ConnectWise product enhancements for VAR success

| By: Craig Fulton

For many of you, ConnectWise has been known as a software company for managed service providers (MSPs). It’s true we got our start providing software solutions for MSPs because we were one. While we’re still dedicated to helping MSPs grow a sustainable business, we know that value-added resellers (VARs) can benefit from our software, too.

We don’t define ourselves as a company exclusively for MSPs, but as a company that serves The IT Nation as a whole—a community that includes a variety of business models.

We’re invested in providing software that improves the daily operation for product-centric organizations, so let’s take a look at some of the latest product updates that can help them VARs succeed:

Increase customer retention with improved renewal functionality
The problem

It’s easier to keep a customer than it is to gain a new one, with it costing five times more to acquire a new customer than it is to retain an existing one.1

If you’re not actively keeping up with renewals, you’re leaving a lot of money on the table. It’s estimated that by increasing customer retention by just 5%, you can increase profits by 25-95%.2 It doesn’t take very many customers to stay to see the benefits.

If you’re missing this opportunity and letting customers walk, you have to work even harder to make up for the loss. The success rate of selling to an existing customer is 60-70%, while selling to a new customer is only successful 5-20% of the time.3 So, which do you think is the better use of your team’s time?

This sounds like a no-brainer, but, like many things in life, this is easier said than done. Unfortunately, renewals are difficult to keep track of, and many service providers miss the renewal opportunity altogether.

There are a few reasons for this; information is scattered across different systems, a service provider has no idea what services are coming up for renewal, or they spend too much time sifting through data. This means your employees—your most valuable resource—end up spending more time on manual, administrative tasks and less time on things like bringing on new clients or other value-added activities. At the end of the day, managing renewals becomes cumbersome, manual, and time-consuming.

The solution

We’ve seen this problem a lot with our value-added reseller partners, and we’ve invested in product enhancements engineered to tackle this issue head-on:

1. Configuration flag and mass update

This function allows you to flag which items are eligible for renewal and apply mass updates against them, keeping them easily accessible for when the renewal date approaches.

2. Configuration import tool

The new import tool pulls information for upcoming renewals into ConnectWise PSA™ (formerly Manage) for better organization. Your team can take action on the information and easily report on what items need renewal.

3. Add a flag at time of conversion

Take the guesswork out of renewals by flagging them when the deal is initially won. When you process a won deal in ConnectWise CPQ™ (formerly Sell) and convert them in ConnectWise PSA, you can flag any item that will eventually need to be renewed.

4. Renewal reports

Keep your customers aware of upcoming renewals. This end-user report provides a comprehensive list of all items that will need renewal.

Save time with distributor quote imports
The problem

Time is your most precious resource, especially in a VAR business model since it requires heavy sales volume every month to keep revenue high. It isn’t useful—and doesn’t make much sense—spending this time registering deals, pulling pricing, and updating ConnectWise CPQ. It’s time your teams should be spending on business-growth activities, like bringing on new clients.

After you bring on a new client, you want the new partnership to get off on the right foot. You want the customer to feel confident that they made the right decision selecting you as their service provider. Any misstep along the journey can plant a seed of doubt in their mind that will inevitably grow larger.

Your initial sale and order need to be correct and on time to make sure this doesn’t happen.

The solution

We’ve made it easier to create accurate quotes with new import tools with two top distributors:

1. Ingram Micro quote import tool

With the Ingram Micro quote import tool, you can get pricing and a quote ID from Ingram Micro, enter the ID into ConnectWise CPQ, and have the entire quote pulled directly into ConnectWise CPQ.

2. Tech Data/CCW quote import tool

The Tech Data/CCW quote import tool allows you to register the deal and input your items into Cisco® CCW. By entering the Cisco CCW ID into a field in ConnectWise CPQ, you can pull pricing from Tech Data and import the bill of materials into ConnectWise CPQ.

Providing more than just software

In our continued dedication to partner success, we offer more than just a software solution; we provide resources to help our partners take their businesses further. With that said, we’ve created IT Nation Evolve peer groups specifically for VARs. These peer groups are made up of other VAR business owners and allow members to collaborate and communicate to share advice and insight into the industry. Many of our VAR partners are looking for ways to adapt to the changing industry, and IT Nation Evolve VAR peer groups are a great first step in that journey. Be sure to follow ConnectWise across social media on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn as we share the latest product updates, industry insight, and more.

Sources: 1,2,3 Saleh, Khalid Customer Acquisition Vs. Retention Costs – Statistics and Trends