Set up your SaaS reseller program following these simple guidelines.

Having a scalable SaaS reseller program is a dream for any in the business. Everyone wants a global network of sales reps around the world representing their brand, and winning new business and keeping sales costs to a minimum.

Building a SaaS reseller program is hard work! Because you’ve received some interest from someone wanting to carry your SaaS doesn’t mean your SaaS reseller program is going to be a smash hit. In fact, building a successful, scalable SaaS reseller program requires more than just the ‘great’ product you have now, it requires a tremendous time investment for thought, execution and further development.

With that in mind, many SaaS companies often think it makes more sense to drop the reseller program and focus on direct sales and optimizing that funnel. Let’s just say this is a bad idea. There’s so much valuable business to win in segments that require a long standing and established relationship, which is very time-consuming to uphold. If SaaS companies manage these relationships themselves, suddenly they don’t have any time or manpower to focus on developing their software.

If you are already have a program in place on this and you’re seeing some traction you may be ready to turn on the growth accelerator. At that point you have to start asking yourself the following questions:

  • What value does your product give potential resellers?
  • Do you have a solid product and a good support team?
  • Management buy-in?

Keep in mind that this blog post is meant for SaaS vendors when preparing themselves for onboarding resellers. If you’re a reseller, have a look at our tips for how you choose the right SaaS vendors.

1. What is the value proposition to resellers?

When constructing a SaaS reseller program, it’s quite obvious that you need to have a strategy to onboard resellers. You need to be aware that your competitors in the market are also out there “dating” resellers. So why should they choose your program?

build a value proposition based on your resellers need.

A good start is to build your value proposition around the problems your resellers face. They need to:

  • Market & Position themselves
  • Consult and sell to prospective clients
  • Implement and roll out solutions
  • Support their customer base
  • Increase revenue and reduce costs
  • Provide added value to their own customers
  • Limit churn
  • A reason to talk with their customers

Which one of these points can you help them with? A solid reseller program would help to relieve pain points at every level of the reseller’s funnel, focusing on marketing and sales as these tend to be the biggest challenges. Remember that when a reseller considers adding a new product to their portfolio, they only care about how this product can help grow their own business.

2. Do you have a good product and support mechanism in place?

A reseller program does not work if your product is incomplete, plagued by bugs big and small, or if your company have poor customer support. Always keep it in the back of your head that a resellers’ relationship with a client is built upon trust. If resellers face poor support or product issues, they will bring their next customer elsewhere.

Reseller churn is far worse than a single customer churning. Consider offering your resellers a priority support level agreement and over the top sales support and training. If you have some really good ideas for how the reseller can sell your product, don’t keep them to yourself!

3. Management buy-in?

When it’s time to pull the trigger and scale your reseller program you will need support from your entire company. From the “C” level to the Sales Managers to the customer service. Anyone having anything to do with the customer should be part of the “buy-in” equation.

Budgets do wonders for your program. The best relationships are often a result of face-to-face meetups. ROI for ecosystem events as you head down for to recruit resellers can be incredible. Give inspiration and guidance such as help to organize presence at tech events, trade shows, mail campaigns, or whatever measures the reseller would take to promote and sell your product.

If you follow these simple guidelines for bolstering your reseller program, you’re ahead of most of the competition. Now you should be spending time building out the basics of your program and talking to a whole lot of potential resellers. Keep in mind that this is very time consuming and to land a number of quality resellers you may have to trek through the bad before the good.

As you understand their problems better, you’ll figure out if your value proposition actually works. Iterate, acquire more resellers, help your resellers grow and you should start seeing a steady but growing revenue channel. But of course it’s always a bit harder than that. It takes time and the organization needs to be in total support of the plan! Plan the work, work the plan!