8 Things to Look for in Partner Programs

by Jennifer Clark on May 31, 2018 · 0 comments

in ScanSource Catalyst,ScanSource Catalyst ConfigTool

Being a member of a channel partner program is all but required for resellers these days, so chances are, you’re probably a member of at least one or two. But have you checked the status of your partner programs lately? Do you truly know what you’re getting and how it enables your own personal profitability and growth?

Luckily, ScanSource scrutinizes vendor partner programs as part of our application process to ensure you’re partnering with best-in-class vendors that will help you grow your business. However, as you begin forecasting your 2018 growth, there are several key considerations you should evaluate to ensure your vendor partners are fulfilling the ones that are most important to your business. Below is a list of our recommendations.

  1. They know your business. You’ll want a channel-friendly vendor partner who understands the competition as well as the target market. Knowing the trends and staying ahead of them will be important when you look for vendors to partner with.
  2. A good marketing team. If your partner is limited by resources to get the word out about both their products and partner program, chances are, they aren’t the right partner for you. There should be a comprehensive plan that markets the program as well as spends and distributes the marketing funds adequately.
  3. You’re getting your money’s worth. Finding a support program that provides a great value or even better and allows you to set your own pricing based on bundled services is a major deciding factor. Think about the pricing models and how they complement your own business model. Does the vendor program operate on a capacity-based, usage-based or recovery-based pricing model?
  4. They’re willing to help. You’ll want to look for a robust training program, including technical, product, and sales help. Continuing education should be ongoing, as the more you know about the vendors’ products and infrastructure will allow you to fully represent the vendor as a professional and respected partner.
  5. Reciprocal behavior. The way the vendors treat and train their own employees should be reciprocated to their partners as well. Resellers struggle to maintain a strong value proposition with key stakeholders, and, most importantly, their vendor partners. If reseller resources aren’t considered in the same light as the vendor’s sales and technical staff, chances are, you’re not going to be a priority nor get your money’s worth from the program.
  6. They are unique. Sometimes there are only so many ways to manufacture the same technologies, but a vendor partner program that shows you growth and innovation as part of their business plan implies they aren’t relying on the tried-and-true, but potentially tired technology, and are thinking about the future. Further, consider a vendor that has demonstrated competitive advantages that result in exciting benefits for customers. When end users are excited about a unique product, they’ll be more inclined to request product demos, and it’ll be your job to convince them why it’s something they can’t live without.
  7. They go beyond the basics. Offering sales leads and additional compensation programs are more favorable to resellers than those who just offer pre- and post-sales support and technical backing. Look for additional services that will enable you, the reseller, to truly benefit and grow your business.
  8. They are good communicators. A vendor that communicates new trends, news, and has an open line for support will be a better resource than someone who just overwhelms you with promotions or unnecessary updates. Look for a program that will keep you in the know about timely sales support and replies to questions quickly. A strong customer service team can help set vendor programs apart from the rest.

To dig deeper into the vendors and partner programs ScanSource has access to, contact Ashley Moody at ashley.moody@scansource.com today.

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