Half of the small-to-medium businesses (SMB) in Canada do not exist online. Of those that are online, half  outsource the effort to create and maintain an online presence.

“This is a huge opportunity. They do not have time to deal with things not working. They need someone to do it for them,” said Jeff Lulenski, vice president and general manager of global partnerships for GoDaddy, at an event hosted by IT World Canada in Toronto earlier this week.

Chances are if a business is not online, they are also not up-to-date with the software that is required to run a business efficiently in this modern age. This leaves a huge opportunity for the reseller community to step in to assist these businesses in catching up to the digital age.

SMB resellers from across the GTA came together to discuss the strategies that have worked for them and share some of their secrets with their peers.

Those in attendance had seen this opportunity, yet pointed out that many businesses they try to sell to do not see themselves as an online business, despite being urged to claim their place on Google’s rankings.

It is not as simple as selling someone a URL. SMB resellers must consider a broader picture of the entire business life cycle from sales to support.

So what strategies are successful resellers using to navigate the market? The presenters challenged the crowd with four questions that could help solve that problem.

How do you face the software as a service challenge?

Three main points were discussed among the resellers when it came to how they tackled the idea of selling people on software as a service. While almost everyone agreed that the ability to customize packages was key, there were some points where opinions differed.

While some said they offered services beyond just the sale of software (such as installation, maintenance, support etc.) as separate packages at varying price points, some among the audience said they found success with a fixed price, unlimited service model.

The fixed price model can definitely have success, but many agreed that it was a model that was more effective for more accomplished reselling companies with the infrastructure, staff, and flexibility to offer such a package.

How do you set margins that work?

Flexibility is key. At least that is what a majority of the resellers in the audience believe. You must know that not every business has the same ability to spend cash (although a little research in this area can go a long way), and being flexible with your price points can pay off.

Keep in mind that the lifetime value of a client can outweigh any immediate profit you may make on the deal.

Although flexibility is vital, you must also know how low is too low. Be prepared to walk away if they are not meeting your minimum.

How can a reseller platform make you more efficient?

Many who attended found a great value in resource portals offered by vendors, presenting many reasons why it makes them more efficient.

Some of those reasons included:

  • Saving time. Why try to reinvent the wheel when there is an avenue that already works for you?
  • It is tailored to the industry. Therefore it can offer expertise you may not find otherwise.
  • Good support with set points of contact and easy-to-access tutorials
  • A great array of marketing materials at your disposal.

What is the secret to developing a clear value proposition?

It all comes down to knowing who the customer is and what they need for their business.

This can be achieved by researching who your customer is; knowing the right language to use with them and knowing the metrics that they view as essential to their business and approaching them with those metrics in your value proposition.

And last but not least, some advice as old as time: Keep It Simple Stupid!

Too often salespeople bog things down and over-complicate it. One attendee even joked of how someone who sells falafels might try to market them as “bread-wrapped meat solutions.” The point is, don’t make it more complicated than it has to be. Tell them where the value in your product or service lies and let them decide if it is something that will make their lives easier.

 

 

 

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