ISVs: Break These Common Reseller Partner Program Bad Habits

Whether you are launching a new reseller program, already have one in place, or are thinking of starting one, avoid these common mistakes.


Sometimes the most obvious best practices go ignored and we get into habits that actually work against ourselves. At SaaSMAX, where we primarily help SaaS/ISVs and resellers to meet and do business together, we find this to be a very common theme.

Whether you are launching a new reseller program, already have one in place or are thinking of starting one, the following are some common mistakes that I have seen SaaS and ISV companies make.

Setting Appointments with Reseller Prospects:

Mistake: Emailing a new prospective reseller partner to share YOUR calendar with instructions to select a date.

Why It’s a Mistake:  Even if your intent is to be efficient and comes from a good place, you’re essentially communicating that they must fit into your life versus the opposite. It comes across as if you’re some bossy stranger giving them an action item when they don’t even know you. If you want their business, you need to show them that you’re willing to be available on their schedule, at their command, whenever it works for them and for whatever it takes.

Suggested Best Practice:  Ask them when they are available and to send you their calendar, so you can fit into theirs. Let them know you are willing to be available whenever they are ready for a conversation, and that their needs always come first. Treat them like a customer prospect and make them feel like you are their number one priority.


Preparation for your Introductory Call with Reseller Prospects:

Mistake: Getting on an introductory call with a prospective reseller without first preparing a reseller pricing/commission sheet that’s ready to be displayed and/or emailed on demand. As well, not having a competitive matrix or a standard reseller partner agreement ready to be reviewed and/or emailed on demand.

Why:  It is your responsibility to anticipate all questions and prepare all materials that a reseller prospect would need to know in order for them to efficiently learn about your partner program and make a quick decision about why and how it will benefit them and their customers. If these materials are not readily available, the reseller prospect will consider them red flags and hesitate to partner with you.

Suggested Best Practices:  Have all of those materials prepared and professionally laid out in advance, ready to display on demand or send in an email immediately after your call with them.


Your Pitch to Reseller Prospects:

Mistake:  Assuming that the prospective reseller partner wants first and foremost to see a complete demo of your product on a first, introductory call.

Why:  Initially you are selling the prospective reseller on embarking on a mutually profitable business partnership with you and your company. By diving into the product demo without giving them a reason that they should care and learning that they are interested in the partner program, you are wasting their time and yours.

Suggested Best Practices:  On your first call, talk to them about their business and their clients. Explain to them what problems your product addresses (not how), why that provides exceptional value to the reseller’s clients, and how that turns into revenue to the reseller. Once they are satisfied with those answers they will then request a demo.  

Dina Moskowitz