Are you ready to accelerate your business growth without adding to your internal sales headcount? The secret lies in building a network of top-performing resellers. But how to find resellers that are a good match for your business?
From the basics of what resellers do and how they get paid, to hands-on strategies for finding the best ones for your ecosystem, we answer all of your questions in this comprehensive guide. Let's get started.
👉 What you'll find:
- How do I find good resellers?
- How do resellers get paid?
- How to find the best resellers for your business
- How to evaluate new resellers
How can resellers help me grow my business?
Simply put, resellers purchase your products or services and then sell them to their own customers. By doing so, they extend your selling potential, allowing you to reach audiences and markets that might be inaccessible or cost-prohibitive for your internal sales teams to reach directly.
This rapid expansion of your indirect sales can be a game-changer for your company's growth, and whole industries. In fact, McKinsey has forecasted that channel partner ecosystems will drive a third of total global revenue by 2030!
🔎 Discover more: Partnerships with resellers can rapidly accelerate your growth and revenue potential. Read about the many benefits of channel partners here!
How do I find good resellers?
We'll get into the how below, but what does it take to find a reseller that can truly add value to your business? It will depend on your business goals, but the highest-performing resellers typically share a few traits:
- Strategic alignment: They resonate with your brand's goals and vision, with both parties working towards the same objectives.
- Product knowledge: They have a strong understanding of the nuances of your products or services, enabling them to represent your offerings accurately and compellingly.
- Customer network: They possess an extensive network of potential customers, providing a springboard for your products or services into new markets.
Above all, the best resellers are those committed to your mutual growth, who are actively engaged in partnering and ready to evolve with your business.
How do resellers get paid?
Understanding how resellers earn revenue can help you craft an attractive reseller program that helps you stand out and motivates your resellers to drive sales for your business. The most common type of reseller payment programs and incentives include the following.
1. Product price markups and discounts
Essentially, the reseller purchases your product at a discounted rate and then sells it at a higher price to customers. The difference between the cost they pay for your product and the price at which they sell it forms their profit.
For example, in the software industry, a reseller might purchase licenses for your software at a significant discount. They then sell these licenses to their clients at a higher price, retaining the difference as their profit. This method incentivizes resellers to sell as much of your product as possible, increasing their profits as they boost your sales.
2. Commission-based models
With this model, resellers receive a certain percentage of the sale price for each product sold. The commission rate can vary based on the product, the reseller's performance, or the specific terms of your agreement.
For instance, a reseller in the telecommunications industry might receive a 15% commission on the sale price of every data plan they sell. This model incentivizes resellers to focus not just on the volume of sales, but also on selling higher-priced packages that can earn them larger commissions.
3. Tiered incentives
Some businesses opt for a tiered incentive program, where the reseller's discount or commission increases as they hit certain sales thresholds. This model motivates resellers to continually aim higher, knowing that increasing their sales will directly boost their profits.
For example, a reseller in the automotive industry might receive a 10% commission on their sales up to $100,000, but if they surpass that and hit $200,000 in sales, their commission might increase to 15%.
🔎 Discover more: Make resellers an extension of your sales team. With a partner relationship management platform like Impartner, you can automate program tiering, manage deals and pipeline, and allow resellers to track their progress towards higher incentives. Learn more here!
4. Bonus incentives
Beyond regular earnings, you can also offer bonus incentives to motivate resellers. For instance, a tech company might offer a $1,000 bonus to the reseller who sells the most units of their new product within the first month of its launch.
These incentives can be tied to performance, such as a bonus for the reseller who sells the most units in a quarter or achieves the highest customer satisfaction scores.
Remember, the goal of a reseller incentive program is to motivate resellers to promote your products and drive sales. It's crucial to strike a balance between what is financially feasible for your business and what will provide enough incentive for the reseller to prioritize selling your product over your competitors.
How to find resellers that are a perfect fit
With the right strategies and a little work, you can find top-performing reseller partners to accelerate your business growth. Research shows that industry trade shows are some of the best places to find partners, but it pays to prepare before that first hello.
This is a proven roadmap to finding and recruiting the best resellers to sell your products, but always remember to tailor your approach to suit your industry and specific business needs. Want to learn more about finding different types of partners for your ecosystem? Check out our full guide!
🔎 Discover more: From first search to final handshake, learn how to find channel partners that are a perfect match for your company in our comprehensive guide.
1. Define your ideal reseller
Just like you wouldn't market to every customer, you don't want to partner with every reseller. Instead, focus on finding resellers that align with your business objectives, target audience, and product. In the SaaS industry, for example, an ideal reseller might be one who already has established relationships with your target market and has a deep technical understanding of your product. But it doesn't stop there.
Consider these characteristics when defining your ideal reseller:
- Market reach: An ideal reseller should have an extensive network in your target market, along with a proven track record and sales strategy for effectively reaching your ideal customers.
- Industry experience: The best resellers understand your industry's market dynamics, competition, customer needs, and trends. They should also have an understanding of the specific challenges that your product aims to solve.
