Value-Added SaaS Resellers: A Guide to Working With VARs

Anant Gupta
29 Min Read
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Navigating the world of SaaS can be a complex task. With value-added resellers (VARs), you’re given an extra pair of trustworthy hands to guide you through this challenging process.

In this blog, we’ll explore the potential benefits and challenges that come with working with VARs and how they play a role in enhancing your business operations. Let’s venture into this dynamic landscape together!

Key Takeaways

  • Value-added resellers (VARs) play a crucial role in the SaaS industry by providing additional value beyond the original product or service offering.
  • Working with VARs can bring numerous benefits, including expanded sales opportunities, faster market reach, specialized expertise, enhanced customer support, increased revenue potential, scalability and flexibility, reduced risk, competitive advantage, insights into customer needs, and cost savings.
  • However, there are also challenges to consider when working with VARs such as lack of control over the sales process, potential conflict of interest with competing products or services being promoted by VARs, dependence on VAR performance for success in sales and market reach outcomes,

What is a Value-Added Reseller (VAR)?

A Value-Added Reseller (VAR) is a company that resells software, hardware, and other products or services while also providing additional value beyond the original offering.

Partnering with vendors

Building a solid relationship with vendors is an integral part of becoming a successful VAR. It involves more than just purchasing their products for resale; it means integrating their offerings into your service chain to deliver comprehensive solutions that enhance customer value.

By gaining authorization from brands, VARs ensure the legitimacy and quality of the products they resell. Notably, vendors often provide training and support to VARs, bolstering their technical skills and product knowledge.

A well-nurtured vendor partnership allows your business to stand out in the marketplace while offering customers high-value SaaS solutions tailored to their specific needs.

Benefits of working with a VAR

Working with a Value-Added Reseller (VAR) can bring numerous benefits to agency owners and resellers in the SaaS industry:

  1. Expanded Sales Opportunities: VARs have established customer bases and extensive networks, allowing them to promote and sell your products/services to a wider audience.
  2. Faster Market Reach: Through VARs, you can quickly enter new markets or target specific industries, leveraging their expertise and existing relationships.
  3. Access to Specialized Expertise: VARs often possess deep knowledge of your product/service and its applications. This expertise can help them effectively position and tailor your offering for different customer segments.
  4. Enhanced Customer Support: VARs typically provide additional support services such as installation, training, customization, and ongoing technical assistance. This can improve customer satisfaction while reducing your support load.
  5. Increased Revenue Potential: By leveraging a VAR’s sales force and distribution channels, you can increase your revenue potential without incurring significant upfront expenses.
  6. Scalability and Flexibility: Working with VARs allows you to scale your business without investing heavily in infrastructure or hiring new personnel. They handle much of the sales process on your behalf.
  7. Reduced Risk: VARs absorb some of the financial risk associated with selling your products/services since they invest their resources into marketing, selling, and supporting them.
  8. Competitive Advantage: A strong partnership with value-added resellers can give you a competitive edge by positioning your product/service as part of a comprehensive solution that meets customers’ unique needs.
  9. Insights into Customer Needs: VARs act as intermediaries between customers and vendors, providing valuable feedback on market trends, customer preferences, pain points, and areas for improvement.
  10. Cost Savings: Collaborating with VARs reduces the need for direct sales efforts or building an extensive sales team in-house, resulting in cost savings for agency owners and resellers.

