Working with a software reseller, or a channel of software distributors, can help solve the problem of how to scale your software sales and support. However, there are some key points to keep in mind if you are going to be successful in working with software distributors.
Bottom line, you must view the relationship with your computer software reseller as a joint partnership in sales. If you provide them with the sales support and training they need, understand exactly what you need from your reseller, and choose software distributors that fit that need then you are well on your way to channel success.
So, what is the difference between a reseller and a distributor anyway? They are often used as synonyms, but usually the difference is a question of scale: a reseller may be quite small, new to selling your product, or very specialized in a specific customer segment, and sells directly to individual end customers. Distributors are usually larger, more established, and have a broad channel to sell through that might include both wholesale (to resellers) and direct to customers.
If you are considering working with a software reseller, there are a few key points to keep in mind:
When should you choose not to work with a distributor or reseller?
If you are trying to find someone else to drive sales of your product, then a reseller may not be the way to go. Too many resellers are just order-takers, and most have little motivation to proactively try to sell your product. Remember that they have a number of different products that they sell, and are not usually exclusively focused on selling yours. If yours doesn’t sell itself well, then the reseller will focus on one of their other products that does.
Software distributors and resellers work best when the product is established and has a proven sales record that the reseller can build on.
If you keep in mind the key points above, there can be benefit to working with a software reseller. Just realize it is not for every software publisher.
These are some of the main benefits:
If, after reading the tips above, you are still interested in finding software resellers to engage on selling your product, there can be a number of ways to identify good prospects.
You could always investigate the big software distributors like PC Ware, SOS Developers, etc. Realize they are not likely to provide specialized sales or support for your product.
To find more specialized resellers who sell to your target customer base, it is best to use your industry network: meet with resellers at trade shows or events, ask prospective or existing customers which resellers they work with, take a look at the websites of your competitors and see which software resellers they use.
As you are engaging with resellers, you also need to keep in mind the question of
channel software pricing – check out this article for more on that topic.