Avaya Revising Channel Engagements to Add Value, Streamline
Recognizing its channel program has had its share of issues — not the least of which include complicated pricing programs and a focus on volume selling — Avaya is working to make changes that both streamline and add value for its channel partners.
At the 2012 Avaya U.S./Gov Sales Leadership and Partner Conference, Avaya channel execs outlined plans to reduce the complexity in pricing — both the pricing structure and the methods to obtain that pricing — and implement new requirements in its 2012 fiscal year to help partners expand their business into new technology areas. “The world is compressing — you’ve got to move to the new,” said Tom Mitchell, senior vice president, Avaya Go to Market. “You need to sell a wider footprint into your existing customers. We have enough proof points to know you’ll be successful at that.”
The company has been working to reduce the agita associated with obtaining pricing, Mitchell said, and has developed a new tools portal dubbed OneSource, which simplifies the user experience and consolidates 27 tools under one umbrella. In addition, the company has whittled its 1,400 pricing models to 11 under the Avaya Pricing Model to reduce the amount of time it takes to obtain pricing.
Both OneSource and Avaya Pricing Model have been beta tested in Australia, and Avaya plans to roll out both to each of its four “theaters” — or regions — over the next 12 months, with North America receiving it last.
Avaya also is building in to the Avaya Connect partner program incentives and requirements aimed at driving partners to adopt new technologies to help partners transition to Avaya’s new focus on selling solutions rather than products. Such new requirements and incentives include:
- Customer Satisfaction – Partners will be “graded” on their customer satisfaction scores and must receive a CSAT score of at least 3 out of 5.
- Shift from Business Development Funds to Market Development Funds – Partners now will receive funds based on value rather than volume.
- Partner Scorecarding – Partners will be measured against their peers and the industry in general in a number of areas including revenue, margin and new customers to determine their areas of strength and weakness.
- Rewarding Partner Value Incentive – Partners will be rewarded for expanding their technology reach.
“[These changes] are about having something that’s relevant to you and relevant to us,” said Jeremy Butt, vice president of Worldwide Channels. “It’s important to lay out the steps we will jointly do to build the business.”
Avaya has other channel changes up its sleeve for fiscal year 2013 and beyond, all aimed at shifting its partners’ mindsets to the idea of selling solutions rather than products — and value rather than volume.
The changes seem to make a lot of sense. Partners ultimately are responsible for their own success, and Avaya’s changes will give a mirror-view of partners’ successes and shortcomings. In the end, it’s about growth, which is never a bad thing.