Challenges of working with a VAR

  • Lack of control over the sales process: When working with a VAR, you may have limited control over the sales process and how your product is marketed and sold. This can make it challenging to ensure consistent messaging and branding.
  • Potential conflict of interest: VARs often work with multiple vendors, which means they may promote competing products or services alongside yours. This can create a conflict of interest and make it difficult for your product to stand out in a crowded marketplace.
  • Dependence on the VAR’s performance: The success of your product’s sales and market reach heavily relies on the performance and efforts of the VAR. If the VAR underperforms or fails to meet expectations, it can directly impact your bottom line.
  • Communication and coordination issues: Collaboration between vendors and VARs requires effective communication and coordination. Misalignment or lack of clear communication can lead to misunderstandings, delays, and missed business opportunities.
  • Maintaining relationship dynamics: Establishing and maintaining a strong relationship with a VAR requires ongoing effort and dedication. Like any business partnership, there may be challenges in aligning goals, resolving conflicts, and building trust over time.
  • Balancing pricing strategy: Pricing becomes one of the key challenges when working with VARs. It’s crucial to find a balance between competitive pricing that promotes sales while also protecting profit margins for both vendors and VARs.
  • Adapting to market changes: As market conditions change rapidly, working with VARs means adapting quickly to new trends, technologies, or customer demands. Failure to do so may result in missed opportunities or falling behind competitors.
  • Training and support requirements: Providing training resources, technical support, and product knowledge transfer to VAR partners can be demanding in terms of time, resources, and cost. Ensuring adequate support levels for all partners can be challenging as well.

Remember that overcoming these challenges is achievable by establishing clear expectations from the start, investing in effective communication channels, providing ongoing training and support, and maintaining a strong partnership built on trust and mutual success.

Benefits of the Value-Added Reseller Model

The Value-Added Reseller (VAR) model provides three key benefits for SaaS businesses: increased sales and market reach, access to specialized expertise, and enhanced customer support.

Increased sales and market reach

Value-added resellers (VARs) can be instrumental in boosting your SaaS business’s sales and expanding its market reach. By partnering with VARs, you gain access to a network of established customers and industry contacts that can help drive new revenue opportunities.

VARs bring their expertise in marketing, selling, and supporting products or services like yours, allowing you to tap into markets that may have been otherwise out of reach. With their extensive customer base and established relationships, value-added resellers often can introduce your offerings to a wider audience.

This increased exposure translates into greater visibility for your brand and higher chances of securing new sales leads. By teaming up with VARs, you strengthen your position in the market while also benefiting from their experience and reputation within the industry.

Access to specialized expertise

Value-added resellers (VARs) provide SaaS businesses with access to specialized expertise, which can be incredibly valuable. These resellers have a deep understanding of the products and services they offer and often possess industry-specific knowledge that can greatly benefit agency owners and resellers.

VARs are experts in not only technology but also in the unique needs of their client’s businesses.

By working with a VAR, agency owners and resellers can tap into this wealth of knowledge to make more informed decisions when it comes to selecting the right products or services for their clients.

This expertise extends beyond just product recommendations; VARs can guide implementation strategies, customization options, integration capabilities, and ongoing support.

Having access to specialized expertise through a VAR allows agency owners and resellers to have an edge in the market by leveraging the insights and experience of these professionals.

It saves them time and effort by relying on someone who has already done extensive research on various products and technologies.

Enhanced customer support

Enhanced customer support is one of the significant benefits of working with a value-added reseller (VAR). VARs go beyond just selling products or services – they provide additional support and guidance to ensure customers get the most out of their purchases.

Whether it’s through troubleshooting, training, or ongoing assistance, VARs are dedicated to helping customers succeed with their solutions. By leveraging their specialized expertise and in-depth knowledge of the software or hardware they sell, VARs can offer personalized support tailored to each customer’s unique needs.

This level of enhanced customer support ensures that businesses receive ongoing value from their investment and have a reliable partner they can turn to for assistance when needed.

How to Recruit and Work With Value-Added SaaS Resellers

Recruiting and working with value-added resellers involves vetting potential VARs, creating attractive compensation packages, and building a desirable partner program. Learn the essential steps to effectively collaborate with VARs in growing your business.

Find out more!

