are numerous partnership opportunities pulling partners’ attention.
Because of this, it is critical to build solid relationships with all your reseller partners while also understanding that each partner's needs are unique.
You and your team must develop personalized strategies that will allow each reseller partner program to succeed, and avoid the hindrance of low engagement or partner loss.
No, it's not simple, but the secret to success is striking a balance between the demands of your company and those of your partner.
When these relationships are solid, they can provide a wealth of advantages and a competitive edge. If not, they might be a financial burden and ultimately erode your brand.
So, what happens when you make an active effort to cultivate strong relationships with reseller partners?
Offering your partners access to resources that advance their knowledge, reward them, and provide support creates a relationship that goes beyond a simple business transaction and will encourage them to choose your brand over competitors in the long run.
The more you communicate with your partners, whether through direct communication, visible activity on the partner portal(s), or by email, the more likely they are to advocate for and recommend your brand offering to their network.
By strengthening your connections with partners, you'll be able to take advantage of their market-specific customer insights and more easily match your offering to their needs, which will make selling easier.
Building positive and mutually beneficial relationships with your partners can improve partner experiences, provide a competitive advantage (against competing companies and channel vendors), and boost program ROI to levels that would be difficult to achieve with disengaged, uninspired, and dissatisfied partners.
Consistently delivering top-notch partner experiences helps to build a positive channel reputation and converts partners into program advocates who can attract interest and penetrate new markets, resulting in new revenue streams and increased sales.
It's easy to get caught up in the distribution and marketing of the product, just as it's easy to believe that a great product will attract and retain great reseller partners. But the reality is that product is only one of many factors that will have partners placing their trust in the vendor to do business together.
What's more important is finding ways to build and maintain strong relationships with resellers.
You've probably heard countless times how important it is to engage with your partners.
It does not just mean sending them your product or marketing materials and calling it a day. It involves checking in frequently to make sure all of their needs are met, getting their feedback on how you can improve your offering, and ensuring that your program evolves as their goals do.
Keep in mind that the path to an engaged partner is not a one-size-fits-all approach and should be tailored to each type of reseller.
To achieve this, draft a well-thought-out partner engagement plan within your partner program that outlines the types of partnerships you want to encourage. Then implement partner portals that not only automate many of the necessary daily partner support tasks but also assess partner engagement.
This will make everything ten times easier.
Reseller partnerships are not easy. They are complex and constantly changing.
However, the beauty of a reseller partnership is that when planned and executed properly, partners and vendors can work together to reach more customers and increase their market share.
You must first understand your partner's needs in order to achieve this. Ask a few questions to start gaining insight into their company's milestones and the motivations behind their desire to develop a partnership, such as:
What are the important KPIs?
What do they expect the partnership will accomplish?
What type of training or support do they need?
What would a quick win look like for the partner?
These questions should cover a wide range of topics, including what they should know about the brand, how they want to grow their brand, and how you can more effectively match your product with their target market.
This will take time and effort, but after you've invested and done your homework on your reseller partner, untangling the many components of your reseller partnership will be simple. The good news is that there are various techniques for remaining aligned with the needs of your partner, such as:
Partnership agreements that include the goals of both the vendor and the partner.
Business plans with quantifiable goals and requirements.
Partner portals for transparency and collaboration.
All of this may help you and your partner get on the same page when it comes to objectives, marketing, and how to effectively move ahead in the partnership.
Remember that the more closely you align with your partners' needs, the more successful you will see.
Reseller partnerships don't have to be complicated, but the SaaS product market is becoming increasingly competitive, and businesses are constantly adding new partners and channels to their ecosystems.
Therefore, it's critical for businesses to empower reseller partners and distributors so that the ecosystem functions smoothly. Resellers should be trained on how to turn opportunities into deals, strengthen customer relationships, up-sell, cross-sell, and engage in all other revenue-generating activities.
This can be achieved by:
Maintaining constant communication. This necessitates that partners have access to the most up-to-date information on products, requirements, costs, and discount policies.
Establishing a partner portal or a central repository for all information to be safely stored. This enhances governance and lessens the need for follow-ups.
Placing training and education initiatives into place to inform partners about best practices and the most recent data.
A reseller partner incentive program encourages your reseller partners to engage in specific actions by providing them with worthwhile rewards that help them expand their own businesses, all while motivating them to remain loyal and sell more goods for you over a long period of time.
Creating an incentive program that provides value to you and your reseller partners while facilitating engagement can have a significant impact on your bottom line, and there are a variety of incentives to choose from to get started, such as:
Percentage of sales
Partner page listing
Training and/or certification
It is best to remember that it can be difficult to maintain top-of-mind awareness when developing your reseller incentive program in the competitive channel partner landscape.
The best way to gain a competitive edge is to market your incentive program in a strategic, efficient, and measurable way. Think creatively about how to engage your target audience while keeping your budget in check.
For reseller partnerships to be successful, partners must not only share overlapping goals but also find ways to uplift the ones that don’t directly apply to them.
Only by working together and empowering each other can a mutually beneficial strategy and partnership be formed.
To do this, invest jointly in one another's goals and aspirations, collaborate in marketing efforts, and put effort and time into your partnership.
It will help both parties benefit from increased productivity, profitability, and engagement.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
What's an example of a reseller partner incentive?
Discounts on your product or services and Market Development Funds (MDFs) are two examples of typical incentives to encourage your reseller partner to sell more of your product or service.
What makes a good reseller partner?
A good reseller can be trusted to cultivate the reputation of your business and effectively sell products as they have a well-established and engaged customer base.
What is a reseller partner program?
A reseller partner program is a business strategy that vendors employ to boost sales, foster relationships, and expand their user or client base by enlisting partners who can resell the vendor’s products to the partner’s market.
How to enable reseller partners?
The best way to enable resellers is to provide training that demonstrates how to market, rebrand, and sell your product to their target market.
Can you use Kiflo to build strong reseller partnerships?
The Kiflo PRM platform can help with the creation of a successful reseller partner program. It helps businesses at every stage of the process, allowing them to grow and track the success of their partnership programs.