Maximize Returns, Minimize Risk with the Right Vendors January 2013Maximize Returns, Minimize Risk with the Right Vendors January 2013
No matter which markets you serve, selecting the right manufacturer/vendor to partner with can make a huge difference in your ability to attract customers and add to your bottom line. Vend
January 9, 2013
No matter which markets you serve, selecting the right manufacturer/vendor to partner with can make a huge difference in your ability to attract customers and add to your bottom line. Vendors that are “partner-centric” provide you with the right resources to grow your business, and offer a broad portfolio of high-demand solutions that give you a competitive edge. If a vendor falls short in either of these areas, it can mean a costly investment that sends you back to the drawing board.
Know Yourself, Know Your Vendor
The best place to start is with a self-assessment. It’s important to match your profile with the right vendor. For example, are you stronger in implementation/services or marketing/selling? Choose a vendor that can help you make the most of that strength while also helping you increase your skills where you need help.
Also, a strong partner program recognizes different types of partnerships and offers rewards tailored to meet varying partner business models. Is it fair to measure every partner by sales alone? Absolutely not. Your vendor’s program should recognize your level of product knowledge, service capacity and customer success, as well as marketing and sales. The best partner programs will help you successfully onboard by linking you with dedicated resources and partner managers whose sole responsibility is to ensure your success.
Still not sure where to start? Industry press and analysts often rank vendor programs. So do your research, and seek out “seals of approval.”
Make Sure There’s Opportunity
Last but not least, ensure there’s ample business opportunity. Check out a vendor’s track record. Is the vendor growing? In what key markets does the vendor play? Does it have a broad portfolio of sought-after solutions? Is it innovative? What opportunities exist for partners within that vendor’s growth plan, and does its top execs really value the ecosystem? If a vendor is slow-growing, chances are your business will follow suit. However, if you pair up with a vendor experiencing double-digit growth and doesn’t have enough partners to meet the needs of its burgeoning customer base, then odds are you have an excellent opportunity to grow your business too!
Maybe It’s Time to Make a Change?
The suggestions here are common-sense, but sometimes it’s easy to overlook the basics. So do a periodic sanity check. Assess your business and the relationship with your vendor regularly. Are the vendors you partner with serving your needs? Do they have solutions that prospects are seeking? Are they competing with you? Could you be better served elsewhere? Perhaps it’s not about making a switch, but more about rounding out your portfolio and adding a vendor with complementary solutions. Choose wisely and ensure growth and profitability.
With 11+ quarters of double-digit growth, SAP is not just about providing ERP to large enterprises. In fact, close to 80 percent of our customers are small and midsize businesses. Partners enjoy huge profits with access to our award-winning SAP PartnerEdge program and one of the most innovative solution portfolios including applications, analytics, mobile, cloud, databases and our powerful in-memory solution, SAP HANA. Learn more about partnership opportunities at: http://sappartneredge.com/portfolio.
SimonIra Simon is vice president, Partner Marketing at SAP. Monthly guest blogs such as this one are part of The VAR Guy’s annual sponsorship.
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