If you’ve been in value added reseller business for a while, you may have noticed the massive shift that happened recently. In short: the emphasis went from the ‘reselling’ part to the ‘value added’ portion of the phrase.
If you’re considering becoming a value added reseller, one of the first things you should ask yourself is: What additional services and/or product can I add to my vendor’s offer? This way, you can ensure that: a) your customers are getting a complete bundle (meaning, real value), b) that you’re building genuine business relationships, instead of just one-off transactions.
Now, let’s take a step back to evaluate some of the basics.
What is value added reseller
A value added reseller focuses on amplifying existing products and solution. This can be done either by creating integrations or by offering services that can create value for anyone who would like to use the original products. All of these are then repackaged into a 360° business bundle and resold to both new or actual customers.
Value added reselling is changing
As mentioned, the world of value added reselling has experienced a fundamental change in the last 3-4 years. The change is related to the transformations that have been going on in the SaaS world in general.
While the software-as-a-service (SaaS) model does not show signs of stopping any time soon, you need to remember that modern tools are getting more affordable and easier to use. Your potential customers no longer need a specialist to introduce new software to their business. And according to the report prepared by the DemandGen Report, 89% of B2B software buyers already have initial research done before they contact a vendor or a reseller.
Is there anything you can do about it?
My answer is: yes, there is! To not only survive but also thrive as a value added reseller you need to establish what genuine value you can bring to your customers and start executing as quickly as possible.
Value added reselling is not a magical place where it is all sunshine and roses, but with the right approach and the ability to stay on top of things, you can turn it into a profitable business.
So before I start listing all pros of becoming a value added reseller, let’s check what the disadvantages of this model are.
The cons of becoming a value added reseller
1. High product margin
You can’t really control the price of the product you’re selling, and the whole reselling process is sometimes not transparent. It’s not the case with the LiveChat Partner Program. Not only you can buy our solution with a 20% discount and when you resell to a customer later, but they also don’t have access to the billing info. You can then put your own price tag on our product and all the additional services such as customization and implementation you’ve offered.
2. Product changes
While it may not sound like a problem, very frequent to the product you’re reselling can take a toll on the number of your customers and their engagement. Especially if the changes are beyond your control and you’re not sure where to look for heads up.
Once again, that is not we’re doing in the LiveChat Partner Program. What you get is a dedicated account manager that you can contact anytime, and places where we’re listing all changes to our product, and changes to the Partner Program itself.
Ok, so now the cons of this business partnership model is out of the way, let’s go back to checking what you can gain by joining a partner program.
The advantages of value added reselling
2. Marketing and sales support
3. The possibility of expanding your business offer
4. Access to the vendor’s customer base
Let’s start with the cost-effectiveness. When you’re registering for a partner program with the intention of becoming a value added reseller, all you need to do is to leverage your existing resources. The product that you will be promoting is already there, no need to develop or maintain it. Most solution partner programs also have extensive sales materials ready to be used (just take a look at our Pitch Deck), so you don’t have to create these on your own. It makes value added reselling much easier than starting and marketing your own thing.
Speaking of sales and marketing support, as a value added reseller you’ll always be able to contact your partner manager to help you with any of your reselling activities. At LiveChat Partner Program, you can check contact details of your partner manager right after logging in to the partner dashboard. They’ll be happy to respond to your questions via email. You can also schedule a call with them by booking a slot in Calendly.
Adding extra services to your portfolio is a failproof way to gain new customers. Period. As a value added reseller, you will be able to include tons of those in your business offer. From implementation to customization and sales consultancy, there’s no limit to what you build around the product you’re selling. Whether you’re running a marketing agency or a solo business, there’s a whole career to be gained.
The most controversial element of becoming a value added reseller is often gaining access to vendor’s customer base. Solution partners would love to be able to offer their services to vendor’s customers; vendors fear losing their clients to partners’ businesses. Once again, that is not something that is happening at LiveChat. With our Partner Program, you can apply to become a LiveChat Expert as soon as you completed at least one project where you successfully offered additional services around our product. The expert status means being featured in the LiveChat Marketplace which is accessible directly from our app, and where any of our 25,000 customers can go to find specialists ready to help with introducing and using LiveChat at their companies.
What type of value added services could you offer?
There’s a fair chance that you know it by now, but here’s where you can find more ideas on what you could include it in your business bundle as a value added reseller. What’s important here that the idea of what you could offer will come as soon as you start focusing on your customers’ needs. Find out what these are, and start building up.
One of the examples of successfully approaching reselling as a way to create value for your customers is a UK-based chat support provider, The Chat Shop who has been an active LiveChat partner for the last few years.
Since registering for our Partner Program and due to their data-driven marketing approach, they’ve been able to create impressive results for the customers they’d working with:
They not only offer customer support services handling live chat request for their clients but also train their staff on how to use LiveChat. As Jonny Everett, The Chat Shop’s founder said, ‘outsourcing means becoming a part of our customer’s business’. This is definitely a very different perspective from just simply adding LiveChat to customer’s website code and handing it back to them. This is precisely what you should strive for a value added reseller.
You can read The Chat Shop’s success story on our blog.
Over to you
Have you ever considering becoming a value added reseller? Are you one already? I’d love to hear more about your experience in the comments below.