- Technical expertise: Particularly for tech products, resellers should have a deep understanding of the product to effectively sell it. They should be able to answer technical queries and explain the product's benefits to potential customers.
- Reputation: A reseller with a good reputation enhances your credibility. Look for resellers with positive reviews, testimonials, or case studies that demonstrate their success.
- Customer service: Since resellers will be an extension of your brand, they need to provide excellent customer service, ensuring that your customers' experience is consistent, whether they're dealing with you directly or with the reseller.
- Alignment with brand values: The reseller should align with your brand values and ethics. Any misalignment here could lead to conflicting messages that harm your brand in the long run.
By defining your ideal reseller, you'll set a benchmark that can guide your search and evaluation process. This will help ensure that you form partnerships with resellers who can truly act as extensions of your sales team.
2. Attend industry events
How to find resellers? According to research by PartnerPath, industry events are the top place for partners to discover new vendors. Trade shows, conferences, and industry-specific gatherings should be your go-to spots for fostering connections with potential resellers.
In the IT industry, for example, mega-events like the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) can be an ideal place to showcase your products and attract potential resellers. Top partnerships events, like Channel Partners and Canalys, provide valuable opportunities to meet channel professionals from around the globe.
Simply attending events isn't enough, though. To help you connect with potential partners at these events follow these steps.
- Be prepared: Before the event, familiarize yourself with the list of attendees, exhibitors, and speakers. Identify those that might be potential resellers and do some research on them. This will help you tailor your approach and conversation to them.
- Have a strong booth strategy: Use eye-catching signage or screens to attract attendees and have informative brochures, swag, or digital materials ready. At your booth, showcase your product and be ready to demonstrate it for potential resellers.
- Make time for networking: Most industry events have networking sessions or social activities built into their schedules. These are golden opportunities to connect with potential resellers in a casual environment and build relationships.
- Have your elevator pitch ready: Be ready with a succinct and compelling pitch for your product and reseller program. Quickly highlight the key benefits for resellers to spark interest.
- Prioritize follow-up: Don't let the connection grow cold after the event. Send a follow-up email or LinkedIn message expressing your interest in exploring a partnership further.
Industry events are an important opportunity to build relationships that could lead to valuable partnerships. As PartnerPath research suggests, don't overlook the potential of these events when looking for new resellers.
3. Leverage word of mouth recommendations
One of the most powerful tools in your search is word of mouth recommendations. If you have connections with other businesses in your industry, don't hesitate to ask about their experiences with resellers. You'll get invaluable insights, as well as receive recommendations for trusted resellers.
For instance, if you manufacture medical devices, leveraging connections with other industry professionals can help you expedite your search. They might know of resellers who specialize in healthcare equipment distribution, saving you time and effort.
To get the right types of recommendations, don't just ask about general experiences. Make sure you share your ideal reseller criteria with your connections to get more targeted recommendations. And, in return, share your connections and recommendations. This reciprocal relationship can strengthen your network.
4. Use dedicated reseller sourcing agencies and tools
If sourcing resellers on your own seems overwhelming, consider engaging a channel recruitment company, like Partner Optimizer. These companies, individuals, or agencies specialize in connecting businesses with potential partners, finding the right partner for your needs.
For instance, if you're a manufacturer in the automobile industry, engaging a reseller agency could help introduce you to established dealerships or independent sales agencies with expansive networks and deep market knowledge.
When working with these consultants or tools, be clear about your requirements, including your target market, the kind of experience you want the reseller to have, and the support you can offer. Also make sure to understand the terms of engagement with the agency or company. This includes their fees, the services they provide, and the expectations on both sides.
5. Use online directories and platforms
Online platforms can simplify your search for resellers. These directories host an array of resellers across various industries, making it easier for you to find potential partners. For example, if you're an e-commerce business, these platforms can help you discover a broad range of resellers catering to your target markets.
When using online platforms, use the platforms' search filters to refine your search based on your requirements. Many of these platforms also allow resellers to be reviewed. Reading these reviews can provide insights into a reseller's performance and reliability.
6. Leverage social media
Social media platforms, especially LinkedIn, are robust networking tools for finding potential resellers worldwide. This is how to find resellers on social media sites:
- Identify potential resellers: Use the search function on LinkedIn to find professionals who have "reseller," "distributor," "dealer," or similar terms in their job titles, descriptions, or company summaries. For a fintech company, for example, you could look for individuals or businesses who are already promoting or selling similar digital payment solutions or financial management software.
- Optimize your company profile: Before you start reaching out, make sure your company's LinkedIn profile is up-to-date and effectively showcases your products or services.
- Personalize connection requests: When connecting with potential resellers, personalize your request. Mention common interests, mutual connections, or something specific from their profile that prompted you to reach out.
- Leverage LinkedIn groups: Join LinkedIn groups that are relevant to your industry and start engaging in discussions. You can find potential resellers among the group members and establish a connection through shared interests and active participation.
- Use InMail outreach: If you're unable to connect directly, use LinkedIn's InMail feature to reach out to potential resellers. Keep the message professional, clear, and concise. Explain why you're reaching out and how your proposal could benefit them.
