21-Vendor Channel Programs: Executive Summary


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Overview of trends, personalities and findings from our 20+ interviews with channel programs.

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  • Who are we We‘re a neutral party and we‘re exposed to both partners and vendors... (We work with vendors on their partner programs but we also work directly with partners (consulting/training). So, we understand your job and the things that your partners tell you they need (“more leads“) and the realities of what you‘re dealing with („being fair and equitable“) and we found ourselves crossing paths with many HTG partners over the years. Arlin suggested that we be the ones to simplify a batch of your offerings so that his members could see the opptys more clearly. The report : So we called each of you (you may have spoken to Mike, Angie or me) and between our short conversations, tried to paint a picture of priorities and activities in your programs. From those, we have written up summaries that will be given to HTG partners only on a secured site. Additionally, we‘ve created an executive summary report and this presentation which leaves out specifics of any one vendor but it does highlight the takeaways. Your confidentiality: We will share trends and generalized practices, but we won‘t disclose specifics about each other‘s programs Meet & Greet: Does anyone know one another? Have you done work together before? Let‘s do an intro... Example of Bruce Stuart‘s Channel Training – HP, IBM, Red Hat, Sun, Cisco...
  • 21-Vendor Channel Programs: Executive Summary

    1. 1. Cross-Vendor Partner Funding: Trends & Popular Practices Kris Fuehr, Channel Specialist Lori Stutsman, President Extra Mile Marketing, Inc.
    2. 2. Agenda The 360 o View 3 Vendor Program Personalities Vendor vs. Partner Perspectives 3 Best Practices 1 2 3 4 5 3 Trends
    3. 3. The 360 o View To partner  Through partner  With partner
    4. 4. <ul><li>The Sergeant : Persistent recruiting, profiling, analysis + Recruiting is essential (boot camp) - Partners jumping through hoops, getting value? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The Salesman: Revenue/ROI-oriented, Channel “ATM” + The know what marketing/sales tactics work - May not invest in longer-term programs (training/cert) The Loyalist: “Circle of friends”, in-person approach + Satisfaction, great for stable market - Shifting market, trouble reaching breadth </li></ul></ul>3 Vendor Program Personalities
    5. 5. Where are you spending on your program?
    6. 6. Investing on the Pyramid Trend: Gravity pulls investments to the top (especially during a leadership change) Tip: Commit to a “ SB via channel program ” budget line item. Depth Breadth
    7. 7. Partner and Vendor perspectives <ul><li>With the right partners and rules of engagement. </li></ul><ul><li>I rely on partners to reach into new markets and nurture their customer relationships. </li></ul><ul><li>They deliver my message where my products are a likely recommendation </li></ul><ul><li>And I need some visibility to prove ROI on my partner investments </li></ul>Send me more leads! I need access to cash to invest in lead-gen <ul><ul><li>I need to keep my people in the field with customers--not at their desk. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>I shouldn’t have to know someone to what a vendor expects of me. If I do X, do I get Y? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>I sell solutions based on customer needs, not products </li></ul></ul>Give me an account manager!
    8. 8. How partners learn about your opportunities <ul><li>Partners represent ~ 9 Vendors </li></ul>
    9. 9. Winning partners: You have <2 minutes to prove real value in your initiative <ul><ul><ul><li>“ Does this directly build my business?” </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>“ Do I stand a chance of getting funded?” </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>“ How much paperwork is there?” </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>“ Is it worth my time?” </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>“ Who else, like me , is doing this?” </li></ul></ul></ul>Valuable to partners? You decide: GadgetsRUs will be launching a new partner community on May 1st The portal will include new online training, events and collaborative community for networking. Qualified partners will also have co-marketing opportunities. Feature a lead action! GadgetsRUs System Integrators Today, you’ll find 18 selected ISVs in the security and monitoring market. Their packaged solutions complement our products and can advance your customer security solutions. Kiosks Inc, B2BMetrics, EyeCams and many more in our new partner community! www.Gadgetpartners.com Feature a lead action! GadgetsRUs Partners targeting small-business: Find co-marketing opportunities and customizable templates for our newest campaign around security solutions. We’re in market May 15 and you could be too. Apply for co-funding up to $5000. $500,000 will be awarded to partners committing to a reach of least 1500 clients by June21st. in our new partner community! www.Gadgetpartners.com
    10. 10. 3 best practices: <ul><ul><li>Programmatic. Be predictable. Consistent communications & programs </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Flexible. Not all partners want to spend on the same bizdev or win the prize that you selected. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Collaborative: Combine efforts with strategic partners (Maybe the person sitting next to you?) for broader offerings </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Overall, simplify! We are all over-communicators Do you ask too much of your partners? </li></ul></ul>
    11. 11. <ul><li>Should your MDF criteria be a secret? </li></ul><ul><li>Motivates all partners, funds some </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Discloses your priorities. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Gets partners going the right direction, </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Attracts new partners </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Deliver via your field, post to your site, blog about them, offer a contest </li></ul><ul><li>Disclose your limitations too: “ Limit 25.” “Max $” “Expires $” </li></ul><ul><li>“ We could never do that in our company” What if all other vendor programs did? </li></ul>Programmatic means opening up
    12. 12. Using Contests to Ignite Channel Activity <ul><li>Marketing awards program example: </li></ul><ul><li>Call for entries open to all Great buzz </li></ul><ul><li>Systematic entries & scoring Disclosed criteria, judged objectively </li></ul><ul><li>Identify & reward top performers Featured on partner portal and events </li></ul><ul><li>Showcased best practices Published case study to inspire more partners to do the same </li></ul><ul><li>3-year running program Real traction in year 2 </li></ul>Source: 1 to 1 Magazine
