How to Build a Successful Reseller Partner Program
Experts in business development with proven track records of assisting B2B businesses all have something in common: they leverage Reseller Partner Programs to boost the user base of their customers.
Have you been asking yourself how you'll expand your revenue? A well-designed and well-executed Reseller Partner Program might just be the answer. Multibillion-dollar IT businesses owe their success to powerful reseller programs. This is why Cisco, Citrix, and Microsoft reseller partner programs are popular among big IT companies.
Effective and beneficial partner programs involve time, effort, and strategic planning, all of which can be summarized in a few steps. Learn how to use a reseller partner network to sell and advertise your product effectively.
This article includes specific steps and ideas for creating your own professional reseller partner program.
What is a Reseller Partner Program?
A reseller partner program is a popular business strategic plan that vendors use to increase sales, build relationships, and grow their network of users or customers.
Value-added resellers (VARs), managed service providers (MSPs), cloud computing consultants, systems integrators (SIs), original equipment manufacturers (OEMs), independent software vendors (ISVs), and distributors are examples of channel partners (resellers) who work with a variety of business models.
Types of Reseller Programs
Reseller programs play a pivotal role in establishing robust partnerships and expanding market reach for businesses.
These programs serve as the bridge connecting companies with resellers who effectively promote and sell their products and services. Here, we delve into various types of reseller programs and illuminate the advantages they bring to both companies and their partner resellers.
Software reseller programs involve strategic collaborations with resellers who specialize in marketing and selling software products. Acting as intermediaries, these resellers not only connect companies with potential customers but also provide essential technical support when required. Such programs empower companies to access untapped markets, broadening their audience base and fostering growth.
In the age of cloud-based solutions, SaaS reseller programs have received immense popularity. These programs revolve around partnerships with resellers offering Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) products. Resellers, leveraging their expertise, promote and facilitate the adoption of SaaS solutions, further propelling their success.
Social Media Reseller
Harnessing the influential capabilities of social media platforms, social media resellers play a pivotal role in bolstering a company's online presence. Through meticulously crafted marketing campaigns and lead generation strategies, these resellers drive substantial traffic and leads, ultimately leading to increased sales for the company.
Targeting individuals or companies that provide web hosting services to their clients, hosting reseller programs enable partners to offer comprehensive packages. These packages often bundle hosting services with complementary offerings such as website development or design, delivering added value to customers.
SEO Reseller Program
In the fiercely competitive digital landscape, SEO reseller programs hold significant sway in enhancing a company's search engine rankings. Specializing in Search Engine Optimization (SEO), these resellers assist companies in optimizing their online presence, boosting website visibility, and generating a higher volume of leads.
White Label Reseller
White-label reseller programs present a unique opportunity for resellers to rebrand and resell products and services as their own. Companies provide their offerings to resellers, who can then market and sell these products under their own brand identity. This arrangement empowers resellers to diversify their product portfolio without having to invest heavily in product development.
Now that we've explored the various types of reseller programs let's uncover the key steps to craft a winning reseller program. Below are our top seven.
How to Build a Reseller Partner Program in 7 Steps
1. Know the Type of Resellers You Want
Not all resellers are the same. Some companies have greater resources than others, and some can enhance your product by providing add-on services.
Understanding the types of resellers with the most potential for your business and theirs is the first step in building a reseller partner program. The nature of your product should determine this.
Whatever the condition guiding your selection, ensure you engage with the correct resellers or partners. Even when partners aren’t your workers, they are ambassadors for your company. Prioritize quality over quantity when it comes to partner programs.
2. Know About Your Potential Partner
Now that you know what kind of resellers you want to attract, it's time to look for them both on and offline. Ask yourself the following questions:
- Are they a member of a specific group or forum?
- Do they go to an industry trade fair every year?
- Is it possible for them to have other types of relationships, and if so, which ones?
- How can you use those networks to spread your message to your target audience?
- What value can I provide to them?
- What can I do now to provide value, even before the pitch meeting?
These questions should serve as a roadmap for completing an audit, which should serve as the foundation for your approach.
Resellers are unlikely to approach you independently; you must go out of your way to show them how they can gain from reselling your goods. This can be accomplished via a combination of inbound and outbound marketing strategies, but first, you must determine which channels to use.
Find and discuss any important mutual goals once you’ve found an ideal possible partner. Clearly define what you and the potential partner bring to the table that you couldn’t do alone. With this, you can establish a partner program that generates the maximum value.
3. Create As Much Marketing Content as You Can
You’ll need material not only to persuade the reseller to offer your product but also to address the end user.
Begin by making a list of all the content you’ll need, such as:
- An overview of partnership benefits;
- Cost structure;
- Different ways the reseller can profit from your product, also known as benefits and/or rewards;
- How your product benefits end-users, and;
- How your offer can complement their own objectives.
Making a workhorse brochure is a wonderful place to start because it’s a kit that can be quickly changed as needed. Consider it a folder containing inserts (one-pagers) you can add or remove as needed. This system is also popular in Microsoft reseller partner programs.
