As we were planning out our webinars, we realized there was a little lack of love heading to our SaaS resellers. We spend a lot of time focusing on strategies, marketing campaign suggestions, or better ways to leverage the tools, but we also want to be sure to take some time to focus on SaaS tool adoption tactics.

That starts here! We recently partnered with our friends at PandaDoc and hosted a webinar to help SaaS resellers tighten up their sales process and walk away with some new ways to showcase and upsell their services.

With Travis Tyler from PandaDoc acting as host for the discussion, we had a really productive and focused chat. William (Will) Hadeler from PandaDoc and Nicholas (Nick) Mangold from SharpSpring came together to deliver some great ideas!

They tackled six main questions that we thought would be helpful for resellers. Let’s dive into them!

1. Should I focus on commissions or build services into my pricing model?

Of course, at the end of the day this is business and pricing is important. It only makes sense to offer SaaS if it’s helping your customers while also helping your business. But which type of pricing is right for you will depend on two things: what you are capable of offering and what your customers need.

As Nick says, “you can start in one place and evolve. What you offer can change.” So there’s no need to feel locked into one pricing model or structure forever. Go with what your customers’ needs and business capabilities are right now. Also, keep in mind that technology changes and rapidly. Being flexible to evolve as your customer’s needs evolve is key.

One way to do that is through a tiered pricing model. These kinds of pricing structures allow your customers to grow as you grow!

2. How do I become a “trust-agent” for my clients?

First and foremost, Nick recommends picking up the book Trust Agents: Using the Web to Build Influence, Improve Reputation, and Earn Trust by Chris Brogan because it talks about 6 ways to build trust, reputation, and relationships with your clients. And as we all know, this is a super important part of successfully closing deals but also important in a successful SaaS tool adoption.

Immersing yourself in the community or industry is a great way to build trust. Connecting with others is the only way to extend your network! Then leverage these contacts to add value for your customers. For example, we at SharpSpring partnered with our friends at PandaDoc for this webinar because we know that both services offer different value to our clients.

Another way is to help your customers help themselves by offering education, assistance, and helpful content to guide them and let them learn more. Think outside the box of sales decks here though. Offering up helpful content around topics in your industry is a better indicator of trust — take this webinar for example!

Tyler gave a great example of an agency he was shopping around for who was upfront about their limitations and instead offered to get the company in the right direction and by doing so they might be able to uncover features in their current tools that are being unused. Trust is easily built when companies are honest and upfront.

3. How do I select which tools are the best for my clients?

The votes are in! The best way to know which tools are best is to ask, educate, and try.

The truth is, many clients will need you to guide them to which tools fit their needs best, but to understand their needs you’ll have to ask! Talk to the clients and make sure you have a full understanding of their pain points and struggles before recommending tools. Don’t forget to ask questions to the software provider too. They can help uncover tools you weren’t aware of.

That also leads into education. Talk to the providers and really educate yourself on their services and how the tools can help in various use cases. Understanding not only the benefits but also the limitations of the tools will put you in a better position to select the services that work.

Or better yet, get your hands a little dirty! Try the tools yourself and get hands on. Being able to really talk the talk can also cut down on the back and forth by giving your clients the direct answers they need to make that decision.

4. How do I avoid selling a tool, just for the sake of selling a tool?

This is a great question and sounds like a major pain point for many resellers. Luckily, this one is an easy one to answer!

First, make sure you understand the software and how it can solve a problem for your clients. By always focusing on the value the tool brings, whether that’s saving money or time, it’s not just a piece of software it’s a solution. Focus less on the technical aspects of the tool and instead think of how this will problem-solve some of their marketing and sales challenges.

Will jokingly mentioned that TOFU (Top of Funnel) is dead but really, moving to thinking outside of cold leads and into nurturing leads further down the funnel will show value to clients. Think about offering a full-funnel focus!

Of course, choosing the right tool that you feel confident selling is also important. SharpSpring offers a free demo to make sure you know exactly what you’re diving into.

For example, PandaDoc’s focus in helping customers over the last year was to move to create and automate touchless proposal systems while more and more companies were moving to digital only business.

5. What are the most lucrative resellers doing with your products?

Will filled us in on where PandaDoc partners were seeing some success. Their service does very well for sales processes like quotes and proposals so they’ve been seeing success with CRM resellers who are adding PandaDoc as part of the deal. Offering integrations that extend the use of the tool or can easily be plugged into existing marketing stacks are a huge value add for clients.

He also mentioned the importance of onboarding services as well. Giving your customers a base of support to get rolling with a new tool will increase the likelihood of SaaS tool adoption. Ongoing support and services when they hit a snag can be the selling point they need to get them to sign.

Nick offered his perspective where at SharpSpring he’s seen successful resellers selling themselves first and foremost. They pitch their services, their offerings, and their strengths “powered by SharpSpring” so to speak.

That’s the first step, but these sellers also take the time to learn the ins and outs of SharpSpring and what the service can offer. Knowing that these SaaS tools are robust and not every client will need every tool, but some will, helps to make the case for clients that are unsure.

And lastly, growing with their clients. Successful resellers build on their clients’ usage as their client’s companies and needs grow. Understanding that starting with landing pages means they will probably also need some more robust automations down the line can prep sales teams to be ready with solutions.

6. What ways do you incentivize resellers to work with your SaaS product?

We want our partners to stay engaged, of course, so we do this in a few different ways. The first and simplest is commission.

On top of that, upfront training and certifications allow partners to position themselves as SaaS tool subject matter experts, hefty partner discounts allow them to use the service themselves, and co-marketing efforts like webinars create added value for their customers.


With all these great ideas, we still made time for a few questions from attendees:

What do you do to get clients really excited about the onboarding and training?

Education is definitely key in SaaS tool adoption. Making sure that customers understand the tool and see the value in it will come from understanding the software. Often, if people aren’t engaged from the start that’s a pretty big indicator that they won’t be so making sure to educate the customer on how the tool will help save time and effort can help teams get excited at the beginning.

Don’t forget to also leverage your software partner. We’re here with the tools and resources to help make the case for you. Don’t feel alienated like you have to take on this work yourself. That’s what we’re here for!

Is it wise to set up different partnership levels with different benefits?

It definitely can be! However, this goes back to what we talked about in the beginning about going with what you are capable of offering. If your company can offer levels of service, this is a great option for clients, especially clients who are just getting started and have space to grow. Tiers can help catch a wider net of clients.

Will also brought up the point that tiers are a great way to set up expectations as well because your services are being compared at different prices so customers can better gauge what they will get based on what they can afford.

Any ideas how to gamify to engage resellers?

An easy way to start is with little incentives. Nick gave the example of offering lunch or an extra hour for lunch to the first person that completes all the little onboarding steps or another process piece.

Key Takeaways

We touched on a lot of great points in this webinar, but the overall theme came back to education and understanding the tool. Leaning on the SaaS support team and taking the time to learn the tool you’re selling will make it easier to suggest solutions for customer pain points, upsell down the line, and get new clients excited and ready for onboarding.

Rebecca Wentworth