Ramya Chatterjee, Director – Sales (Visualization & Entertainment), Barco India
“Partner programs are widespread business strategies that OEMs use to grow their sales footprint and diversify their network of users. Not only can they bring in revenue, but they can also be important links between OEM and customers. Similar to a company’s advisors or collaborators, partners are crucial to the overall success of a business. Their impact on sales, market share, innovation, and even brand recognition is enormous.
No matter the type of partner engagement program the OEM designs, a solid partner program is essential to business growth. Almost all global brands as well as small and mid-sized companies, continuously reap the benefits of a partner program.
In order to fully leverage the value of a partner program, it is important that OEMs understand the range of opportunities that this business model can offer. In my opinion, there are four key benefits of a partner program:
Diving Incremental revenue
Channel acquisition / expansion / diversification
Enhanced product portfolio (encourage new product or solution adoption)
Increase Networking / stimulate Deeper engagement & loyalty
Let me answer this question taking the specific example of Barco.
Globally, there is an increased demand for visualization solutions and this is the perfect time for our partner community to shift gears and capitalize on this window of opportunity.
Partner programs should be designed keeping in mind the following aspects:
Differentiate: The programs should add value to the specific business requirements of partners. Barco not only provides support through market-leading products but also with financial rewards and support
Trust: by earning their loyalty … thanks to using the most trusted visualization brand and the outstanding expertise of the Barco employees
Grow: by introducing new ‘network-based’ solutions and simple go-to-market strategies and processes
Why partner with Barco?
Barco offers an engaging framework to bring visualization solutions to the market. Partners who join the Barco Connect! The program will have multiple advantages such as:
Reliable: We keep our promise to deliver the product, the support, the commercial benefits as stipulated in the program
Simple: The program offers a framework for doing business together, making Barco a simple and transparent partner to work with
Engaging: We want to engage in growing our business together, by offering different partner levels and product specializations
What’s in it for the partner?
To make sure our Connect! Program answer our partners’ needs, we have developed three levels of partnership. Each level includes your organization’s resources, areas of specialization, and engagement.
Our reviews are divided into three phases:
Pre-launch Program review & analysis
Systematic Progress Review
Post-program gap analysis, if any
We do a thorough channel survey before introducing any partner program in India. The key to success is not what you want as an OEM … rather gauge the pulse & sentiment of your channel ecosystem that actually inspires & motivate your channel partners to achieve your program objectives.
Periodically we review the programs and partner engagement team (from Sales & Marketing departments) keep on motivating & inspiring partners to achieve the set goals of the programs.
Partner performance is important to all vendors (OEMs). A significant portion of partner-centric OEM’s (like Barco) revenue is driven by indirect sales channel. Getting partners to participate, stay connected, keep engaged with loyalty & deliver results consistently are essential and at the same time challenging too. This is where partner programs come into play.
Brands and partners are continuing to modify business models as marketing technology evolves, which is driving change within core programs such as co-op incentives and marketing programs. For good reasons too! The shift in approach to automated co-op programs/rewards/ incentives is arguably the most important play for businesses with indirect sales channels and contributes to the overall success of a localized marketing strategy.
Partner programs drive channel revenue. Incentivizing your channel with co-op or MDF funds based on sales performance encourages branded co-marketing engagements. The more marketing funds are dispersed through the network and easy to obtain, the more likely the partner is to market the brand locally, increasing foot traffic and sales.
Partner programs encourage new product or solution adoption. By giving channel partners turn-key access to co-op dollars and immediate control over how those dollars can be spent, your partners are more likely to adopt and engage in brand controlled marketing programs.
Partner programs establish a competitive differentiation for your channel program. Giving your channel direct access to brand’s dollars removes the largest barrier to entry for channel marketing. Partners are no longer being asked to front the money and go through laborious reimbursement claims. This new paradigm improves overall speed to market because partners are quicker to act."