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At Pivot3, With-Partner Planning Boosts Effective Co-Marketing, MDF Usage

Pivot3, a provider of intelligent infrastructure solutions, has enhanced its global partner program to maximize partner success and provide predictable profitability while bringing Pivot3 solutions to market. Aimed at deepening the company’s relationships with a compact networks of partners, the program’s enhancements include greater access to joint marketing funds and qualified leads, expanded training options and a defined three-tier system.

After rolling out key program elements in Q3 2019, Pivot3 saw a 17% increase in partner-led deal registrations, supporting a 20% increase in total revenue growth from the partner community over the previous quarter.

Bruce Milne, CMO, Pivot3

“Pivot3 is 100-percent channel driven, and we’re committed to deepening our relationships to help partners thrive and grow,” said Dan Flood, the company’s vice president, global sales. Pivot3 technology “gives our partners a leading and differentiated solution to sell as IT transitions into a world of video-based computing and is required to support the huge amount of data generated from these workloads.”

Pivot3’s Global Partner Program was streamlined to include a more clearly-defined tiering system organized around three levels: Authorized, Select and Premier Partners. Each tier has its own set of revenue and training requirements, with increasing benefits as partners move up the tiers.

Expanded training for both sales and technical resources is available to partners, helping to ensure the partner’s entire organization is equipped with the most relevant Pivot3 technologies and certifications. This expanded training includes online certifications, on-site workshops and deep-dive training for partner professional services resources.

The program was also streamlined to help partners grow and profit financially in the thriving HCI market, with greater eligibility for joint marketing funds, and increased access to leads.

Nikki Cardenas, director of channel marketing, Pivot3

Providing partners with funds and support to more effectively market themselves and Pivot3 solutions was top-of-mind, said chief marketing officer, Bruce Milne. “We recognize that many partners don’t have the capability to go out and do demand gen or event marketing with the level of execution and follow through that you really need in order to make best use of MDF.”

Helping partners optimize MDF allocations is a team of nearly two dozen marketers, managed by Nikki Cardenas, who joined the company as director of channel marketing last July.

Like many channel marketing leaders, Cardenas is noticing an uptick in partner interest in generating demand. But many partners “just don’t know how to get the message out,” she said. “Because we have all the tools at our disposal, we can help them build these plans and execute them.”

Quarterly Marketing Planning

Cardenas asserted that when MDF is left on the table, it’s a clear sign of misalignment between the vendor and partner network. “To avoid that, what we’re doing is providing partners a voice in the budgeting process and building out a marketing plan together,” she continued. “What we want to do with our premier and select partners is every quarter get in front of the next quarter so that we can build a good cohesive marketing plan to utilize the funds that they have so that we achieve a good ROI. It benefits the partner and it benefits Pivot3.”

MDF are provided through a proposal-based program, explained Cardenas. Allocation of incremental funds is “based on the strategic proposals aligned within our go-to-market goals and what the partners are trying to achieve. We’re trying to build awareness, lead generation, additional end-user recruitment and education activities.”

Pivot3 offers partners co-marketing materials and out-of-the-box programs. “We can help them initiate these campaigns. But the real drive is giving the partner a voice on how they want to use their MDF and sitting down and building a cohesive plan with them so that we can be successful.”

Cardenas said she strives to avoid cookie-cutter marketing activities. “We shy away from those types of pre-baked events, because in the past we don’t see that much ROI. And from my previous positions in the channel, I never really saw great ROI from those pre-baked marketing catalogs. We want to get more creative, think out of the box and help our partners, establish their name as well as our brand with new end users or existing end-users.”