10 Key Tips for Choosing the Perfect Vendor Partner
Have you ever been stuck in a business partnership that turned out to be a disaster? Or maybe you have had a wonderful experience and things are going smoothly? As we face a pivotal time in our world, many businesses are making a transition to the cloud and have realized its potential to grow, while eliminating costly, time-consuming, and complex infrastructure management. One of the many parts of migrating your business or some services to a cloud infrastructure includes selecting a vendor partner—according to smartermsp.com, having a strong vendor relationship will make you grow as an MSP. There are many cloud providers in the market for various services, one known as Loop Communications specifically works with MSPs to provide fully-managed Hosted VoIP Phone Systems to your customers, and with the top-rated customer service in the industry!
Managed Service Providers (MSPs) who truly take the time to engage in their partnerships with vendors are more likely to scale and grow faster. Having a strategic vendor partnership with available resources to help develop and strengthen you as an MSP is crucial to your success in your service offerings and your business’s capabilities in the IT industry. To make a strategic partnership work, the MSP needs to commit to building trust and maintaining engagement with the benefits of their specific vendor’s partner program. A quality vendor should also help in the development of the MSP by offering general resources or recommending specific execution strategies of their products & services to the customer base of your business. Development offerings from a vendor may include technical support and resources, marketing assistance, advice from lead team members, or paid commissions for the MSP.
Choosing a strong vendor partnership will enforce your operation efficiency by allowing yourself as an MSP to reduce your number of resources needed to automate and simplify your business productivity. But don’t get stuck with a disastrous vendor partner! Instead, let’s dive into
10 Key Tips for Choosing the Perfect Vendor Partner:
Identity a TRUE Partnership—Having a two-way dialogue is key. Vendors should be listening to the MSPs they serve and find out what products, services, and support they are needing. MSPs also need to proactively engage with their vendor partner to ensure they have the right tools for promoting to their customer base and are met with new opportunities with a competitive advantage in their marketplace. MSPs often do not have the time to support new, full-scale service offerings. But vendor partners can help fill this gap. Important questions to ask include: How does the vendor partner invest in making MSPs successful? Is there marketing collateral designed to support MSPs’ sales efforts? What materials, pricing, or programs do they provide so that MSPs can go out there with a strong offering, grow their client base, and increase sales? Loop Communications works directly with MSPs to offer their customers the perfect business VoIP solution. We provide all our partners a resources site with sales and marketing support tools to ensure they are equipped to go after new business.
Evaluate Support Methods—look for vendors that regularly meet with you to embrace honest discussions and respond to feedback. A quality vendor should display their areas of expertise and serve as a sounding board or support system for their MSPs when launching their services. Loop Communications strives to take the load of our MSP partners and ensure a smooth transition into hosted business VoIP. You may also want to evaluate the support for your customers when utilizing or experiencing issues with their service. How quickly do your customers receive support for the query? Will the vendor assist your customer through onboarding processes and be there every step of the way for technical installation and maintenance support? Loop Communications has #1 Top-Rated Custom Service in the IT industry.
Assess Availability—How often is your vendor partner available for you to pick up the phone and call them on a whim for advice or support? When is your vendor partner available to answer questions or help configure the service with your customers? A strong vendor partner is always building relationships with partners and customers—if they are putting in the time to be available and listen, share, and communicate to you or your customers, then chances are, they are a good quality vendor.
Verify Reliability—There are several methods to check the cloud provider’s reliability such as verified reviews, performance attributes, and financial condition. MSPs should verify the performance growth and financial conditions of the vendor provider to ensure the providers can support the user’s expansion in terms of the technology required to support your growing base of clients. What is the retention rate of your vendor’s user base? How often are customers complaining? Loop Communications uses G2 badges to help communicate to MSPs how our customers feel about our VoIP solution. Loop was also recognized by the Charlotte Business Journal’s Fast 50 for the second year in a row!
Verify Reputation—Consider the network of your trusted colleagues, other MSPs, industry leaders, and in-depth research to find out whether the company offers the services, support, and requirements you need. Evaluate their service offerings, revenue models, and product scalability and compatibility with your current and future business offerings. It is also crucial to research customer reviews to see how your vendor partner is treating your customers with their service and technical support abilities. 92% of customers will trust peer recommendations when considering a new partner. With Loop Communications, our customers and MSP partners are happy to spread the word about our excellent service! See our reviews here. How do we compare to other VoIP vendors? View detailed comparisons with other popular offerings here.
Review Technology—Another important consideration for an MSP is how well the vendor’s technology collaborates or compliments your current technology/service offering. Is there an opportunity for technology integration? This is important so that MSPs can stay innovative in their services. Having a vendor with reliable technology, whether it be for cloud migration, mobility solutions, security, VoIP, etc. will be beneficial for you and your customers. Loop Communications built a new business phone system infrastructure from the ground up that was fast, scalable, reliable, and responsive.
Assess Communications—Failure to communicate is one of the tops complaints that MSPs have against vendor partners. Simple things like communication a price change, product or feature launch are so important to the success and fluidity of your Managed Service business. Find vendors that communicate often, communicate with value and you in mind, and include you in forming key decisions.
Review Resources—MSPs don’t have to become complete exerts in the technology or services they sell. A good vendor should not only train the MSP on the product or service offering but provide them with additional long-term resources so they can become self-sufficient. Quality resources provided by the vendor should help the MSP interact with customers to sell the service, provide updated materials to promote the service and offer continual support help for any training questions or concerns. Most MSPs do not have the specialist skillset or capability required to build sales and marketing into their newly acquired services’ business plan. But a good vendor partner, like Loop Communications, offers our MSPs an exclusive partner resources site that contains sales and marketing collateral and techniques to help you succeed in re-selling VoIP.
Calculate Cost—Cost is a vital factor for any business. Providing your customers with an affordable solution to your offering is even more vital. An honest vendor will provide you with the costs upfront, usually, a quote to you or your customers, and a good vendor will not tack on useless charges and surprise fees to try and sneak a few more dollars in. Loop Communications has straightforward and easy-to-understand pricing. Our prices never change so you can expect consistency when it comes to cost for you or your customers when using our VoIP.
Assess the Programs—An established vendor will have the experience needed to build solid partner programs. A good program should include open communications, training, education, marketing, sales tools, lead generation, and a dedicated partner portal (?), all optimized for the service offering within the MSP market. A good partner program will work to enable you to capitalize on their service offering. Earn a monthly recurring commission with Loop Communications while adding value to your product offering. Our partner program offers direct support to your customers, where they contact us for any phone-related needs, and we troubleshoot the issues—never have to act as a middleman again!
If you are interested in our Managed Services Partner Program, please reach out to 800-586-0321 or fill out this form online!