Value-added resellers (VARs) and other point of sale (POS) solutions providers can grow their businesses by offering POS Software as a Service (POSaaS) solutions. Merchants respond positively to the advantages. The cloud-based model offers reduced upfront costs as well as enhanced data security versus on-premises systems with back-office servers that can make data hard to recover if a system goes down. Users can also pull reports and manage their business from any location with access to the internet. Moreover, users get all this and more for a monthly subscription, including software updates and maintenance.
The SaaS business model also prevents merchants from getting locked in long-term with software that won’t meet their needs in a few years. POSaaS gives users the flexibility to upgrade, add features and scale to respond to marketplace changes and keep up with evolving customer preferences.
Unfortunately, VARs can make mistakes when providing POSaaS, and, as any VAR knows, mistakes in business are costly. VARs need to make sure offering POSaaS will benefit their business. To ensure you keep your business on the right track, here are four things not to do.
Mistake 1: Not Focusing Sales and Marketing on the Right Prospects
It’s okay – actually, advisable – to be picky about your customers. Your time and investments in sales and marketing are valuable, so don’t spend them unwisely. Many companies have implemented POS systems and may not really want a change. Others may expect something outside your area of expertise.
POS solution providers set on business growth will benefit by evaluating their customer bases and understanding what their most profitable clients have in common. Using that information can improve marketing ROI and help you grow your business. Work with clients who are a perfect fit for your business.
Mistake 2: Not Owning the Whole Account
There’s wisdom in VARs offering a complete IT package, including POSaaS, other Software as a Service solutions like online ordering or loyalty program software, and IT managed services. If you aren’t meeting some aspect of your customer’s IT needs, it creates the possibility of a competitor getting a foot in the door.
On the other hand, when you regularly provide all of the IT services your customers need to operate on all channels, you’ll build stronger relationships, and they will look to you, not a competitor, when they want additional products or services. Make sure if your clients need an IT solution or service that you provide it.
Mistake 3: Not Taking All Costs into Consideration
It’s important to think through all the potential costs and benefits of the system you’re offering, then communicate them clearly to your customer, so unexpected expenses don’t blindside them. For example, most SaaS POS software requires a fast, reliable internet speed to work well. As a provider, you should ensure your client has service that will enable peak performance and make failover internet services available if the primary internet service goes down.
Additionally, if you can bundle services that ensure optimal performance into the client’s monthly cost, you can add value and help your client prevent downtime, which can outweigh any added costs.
Mistake 4: Taking a Tech-First Approach, Not a Customer-First Approach
Of course, technology features are important, but giving priority to the technology you’re offering rather than the customer you’re serving is a mistake. It’s important to understand a user’s needs first, then match the POS software to them. Communication with your customer is key. Ask a lot of questions to get a feel for what the merchant is looking for, for example:
- What do you like about your current POS system?
- What about it doesn’t meet your needs?
- What features would you like?
- How many lanes will you need?
- What do you expect in terms of support?
Your POS vendor partnerships are important to your business, but realistically, one solution won’t be right for every business. If it doesn’t suit the client, this can lead to trying to make a square peg fit into a round hole, and it might even cost you the customer. VARs should have the capability to tailor or offer different solutions so they can always provide what their customers need.
Move Forward with Confidence
Awareness of these potential pitfalls can help you prevent from falling headlong into them. With that knowledge, you can offer the advantages of POSaaS to your customers while creating some business advantages of your own.