How To Be A Successful White Label Partner
In order to be a successful White Label Partner, it is important to understand the steps you can take for a smooth partnership. In our White Board Wednesday series, we have covered the definition of White Label Services and who they work best for. If you missed that post, you can check that out here.
Brian DeVaultWhere we've seen the most success with White Label Partners, they have resources internally that are capable of doing project management and we're in lock step with those resources as we're going through the on-boarding process and any future projects.
Brian DeVaultI think it's important to evaluate your organization holistically when you're considering these two models and ask yourself if you have the resources available and the right people to put on those tasks in order to be successful in those areas. If project management is not something that you do at all for your clients, then you're probably a better fit for the agent model. If that's something you do every day for your clients and your clients, have a relationship with your project management office and are comfortable working with those teams and you have some technical resources on hand for project work or it maybe just consulting, then White Label is probably a good option for you.
Brian DeVaultBut it's important not to underestimate the amount of involvement that you'll have as a white label partner in this on-boarding process where the agent model is largely hands off.
Mike CromwellNo doubt about it. And what advice would you give, Brian, to the company that may be operating today as channel partner wants to head down this path but may not have those resources. So what's the path look like to get there? You being the founder and CEO of a company that Netrio acquired and you built a highly successful business. You could have gone down the agent path, but you chose to own the client. So talk a little bit about what that journey looks like and how we might how Netrio can help partners that may not be equipped to do this today.
Brian DeVaultIf you're in a trusted advisor position today and you're providing mostly agent type services to your customer base, it's obviously advantageous for you to pursue a white label engagement with them. It puts more of the revenue into into your bucket. And we'll talk about the differences between the two in just a minute. But the more education that you can do for yourself around managed services and how they work and what makes them a success, and I'll just add my little side note.
Brian DeVaultCommunications is what makes them a success. It's about educating yourself on the process, making sure you understand what's going to happen at each cycle during the process. Whether it's on-boarding, project execution or day to day management of the client's assets, understanding what's important to the client, what pain points you're trying to solve, and then stepping in and presenting yourself as an individual that adds value to that process. And when you're adding value from a project management perspective, you know the client's environment and you're playing that trusted advisor role between your client and the managed service provider to make sure that everybody has the right expectation and understands who the right points of contact are.
Brian DeVaultThat's educating yourself within both organizations. So make yourself familiar with Netrio. Find out who all the important people are going to be part of the process during the course of the engagement on this side, as well as on the customer side, just trying to really educate yourself about how the engagement is going to work long term and then staying engaged to make sure it's a success is the advice I would give.
Mike CromwellAnd we've even seen certain cases, Brian, where somebody is not ready to do it today. We can help bridge that gap and what that model might look like is that certain points on this slide are grey to start while a white label provider capabilities get ramped up.
Brian DeVaultWhen I think about white label partners. I think about them adding this to their list of products and services that they sell today. And when you think about it, typically those things are telecom resources such as circuits, subscriptions for Internet service or UCaaS. So this jump puts them in a different position with the customer where the customer's looking at them as a vastly different service provider than they previously did. Today, what we're seeing, if you talk to AT&T, they'll tell you they do managed services. You talk to CenturyLink, they're going to tell you that they do managed services. Every CLEC that's on the face of the earth is now, it's a managed service provider.
Brian DeVaultAnd what happens if your client goes over to those organizations like that for managed IT services. The chances that those businesses are going to get their telecom and their UCaaS down the road are pretty high. So from a position perspective, the health of the relationship with your client, I think that this is bigger than a financial conversation. That ten thousand dollar engagement with some projects yearly that can turn that hundred and twenty thousand dollars a year annualized revenue figure into very quickly a two hundred thousand a year annual revenue vector.
Brian DeVaultSo there's some soft benefits, I think, that we can't really project and we can't put on paper to show you where the value is. But there are all kinds of things that you can do, additional services, you can sell them like Virtual CIO, at a few thousand dollars a month and all the other things that they're going to be looking for you to solve once you're in this position where you're really going to benefit, really start to drive that value in that customer relationship.
