Software resellers thrive when they find new and additional ways to build margin and profits into their offerings. In some ways, partnering with an independent software vendor is a no-brainer for them. Still, this only works to their benefit when they find the right partner. As an ISV, you can make yourself more valuable, and create more partnership opportunities, by demonstrating you can meet particular needs a software reseller will have.
Successful partnerships require time to develop into profitable enterprises. For this reason, you need to show software resellers that you have some staying power. This doesn't necessarily mean that you have been in the industry longer than your competition. Rather, you should be able to show that you have enough capitalization to survive; that you have contracts and honest reviews showing your commitment to the market; and you have a viable, long-term plan. All of this shows a potential partner that you have both plans and the ability to function and serve a partnership for a long time to come.
Part of your ability to remain in the market is a commitment to innovation. This is where you can offer deep value to a software reseller. These organizations have seen a multitude of products that are currently available and under development. If all you do is repackage or replicate solutions that others already provide, there is no reason a reseller would need you. Demonstrate a commitment to understand the market's needs, and the ability to move the needle forward. Software development requires creativity and ingenuity, something that will build something new for customers.
At the same time, giving something new to a reseller's customers is not enough. When you develop solutions, they have to mesh with the software and infrastructure already in place. No business wants to revamp its entire software package to accommodate a new solution, however exciting it may be. You must be able to show that you understand the products currently available, and that your software fits into the systems that are currently in use in a given industry. This often means settling on and studying a particular market niche so you can develop products within a set of parameters most customers will require.
Finally, any software solution will require service and further development when implemented. Whether this comes because end users need training or new bugs emerge within a particular environment, you need to be able to respond quickly and effectively. A reseller partner has to be able to rely on you to stand behind your product and react effectively to customer needs. Be ready to show that your value does not stop at the point of sale.
Software resellers and ISVs can form a natural partnership in this market. To stand out from your competitors and gain the trust of prospective partners, be ready to show how you can deliver consistent value from conception through the entire life cycle of your software solutions.