Vetting potential VARs

When evaluating potential Value-Added Resellers (VARs) to partner with, agency owners and resellers should consider the following factors:

  1. Expertise: Look for VARs that have deep domain knowledge and expertise in your industry. They should understand your target market, and the challenges you face, and have experience selling similar products or services.
  2. Reputation: Research the reputation of potential VARs by checking customer reviews, case studies, and testimonials. Look for evidence of their success in delivering value-added solutions and providing excellent customer service.
  3. Vendor relationships: Determine which vendors the VAR has established partnerships with. A strong network of reputable vendors indicates the VAR’s commitment to quality products and may provide access to a wider range of solutions for your customers.
  4. Compatibility: Assess how well the VAR aligns with your business goals, values, and culture. Consider whether their approach to sales, marketing, customer support, and overall strategy aligns with your objectives.
  5. Sales performance: Evaluate VAR’s track record in achieving sales targets and meeting revenue goals. Request information on their previous sales numbers, successful deals closed, and average deal size.
  6. Technical capabilities: Verify that the VAR has the technical skills necessary to effectively sell, implement, and support your SaaS solution or other products/services. This includes understanding integration requirements and having a solid infrastructure in place.
  7. Marketing support: Inquire about VAR’s marketing capabilities and the resources they can offer to promote your product or service effectively. Look for evidence of their ability to generate qualified leads and develop marketing campaigns tailored to your target audience.
  8. Training and support: Determine what training programs or certifications the VAR provides for its team members. Ask about their customer support offerings as well to ensure that they can provide adequate assistance to end-users if issues arise.
  9. Financial stability: Assess the financial stability of potential VARs by reviewing their financial statements or requesting references from other vendors they work with. A financially stable VAR is more likely to invest in supporting your partnership and providing consistent service.
  10. Communication and collaboration: Evaluate how the VAR communicates and collaborates with its partners. Look for open lines of communication, a willingness to listen and understand your unique needs, and a proactive approach to problem-solving.

Compensation packages for VARs

Compensation packages for Value-Added Resellers (VARs) play a significant role in fostering a mutually beneficial partnership. These packages can be structured in various ways depending on the nature of the business, the level of involvement of the VAR, and the specific goals set by the vendor or SaaS company.

Here’s a snapshot of some of the common compensation structures that SaaS businesses could consider when setting up their VAR program.

Compensation Type Description Benefits
Commission-Based VARs are paid a percentage of the sales they make. This is the most common compensation structure. Aligns the interests of the VAR with increasing sales and revenue.
Flat Rate VARs are paid a fixed rate regardless of sales performance. This is less common but might be preferred in certain situations. Provides a predictable income for the VAR, which can help with financial planning.
Milestone-Based VARs are paid based on the achievement of specific goals or milestones. This can be combined with other compensation structures. Focuses the VAR on achieving specific goals set by the vendor or SaaS company.
Value-Based VARs are paid based on the value they add to the product or service. This requires careful assessment and tracking. Encourages the VAR to enhance the value of the product or service, leading to higher customer satisfaction and loyalty.

Remember, it is crucial to align the compensation structure with the objectives of the VAR program. This way, you can ensure that both parties are motivated to work towards the success of the partnership.

Building a Desirable Partner Program

To successfully work with value-added resellers (VARs) and build a desirable partner program, agency owners and resellers should consider the following:

  1. Understand your target audience: Identify the ideal VARs that align with your target market and have expertise in selling SaaS products.
  2. Clearly define partner expectations: Communicate your expectations for sales targets, customer support, and marketing efforts to ensure both parties are on the same page.
  3. Provide comprehensive training: Offer thorough product training to VARs so they can effectively sell and support your SaaS offering.
  4. Develop competitive compensation packages: Create attractive commission structures or revenue-sharing models to incentivize VARs and reward their performance.
  5. Foster strong relationships: Cultivate open lines of communication with VARs through regular meetings, updates, and feedback sessions to strengthen the partnership.
  6. Leverage co-marketing opportunities: Collaborate with VARs on joint marketing initiatives, such as webinars or content creation, to increase brand exposure and generate leads together.
  7. Offer marketing resources: Provide VARs with access to branded marketing materials, such as brochures, case studies, and product demos, that they can use to educate potential customers.
  8. Streamline lead management processes: Implement a lead distribution system that efficiently assigns leads to VARs based on their expertise or geographical location for better sales conversion rates.
  9. Continuously evaluate performance: Regularly review key performance indicators (KPIs) like sales volume and customer satisfaction metrics to identify areas for improvement in the partner program.
  10. Provide ongoing support and enablement tools: Equip VARs with technical documentation, FAQs, training videos, and dedicated support channels to aid them in resolving customer inquiries promptly.