Mike CromwellYou want to speak a little bit about position of negotiation strength when you've got ownership of the client.
Brian DeVaultThe further that you can get in advancing the relationship with the client and demonstrating what your value is. Obviously, the stickier that situation is and the longer the client is going to continue to be in that relationship and also the more of their their budget or their spend that you're going to get. And so as you're completing your portfolio of services, you may have some telecom in there right now.
Brian DeVaultYou have some UCaaS, maybe some SD-WAN, some managed SD-WAN. It's a natural progression to extend that into managed I.T. services. And as your client is looking to you to provide to deliver those types of services, they come to you with every project that they have, so that top line revenue not only impacted by the current engagement that you have on the table, it's what is the future present?
Brian DeVaultOnce you become that trusted advisor that's now delivering their Managed IT, their organization is heavily dependent on you. And you're going to continue to get that more and more of that spend and owning that top line revenue, having that better control of your margins. And that's just going to give you the ability to grow your business. And the valuation piece is nice if you're looking to market your company in the future.
Brian DeVaultThat is a very difficult thing to do well, and not all business owners do it well. That's why I'm a CTO now instead of a CEO. But certainly a good point and Mike to yours once you get that magic EBITDA number, your company valuation factor starts to really explode. For white label partners, that's important because by outsourcing this effort to another organization, to a service provider, you're not taking on the overhead of all the salaries that are required to deliver this support.
Brian DeVaultSo those are the things that really kill EBITDA, the spend and as a white label partner, you don't have to increase your spend, you just increase your top line revenue and you get the margin to go with it. You pair some professional services on the back side of it to do the project management, the other aspects of client relationship management, and you've really got a strong play in the marketplace.
Success With WLP
At NETRIO, we have seen the most success with White Label Partners when they have the resources internally that are capable of doing project management. It is important to evaluate your organization holistically when you’re considering white label management and ask yourself if you have the resources available and the right people in position to be successful in those areas. If project management is not something that you do for your clients, then an agent model may be a better fit for your long-term success. If project management is a part of your business model and you are comfortable working with those teams, then White Label is probably a good option for you.
It is important to keep in mind that a white label partner is very involved in the onboarding process, as well as the daily communication, while an agent model is more hands-off. In this blog post, we take a deep dive into white labeling vs. agent partners to help you decide which is a better fit for your organization.
The Journey to WLP
When it comes to creating a successful white label business model, communication and education are key. If you are in a trusted advisor position today and you’re providing mostly agent type services to your customer base, it’s advantageous to pursue a white label engagement with your clients. The more education that you do around managed services, how they work and what makes them a success, the more easily you will find success with this model.
Communication is what makes a successful white label partner. It’s about educating yourself on the process and making sure you understand what’s going to happen at each cycle. Additionally, when you are adding value from a project management perspective, you know the client’s environment and you are playing that trusted advisor role between your client and the managed service provider to make sure that everybody has the right expectation and understands who the right points of contact are.
The key is educating yourself within both organizations. Find out who the important people are that will be involved in the process during the course of the engagement, as well as on the customer side. Continually educating yourself about how the engagement is going to work long term and then staying engaged to make sure it’s a success is the journey to a successful white label model.
Negotiation Strength with the WLP Model
The further that you can get in advancing the relationship with the client and demonstrating what your value is, the more that relationship will grow. As your current clients are looking to you to provide to deliver those types of services, they will continue to come to you when new opportunities arise. This will result in higher budgets and more money invested into your organization by the client.
Once you become that trusted advisor that’s now delivering multiple products for them, you put yourself in a position where you have more control over your margins. This will result in the ability to grow your business. It is not necessary to increase your spend. You just increase your top line revenue and you get the margin to go with it. You pair some professional services on the back side of it to do the project management, the other aspects of client relationship management and consequently you secure a strong spot in the marketplace.
This blog post is part of NETRIO’s weekly White Board Wednesday series. Follow along on Linkedin and YouTube each week as Brian and Mike discuss use cases, new technology, and trends. The goal is to provide insights for enterprise customers and channel partners, trying to solve complex problems using technology.