Indirect sales – that is, deals that happen not directly through the company’s own staff, but through other channels (third party websites, social media, affiliate networks, and so on.). According to the World Trade Organization, it actually accounts for as much as 75 percent of global trade. It seems that the majority of businesses, both big and small, prefer indirect sales, especially when entering new markets. It is especially important news for software companies and startups in particular. Let us take a closer look at why it is so and how you can best leverage indirect sales for your business this tool.
Leveraging Indirect Sales for Your Business
1 It allows you to tap into existing customer bases
One of the most significant challenges a software company faces is building up its customer base. It requires time and effort to market your product or service to those who may be interested in it and winning their trust. Meanwhile, software startups have to grow fast in order to stay afloat. If you cannot reach a specific growth tempo, it means that you are losing money faster than you are making it.
By selling your product through established third parties, you bypass this stage. You use the existing goodwill they have with their audiences and tap into markets that are otherwise unattainable for you. For example, take a highly competitive market like that of VPN service providers. By telling about the advantages of service on your own website, you are unlikely to achieve significant results – how many people are going to visit it, anyway?
But if you get in touch with several high-profile and trustworthy tech websites, manage to persuade their authors in the value of your offer, and get them to review your product, it is another thing entirely. Just read this ExpressVPN review and say you are not convinced to at least give it a try. The review is published on an independent website, it honestly lists both advantages and drawbacks and treats the reader as an intelligent adult. By offering a high-quality product, dealing with reliable resources, and being transparent, you can achieve the same results.
2 Leveraging Indirect Sales for Your Business: Speeds up your expansion and cuts your costs
When you work with pre-existing channels, it dramatically decreases the time costs of establishing your networks. Your job is to find partners who have audiences that are likely to be interested in your product, make sure they understand your sector, online risks, and where your offer fits into the existing paradigm. Also, make sure there is no conflict of interest. Usually, it is better to avoid dealing with an outlet that already has a client with a similar product or service. If you manage to correlate the audience of your partner with the target audience of your product/service, you can achieve some truly explosive growth.
3 It helps you focus on your core activities
Software companies, especially at the startup stage, are often by relatively small teams, and most of their members are primarily concerned with the development and improvement of the product. By leveraging the existing audiences of the websites through which you promote your software, you can retain this situation without siphoning a significant portion of your time and attention towards marketing.
You may perceive it as outsourcing sales while you fully concentrate on delivering as good a product as possible. However, you still have to receive feedback from your partner; otherwise, you risk steering away from what your customers really want and need. As a result, you can bring your product to many more markets than otherwise would be possible with a small team.
4 Leveraging Indirect Sales for Your Business: Opens a lot of possibilities for experimentation
If you want to try out a new approach to marketing. You do not have to hire in-house experts and build another marketing campaign from scratch. Whatever your idea is. You can usually find a suitable partner ready to get it off the ground using their existing know-how. The same goes for testing new products or services. If you have an early version of a software tool. Or service and want to test it on a specific audience. It is much easier to do it with the help of a website with a relevant audience. Then to try and single out this demographic in some other way.
5 It has lower maintenance
By partnering with existing channels, you can achieve an outreach that far exceeds your financial capabilities at the moment. As you do not own them, you do not have to worry about upkeep costs or rolling out regular updates. While the original setup may take quite a bit of your attention. After that, you usually may stop worrying about it completely.
6 It offers easy access to new markets
You may think that with how globalized the world is today. You do not have to worry about geographical limitations if you do not sell physical goods. However, in reality, things are a bit more complicated. While theoretically, we do live in a global marketplace. So, nothing precludes consumers from the most remote locations from buying your software. Using existing channels can significantly improve your chances of successfully entering a new market. For example, Citibank claims that up to 90 percent of its customers in China sign up through WeChat, a widely popular Chinese multi-purpose social media platform.
7 Leveraging Indirect Sales for Your Business: Makes it easier for customers to find your products
If you sell your product only through your website, your outreach will be. No matter how good you are at SEO and marketing. There are probably many other similar products all around. When you use a network of respectful websites to help you promote it. The likelihood of a consumer looking for a similar product stumbling upon your offer is much higher.
Of course, indirect sales do have their drawbacks – but when used properly, their advantages far outweigh them, especially in the software market.