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Partner Account Management: A Key to Driving Growth and Innovation

Partner Account Management: A Key to Driving Growth and Innovation

The productivity of a reselling organization depends on its people; quality of its processes and systems; and the products, solutions and services they offer to the market. A keystone to achieving productivity and profitability can be a strong vendor partnership. Resellers who build and maintain relationships with their vendors have a better chance of achieving revenue goals and increasing delivery capacity, as well as building a plan for growth and continued innovation.

How do you as a reseller ensure your vendor relationships are well-managed, especially with a vendor that may have thousands of other partners? It’s simple—partner account management. Earlier this year this blog spoke to vendor selection; here we’ll focus on the importance of having a point person at your vendor who helps you build your success. The role of a partner account manager should be that of a trusted adviser, a key resource to provide you with:

  • Continued Development of the Partnership: Ensuring you are aware of business opportunities, natural-fit cross-sell opportunities and enablement and growth opportunities
  • Strategic Guidance: Helping you with a business plan and provide you with a resource for partner economics, sales and the expansion of your delivery capacity.
  • Day-to-Day Assistance: Assisting you with conflict resolution, pricing and support issues and staying on point with your business plan.  

How well a partner manager can do his or her job depends heavily on how the partnership is structured. With the appropriate organizational tools and methodologies, partner account managers are able to arm resellers with access to company resources, such as user communities that facilitate collaboration across all aspects of the business. The more a partner manager can act as a liaison to the appropriate technology, sales and marketing resources, the greater chances are that you can grow your business. 

At SAP there are partner account managers (PAMs) in place to help our resellers with almost every aspect of their business. Building and maintaining our relationships in the channel is a top priority and a key to our success, especially with small and midsize companies. Firstlogic Solutions is one reseller who has leveraged our PAM model to its benefit.

Firstlogic Solutions is a small organization experiencing rapid growth; it relies on its PAM to help it maintain development while continuing on a path of co-innovation. Firstlogic views its PAM as a “beacon of light,” helping the company to navigate new opportunities at SAP, focus on the company’s specialized areas of expertise and promote their successes. Ken Kucera, managing principal at Firstlogic notes, “The SAP PAM role has been extremely important for our company in helping us grow our business while always looking ahead for new opportunities.” For Firstlogic, the people, processes and tools provided by their SAP PAM have been instrumental in supporting the company’s growth amidst a challenging economic landscape.

The moral of the story is: Align yourself with a vendor that offers a strong partner account management structure, one that values and supports your relationship with a personal focus. A "beacon of light," as Firstlogic calls it. Without that, you could find yourself without direction and rudderless in a sea of missed opportunity.

About SAP
With 14 quarters of double-digit growth SAP is not just about providing ERP to large enterprises; we offer partners a complete portfolio of solutions across five market categories: analytics, Cloud, mobile, applications and database & technology, all powered by SAP HANA, our powerful in-memory solution. More than 80 percent of our customers are small and midsize businesses, and our solutions are made to address the challenges of these customers across 24 industries. Partners enjoy great benefits from our award-winning SAP PartnerEdge program including partner enablement, generous MDFs and more.

Learn more about partnership opportunities at: http://www.sappartneredge.com/portfolio.

Annie Neubrech is vice president, Partner Management & Programs, North American Ecosystem & Channels Group at SAP. Monthly guest blogs such as this one are part of The VAR Guy’s annual sponsorship.

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