Integrating PRM and CRM for Effective Channel Management

Integrating PRM (Partner Relationship Management) and CRM (Customer Relationship Management) systems is essential for effective channel management in the SaaS industry.

Understanding the difference between PRM and CRM

PRM (Partner Relationship Management) and CRM (Customer Relationship Management) are both essential tools for effective channel management in the SaaS industry. While they might sound similar, it’s important to understand the key differences between the two.

CRM primarily focuses on managing and analyzing customer interactions and data. It helps businesses track leads, manage sales pipelines, and nurture customer relationships. On the other hand, PRM is specifically designed to manage and optimize partner relationships.

PRM enables SaaS resellers to effectively collaborate with their partners, streamline communication, and improve overall efficiency. It provides tools for lead management, deal registration, joint marketing campaigns, training programs, and performance tracking.

The value of integrating PRM and CRM systems

Integrating PRM (Partner Relationship Management) and CRM (Customer Relationship Management) systems can provide significant value for agency owners and resellers in the SaaS industry.

PRM focuses on managing relationships with channel partners, while CRM is centered around handling customer interactions and data. By integrating these two systems, agencies and resellers gain a comprehensive view of not only their customers but also their partner network.

This integration enables better coordination, collaboration, and communication between sales teams, ensuring a seamless flow of information across all channels. Additionally, it allows for more efficient lead management and distribution, improving conversion rates and driving revenue growth.

Choosing the right partner tool

To ensure effective channel management and streamline your partnership with value-added resellers (VARs), it is crucial to choose the right partner tool. Here are some key considerations:

  1. Evaluate scalability: Look for a partner tool that can accommodate the growth of your VAR program. It should have the capacity to handle an increasing number of partners, as well as their sales activities and customer data.
  2. Integration capabilities: Ensure that the partner tool seamlessly integrates with your existing systems, such as CRM and PRM platforms. This integration will facilitate efficient lead management, lead distribution, and overall channel management.
  3. Customization options: Look for a partner tool that allows you to tailor its features according to your specific requirements. This customization capability will enable you to align the tool with your unique business processes and branding needs.
  4. Reporting and analytics: Choose a partner tool that provides comprehensive reporting and analytics functionalities. This will allow you to track the performance of your VARs, analyze sales data, measure customer acquisition metrics, and identify areas for improvement.
  5. Training and support: Consider partner tools that offer robust training resources and ongoing support for both yourself and your VARs. This ensures that everyone involved has access to the necessary knowledge and assistance to effectively utilize the tool.
  6. Security measures: Prioritize partner tools with strong security features to protect sensitive data shared between you and your VARs. Look for tools with encryption capabilities, user access controls, regular data backups, and compliance certifications.
  7. User-friendly interface: Opt for a partner tool with an intuitive interface that is easy to navigate for both you and your VARs. A user-friendly interface reduces learning curves, minimizes errors, and enhances overall productivity.

The Future of VARs in the SaaS Industry

VARs in the SaaS industry are poised for growth as emerging trends and opportunities present themselves, with front-office growth services becoming the next big opportunity for these value-added resellers.

Emerging trends and opportunities for VARs include:

