Growing SaaS Sales via the Value-Added Reseller Distribution Channel

Anant Gupta
19 Min Read
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Are you looking to give your SaaS sales a significant boost? The Value-Added Reseller distribution channel holds immense potential, with its market set to grow by 10% by 2030. Our comprehensive guide digs into the power of VARs in enhancing your distribution network and accelerating SaaS sales growth.

Stay tuned as we unveil the secret recipe for fruitful VAR partnerships and how they can elevate your business success!

Key Takeaways

  • The Value-Added Reseller distribution channel can significantly boost SaaS sales by offering customized software solutions, ongoing support, and consulting services to customers.
  • VARs act as trusted advisors and mediators between buyers and sellers, helping customers navigate the complex software evaluation process and making informed decisions.
  • Partnering with VARs provides benefits such as increased customer value, market expansion, co-marketing opportunities, strong reputation, access to new features, faster time-to-market, reduced sales costs, increased revenue potential, expertise in distribution strategy, and long-term partnerships.
  • Leveraging the VAR channel allows SaaS companies to increase their sales volume and reach new markets while focusing on core competencies.

Understanding the Value-Added Reseller Distribution Channel

The Value-Added Reseller Distribution Channel can be categorized into two models: the Application Developer Model and the Brokerage Channel Model.

Application Developer Model

The Application Developer Model is a key route for SaaS businesses to increase their sales via Value-Added Resellers (VAR). In this model, software developers create applications that can be integrated with existing products sold by VARs.

This creates amplified value for customers as it simplifies their IT projects and often provides full-service solutions in one go. The developer-VAR partnerships do not only benefit the customer but also open up co-marketing opportunities and help build brand reputation.

As an example, a VAR selling hardware devices could partner with a SaaS company offering customized software suitable for that device. Instead of just selling the hardware, now they offer an enhanced product – a device already loaded with functional software providing added features to suit user needs – enabling them to charge higher prices and thus directly impacting on increasing SaaS sales.

Brokerage Channel Model

The brokerage channel model is another approach used by value-added resellers (VARs) in the software industry. In this model, the VAR acts as a mediator between buyers and sellers, connecting customers with the right SaaS solutions for their needs.

Instead of developing or customizing software themselves, brokers focus on understanding customer requirements and matching them with existing products in the market.

By leveraging their expertise and industry knowledge, brokers can effectively guide customers through the evaluation process and help them make informed decisions. They have access to a wide range of SaaS offerings from various vendors, allowing them to offer unbiased recommendations based on customer needs.

This enables agency owners and resellers to save time and effort in identifying suitable solutions for their clients.

Working with VARs in the brokerage channel model also provides added benefits such as ongoing support and assistance throughout the implementation process. Brokers can provide training, configuration services, and troubleshooting support to ensure a smooth transition for customers.

This personalized approach enhances customer satisfaction and helps establish long-term relationships between agencies/resellers and their clients.

Benefits of the VAR Channel

The VAR channel offers several benefits for agency owners and resellers. Here are the key advantages of leveraging the VAR distribution channel:

  1. Increased customer value: VARs provide additional value to customers by offering customized software solutions, ongoing support, and consulting services.
  2. Market expansion: By partnering with VARs, SaaS companies can reach new markets and expand their customer base without investing heavily in sales and marketing efforts.
  3. Co-marketing opportunities: Working with VARs allows for joint marketing initiatives, leveraging each other’s networks and resources to create greater brand awareness and generate more leads.
  4. Strong reputation: VARs often have established relationships with customers and are seen as trusted advisors. Partnering with reputable VARs can enhance a SaaS company’s credibility and trustworthiness in the market.
  5. Access to new features: Value-added resellers may offer additional features or functionality that complement the SaaS product, providing customers with an enhanced solution that meets their specific needs.
  6. Faster time-to-market: Selling through the VAR channel can accelerate the sales cycle, as resellers are experienced in navigating complex IT projects and have established relationships with buyers.
  7. Reduced sales costs: Leveraging reseller partnerships can help minimize direct sales expenses by tapping into the expertise of VARs who already have an established customer base and sales infrastructure.
  8. Increased revenue potential: With a wider distribution network through VARs, SaaS companies can increase their sales volume and revenue potential by reaching more customers in different industries or geographic regions.
  9. Expertise in distribution strategy: Value-added resellers specialize in channel development and have deep knowledge of effective distribution strategies, enabling SaaS companies to benefit from their experience and insights.
  10. Long-term partnerships: Building strong relationships with VARs fosters long-term collaborations based on mutual success, creating a sustainable revenue stream for both parties involved.

