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What resellers should look for when entering a SaaS partnership

Digital Marketing - Online Appointment Booking - API // March 07 2019

In our previous blog, complex martech landscape, it was mentioned how there are numerous Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) technologies out there on the market. If you spent just five minutes researching each of the vendors in the MarTech 5000, it would take you 569 hours — the equivalent of 14 40-hour work weeks. So how does a reseller, whether you are a digital agency or software vendor looking to integrate a solution into your current platform, make a decision on which SaaS provider to partner with? This article inspired us, 7 Things Resellers Really Look For When Picking SaaS To Sell, to answer that question for you. Our answer is SERVICE, and here is what we mean exactly by this:

 

Simple implementation

Before any implementation, there is an evaluation of the timeline and scope of the project which is outlined in a statement of work (if needed). Each partner may have different requirements to be met, some more complex than others. An initial consultation should be conducted during the discovery phase of onboarding to determine what that need is. We have formulated a thorough onboarding process for our partner program to get our resellers up and running in a straightforward matter as possible. Florentin Rambaud, Director of Strategic Accounts, stated “our customers and resellers are our best ambassadors. That’s why our partner program supports them at all stages: from the implementation of the solution to the marketing and commercial strategy, as well as the integration with their other platforms." Below is a graph showing the process from implementation to fulfillment to help our partners be fully capable of deploying a solution in the market with success.

partner onboarding

From our “train the trainer” program which gives the in’s and out’s of the platform features and reseller console to sales enablement that gives the salespeople instructions and supporting material on how to properly sell the solution, each step was designed to facilitate the onboarding of our partner. Once the reseller deploys the solution, a dedicated account manager is on our staff, and 2nd level of technical support is available for complete customer success, fulfilling the partnership on our end by providing service from the beginning of implementation throughout fulfillment.

 

Easy migration of data with existing tech

It’s no question the demand for SaaS is here to stay, according to a 2017 Better Cloud report, “companies use 16 SaaS apps on average today, up 33% from last year. 73% of organizations say nearly all (80%+) of their apps will be SaaS by 2020,” and a significant concern for resellers should be how easily these technologies will play along together. Here at Agendize, we understood from the beginning that our online customer engagement solutions needed to communicate with other software, which is why we have developed either built-in connectors with popular platforms such as Outlook, Office 365, and Google Calendar for our Online Appointment Booking solution (visit our sync page for a complete list of connectors.) Or for the more advanced needs, we have developed our own set of powerful APIs. Application programming interfaces (APIs) allow software developers and resellers to access the features or data of our platform, therefore, enabling integration of the Agendize features into their existing tech. The Agendize platform adheres to Restful API protocol which uses standard HTTP requests to transmit data. We have created a website specifically with developers in mind, our developers API site lists the complete range of tools available and enables you to request an API key, create and manage accounts, work with our engagement tools, and customize the interface and actions.

 

Right product for your business clients’ needs

As a reseller, your business clients’ needs should be first and foremost when deciding to offer one more tech solution. Will the product benefit your business clients and add value to their overall operations? What are some pain points they are having, and how does the solution solve that problem for them? In our recent article, 7 truths to understand when working with SMBs, one of the key points we spoke about was listening to the client. Once you’re on the phone with a new prospect or an existing customer looking to solve a current problem, understand that they’ve probably already done a lot of homework. So don’t come out and start spit-firing a list of features. Take a minute to ask a few questions — and then listen. Winning a sale (or upsell) isn’t just a matter of persuasion; it’s understanding and empathizing with the pain point. For example, when it comes to our Online Appointment Booking, a pain point we often come across is, “I want to make it easy for my customers to book with me but have limited resources for a dedicated receptionist.” The pain point can sounds differently across industries but the idea is the same, the business client is looking to make the process of appointment scheduling easier, save time and resources while staying available to their customers even after regular operating hours.

 

Viable partner relationship

Established since 2003, Agendize was created to improve the relationship between companies and their customers. We are dedicated to bringing enterprise-grade solutions to businesses and partners who require scalable customer engagement capabilities. From the start, Agendize, the company was built on a lean scale-up approach, taking on a fraction of the venture capital funding that is often commonly heard of in this industry and within Silicon Valley. Today, Agendize offers a white-label, integrated, complete customer engagement platform, providing over 100,000 businesses with customizable ways to let their customers call, chat, book an appointment online and more. We are a global family, driven by the desire of bringing businesses success through streamlining their customer interactions and meeting the customer where they are at in the buyer’s journey, online. As a leading provider of these solutions, Agendize has a worldwide presence that serves businesses of all sizes. Being sold in over 20 countries and available in 8 languages, we are the partner of choice for well-known international agencies such as Orange Business Services in France and Heise RegioConcept in Germany, to name a few.

