Edition #15: 5 Steps That Will Boost Your Reseller Network And Drive Performance


The reseller network is an invaluable asset in the telecom industry, particularly in markets dominated by prepaid services. Resellers play a pivotal role by distributing SIM cards, top-ups, and more, effectively extending the reach of telecom companies to thousands of additional touchpoints.  

Managing your reseller team is essential to ensure optimal performance and brand representation. Regular check ins will determine if your resellers are selling effectively, maintaining adequate stock, and favoring your brand over competitors. They will also tell you if they are falling short and taking your profits along with it!

In this newsletter, we'll explore five essential steps that will help supercharge your reseller channel and maximize your results.

1. Give resellers a great digital POS system to build loyalty

Why It’s Important:  

Resellers often represent multiple telco brands, and whose services they recommend most often comes down to which company helps make their lives easier. Typically, resellers are forced to use manual processes, so it takes days for their commissions to be processed. Or if they have access to a digital system but it hasn't been optimized for the channel, it might be more difficult than it should be to conduct business.  

Building loyalty can be as easy as providing an app that creates a great experience. Imagine how many resellers would recommend your products if they knew they could see their expected comr5555555555tmission after a sale, rather than having to wait until next week? Or if they could process a sale in a few steps without any manual paperwork?

By providing resellers with an easy-to-use digital POS system that’s been purpose-built for the indirect channel, you’ll build long-term brand loyalty that leads to increased performance.

Essential Features:  

  • Is built for indirect sales.
  • Easily sells recharge vouchers, mobile money, and registers SIMs.
  • Shows inventory levels within the app.
  • Shows real-time commissions right in the app, helping resellers understand what they earn commission on and why, which further incentivizes profitable activities.

2. Select a sales app that leverages geofencing for superior control

Why It’s Important:  

Resellers are often assigned specific sales territories and are only allowed to complete transactions within these designated areas. This helps ensure adequate coverage and prevents ‘poaching’ from other resellers.

Often, many telcos track this manually, either relying on an honor system, or requiring resellers to input codes when completing a sale. This is a time-consuming process that is prone to errors and abuse.  

Instead, telcos should ensure their reseller POS incorporates geofencing capabilities to avoid these pitfalls.

Essential Features:

  • Includes geofencing capabilities in the POS.
  • Partner managers can establish sales territories by drawing points on a digital map.
  • Notifies managers if resellers make a sale outside of their territory.
  • Helps visually confirm that all territories have good sales coverage.

3. Invest in a Partner Management App to eliminate manual effort

Why It’s Important:  

Your reseller network is not “set it and forget it” – it needs to be managed. As resellers represent your brand, they need regular checks to ensure they are operating effectively, maintaining your brand standards, offering the correct promotions, and more. An effective partner management team is crucial to building long term loyalty with your resellers.

Typically, a Partner Manager is assigned to their own sub team of resellers. They must ensure they visit each reseller at set intervals according to their priority, conduct inspections, report issues, and maintain records. Without the right tools, this is a time-consuming exercise. Simply planning the day’s visits can take several hours to complete!

Invest in a Partner Management App to make life easier. Instead of creating daily task lists and manually planning routes, the app will automatically plan daily tasks in the order that is the most efficient. The best apps will also provide turn-by-turn navigation that adapts to current traffic conditions. Site inspections are also easier, with integrated checklists built right into the app. Now issues can be reported immediately, and field agents can place orders for new marketing materials right there.  

Essential Features:

  • Uses algorithms to plan site visits according to reseller priority, location, and other KPIs.
  • Provides route navigation to each site visit.
  • Routes adapt to current traffic conditions.
  • Has built-in site inspection checklists.
  • Connects to your internal ticketing system so issues can be easily reported.

4. Choose solutions with in-depth reporting across all roles and actions

Why It’s Important:  

Your decisions are only as good as the data that’s available. This is especially true for the reseller market. There are so many moving pieces that it can be difficult to gauge how resellers and partner managers are performing. When activities are paper based, this is even harder given the significant delay between when activities are completed, and when the information is received and compiled.

When resellers and Partner Managers use connected digital systems, this important data becomes visible to all levels of management in near real-time. This makes it easy to assess the performance of reseller and Partner Managers. Now, top-level managers will know who their top performers are, identify those who are struggling, and recognize patterns that reveal themselves over time.  

For telcos with operations across multiple countries or regions, the best reporting tools will include dashboards that make it possible to compare Opcos at a global scale.

Essential Features:

  • Can be configured to show the KPIs that are most relevant to your business.  
  • Compares reseller and Partner Manager performance over time.  
  • Tracks whether site visits are being completed as scheduled.
  • Shows deviation from the planned site visit order/route navigation.
  • Compares performance metrics across different regions or countries in a dashboard view.

5. Don’t overlook inventory management

Why It’s Important:  

Inventory management is a key requirement for a successful reseller program. It’s important that resellers, as well as the distribution teams that manage them, can view real-time inventory levels across the channel.

Choose a solution that integrates closely with your inventory management software. It should be able to show current inventory levels to resellers and distribution staff from within their respective apps, and provide real-time alerts when levels fall below an established threshold.

Distribution staff will have their own inventory-focused site visits to complete and will use the Partner Management app to complete this task. Checklists will be customized to their role and should be focused on inventory criteria, such as stock counts, mobile money float levels, and more.

Essential Features:

  • Reseller app and Partner Management app must closely integrate with inventory management system.
  • Ensures resellers and field managers can view real-time inventory levels.
  • Creates real-time alerts when stock levels fall below their set threshold.
  • Provides site visit planning, route navigation, and site visit checklists for distribution staff.

Wrap Up

Reseller networks are a vital revenue source in prepaid-dominant markets. Many telcos are starting to realize they can maximize their performance by digitally transforming this important channel and investing in the right solutions.

How are you managing your reseller network today? If you’re not taking advantage of the benefits of digital tools, your competitors certainly are!

Bradley is an experienced telecom logistics visionary who specializes in global relationship-building.

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