  1. Vertical specialization: VARs can specialize in specific industries or verticals, such as healthcare, finance, or retail. By focusing on a particular industry, VARs can develop deep expertise and provide tailored solutions to meet the unique needs of customers in that sector.
  2. Cloud computing adoption: The increasing adoption of cloud computing presents significant opportunities for VARs. They can offer value-added services related to cloud migration, integration, and management to help businesses leverage the benefits of this technology.
  3. Internet of Things (IoT) solutions: As IoT continues to gain momentum, VARs can tap into this market by offering IoT-enabled solutions and services. This includes providing hardware devices, software platforms, and consulting services to help businesses implement and optimize IoT solutions.
  4. Managed services: Many businesses are turning to managed service providers (MSPs) for their IT needs. VARs can expand their offerings by providing managed services such as network monitoring, data backup and recovery, cybersecurity, and system maintenance.
  5. Artificial intelligence (AI) integration: VARs can capitalize on the growing demand for AI technologies by integrating AI capabilities into their product offerings. This could involve integrating chatbots for customer support or implementing AI-powered analytics tools for data-driven decision-making.
  6. Subscription-based models: The shift towards subscription-based models is prevalent in the SaaS industry. VARs can explore partnerships with SaaS vendors and offer subscription-based solutions to customers, allowing them to access software products regularly rather than making large upfront purchases.
  7. Customer experience enhancement: In an increasingly competitive market, businesses are prioritizing customer experience as a key differentiator. VARs can enhance their value proposition by providing customer-centric services such as personalized training programs, ongoing support, and proactive account management.
  8. Security solutions: With the rise in cyber threats, security has become a top concern for businesses. VARs can leverage this opportunity by offering security solutions such as cybersecurity audits, and vulnerability assessments, and implementing robust security measures.

Front-office growth services as the next big opportunity

Front-office growth services present a significant opportunity for agency owners and resellers in the SaaS industry. As businesses increasingly prioritize customer acquisition and revenue growth, front-office solutions that enhance sales and marketing processes are in high demand.

These services focus on optimizing lead management, distribution, and conversion to drive business success. By partnering with value-added resellers (VARs) specializing in front-office growth services, agencies can unlock new avenues for expansion and capitalize on emerging trends.

Research shows that VARs play a crucial role in adding value to products and services through customization, integration, support, and other specialized offerings. In the realm of front-office growth services, VARs can provide expertise in lead management systems (LMS), customer relationship management (CRM) software integration, sales improvement strategies, and more.

This level of specialization allows agencies to access cutting-edge tools tailored to their unique needs while leveraging the expertise of experienced VARs.

Harnessing the potential of front-office growth services requires a strong understanding of how these solutions align with an agency’s goals. Collaborating with VARs who possess deep knowledge of both technology platforms and industry-specific challenges ensures that businesses receive comprehensive support throughout their growth journey.


In conclusion, working with value-added resellers (VARs) can be a game-changer for agency owners and resellers in the SaaS industry. By partnering with VARs, businesses can access specialized expertise, enhance customer support, and increase their sales and market reach.

VARs play a crucial role in adding value to products and services through customization, integration, support, and other services. The future of VARs in the SaaS industry looks promising with emerging trends and opportunities on the horizon.

As front-office growth, and services become the next big thing for VARs, agency owners and resellers need to consider building strong vendor relationships and compelling partner programs to attract top-notch VARs.

By integrating PRM (Partner Relationship Management) and CRM (Customer Relationship Management) systems effectively, businesses can streamline their channel management processes for better efficiency.


1. What is a value-added SaaS reseller?

A value-added SaaS reseller is a company that not only sells software-as-a-service (SaaS) products but also provides additional services and benefits to enhance the value of the software for its customers. These additional services may include customization, integration, training, ongoing support, and consultation.

2. How can working with a value-added SaaS reseller benefit my business?

Working with a value-added SaaS reseller can provide several benefits to your business. They can offer expertise in implementing and optimizing the software for your specific needs, ensuring smooth integration with other systems, providing personalized training for your team members, and offering ongoing support to address any issues or challenges you may encounter.

3. How do I choose the right value-added SaaS reseller for my business?

Choosing the right value-added SaaS reseller involves considering several factors. You should assess their experience and knowledge in your industry vertical, evaluate their track record of successful implementations and customer satisfaction, inquire about the range of services they offer beyond just selling the software, and determine if their values align with those of your business.

4. Can I still receive direct support from the original SaaS provider if I work with a value-added reseller?

In most cases, yes. Value-added SaaS resellers collaborate closely with the original software provider to ensure seamless customer experiences. They act as intermediaries between you and the provider while adding their unique expertise and services.

This means that you can still receive direct support from both parties when needed without any conflicts or complications arising from working with a reseller

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