We can watch events as they happen on the other side of the world, thanks to television.
Resellers VARs "We've already signed up a partners to resell our software. Sales should start coming in a few months, this is easy". The reseller relationship starts with what you do after the agreement is signed, while most companies think signing the agreement is the achievement.
Reseller agreements are notorious for lack of business commitment and are easily signed by both parties most resellers won't sign a document that requests revenue commitments. Without accountability, which most resellers avoid, especially with young products or marketsthe business plan muster to count on their future achievements to fund the growth stages of a young company tends not to pan out.
Resellers are an essential and viable component of any sales strategy.
It's not practical to reach a global market from a centralized business structure nor is it often prudent business practice to open offices all over the world to say nothing of the investment cost.
Resellers help your organization reach territories you would not otherwise have any competent access to. They can be granted with certain levels of exclusivity. They can be very loyal if they believe you have the potential for generating lots of business in their territory. Great resellers market your products in their regions, take you to key customers, provide at least informal product support, coach you on roadmap issues and more.
Poor resellers sign your paper, take a few leads, give up if they don't close business in a short period of time "if the pitch did not cause the product to be sold, it business plan muster not be sellable".
We'll look extensively at the Reseller model.
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Probably the most common and crucial to any indirect sales strategy. We'll look at the key components of reseller agreements, aspects of business planning and how to incorporate reseller activity into overall business forecasting. Distributors Distributors primarily manage relationships with resellers.
They act as a funneling house for many products providing a way to manage a group of resellers through one relationship. They are very commonly used for North American companies building an off-shore business -- one distributor relationship to establish in each major territory.
The alternative is often to manage a high volume of small reseller relationships. The trade off is margin over management cost -- normally worthwhile if the distributor comes through with the needed value-add services. For young North American companies it would be uncommon to start with a distributor versus manage some direct VAR relationships.
You often need the more direct contact with the people selling and ultimately visibility of the end user. It is also common for North American distributors to only want to represent established product lines with revenue potential beyond what you might be able to generate with early entry products.
You need to be clear in terms of what you expect from a distributor. They carry many products and deal with many VAR's and large suppliers -- it's hard to be above the noise level when just starting out.
Formal business planning with go-to-market goals set out tends to be the most prudent way to work with distributors.
You may also need to invest in marketing funds to combine with the distributors investments to get a new business off the ground. A good distributor will offer you visibility into their partner base through events and other similar methodsintroduce you personally to their key partners, make sure you have the right sales materials to support the partners and have infrastructure to manage SKU's.
Some distributors may also offer some level of customer support rare but will usually act as a collection house for revenues so you only have the one point of risk in managing receivables. Distributors are a very valuable avenue for expanding a channel program but they do not have to be in the plans at the start of a business.
Hard core technology companies often envisage establishing a technology licensing business which is largely what the OEM process is all about. Few companies in the software industry can make a living exclusively through OEM licenses royalty rates tend to be small and there are often only a few possible licensing customersbut it can be a significant part of the overall revenue stream if done at the right time in the development of a market.
OEM licensing is common place in the hardware business. An OEM relationship is often privately labeled which means the supplier you is not always visible to the end customer -- not ideal for building market brand awareness.
Sometimes an OEM model becomes the only viable path to sell a technology that otherwise did not have success as a packaged product -- the whole product is adequate but the underlying technology is advanced -- licensing the underlying technology to a group of competitors becomes viable.
You use the revenue to fund other initiatives expanding the business perhaps to adjacent areas where your competitive advantage can be stronger. OEM agreements can be complex to establish as they must protect a variety of key areas including technology or IP ownership, a typically complex licensing model, terms for support and on-going technology maintenance as well as guidelines as to how the technology under license is to be used.
It's not uncommon to license core technology to a competitive partner within your market space but restrict its use to market areas way from where you sell your products, also based on the same technology.D C Copper Coast is based at Kadina in northern Yorke Peninsula.
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