How does being a VoIP reseller work?

Being a VoIP reseller requires a different mindset to that needed for selling traditional voice services or, if you’ve mainly sold IT solutions in the past, selling hardware or software. The difference is fundamentally, between selling services and selling products. But how does that work in practice for a dealer or reseller business?

If you have been used to selling contracts for voice services before, selling VoIP is actually not that different. You will be selling a two- or three-year contract on which, you will make an initial commission and then a take a share of the monthly subscription income. That will be paid to you through directly through your supplier, so it’s important that you have a good relationship with them and that there is an open and transparent exchange of information.

If you’ve previously sold PBXs and equipment or IT products. , selling business VoIP services means adapting to a totally different income and payment model to the one that you’ll have been used to. But in many ways, it is much better with VoIP, as it will give you a steady income which is easier to manage, rather than the peaks and troughs you would experience with the product sales model.

The way that your business will be incentivised by the VoIP supplier will be different as well of course. Which means that the way you might need to alter the way you drive and motivate your sales people t achieve. Instead of setting targets that will encourage them to make as many big sales and they can – which you’d probably do by setting high commissions or offering tempting rewards for sales achievement –  you will need to look at the longer-term results and the impact that a new customer acquisition is going to have on the business.

Cashflow needs to be considered here of course. VoIP sales will not result in the sudden surge of inflowing capital that product sales might have for you in past times. There will be a small initial payment when the customer signs-up; then the income stream will level out almost straight away. Hopefully, it will keep rising steadily, but there won’t be a big lump of cash that enables bonus payments or rewards to be paid.

As a VoIP reseller, the way you position and market your business will need to change as well. You will certainly need to adopt a more consultative approach and work with the customer to identify their needs and build a relationship with them. After all, they will be relying on the hosted voice service you have recommended and supplied to them, so you will need to have a positive, ongoing and developing partnership with them.

Here once again, the relationship that you have with your supplier will be important. Just as your customer relies on you, you will rely on your VoIP supplier and if there are ever any issues to address, you will need their help, support and co-operation.

The modus operandi required of a VoIP reseller is thus quite different to that of resellers in the past, who could perhaps adopt a much more aggressive sales approach and more or a sell-and-forget attitude to the products they sold.