How do vendor partner programs create value for the channel?

Q: How do vendor partner programs create value for the channel?

Meet the expert
Angela Vines is co-founder and vice president for partner services at ServiceKey, an independent provider of hardware service and maintenance for mid-range servers, networking and storage equipment based in Norcross, Ga. She has 18 years of channel development and management experience with hardware and services. Download her entire podcast on vendor partner programs.
First and foremost, there's channel conflict prevention. Optimally there should be zero channel conflict in a vendor partner program, meaning that the vendor on no level competes with the channel partner. Any time a vendor creates a program that competes directly with the channel on any level, you're going to have a problem.

Next is a lead pass program. Is there a methodology in place from the vendor partner to provide the channel partner with leads, lead capture, qualifying and distribution?

Then there's ownership of the end customer. Who actually owns the customer? Are customer contacts made directly with the vendor or the partner? Ultimately, for branding and adding value, the channel partner would want to own the customer. That creates a better relationship with the end customer and the channel partner versus creating a relationship with the vendor. The channel partners worked hard for that relationship, so they deserve the complete ownership of the customer.

Return to the vendor partner programs FAQ guide and read the rest of Angela's expert responses.

This was first published in March 2008

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