Marketing and sales enablement play central roles in the success of the channel. It is up to vendors to not only provide the content and resources partners need to educate end-users, but the knowledge and empowerment they need to have relevant and effective sales conversations. To ensure channel sales operations are efficient and profitable, vendors and brands also must ensure that partners register all opportunities.
SGI, a high-performance computing solution provider, relies on its network of 400 partner accounts — consisting of 1,500-plus partner members across 50 countries — to generate sales and brand awareness. This extensive partner network, however, requires resources to maximize revenue and profitability, including a broad product line, strong margin potential, and training and tools to support selling efforts.
Many of the resources are accessible via an online partner portal, which was rolled out when SGI implemented the Reseller View solution from TreeHouse Interactive. Since rolling out Reseller View in 2010, SGI has seen partner registration improve by 25%, and its partner-managed MDF program increase three-fold in the total number of marketing requests received via the online tool.
“Treehouse’s Reseller View allowed us to launch something to our partners that we didn’t have previously and wouldn’t have been able to manage before,” said Nancy Pierce, Global Channel Program and Operations Manager at SGI. “We can now provide fresh content, an easy-to-use tool, and access to the resources they need. Based on the response of our partners, they’re taking advantage of all of it.”
Pierce noted that the opportunity registration, accreditation and partner marketing services have been especially valuable to SGI and its channel. Rather than relying on manual processes for opportunity registration and partner onboarding, Reseller View enables SGI partners to register opportunities, which are then fed into the CRM system for approval. The system manages the process, offering sales, technical, vertical market and quoting accreditations. Partners can manage their accreditations, see what they have completed, and print their completion certificate once requirements are met.
“SGI was doing a lot of manual data entry for partner onboarding, contract management, price list management and deal registration,” said Erich Flynn, CEO of TreeHouse Interactive. “The partner experience was not optimal and partners were not happy with key parts of the program. Moreover, items like deal registration and lead distribution were not integrated with their Oracle CRM, which made visibility into partner pipelines, reporting and managing conflict very difficult.”
Partner Marketing Enablement Modules enable SGI to automate the approval and payment processes associated with MDF. Through the MDF module, partners can apply for funds and submit payment requests for marketing campaigns and initiatives. Reseller View also provides SGI partners with on-demand campaign technology, so they can create their own campaigns and co-branded email campaigns to support demand generation programs.
“Investing in your partner’s success is investing in your success,” Flynn said. “SGI has been focused on consistently improving its program since we began working with them. They are always looking for ways to better enable their partners. They realize that if they make it easier for partners to do business with them vs. their competitors, partners will choose SGI.”