The workhorse brochure thus becomes a “package offer” that explains the ins and outs of the partner program, but it can also be utilized for other purposes. In addition to a printed version you can bring to face-to-face meetings, you can also build an online version that can be used in online meetings and pitches.
It’s also a good idea to have success stories you can display to other potential resellers to demonstrate your worth. They will take you much more seriously if they can see that other individuals are benefiting from your relationship.
4. Measure Partnership Success Properly
A reseller partner program remains incomplete without incorporating periodic measurements of partners’ success. You need to establish clear-cut frameworks and indices upon which the activities and performances of the partners will be measured.
This simple strategy helps you to determine if the partnership is a step in the right direction (or not). It also lets business owners decide whether the business partnership should be discontinued or maintained.
It is essential to state that setting and tracking measurable partnership goals are inevitable in the course of building an effective and efficient reseller partner program.
This can be done through a business plan, which will help you define your goals with your partners for a specific period of time and track the results. The objective is to help the partner focus on what’s important and align both businesses.
One of the strategies that can be adopted in achieving this lofty objective is an acronym titled “SMART" which stands for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound, respectively. You can use this guide to build SMART goals for your partner program.
A reseller partner that fulfills the five criteria captured under SMART is bound to be productive and worthy of partnership.
5. Make Onboarding and Communication Easy
For your program to work successfully, you’ll also need to figure out how to enable the reseller partners program. Onboarding and educating resellers, giving tools and resources, connecting with and updating them as needed, and providing them with everything else they need for successful channel sales are all part of partner enablement.
Your partners must understand how to effectively advertise and sell your products or services, which makes partner onboarding critical.
You must train resellers on brand and partnership foundations during their partner onboarding. This training content will contain guidelines for how your brand should be portrayed and what critical product information should be discussed during the sales process.
Each partner’s training should be tailored to their specific needs, focusing on how they can pitch the product to satisfy the demands of your common target.
Most importantly, don’t abandon your partners after they’ve completed their onboarding and training. Rather, schedule regular check-ins with partners at predetermined intervals. Also, ensure they know how to contact you with any questions.
6. Co-Finance Lead Generation Initiative
The reseller will realize that you are committed to the cause if you help the reseller sell your goods by co-financing marketing outreach programs.
Resellers seek help, which can be provided through partner marketing campaigns. Your resellers can start engaging with promising prospects through co-sponsored events, database development, lead-generating campaigns, and email marketing. This has been useful in the IBM reseller partner programs and other related ones.
You can also provide co-branded material exclusively for your reseller if they cannot develop it themselves. Assisting them in selling will ensure that the reseller is set up for success.
Remember that it’s never a good idea to pit two partners against one another. This is because, in certain cases, selecting only one or two resellers to serve a specific geographical zone (or vertical activity sector) might be more beneficial to your business than having a large number of resellers who end up stomping on each other’s toes.
7. Create Partnership Levels and Reward Systems
Giving your resellers incentives to sell more products by introducing degrees of partnership (silver, gold, and platinum, for example) tied to a reward system can be a wonderful method for them to profit from their success.
Once you’ve built up a large network of resellers, you can arrange events for them, giving them special acknowledgment for their efforts like that of the SAP reseller partner program.
You might also consider implementing a mentorship program, which connects new resellers with seasoned ones to learn best practices. Partners are more likely to row in the same direction when they believe they are all in the same boat, rather than affronting one another in direct combat over potential clients.
How Successful Are Reseller Partner Programs
Reseller Partner Programs are always successful when no strategic stone is left unturned, so to speak. Each of the aforementioned steps has a significant impact on the program's outcome, which is all about improved marketing, a broad-based customer network, and, eventually, business development.
engaged resellers/partners. Their success output should also be tracked at close intervals. Onboarding of those partners is also necessary for more productivity, as this is the secret behind the success of the HPE reseller partner program.
ing lead campaigns to aid the assignment of the partners will motivate and give them better results. Reward systems will also consolidate the process and give it more effectiveness.
The series of concerted efforts point at making the reseller partner programs successful for the sustainable growth of the business. The Apple reseller partner program has indeed recorded tremendous success for its initiators.
The Power of E-mail Marketing in Your Reseller Partner Programs
Now let's look at one of the most common ways to market your reseller partner program. Among the many marketing strategies available, one stands out as a powerful tool that can significantly boost your reseller partner program - E-mail Marketing.
Before delving into the benefits of email marketing, let's gain a deeper understanding of its role in reseller partner programs.
E-mail marketing serves as a strategic communication channel that enables companies to connect with their reseller partners effectively. It facilitates the dissemination of crucial information, updates, and resources proactively, keeping partners engaged and informed.
