Whether you’re an established tech company launching a new product offering or a startup looking to penetrate a new market, navigating the B2B sales world is a complex undertaking… and these days, reaching an end user doesn’t always mean following a straight line.
For many organizations, developing a reseller program can help increase reach, boost awareness, and expand business operations by bridging the gap between your technology and market acceptance.
On the other hand, implementing a successful reseller program is easier said than done. Some entrepreneurs say that 80% of startups fail the channel test—they may understand how to begin a program, but not what makes their resellers tick.
Is a reseller program right for your company? Below are five ways to help determine that.
1. Your company & product are stable.
Stability is the name of the game if you plan on entering into a reseller program. According to HubSpot, if your company’s annual revenue is more than $20 million, it’s fair game to start building out a reseller program. To help assess your company’s stability, ask the following questions:
- Have you reached product and market fit?
- Do you have the brand equity to penetrate your market?
- Is your product in a stable state—or are you still building out important features?
The product-development feedback cycle from resellers will inevitably be slower than from direct customers. If your product is unstable, it’ll require excessive—and tedious—training and support for your partners.
2. Your sales process is scalable & repeatable.
Before you offload a chunk of your sales process to a reseller program, it’s crucial to have you internal procedure down. If your sales process is time-consuming for your own team, it’s only going to be worse for resellers. Obvious, right?
Before you even entertain the possibility of a reseller program, make sure you have a repeatable, proven, and scalable sales process.
3. You have clearly defined point solutions.
In today’s competitive SAAS space, many businesses bundle point offerings as part of an overall solution for larger business problems. Often, these organizations align themselves with small and medium enterprise (SME) resellers that can provide exclusive access to their solution.
Because each of your reps should ideally be an SME in your industry, they will know and understand the benefits you offer which will only help empower your resellers to sell.
4. Putting in the time.
As they say, good things take time—think of wine for example. No matter how you look at it, long-lasting channel partnerships can’t be rushed. The best reseller programs take time and commitment, and won’t happen overnight.
Building partnerships takes considerable effort up front. If you aren’t patient and willing to commit to the long haul, now may not be the right time to implement a reseller program.
5. You have training & support systems in place.
It goes without saying that training and support are critical components behind implementing a reseller program. If you don’t have effective training and support in place, your resellers simply won’t gain the necessary product knowledge to sell your solutions.
Sales enablement tools ensure that resellers are effectively onboarded and trained. These solutions empower partners, streamline collaboration, and ensure that resellers are set up for success.