Topic: Strategy

Need Help Establishing Resellers!!!!!!!

Posted by Anonymous on 500 Points
I work for E-Ring, Inc., a software company in the US. I've recently been tasked with establishing resellers, preferably VARs (although any type will do), in the UK. Our product is a construction software that can be used by Quantity Surveyors and Estimators to perform quantity measurements/takeoffs.
I've been working on the project for two months and have had practically no success. The infrastructure/network for selling directly to quantity surveyors is small, and there is already a well established company that sells a similar software in the UK. This is also my first time attempting to establish resellers (this is my first job in marketing, I'm graduating in May-with a degree in English/Communications), so I'm really working in the dark. I would appreciate any advice on the subject, particularly on the following:

-Establishing resellers in general; specifically:
*What is the best way to contact potential resellers
*Who is the best person to talk to in a company for negotiating a reselling partnership
*What is the average time it takes to establish resellers
*And anything else, as all advice will be appreciated
-Establishing resellers in the UK (this is important)
-Dealing with a small to nearly non-existent infrastructure/network that targets the target market (which is in this case, quantity surveyors)
-Establishing multiple resellers at the same time
-Dealing with a small market where one company already seems to have dominance

Any advice would be most helpful, especially with the first, second, and last question. I'm marking this question as urgent and am offering 500 points, as the market is becoming increasing more hostile as other companies are starting to create similar products, and my superior (CEO) wants to know why don't have 5 to 10 resellers yet. Please help!!!

Many, many thanks,
Brandon (E-Ring, Inc.)
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  • Posted on Member
    We developed a reseller program, VAR if you will, that approaches the reseller where they live ... their bottom-line. While our system is more of a service rather than a pay-once solution, we developed our program so our resellers own their customers.

    We foster the relationship with our resellers while they foster the relationship with their clients.

    In your particular situation, you'll need to develop territories. Microsoft and other companies do this rather well. This ensures that any sells of the software must go through the reseller versus your company.

    There are two ways to establish governed territories. First, you can require the reseller purchase their area. I'm sure you've heard of Mac Tools, FedEx and several others. They sell governed territories and no other reseller/rep can enter or sell in that territory without the territorial reseller/rep getting paid.

    The second option is to freely give the territory. However, this does often times cause territorial overlap and some frustrated resellers.

    With the first option, you need to develop your reseller agreement in such a way as to protect your business from some company that may purchase the territory to prevent you from gaining sales of your solution.

    Now, how do you reach those companies? I'd first start looking for companies reselling similar products for that industry. Second, I'd look for trade shows, expos or seminars that your target audience would attend. Then get booths, give presentations and sponsor the events.

    Your goal should be to get the community to recognize your expertise.
  • Posted on Accepted
    First things first! Resellers and Vars come in many shapes and sizes and if you don't know what you are looking for you probably won't find the right partner. I developed a Checklist that will help you to define and profile your ideal partner, including the tasks you want him to do. You will find a copy on

    You will also find a Excel-based Channel Partner Evaluation & Selection Rating Matrix which will help you to choose between a number of candidates.

    When you have figured out the profile of the ideal partner you can then research lists to find matches. Thomson Directories is probably a good place to start for the UK .

    Once you have your list you need to clearly define your value proposition. What is in it for the potential partner? Why should he be interested? Remember the good channel partners can pick and choose who they want to partner with, so you better have a really good reason why he should even consider you.

    Also remember the UK is not as big as the US so in a specialised vertical market you may only have one or two resellers. Guys will not be interested if they feel that they will be tripping over other VARs who will be offering the same product and competing by discounting price.

    The deal you put together has got to be a WIN-WIN otherwise it won't last.

    Are there any localisation issues for the European market. What about spelling, date formats, currency symbols, paper size, default unit of measure (Europe tends to work in metric)? Are there any EU or UK government standards that the output from a CAD design package must conform to? How does your package meet the various localisation requirements of the UK market?

    Just some thoughts to get you going. I hope this helps

    Good luck

    Pat Divilly

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