The SaaS Reseller Business Model Explained

In this article, learn about the SaaS reseller business model and how it works and tips for success in adding this powerful new revenue channel to your digital agency

In this post, we'll explore the SaaS reseller business model, how it works, and tips for adding this powerful revenue channel to your digital marketing agency.

If there’s one thing we know about marketing agencies, consultants, and freelancers it's that they use tools — lots of them. In order to add value to the marketing strategies and programs for multiple clients and brands, agencies need to be organized. And, every client operates differently, some prefer a more hands-off relationship with their consultants and agencies while others prefer more involvement. 

A SaaS (software-as-a-service) reseller business model works well for some of those more involved clients — it provides a way for agencies and freelancers to offer up software as a solution to their client’s problems rather than spending time managing individual tasks for a client. SaaS can be simply defined as an application hosted on the internet by a person or company that can be used to provide a service for someone. Oftentimes, marketing agencies will white-label SaaS platforms as if it were their own and resell it to clients in order to upsell their customers into premium services.

Let’s take a second to look deeper into what a value-added reseller program is and why so many marketing agencies and consultants are using SaaS products to move into this business model.

Defining a value-added reseller program

In terms of SaaS, value-added resellers use the software as a way to level up their offerings. For instance, traditional marketing agencies would acquire a new client and manage all of their campaigns, content creation, spend, and everything else for them. However, with the introduction of SaaS and the evolution of digital marketing channels, a lot of companies and small businesses found they could manage their own marketing initiatives with the right software. This forced agencies and consultants to pivot their business models in a way where they would simply resell the right software to the right clients, then add value to their offering by helping clients with implementation and overall strategy.

Value-added resellers are typically looking for smaller clients who just need an easier way to manage one small aspect of their business. The reseller advises a client on the right tool(s) to help them with the problem, and then the reseller adds value by offering oversight, maintenance, strategy, etc. SaaS solutions built for agencies and consultants like Cloud Campaign are often white-labeled to appear as the reseller’s own proprietary software, helping them build brand authority and customer trust.

Channel sales and marketing

In order to scale quickly with fewer people actively selling your product or service, companies will often implement a channel sales and marketing strategy. Especially with the introduction of the SaaS reseller business model, agencies and consultants can work on getting software into the hands of channel partners, allowing them to sell a solution for you. With your agency solely focused on channel sales, you can spend more time onboarding new customers into the SaaS platform and building autonomous client workflows — allowing you to spend less money and time on client acquisition and brand awareness.

Building partnerships and partner programs

In a reseller’s market, partnerships and partner programs are going to be essential to scale. You can take a software solution and offer it up to a broad market, using partners and referral programs to incentivize customers to sell the software on your behalf. The SaaS reseller model works best when you’re not only white-labeling the software but when you’re giving your customers and partners the option to also grow as you grow. 

In the marketing world, a lot of your customers can also be your partners. For instance, if you’ve started a social media marketing agency, you can work with partners to expand your product offerings to include SEO, SEM, paid social, event management, etc. For instance, some of Cloud Campaign’s own customers can expand from their other marketing services into social media marketing by simply white-labeling our software and giving it to their clients. By reselling Cloud Campaign’s SaaS solution on top of their other services, our customers can add value for their clients, charge more, and ultimately make more money while making their customers happier.

White-labeling SaaS products

Through a combination of software solutions and partner solutions, agencies and marketing consultants can expand their product lines to improve client acquisition and retention. A lot of marketing agencies will work with freelance graphic designers in order to offer a premium design service for their clients. White-labeled SaaS products can be used in a similar fashion when applying the reseller business model — you can provide software to a client in order to add value to your services and earn more revenue.

White-labeled software can help you quickly build your brand’s authority and garner customer trust. You don’t need a full-fledged development team building software applications for your agency to upsell clients. By simply putting down a credit card and changing a few logos, you can label an entire software product as your own

Imagine walking a prospect through your proposal and being able to showcase so much additional value without much additional work — that’s why people adopt a SaaS reseller business model.

Scaling an agency through SaaS reseller programs

On top of improving your opportunity to upsell and build brand authenticity, SaaS reseller programs allow you to grow an entire business with less people than you would normally need. In fact, Cloud Campaign has customers like Amanda Marie who manage over 115 customers all by themselves. White-labeled software for marketing agencies and freelancers has drastically increased the ability for a small business to scale quickly.

A SaaS reseller program allows you to expand your product lines quickly but it also allows you to leverage a partner network where you grow as your partners grow. Client acquisition and retention is certainly one of the hardest parts of maintaining a successful agency — SaaS reseller programs can help you embed clients into deeper workflows with your team, increasing a customer’s lifetime value.

Social media marketing for digital agencies is often an afterthought. Cloud Campaign allows agencies and marketing consultants to easily offer a white-labeled solution to customers for social content creation, scheduling, interaction, analytics, and more. Learn more about managing social accounts for multiple clients and brands with a free, 14-day trial of Cloud Campaign or talk with a salesperson for more information.

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