Software reselling can seem like a strange practice – what need is there to sell on a product that often isn’t physically tangible? However, demand for software sold by a manufacturer’s partners and value-added resellers is high, not least because of several other services they often sell.
History of reselling
Buying something at a lower price and selling it on for profit is a tale as old as humanity itself but, of course, doing it with software is a very modern idea. English mathematician and computer scientist Alan Turing is credited as the first person to theorize software in 1935, before the 1950s and 60s saw the advent of public-domain software, generally distributed for academia purposes.
As soon as software came to be a purchasable, commonly owned product, no doubt reselling has been practiced.
How does it work?
Like any other reselling, software reselling consists of buying the product at a wholesale price and distributing it to customers. One of the ways that software resellers are considered highly reliable is that they can be an official partner of the manufacturer, such as Microsoft.
An official partner will sometimes be able to offer you to pick and choose the parts of a product that will benefit you, and they can also resell using different payment plans, avoiding lump sum costs.
What else do they do?
One of the reasons a person or a business goes into software reselling is to be able to offer their expertise on a product as an additional service. This may come in the form of advice or guidance on how to use a product, whether it suits your needs and how you can adapt it.
For example, if you were unsure on how to, a certified Microsoft partner such as Bytes would help you migrate your business onto the cloud, choose a payment plan for it and offer support based on your business’s needs.
Rather than just selling you the product, a software reseller should endeavor to support you throughout its use.
Benefits of buying from a reseller
If you are buying from a reseller, what will you get out of it? If you are buying from an established reseller, then years of experience come with your purchase. Resellers have often gained their reputation by giving great advice and a reasonable price. Not only are you buying the product, but you are also accessing a deep understanding of their resale product, recommendations tailored to your business and performance analysis.
Buying from a reseller can help you wrap your head around the flexible options that software packages sometimes provide, meaning you don’t spend more than you need to.
I’m a developer, how do I use resellers?
If you’ve developed or manufactured some software, using resellers is a fantastic way to grow your brand and make more sales. Before reaching out to them, you should define and get in writing what it is you are licensing them to sell. Your resellers need to know every minute detail of your reselling business plan, how they will be making money, how they will be communicated with and why they should sell your product instead of somebody else’s.
Once you’ve done that, reach out to resellers. Discuss with them what your target audience is; you want them to be focusing their sales on the right people. If you leave this ambiguous, you might not see the results you desire. You also need to give your resellers the ammunition they need. Sure, your product sells itself, but do your resellers have the marketing tools to help that? Are they fully aware of your software’s functions and capabilities? Show them how you want your product to be sold, and they’ll do the work for you, providing you give them the right support and incentives.
How do you become one?
On the flip side, if you’re looking to become a reseller, you’ll need to look into what reseller license or certificate your state requires you to have. Once you’ve got one, it’s time to make some contacts.
Contacting manufacturers is the obvious part; sourcing your customers and reaching out to them should not be forgotten. If you’re licensed to sell a product, and you have the product, you need to know you’re going to be able to offload it too.
The best way to attract customers is to know your product inside out. Learning about the ways the product can be used, how it is adaptable, how it suits different people and, simply, how it works, means you will be able to be confident and convincing. Once people have started buying from you and getting results, more should follow.
Risks attached to being a software reseller
As with everything, being a software reseller isn’t plain sailing – especially not to begin with. Some considerations are:
- Not knowing your product – people won’t trust you
- Can the manufacturer or developer remove your partnership based on sales?
- Territorially, what are your restrictions?
- Have you got everything in a contract, and have you read it?
Future of software reselling
Whether you’re thinking of becoming a software reseller or looking to use one for a purchase, it’s definitely here to stay. With more businesses undergoing digital transformations such as migrating to the cloud or training their staff on new systems, the need for advice and recommendations alongside investment is growing.
With big business growing, some smaller business owners may bemoan the lack of human support when venturing into new methods of working. Software resellers are likely, then, to put emphasis on their support systems for people who buy through them, to encourage businesses to utilize their expertise rather than going straight to the manufacturer.
The digital revolution of businesses has been rapid and vast, leaving some behind. Those who wish to invest in software to bring their business to the modern era might feel that a software reseller offers them greater support than simply making the purchase and trying to go it alone.
The practice of buying and reselling is as old as time, and it’s definitely here to stay.