Merchant Sales Podcast · Establishing Your First ISV Integration I’m finding there are many individual agents and even ISOs who are not wrapping their heads around the issue of ISV (independent software vendor) integration. If you haven’t yet integrated with a software provider, you […]
I’m finding there are many individual agents and even ISOs who are not wrapping their heads around the issue of ISV (independent software vendor) integration. If you haven’t yet integrated with a software provider, you are tragically behind the curve in this industry! Merchants are going in this direction.
As a payment provider, you need to be ready to make integration happen. What’s involved in getting an integration done?
#1. Reach out to a software company.
That advice should be common sense. However, after talking to many ISOs and agents, I’ve discovered many of you aren’t doing it!
If integrating is at the top of your list, here is a simple question for you:
How many software companies have you talked to in the last week, the last month, or the last six months?
There is a massive misperception among salespeople and ISO’s. When thinking of an ISV, most people immediately think of NCR, MICROS, or Aldelo – all the huge companies.
However, most ISV companies have only three to ten employees and 100 or less clients. In my experience, reaching the right person by phone in these smaller ISVs is not difficult.
Find the right one.
Avoid integrations with “catch-all” providers. The odds of a small ISO or an agent integrating with an ISV servicing many different verticals is extremely minimal.
Rather, go after particular verticals. Choose one which you are good at reaching. As an example, search Google for “hair salon management software” or “hair salon point of sale system” or “hair salon appointment scheduling software.”
You’ll find a ton of companies on your search.
Choose a company; go to the website; find a phone number. Say, “Hey, we are a payment processing provider. We have clients we think would want to use your software and are interested in integrating.”
#2. Offer them clients.
To encourage ISV interest in software integration, offer clients. You DO have leverage. ISVs will understand integrating is worthwhile if you explain how many clients you have who would be interested in their software if integration were available.
Our mindset of sales is very different from the mindset of an ISV. Merchant services professionals think of sales in terms of two or three hours of prospecting in the field to get four or five prospects to make a sale.
Software companies think of sales in terms of spending an average of $700 to $1200 (sometimes MUCH more) through paid advertising to interest merchants in their software.
ISVs are NOT out of your reach. You Do have leverage.
Suppose an agent tells the ISV there are four clients who would be interested in using their software if they’ll do an integration. The ISV calculates a savings of $4000, knowing the current cost of acquisition is $1300 per new client relationship. Thus, integrating certainly looks worthwhile!
Perhaps an ISO desires to market the software to 48 possible clients in a certain vertical. An integration is needed so the ISO won’t lose payment processing on those accounts. The ISV will trip over themselves to get the integration for that ISO!
Don’t hurt the reputation of our merchant sales industry by making deals but not making sales! If the ISV puts in the time to integrate, make sure you make sales. Personally, I don’t even ask for integration until I have a deal done.
I might say, “If I can get a client to sign up and pay you, are you willing to integrate with my payment processor so I can go sell more?”
Another idea is to say, “I want to offer your software to clients – to understand it. If you’ll integrate with my software, I’ll prospect full time for you for free! That’s free customers for two months.”
ISVs will be blown away by those offers.
You often hear me suggest focus on verticals. This is one super-simple example of focusing on verticals. And this is a great example of the wisdom of that strategy.
Here’s my challenge for you today if you really want to integrate:
Make the phone calls. Even ten minutes per week would be beneficial. Ask if the ISV will integrate.
Add value to them through sales. Don’t waste their time! I’m starting to see a bit of ISV resistance because they’re getting too many calls without results.
Come to the ISV with the right frame of mind, so they’ll be willing to work with you. You’ll make valuable integrations; give unbelievable retention to your accounts; and have a future-proof portfolio.