As the saying goes, “It takes two to tango”.
As a technology integrator and reseller, your business success is often tied to the strength of your relationship with the vendors and suppliers upon which your solutions are built. This relationship is strengthened when there is a mutual understanding of what each party should be bringing to the table. Vendors expect to do business with capable and knowledgeable representatives of their brand who can implement solutions precisely and in a timely manner. They count on you to deliver the sales results they are promising to their management teams and their shareholders. But this is not a one way street. There are many things you also need from your vendors that are important to your mutual success.
It’s no secret – here are the top things technology vendors typically expect from their partners:
- Sales and revenue: Vendors expect their partners to generate sales and revenue for their products and services. Partners are expected to actively promote and sell the vendor’s products to their customers, and to meet or exceed sales targets.
- Support and services: Vendors expect their partners to provide support and services to customers who have purchased their products and services. This can include technical support, installation, and configuration services, as well as ongoing maintenance and upgrades.
- Brand representation: Vendors expect their partners to represent their brand in a professional and positive manner. Partners are expected to adhere to the vendor’s guidelines and standards for marketing and sales, and to maintain a high level of customer service.
- Compliance: Vendors expect their partners to comply with all relevant laws, regulations, and industry standards, and to maintain a high level of ethics and integrity.
- Communication: Vendors expect their partners to maintain open and regular communication with them. This can include regular meetings and check-ins, as well as sharing sales and marketing data and other relevant information.
- Training and certification: Vendors expect their partners to be trained and certified on their products and services, in order to provide the best possible service to their customers.
- Business alignment: Vendors expect their partners to align their business strategy with the vendor’s, in order to ensure that both parties are working towards common goals and objectives.
But, you should expect some important things from your vendors too…
Reseller partners like you need vendors to reciprocate by providing your business with a number of valuable services. Don’t be afraid to assert yourself and let your needs be known. Your expectations can include:
- Product and pricing information: Reseller partners need access to accurate and up-to-date information about the products and services they are reselling, as well as the prices at which they can be purchased. This information should be easily accessible and provided in a format that is easy to use and understand.
- Training and support: Reseller partners need training and support from vendors in order to be able to effectively sell and support the products and services they are reselling. This can include product training, technical support, and sales training.
- Marketing and lead generation: Reseller partners need marketing and lead generation assistance from vendors in order to generate demand for the products and services they are reselling. This can include co-branded marketing materials, lead generation programs, and other marketing support.
- Order management and logistics: Reseller partners need assistance with order management and logistics in order to efficiently and effectively manage orders and deliveries of the products and services they are reselling. This can include order tracking, inventory management, and logistics support.
- Financial incentives and rewards: Reseller partners need financial incentives and rewards in order to be motivated to sell the products and services they are reselling. This can include discounts, rebates, and other financial incentives for meeting sales and marketing goals and targets.
- Communication and collaboration: Reseller partners need regular communication and collaboration with vendors in order to stay informed about new products, promotions and other important information.
- Access to dashboards and tools: Reseller partners need access to dashboards where they can find marketing and training materials and access other aspects of the sales and fulfillment process.
Technology vendors grow when they effectively address the needs of reseller partners. Take the case of Barracuda Networks, a cybersecurity vendor. Barracuda has a large network of small reseller partners, including managed service providers (MSPs) and value-added resellers (VARs), that sell their products and services to customers.
In order to support and grow its reseller network, Barracuda Networks implemented a number of initiatives and programs. One of these was the Barracuda Partner Program, which provided resellers with access to training, marketing resources, and sales support. Additionally, Barracuda offered a range of incentives, such as discounts and rebates, to partners who met certain sales targets.
As a result of these initiatives, Barracuda was able to grow its reseller network and increase its sales through small reseller partners. According to the company, resellers accounted for over 60% of their sales and the company’s revenue grew by 30% annually for several years.
This case study shows that with the right support, reseller partners can be an effective way for technology vendors to grow their business. By providing resellers with the tools, resources, and incentives they need to be successful, vendors can tap into new markets and customer segments, and increase their sales.
Don’t be afraid to ask for what you need to make this come true.