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Switching Customers Versus Becoming a Full Service VoIP Reseller

Chris Key
14/06/2017

VoIP is a potentially lucrative opportunity for resellers. But what are your options when it comes to reselling VoIP – and which approach is best for you?

While partner programmes vary between different VoIP service providers, they typically fall into two broad categories: VoIP affiliate programmes where partners simply find and refer customers to a service provider, and programmes where partners take more control and ownership over the entire process, becoming full service VoIP resellers.

Both of these approaches come with advantages and disadvantages. Whether you’re considering reselling VoIP for the first time or unhappy with your current service provider, read on to learn which is right for your business – and your margins.

Referring and switching prospects to VoIP

The easiest way to get started with VoIP is as an affiliate, connecting potential customers with an established service provider. Just make the introduction and leave your technology partner to take care of everything else for you.

Predictable recurring revenue

The best partner programmes pay a monthly commission for the entire lifecycle of a customer. As you encourage customers to switch to VoIP, this could open up long-term recurring revenue for your business.

However, this kind of agreement is ultimately controlled by the service provider who will take responsibility for closing deals, provisioning services, and dealing with customers long-term. With that in mind, it’s important to find a provider with a generous commission and fair margins.

No barriers to entry

A VoIP affiliate programme doesn’t require investment or a great deal of expertise. Providing you can communicate enough of the benefits to encourage customers to switch, your service provider will handle all of the finer details for you.

As a result, switching is ideal for partners looking to easily add recurring revenue to their existing portfolio of products. It’s an effective way to capitalise on widespread demand for VoIP services without disrupting your core business.

No technical support obligations

Finally, switching customers to VoIP does not require any specialist technical knowledge. Once you have made your referral, your service provider will take control of the customer relationship including billing and technical support.

Even still, it remains essential that you choose a service provider who can really deliver on their technical support promises. Given your existing relationships with customers, a bad choice of VoIP service provider could sour the entire relationship. In addition, as your knowledge of VoIP grows over time, simply promoting VoIP to your customers may limit your opportunities to put that expertise to work and grow your revenue.

Becoming a full service VoIP reseller

While promoting and switching customers to VoIP is easy, the biggest opportunities are in becoming more involved as a full service VoIP reseller. If you are looking to build your in-house expertise and take ownership over your VoIP customer relationships, a full service programme allows you to do things your own way.

Set your own rates

As a full service VoIP reseller, you are essentially reselling the technology – a proven platform for VoIP. That means you can make decisions about every aspect of your service, including your rates, billing methods, branding, and margins.

Each customer you provision will come with a cost to pay to your service provider, but beyond that all of your pricing is in your hands. As a result, you get more flexibility in how you do business, from promotions and discounts to adding value and increasing rates.

Retain long-term customer relationships

Once you secure new customers, there’s no need to pass them over to your service provider. Instead, you’ll take care of provisioning client accounts in the VoIP portal and billing your customers – ideally with the proactive support of your service provider.

By retaining control over the relationship, you can find more opportunities to cross-sell and upsell, maximising your revenue from each customer. Of course, this comes at the cost of the need for increased resources to handle the day-to-day running of VoIP accounts.

Build your own technical and sales expertise

The right service provider will actively encourage you to grow your in-house expertise around VoIP.

Over time, you will build a level of technical knowledge and experience that increases your independence from your provider and lets you take even more control of service standards, configuration, and technical support. Meanwhile, your service provider should support you with all the essential tools of running a successful VoIP business, including sales and marketing collateral that can be customised under your own brand.

Choose a service provider that helps you grow

Both promoting and switching customers to VoIP and becoming a full service VoIP reseller come with their own advantages and disadvantages. The right choice for you will depend on how quickly you want to get started as well as your longer term vision for growing the VoIP element of your business.

However, the most crucial thing to consider when choosing a VoIP service provider to partner with is how easily you can make changes and grow over time. That way, as your knowledge grows and business changes, you can ensure your partner programme still works for your goals.

 

The Hostcomm VoIP Reseller Programme can support your ambitions with three levels of reseller accounts.

Find out more at www.hostcomm.co.uk/voip-resellers/reseller-programme