 

Incentive: incentivizing the partnership

Agendize has a simple cost per user which is set at a discounted rate for our resellers. Resellers choose their go-to-market pricing strategy, some partners opt to bundle the cost with their other solutions, and some prefer a standalone fee, either way, it is in the hands of the partner to decide the final price. We found one of the benefits of bundling is that it increases the value of your overall offering, whether it’s website building, CRM, mobile app development, or review management, by launching integrated solutions that all work together, it increases the perceived value, as well as creates a more stickier end product. Ed O’Keefe, GM/EVP, Marketplace at Vendasta stated "Simple, elegant high-conversion tools like Agendize Appointment Scheduling allow our partners to instantly bring potent performance to their clients' websites and media, while significantly increasing the average revenue per paying account of their client base." If not sold as a bundle, an appointment booking add-on can be a great upsell product to existing business clients. Again, increasing the value of your services/products offered, but also improving your retention rate and reducing churn. According to a Vendasta study, Why Your Clients Churn, showed that selling a business one product has a retention rate of only 30% after two years while selling that same business one more additional product showed an increase retention rate of 20% more, and so forth. The principle is the more products sold, the higher the retention rate became.

Agendize offers pricing packages based on the type of business clients you serve, such as small, mid, and enterprise size clients. With each package, the more volume of users activated, the higher the profit margin can be for the reseller.

 

Concept: proof of concept

According to 2015 Yodle Insights: What Consumers Want From Local Businesses, 61% of consumers either expected or said the ability to book/request an appointment online set a business apart. They found in the report that online booking and payments are an emerging trend which means that the percentage of consumer expectation is predicted to go up, and online booking is here to stay.

This consumer trend has been no surprise to us here as we often hear feedback from our partners and clients about how well the solution is working out for them. For example, the Metz Metropole, an agglomerate of communities in France, wanted to respond effectively to the government directive that access to public services provided should be simplified for all. This simplification concerned, in particular, the procedures relating to identification and passport processing. The Metz Metropolis saw that the making of appointments online was a way to reach this goal while optimizing the flow of customers at the counter by reducing wait time. The Metz Metropolis being a public establishment in France had a high concern in regards to the electronic processing of personal information, which is why they chose to go with a SaaS provider that is GDPR compliant. The result: Metz Metropole improved its customer service by allowing appointments 24/7 from its website. Within five months, the solution generated an average of 212 appointments per day. The snowball effect was that it allowed for the redistribution of the number of staff members previously assigned to taking appointments over the phone to other essential tasks. To read more about this client and other testaments, download our ebook Case Studies.

 

Effortless management of client accounts

In the article referenced earlier by Amon Prasad, he noted, “we find SaaS vendors typically don’t think about how their channel partners can manage multiple clients in one single pane of glass.” It was honestly quite shocking for us to read; because we realized that our reseller console continues to be a significant component for partner enablement in facilitating an easy management system of client accounts. The Agendize reseller console allows access to a set of features that simplify the installation and management of all accounts under the partnership, from adding to removing, and configuration to modification of accounts, the reseller console is all-encompassing. When speaking with Ronnie Henderson, Account Manager ofReseller_Console_Agendize Agendize, he found “our partners appreciate having that extra tier when it came to the reseller console. A single place where they could log-in as an administrator and easily access the user accounts without having to manage multiple different usernames and passwords.” he continues “it is a feature not many of our competitors have been able to provide, and it has caused some discord for them.” 

 

In conclusion, the SERVICE of a SaaS product is much more than technical support alone. It is about building a solid foundation of a partnership between a reseller and provider, making sure all the pieces are in place for the success of not only the partner but ultimately the business client (end-user). Because when the customer succeeds, we all benefit from it. I will leave you with a quote by Bill Gates, who said “a platform is when the economic value of everybody that uses it exceeds the value of the company that creates it. Then it’s a platform.”

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                                               About the Author:
Phebe-Standley-2-min

Phebe Standley

Marketing & Communication Specialist, Agendize

Phebe joined Agendize in 2018. She holds a Bachelor's degree in Business Administration with a concentration in Marketing. Previously to joining Agendize, she was in the Finance and Insurance industry, where she experienced first-hand the processing of extensive data within proprietary systems such as CRM, carrier clearances, claims, motor vehicle reports, and credit reports.

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