New Year’s Resolution…Adopting a Values Based Model

December 5, 2008 at 10:42 pm Leave a comment

Natascha Lee

Natascha Lee

Life goes on in this heavily media fueled recession world we live in. And, as a fair part of our world’s economy seems to operate on ‘confidence’, I started to think about what confidence means. My thesaurus gives a whole list of nouns including belief, faith, trust, support and loyalty. For something clearly not tangible, it’s quite amazing what effect it can have. So, I wondered if we as individuals can make a positive difference on a local level – at home and at work – by making a concerted effort at being all those things people describe as being ‘confident’ and see what impact it has on those around you In other words, see if a confident demeanor is as infectious as the latest cold bug, with more positive consequences.

Recessions don’t uniformly affect people or businesses. Your partner’s behavior and needs are likely to be changing, so respecting your partner’s needs has never been so important. Now is the time to get personal and build on your organization’s strengths and those of your partners. Listen to your partners and see how together you can work through the less buoyant times we are in.

Value-based programs with well defined metrics are a good step towards helping develop business together. Cisco’s value-based model has been evolving since 2001, and since then many vendors have in parts embraced value-based channel programs. Cisco’s model was and still is simple: the more value a partner adds, the higher the compensation they receive regardless of the volume of product that goes through them. One of the most frequent comments I hear from organizations – is ‘we want to reward partners for the value they bring whatever their size, how can we do it with the resources we have?’ You don’t have to be the size of Cisco to reward partners who bring the most value.

For me a critical piece of implementing a value-based channel management strategy knows your partner and partners knowing you.  This means we treat our partners as customers and build our relationship with them as such, on the basis that the more we know about them, the more rewarding the relationship could be. Secondly, mind-share – if partners know how to position, sell and provide technical support on your products they will be in a far better position to develop their business with you.

In value-based models partners are able to gain technical and sales competencies and specializations which focus on specific products, solutions, services and verticals that enable them to differentiate themselves. Ensuring the program enables partners to ‘brand’ themselves according to their expertise helps to level the playing field in terms of value.
The more you know about your partner base, the easier it will be to influence and reward the type of partner behavior you are looking model. Metrics for this could include:

  • Achieving levels of customer satisfaction
  • Execution of demand generation activity
  • Skills, expertise and effort devoted to learning about your technologies

Many vendors forget that many of their partners enjoy considerable face-time, and have trusted relationships with end-users. Recognizing partners’ ability in the marketplace based on the value they add could include:

  • Influence revenue – through deal registration and revenue tracking processes
  • Providing a local presence – providing feet on the street, and training for end-users
  • Ability  to deliver niche technologies – building your product into their offering
  • Focus and specialist knowledge of a vertical market such as Health-care
  • Professional Services capabilities

Some value-based programs have no concept of a partner type, program benefits are segmented by level, which is a much fairer model especially since partners come in all shapes and sizes, with unique business models and goals. Aligning your program structure to a value-based program, or a hybrid volume-value model and ceasing to stereotype partners could
be your New Year’s resolution.

“People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care” – Author unknown

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Entry filed under: Partnering Tips. Tags: , , , .

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