    13. 13. Turning on the Channel Marketing Engine <ul><ul><li>Packaged menu of proven approaches: Mailings, flyers, event materials </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Design templates to customize Professionally designed, aim for 80% customization flexibility to partners </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>How-to guidance on “what works” Share your market insights and bake in your selling points but don’t lead with the product </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Marketing self-service engines with “credits” as rewards </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Discounted services: Vendor negotiated rates so Partners can buy lists, access telesales, design affordably </li></ul></ul>
    14. 14. Flexible <ul><li>Program: Can your program fit a brand new product? A brand new business model? </li></ul><ul><li>Materials: The partners have a variety of ways to get their “foot in the door” and they know customers best. Rule of thumb : 80% flexibility with your theme and selling points. Lock only 20%. </li></ul><ul><li>MDF Spending: Partners spend their money differently </li></ul>Don’t expect to play the lead: Your product is statistically a “ likely recommendation ” but if your partner doesn’t win the business at all, you both lose. It’s hard, but let the partner lead.
    15. 15. What’s behind your lock? <ul><ul><li>Everything is locked : We offer a walled garden community with partners only. We talk conceptually about what we offer as benefits </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Limited: Only content or transactions are hidden We disclose the following publicly: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Specific offers (Both to & through partners) </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>The explicit benefits (not the category, but the actual benefit) </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>One example of each of our key assets </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>A demonstration or video orientation walk-through of our program </li></ul></ul></ul></ul>
    16. 16. Collaborate with other vendors <ul><li>Share resources: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Marketing templates </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Marketing support staff </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Webcasts </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Training </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Consulting </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Who’s next to you here in this roundtable? </li></ul></ul>
    17. 17. Joint Business Planning with Partners <ul><li>The Metrics </li></ul><ul><li>Revenue </li></ul><ul><li>Points system per activity </li></ul><ul><li>Certifications </li></ul><ul><li>Quarterly reviews </li></ul><ul><li>1:1 Joint business planning? </li></ul><ul><li>The Reward </li></ul><ul><li>Exclusive opportunities </li></ul><ul><li>Grandfather into certain programs (but disclose this!) </li></ul><ul><li>Vendor-negotiated Pricing: Reduce their cost of business </li></ul><ul><li>Programmatic rewards: e.g. “credits” to their marketing account activities. </li></ul>
    18. 18. Business Planning Templates and Aides <ul><li>Review then fund </li></ul><ul><li>Winning partner plans include: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Target market, Key differentiators </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Media </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Timing </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Budget split (Partner/Vendor) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Deal size </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Estimated close rate </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Commitments to sharing metrics with vendor and capacity to follow-up leads </li></ul></ul>
    19. 19. <ul><li>Quarterly partner reviews for allocation is standard (top partners) - 80/20 philosophyprevails </li></ul><ul><li>More and more partners are seeing the value in 3 rd party associations like HTG, Trend Micro events and other cross-vendor activities. (skewed to this population?) </li></ul><ul><li>Vendor innovations generally came in 4 places: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Reducing risk : Our company actually gives VARs a &quot;lead guarantee&quot; and this has REALLY increased the interest in our programs. Many now offer an entry level version of their partner program that does not require any fees. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Reducing overhead : We take the &quot;strain&quot; out of vendor fund claims by doing it for them and producing ROI reports and the like. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Enabling flexibility : </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Getting local </li></ul></ul>Trends from our interviews…
    20. 20. Extra Mile Marketing has worked with over 5,000 technology companies, and can create customized marketing collateral to accelerate demand generation among existing and new customers. We’ll help jumpstart a new campaign or nurture current marketing practices with tools like: If you’re interested, contact Lauren Jansson at [email_address] or (425) 746-1572. www.ExtraMileMarketing.com
    21. 21. Questions?
    22. 22. HTG Member profiles <ul><li>Size facts about members* </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Average size- 20.3 employees </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Average revenue- $3,576,669 </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Product/services split- 63% services </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>SLI estimates that members put 2.1-3.1% of revenue to marketing, but should be spending closer to 5% of revenue based on 63% services </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Straw poll estimation about membership at large </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Average size- 10-12 employees, range is 2 to 272 </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Average revenue- $1MM-1.5MM, range $250K to 60MM </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Product/services split- 60% product/ 40% services </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>* First numbers courtesy Service Leadership Institute Q4- 2008 Benchmark, </li></ul></ul>
    23. 23. Ways partners are trimming budgets Partners moving to: How vendors can help: Social networking, Associations and networks Vendor involvement in existing communities like LinkedIn and your associations: Make better use of SEO Provide SEO insights, metrics and SEO services at vendor negotiated rates. Offer keyword buys as incentives to managed partners Local events Consider Partner Pavilions and “Event-in-a-box” Print in smaller quantities Provide templates in Word or other non-agency format Utilizing templates from vendors Provide flexibility, even offer “ala carte” images, messages and page layouts for partner to assemble Referral marketing Help partners network through association to your company