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Last week, Guidance Software Inc. expanded its channel program, adding more resources and benefits for its partners. The enhancements were the latest development in the company's "Channel First" initiative, a channel-oriented go-to-market strategy launched earlier this year.
New features include an online sales and pre-sales training and certification program, available on the company's partner portal. "We feel at the foundation of a good relationship with our channel partners … is making sure that the sales resources and the pre-sales resources in our channel partners understand Guidance Software's technology, the space we play in, how we compete, and are able to go out and effectively communicate the value proposition, effectively handle objections and close deals," said Frank Cohen, director of North American channels at Guidance Software, which is based in Pasadena, Calif.
As a result of introducing the educational resources, Guidance Software restructured its partner program into two tracks -- Authorized and Certified -- to reward partners that achieve certifications. The Authorized Track has a relatively low investment "focused on partners who perhaps more opportunistically identify opportunities to sell our technology," Cohen said, whereas resellers in the Certified Track gain access to qualified leads, higher margins, the company's software for internal use and demonstrations, and more.
The company also increased the margins that all partners can receive on its professional services and training products. "The value proposition for our partners, from an economic perspective, just went up," Cohen said. Additionally, Guidance Software added new programs for marketing development and demand generation, as well as a new "partner locator" tool, allowing customers to identify and contact partners within their geography.
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