Engaging Buyers in the Software Evaluation Process

To effectively engage buyers in the software evaluation process, it is crucial to understand their needs and provide relevant information about the product or solution being offered.

How to effectively engage buyers

To effectively engage buyers, iSaaS companies must understand their needs and pain points. By conducting thorough market research and customer profiling, agency owners and resellers can identify their target audience’s specific challenges and tailor their messaging accordingly.

It is important to highlight the unique value proposition of the SaaS solution, emphasizing how it addresses these pain points and delivers tangible benefits. Additionally, leveraging case studies or testimonials from satisfied customers can help build credibility and trust with potential buyers.

By proactively engaging buyers through targeted marketing campaigns, personalized demos, and responsive customer support, agency owners and resellers can create a strong connection that drives interest in the SaaS offering.

Role of VARs in the evaluation process

VARs play a crucial role in the software evaluation process for SaaS solutions. They act as a trusted advisor and guide buyers through the complex decision-making process. VARs have in-depth knowledge of various software options and can provide valuable insights and recommendations based on their expertise.

They can help identify the specific needs of customers and match them with the right SaaS solution, ensuring that it meets their requirements. Additionally, VARs can offer demos, trials, and proof of concepts to allow buyers to test the software before making a purchase decision.

By involving VARs in the evaluation process, agency owners and resellers can leverage their expertise to make informed decisions about choosing the best SaaS solution for their clients’ needs.

Benefits of involving VARs

  • VARs offer expertise and experience in the software industry, providing valuable insights and guidance to customers during the evaluation process.
  • By involving VARs, SaaS companies can leverage their existing customer base and market reach to expand their sales opportunities.
  • VARs bring credibility and trust to the table, as they have established relationships with customers and a proven track record of delivering successful IT solutions.
  • Working with VARs allows SaaS companies to focus on their core competencies, while the VAR handles the sales, implementation, and ongoing support for the software solution.
  • VAR partnerships provide access to a wider range of customers and industries, enabling SaaS companies to target new markets and increase their revenue potential.
  • With their deep understanding of customer needs and preferences, VARs can provide valuable feedback and insights that can help improve the SaaS offering.
  • Collaborating with VARs allows SaaS companies to benefit from co-marketing opportunities, leveraging VAR’s marketing resources to increase brand visibility and generate leads.
  • VARs also offer value-added services such as customization, integration, training, and ongoing technical support, which enhance the overall customer experience and satisfaction.
  • By involving VARs in the sales process, SaaS companies can reduce sales cycle times and increase deal closure rates due to the trusted relationships between VARs and their customers.

Leveraging the VAR Channel for SaaS Sales Growth

VARs play a crucial role in driving SaaS sales growth by increasing market reach, partnering for expansion, and building strong relationships. Discover how leveraging the VAR channel can take your SaaS business to new heights.

How VARs can help increase SaaS sales

VARs play a crucial role in increasing SaaS sales by acting as an extension of the software company’s sales team. They have established relationships with customers and understand their needs, making them effective at selling and promoting SaaS solutions.

VARs also provide added value by offering customization services, consulting, and ongoing support, which appeals to customers looking for comprehensive solutions. By partnering with VARs, SaaS companies can tap into their distribution network and expand their reach in the market.

This collaboration not only boosts sales but also enhances brand reputation and credibility among customers. Ultimately, VARs serve as valuable allies in driving SaaS sales growth through their expertise and existing customer base.

Partnering with VARs for market expansion

Partnering with Value Added Resellers (VARs) can be a strategic move for SaaS companies looking to expand their market reach. By collaborating with VARs, agency owners and resellers can tap into an established distribution network and leverage their expertise to drive sales growth.

VARs have existing relationships with customers in various industries, allowing SaaS companies to access new markets and target a wider audience. This partnership offers a win-win situation as VARs benefit from offering additional value-added services to their customers while SaaS companies gain increased visibility and sales opportunities.

Moreover, partnering with VARs provides SaaS companies the opportunity to focus on what they do best: developing innovative software solutions. The VAR channel takes care of marketing, sales, and customer support, allowing SaaS providers to allocate more resources toward product development.

By joining forces with VARs, agency owners and resellers can take advantage of the additional expertise in solution integration that these partners bring to the table. This collaboration enables them to offer comprehensive solutions that meet the unique needs of customers in specific industries or vertical markets.

