Business and Industry Perspective
Expanding into indirect sales is a big step for many businesses – but there is so much you can do to prepare and encourage a smooth transition ahead of time. From evaluating your market to developing a partnership proposition, there is plenty to be done before you go “all in” on your new telecom reseller channel. Whether you’re considering adopting a channel or are struggling to get your partner program off the ground, we’re here to help.
As one of the best telecom and managed services billing solutions in the industry, we’re excited to share how we’ve grown our business through a variety of partnerships. In this two-part blog series, we’ll dive into the key steps you should take to assess the market, prepare your business, and build partner relationships that last.
Use the links below to find the information you’re looking for on launching your successful telecom reseller channel:
Start by asking yourself – why do I want to build a resale channel? Typically, companies adopt an indirect resale channel strategy when adding more direct sales resources isn’t practical. However, there are two other main scenarios where forming a business partnership can be beneficial – your product or service is not a stand-alone offering (or it complements another offering), or you’re looking to explore new geographies or verticals.
Ask yourself, “could I offer a more complete solution if I was able to pair my offering with other products, services, or companies?” If the answer is yes, relying only on direct sales channels may be holding you back.
But, you shouldn’t partner with just anyone. Look for companies that are already succeeding with related or complementary offerings in your target market. Your partnership (or better yet, your partnership and integration) should not only improve your sales capabilities, it should also improve the experience for your mutual customers.
At Rev.io, we know our clients benefit from our partnerships with communications tax and compliance experts like CliftonLarsonAllen (CLA) and Compliance Solutions, Inc. Not only does this partnership offer a better customer experience, it allows us to trade referrals – it’s a win-win situation!
With the rise of remote and distributed work over the past three years, it’s no surprise that many organizations have looked to expand geographically. But, hiring and managing a direct sales team in remote geographies is complex and expensive. That’s why 80% of the IT industry utilizes indirect business models to make this process easier.
Leveraging a telecom reseller channel can be a cost-effective way to grow sales in a new region or enter into a new market without unnecessary risk. It can help expose your offering to new audiences and boost revenue growth.
Now that you understand your purpose behind building a telecom reseller channel, you’ll need to validate that your channel will be successful in your market.
Just because you launch a new resale channel doesn’t mean there is enough market demand to support it. Not every market can support both direct and indirect strategies – especially if your organization takes a niche approach.
Before you partner with a reseller, complete thorough market research – even if you feel certain you know the industry and your customers’ needs. Even if your research simply confirms your assumptions, you can now leverage that data to help you craft your business propositions and improve your channel credibility.
Develop a clear and compelling customer value proposition to build your resale channel quickly and effectively. Use this statement to define your solution and the benefits you can provide to your end-customer. And, don’t forget to outline your competitive advantage over other options on the market.
Client profiles are essential to developing a telecom reseller channel. They help you clearly articulate the key attributes of your target customer, including:
With this information in hand, you can educate your partners and help them ramp up their marketing and selling efforts efficiently.
Before you approach a new reseller partnership, you should have a complete picture of your competitors. This might include their:
Then, zero in on your three strongest competitors and consider what competitive advantages you may have over them. Defining both your competitors’ strategies and your organization’s advantages over them will validate your business and help you select the best partner.
The most successful partnerships are formed when you and your partner’s goals and strategies align. One of the best ways to ensure you’re in alignment is with a partnership proposition.
A partnership proposition is not the same as a customer value proposition and it will differ from partner to partner. Its purpose is to validate the partner opportunity and provide compelling reasons as to why the relationship is beneficial to both companies.
Create a partner proposition for each potential partner that addresses the following questions:
With a partnership proposition in place, both you and your potential partner will know what to expect as you approach the launch of your new channel.
Finally, you’ll need to get your company ready internally to engage with your new telecom reseller channel. Before launch, there are four major items to consider to ensure your success.
Every leader in your organizations must be aligned with your channel strategy and believe in its effectiveness as a go-to-market model. It only takes one executive leader to upset the entire initiative from launching.
Identify any skeptics early on in the process. Discuss their concerns openly and honestly. Brainstorm ways to calm these concerns without coercion or scare tactics. You may even be able to use their feedback to improve and strengthen your new strategy.
A key sign that your company is ready for a new partnership is having various methods of support for your channel partners. And now that your top-level decision makers are in alignment, it’s time to rally your channel team.
For many companies, building a channel support team involves hiring new sales team roles, like channel managers. Regardless of the employees you need, be sure you define the roles accurately, set clear expectations, and assign short- and long-term goals as soon as possible.
Partner training and enablement is critical to building a successful, symbiotic relationship. Prepare for new partner onboarding by gathering tools and resources, like:
Building a mutually beneficial channel relationship requires both parties to be knowledgeable about each others’ products and services. Put your best foot forward by being prepared, organized, and ready to both teach and learn.
Partner enablement tools like Rev.io’s self-service portals help you access the resources you need to improve agent relationships. We designed this all-in-one solution to streamline communication with agents, improve end-customer satisfaction, provide agents with their customer information, and share sales collateral and training resources from a single, consolidated place.
Before launching a partner strategy, define a clear escalation path to capture missteps and address issues that arise with mutual customers. Think through these escalation paths and prepare to handle potential issues that could occur during the sale, transition, and adoption phases.
Now that you’ve established a new partnership, it’s important to nurture your relationship. You and your partners need to appear as a united front in front of mutual customers. Never point fingers or blame your partners in front of a customer, even if they are in the wrong.
Established channel escalation paths make it easy to work directly with a partner and solve issues on behalf of the customer. You, your partner, and the customer all win.
Explore our bill-on-behalf capabilities to see how you can grow your reseller network and your revenue.
Want to partner with Rev.io? As one of the best billing softwares for usage-based offerings, we’re always looking for new partnership opportunities. Contact us to start the conversation or check out how SkySwitch grew its white label reseller client base by over 3,200% with help from Rev.io’s automated billing platform.
Take the necessary steps to grow your business at scale. Request a demo of Rev.io’s billing software today.