Partnering with a Reseller: How to Determine If It’s The Right Choice for Your Business
There are many ways for your business to sell to the federal government, one of which includes holding your own GSA Schedule contract. A common alternative to holding your own GSA Schedule contract is to sell your products to the government through a reseller. Many companies choose this approach for a myriad of reasons including: when a company does not have the internal resources to support a GSA Schedule contract, or if a company does not qualify directly for a GSA Schedule contract. Regardless of the reason, many small businesses build a successful federal sales practice through partnerships with companies that act as resellers to the government.
Winvale's Channel Distribution for Public Sector Program has enormous benefits and has helped many companies reduce their business and compliance risks in selling to the government and increase their speed to market. Before your company makes the decision whether to pursue their own GSA Schedule contract or partner with a GSA reseller for government sales, there are a few important steps you should follow to help determine which pathway is right for your business.
Step One: Consider Which Model Will Fit Your Company Best
It is imperative that early in the process of deciding between pursuing your own GSA Schedule or becoming an authorized manufacturer on an established GSA reseller’s Schedule that you consider which model will fit your company best.
Some things to take into consideration when considering pursuing your own GSA Schedule contract:
- Expect at least 12 months before a GSA Contract is awarded to your company.
- Upon award, your organization will be responsible for managing contract compliance issues, modifications, and reporting.
- What impact will having your own contract have on your commercial business as far as sales discounting practices?
- Will you be able to generate the necessary sales through the GSA Contract?
- Is your company willing to invest in staff to administer, manage, and quote a GSA Schedule Contract?
- You will be responsible for the Industrial Funding Fee, the fee used to cover GSA’s cost of operating the Federal Supply Schedules (FSS) program.
However, on the other hand, many companies, both large and small, have found it advantageous to add their products to an existing GSA Schedule holder for a variety of reasons including:
- While time may vary, addition of your products to an existing schedule may be done in as little as a few weeks.
- Commercial sales practices are not impacted through a reseller program.
- Sales requirements are for the contract holder, not your company.
- Contract management is maintained by the reseller, saving your organization time and money.
- Reseller is responsible for covering the Industrial Funding Fee, saving your company money.
Step Two: If You're Partnering with a Reseller, You Need to Understand the Government's Buying Decisions
If you’ve made the choice to move forward with partnering with an existing GSA Schedule holder, it is now important to understand what the government looks for when they determine a buying decision.
Some of the government’s buying decision criteria include:
- Business Size Status: A small business is typically preferred over a large business and a Women Owned or a Veteran Owned business is preferred over a small business
- Past Performance: How long has the reseller been selling to the government and do they have any issues in the past where they have not been able to perform on a contract?
- Area of specialty: Look for a reseller who understands your business product solution and where they fit within the government
- Complete solution: Does the reseller offer complimentary services and products that will allow the government to create one award?
Step Three: Determine What Your Company Needs From the Reseller
Finally, the last step is determining exactly what your company needs from the reseller. Defining what you want the reseller to do with respect to federal government sales is often a critical choice in making the right decision on who will be the best partner.
Depending on your company’s needs, it is important to ask yourself the following questions while making the decision on who to select as your reseller:
- Will your company need the reseller to provide sales personnel who will promote your product, perform demos, build a pipeline, and close the deal?
- Or will your company simply need an addition to your sales support team who develops the sales and leads it through the complete sales cycle so that the reseller just steps in to provide a quote to the customer?
- How long has the reseller been providing this service?
- What does the reseller’s successful government customer base look like?
Partnership with Winvale
Now that you’ve hopefully decided on what paths works best for your company, Winvale is here to help. How exactly does Winvale add value as a GSA channel partner? Here are the top seven benefits of partnering on Winvale’s GSA Schedule.
- Winvale takes on most of the compliance risk
By partnering on Winvale’s GSA Schedule F, formally Schedule 70, your company can drastically reduce the compliance risks of selling to the government. With Winvale serving as the prime contractor (contract holder), partners do not have to disclose their Most Favored Customer, commercial sales practices, discounting practices, or financial statements. These are only required if you have your own GSA Schedule contract.
- Time is on your side. A partnership on Winvale’s GSA Schedule F is faster than acquiring your own GSA Schedule.
It generally takes anywhere between six to twelve months to acquire your own GSA Schedule Contract. Through a partnership on Winvale’s GSA Schedule F, your company can add its IT solutions to our contract within 30 days, resulting in incredibly fast speed to market while selling to the government.
- Reduced Cost as opposed to obtaining your own GSA Schedule Contract
A partnership with Winvale’s Channel Distribution for Public Sector will result in reduced costs for your company. Obtaining your own GSA Schedule Contract means hard and soft costs associated with applying for, managing, remaining compliant, and preparing for GSA Audits. Partnering with Winvale eliminates those costs and can save money for your company.
- Qualify for Set-Aside Business through Winvale’s GSA Schedule F
Using Winvale’s GSA Schedule F, your company can leverage Winvale’s SBA Small Business designation to generate sales and revenue.
- Leverage Knowledgeable Government Sales Representatives
Upon successfully being awarded a sub-contractor status on Winvale’s GSA Schedule F, your company will be assigned an Account Manager that will work with your sales team to help navigate the contract process with various government agencies. The Account Manager will also work with your sales team to create quotes for your products after they have been awarded to Winvale’s contract.
- Winvale has skin in the game when it comes to Government Contracting
For the last 17 years, Winvale has been a trusted name in the reseller industry. Winvale has successfully negotiated and managed many GSA Schedule contracts for companies of all different sizes that represent various industries.
- Winvale Government Customer Base
Winvale has successfully submitted and won bids on behalf of their partners with many different government agencies at the federal, state, and local level. Some of the government customers we’ve had success with include: Drug Enforcement Agency, Department of Defense, and Food and Drug Administration, and Department of State.
More Information on Partnering with a Reseller
Winvale supports businesses of all sizes on our federal, state, and local government contract vehicles. Our Channel Distribution for Public Sector Program is designed to assist Information Technology companies to accelerate their sales within the Public Sector. To learn more about partnering on Winvale’s GSA Schedule, contact the Winvale team to speak with one of our experts.
About Bradley Wyatt
Bradley Wyatt is a Lead Account Manager for Winvale’s Public Sector department where he currently manages a diverse portfolio of Information Technology, Hardware, Software, and Services Channel Distribution Partner Accounts to accelerate their sales within the Public Sector. Bradley is a native of Fredericksburg, Virginia and a graduate from James Madison University with his Bachelor’s of Science in Public Policy and Administration.