- Track your outreach efforts: Keep track of who you have reached out to, their response, and follow-up actions.
- Don't forget about other social platforms: Don't limit your search to LinkedIn. Platforms like Reddit, Facebook, and industry-specific forums can also help with your reseller outreach efforts.
Social media is not just about finding resellers, but also about building real relationships. Regular interaction, engagement, and providing value should be at the heart of your social media strategy.
7. Offer attractive incentives
Offering attractive incentives not only makes your company more appealing to resellers but also motivates them to prioritize your products over competitors. Depending on your industry and what works best for your business model, incentives can come in different forms, including:
- Volume discounts: This is a common practice, especially in retail. You'll offer your resellers a higher discount rate based on the volume of products they purchase, encouraging them to buy more products from you.
- Exclusive access: Give your resellers something special that others don't have. This may mean giving exclusive access to new collections, limited edition items, or pre-sale access.
- Commission fees: The more profit potential there is for the reseller, the more motivated they'll be to sell your products. Consider offering commission fees, or higher rates for reaching certain sales targets.
- Achievement bonuses: Recognize and reward your resellers when they hit significant milestones, such as closing a large deal or exceeding their quarterly sales targets.
Also think beyond monetary-based incentives. Other incentives you can offer include:
- Dedicated training and support: Offer comprehensive training and support programs to ensure your resellers understand your product in depth. The more knowledgeable they are about your product, the better they can sell it.
- Marketing support: Offer co-branded marketing materials, marketing development fund programs, or paid media marketing campaigns to help them promote your product effectively.
- Exclusive territories: Assigning an exclusive territory or market to a reseller can be a significant incentive, as they will not have to compete with other resellers of your product within that designated area.
Remember, what works best will depend on your specific industry, product, and the reseller's capabilities and interests. The goal is to create a win-win scenario that boosts your sales while providing value to your resellers.
With Impartner, you can automate your partner management and incentivize partner performance effortlessly. Learn more about how to grow a revenue-focused partner experience in the following in-depth guide.
8. Open the door to incredible partnerships
As you grow your reseller network, remember that the process of partnering must be reciprocal.
According to PartnerPath research, many resellers start looking for new vendors when they identify a new customer need. If your product fits those needs, resellers may have already conducted research on your company. Your role then is to make the process as easy and inviting as possible, opening the door to incredible collaborations. Here's how:
- Offer online assets: Having a dedicated section on your website for potential resellers is a great start. Describe your reseller program in detail with information about how your product solves customer needs, the benefits of partnering with your company, testimonials from existing resellers, training resources, and details about the support you offer.
- Provide easy ways to get in touch: The easier it is for partners to reach out, the more likely they are to do so. Make it simple for potential resellers to get in touch with you, rather than making them fill out a long application. Offer a dedicated partner contact form, an email address, or even a chatbot on the partner portions of your website.
- Communicate promptly: When potential resellers reach out, respond promptly. Remember, every interaction is a chance to impress, so make your communication personable and engaging. Show them that you value their interest and are excited about a potential partnership.
- Be transparent: Be transparent about your reseller onboarding process. Let them know what they can expect in terms of timeline, training, support, and other critical aspects. This clarity can help set the right expectations from the beginning and build trust.
By welcoming potential resellers warmly, you're not only making it easy for them to partner with you, but also setting the stage for a strong relationship that can significantly accelerate your indirect sales. Always remember, the best partnerships are those where both parties grow together.
🔎 Discover more: Easily set up and onboard your new resellers with our free reseller agreement template. Download it now!
How to evaluate potential resellers
Evaluating the new partners you've found can make the difference between a thriving reseller relationship and one that falls short of everyone's expectations. To assess the potential of these partnerships, start by:
- Investigating their track record: Check their tenure in the industry, partnership testimonials, and the companies they have partnered with previously.
- Examine customer feedback: Delve into reviews and ratings given by their customers to gauge the reseller's service quality and reputation. In the age of online reviews, customer feedback can offer an unfiltered perspective on a reseller's strengths and potential areas of improvement.
- Establish clear KPIs: Consider measuring KPIs such as sales targets, customer retention rate, and time-to-market to evaluate potential resellers.
- Assess their market knowledge: A reseller that deeply understands the market landscape, trends, and customer needs can provide more strategic value than simply reselling products. This knowledge can help you position your products effectively and tap into new customer segments.
- Understand their sales strategies: Get a sense of how the reseller plans to sell and promote your products, ensuring that they align with your brand values and market approach.
Through a rigorous evaluation process, you can identify the best resellers that not only align with your business goals but also have the potential to drive your business growth.
Build a thriving reseller partner program
Once you have your new resellers on board, managing them well can help you build long-term thriving partnerships. At Impartner, we know better efficiency between you and your partners drives incredible growth. That's why our platform automates and manages your entire partner journey, end-to-end.
Our platform can help you effortlessly onboard, train, and manage your reseller partnerships. From automated partner onboarding, training, and certifications to communications, business planning, and performance compliance, Impartner handles every aspect of reseller management and more with best practices and automation built-in.
Need to accelerate your partnerships? We're ready when you are.