Building strong relationships with VARs

Building strong relationships with VARs is crucial for SaaS companies looking to grow their sales through the channel. By establishing trust and open lines of communication, SaaS providers can ensure a successful partnership with VARs.

This involves regular engagement and collaboration, providing training and support, and offering incentives for VARs to promote their products. Building these strong relationships allows SaaS providers to leverage the expertise and network of VARs, expand their market reach, and ultimately drive sales growth.

Overcoming Challenges in SaaS Sales through VARs

To overcome challenges in SaaS sales through VARs, effective communication, and support are crucial for building strong relationships and ensuring successful partnerships.

Common challenges in the VAR distribution channel

  • Limited control over the sales process and customer interactions with the VAR
  • Difficulty in finding and selecting reliable and competent VAR partners
  • Lack of alignment between the SaaS company’s goals and VAR’s priorities
  • Potential conflicts of interest between multiple vendors that a VAR may represent
  • Varied levels of expertise and knowledge among different VARs in the channel
  • Challenges in maintaining consistent messaging and branding across different VARs
  • Dependence on VARs for lead generation and customer acquisition
  • Potential cannibalization of direct sales efforts by the VAR channel
  • Difficulties in managing pricing, discounting, and revenue sharing with multiple VARs
  • Need for ongoing training, support, and communication with VAR partners

Strategies to overcome these challenges

  • Develop a clear and comprehensive communication plan with VARs, ensuring regular updates on product features, updates, and promotions.
  • Provide extensive training and support to VARs to ensure they have a solid understanding of the SaaS solution and can effectively communicate its value to customers.
  • Offer attractive incentives and commission structures to motivate VARs to actively promote and sell the SaaS solution.
  • Foster strong relationships with VARs by regularly engaging with them, addressing their concerns, and providing timely assistance.
  • Streamline the onboarding process for new VAR partners by providing them with all the necessary resources, documentation, and tools they need to successfully sell the SaaS solution.
  • Collaborate closely with VAR partners in marketing activities by developing joint marketing campaigns, creating co-branded materials, and leveraging each other’s networks and customer bases.
  • Continuously monitor performance metrics and provide feedback to VAR partners to help them improve their sales techniques and strategies.
  • Stay up-to-date with industry trends, market demands, and competitor offerings to stay ahead of the game and help VAR partners position the SaaS solution as a leading choice for customers.

Importance of effective communication and support

Effective communication and support are essential when working with Value Added Resellers (VARs) in the SaaS industry. By maintaining open lines of communication, SaaS companies can ensure that VARs have a clear understanding of their product offerings, target market, and sales strategies.

This allows for better collaboration and alignment between both parties, ultimately leading to increased sales and customer satisfaction. Additionally, providing robust support to VARs is crucial in building strong relationships and trust.

VARs rely on the expertise and guidance from SaaS companies to effectively sell their products, so offering timely assistance, training opportunities, and ongoing support ensures that they are equipped with the necessary tools to promote and sell the software successfully.


In conclusion, leveraging the Value Added Reseller (VAR) distribution channel is a smart strategy for growing SaaS sales. VARs provide customers with customized software solutions and ongoing support, offering a one-stop shop for their IT needs.

By partnering with VARs, SaaS companies can expand their market reach, build strong relationships, and overcome challenges in selling their products. Embracing the power of the VAR channel is essential for driving sales growth in the competitive SaaS industry.


1. What is a Value Added Reseller distribution channel?

A Value Added Reseller (VAR) distribution channel refers to a business model where an independent company sells software as a service (SaaS) products on behalf of the original software provider. VARs add value by customizing, integrating, and supporting the software for their customers.

2. How can growing SaaS sales via the VAR distribution channel benefit my business?

Growing SaaS sales through the VAR distribution channel allows your business to leverage the expertise and resources of established resellers. This can increase market reach, improve customer support, and drive revenue growth by tapping into new customer segments that you may not have been able to target directly.

3. How do I find suitable VAR partners for my SaaS product?

To find suitable VAR partners for your SaaS product, you can conduct research online, attend industry events or conferences, network with other professionals in your field, and seek recommendations from colleagues or industry associations.

It’s important to evaluate potential partners based on their expertise in your target market and their ability to effectively sell and support your product.

4. What factors should I consider when selecting a VAR partner?

When selecting a VAR partner for growing SaaS sales, consider factors such as their experience in selling similar products or serving similar customer segments, their existing relationships with potential customers or clients within your target market, their technical capabilities to customize and integrate your software effectively, and their commitment to providing excellent customer support after the sale is made.

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