Maximizing the Impact: Best Practices for Email Marketing in Reseller Partner Programs
- Segmentation and Targeting: Divide your email list into relevant segments based on reseller type, location, or sales performance. Tailor your messages accordingly for maximum impact;
- Compelling Value Proposition: Craft emails with a clear and compelling value proposition, highlighting the benefits of partnership and the support you offer;
- Executive Support and Sponsorship: Emails sent from key executives within your company can carry more weight and credibility, enhancing the impact of your message;
- Social Media Integration: Integrate links to your social media accounts, encouraging reseller partners to engage with your brand and content on various platforms;
- Discounts and Incentives: Offer exclusive discounts and incentives through emails to encourage resellers to promote your products actively.
Measuring Success: Metrics to Track in Email Marketing
- Open and Click-Through Rates: Monitor the open and click-through rates to gauge the engagement and effectiveness of your email campaigns;
- Lead Generation and Conversion Rates: Measure the number of leads generated and the conversion rates from email marketing efforts;
- Subscription and Unsubscription Rates: Keep an eye on the subscription and unsubscription rates to assess the relevance and quality of your email content.
Companies with the Best Reseller Partner Programs
Now let us explore three industry-leading companies with top-notch reseller partner programs that set the gold standard in the world of partnerships. Let's delve into the details and discover why Shopify, HubSpot, and Apple are prime examples of successful reseller programs.
Shopify has gained widespread recognition for its outstanding reseller partner program. Here's what makes it stand out in the market:
Comprehensive Training and Resources: Shopify invests in providing its resellers with top-notch training and educational resources. This equips them with in-depth knowledge of the platform, email marketing, and sales process, empowering them to market and sell to potential clients effectively.
Dedicated Support: Shopify offers exceptional support to its reseller partners, ensuring they have access to a team of experts to assist with technical documentation, troubleshooting, and addressing any pain points that may arise during the sales process.
Innovative Features: Shopify continuously updates and enhances its platform to stay ahead in the market. Reseller partners benefit from the latest key features and tools, giving them a competitive edge over competitors.
Executive Support: Shopify's commitment to its resellers extends to executive support. Resellers receive guidance and strategic direction from the company's top executives, fostering a deeper understanding of the market and opportunities.
HubSpot's reseller partner program has set a benchmark for excellence in the industry. Here are some key aspects that make it exceptional:
Value Proposition: HubSpot's reseller program offers a compelling value proposition to its partners. With a comprehensive suite of marketing, sales, and service tools, resellers can cater to a wide range of clients, from startups to established enterprises.
Social Media and Email Marketing: HubSpot's platform includes powerful social media and email marketing tools. Resellers can leverage these features to help their clients build a strong online presence and generate leads effectively.
Subscription Model: HubSpot's reseller program operates on a subscription model, providing partners with recurring revenue opportunities. This predictable revenue stream enables resellers to focus on delivering exceptional client service.
Service Providers: HubSpot partners with service providers who offer complementary services. This partnership ecosystem allows resellers to collaborate with distributors, e-commerce stores, and other companies to provide holistic solutions to clients.
Apple's reseller partner program stands out for its commitment to excellence and innovation. Here's why it deserves a place among the best:
In-Depth Training and Certification: Apple offers extensive training and certification programs to its reseller partners. This ensures that partners have a deep understanding of Apple's products and can deliver top-notch service to customers.
Technical Documentation and Support: Apple provides reseller partners with comprehensive technical documentation and access to dedicated support teams. This empowers partners to resolve customer issues efficiently and deliver exceptional customer service.
Market Access: Apple's reseller program grants partners access to a vast market of loyal Apple customers. This gives resellers a strong foundation to grow their businesses and reach many potential clients.
Why You Should Have Your Own Reseller Partner Program
Reseller Partner Programs are beneficial in getting a product or service in front of a wider audience while incentivizing the reseller with monetary incentives. Here are some other reasons why you should have the program:
It allows your product to reach a much larger audience by leveraging your partner network: Simply put, if each of your resellers sells to ten new clients, and you have five resellers, you have 50 sales. You’d need many resources within your company to generate 50 more sales yourself.
A reseller program allows you to reach a far larger audience in less time. This is why the Zoom has been a landmark in the technological industry.
It gives you immediate access to a sales force: It provides you with access to several sales forces from various industries and geographic areas, and with various talents and knowledge.
You may triple your own sales force without spending money on additional sales teams or training by simply collaborating with a few resellers just as it is obtainable in the Salesforce reseller partner program.
This frees up more money and time for you to focus on reaching a larger audience and generating sales more effectively.
It instantly gives you new “warm” clients: You are not only acquiring new consumers, but you are gaining warm, new clients already buying from your reseller. Setting up a reseller partner program helps you to take advantage of the positive relationships that your resellers and their customers already have.
Though there are a lot of upsides to a reseller partner program, the tasks and data required to manage it are generally too much to handle.
A PRM software simplifies launching a channel partner program by supporting businesses with hiring, training, deal registration, and managing relationships with their partners. It automates all tasks related to your collaboration, making it essential for any successful partner program.
Kiflo assists in the creation of a smooth-running reseller partner program. It aids businesses at every stage of the process, allowing them to expand and track the performance of their partnership programs.