StableNet® Blog

Regular posts on all things StableNet® from a sales, techie, or marketing perspective

StableNet® Blog

Regular posts on all things StableNet® from a sales, techie, or marketing perspective

Partner Management

Stronger and more profitable partnerships in a tech-based industry

Important vendor-related relationship factors and how we will achieve significant improvements for cooperations with our partners

October 19th 2021, Würzburg

In the past, customers and competitors used to be the primary focus of IT vendor´s optimisation efforts.
However, due to the pressure to reduce costs, growing customer expectations and a steadily increasing complexity in the industry the vendors now need to find, win, keep and grow happy customers more effectively and efficiently in order to survive in the highly competitive market. As a result, channel partner management is becoming more and more relevant and is by now even seen as a decisive success factor in the Industry.

Yet, despite the growing awareness of the importance of cooperations, success rates of partnerships between companies are overall still rather low and attempts to increase the performance of the cooperations oftentimes prove to be quite challenging.

Requirements for successful cooperations:

On the one hand, a high-performance cooperation requires – from a vendor´s point of view – suitable partners that are able to provide the services desired by the manufacturer. On the other hand, however, the manufacturer also needs to optimize his support and other vendor-related factors to make partners willing and capable of performing necessary actions in a way that maximizes the joint profit.

While some vendors might tend to take the easy way out and name the former as the dominant problem of their indirect sales channel, it might be well worthwhile for them to first focus on developing their own potential.

Supporting that argument, the data of the revision of Cisco´s partner management, already proved at the turn of the millennium how massively the performance of cooperations can be improved by a targeted redesign of vendor-related factors, even for an already successful company.

Identifying vendor-related factors influencing the performance of distribution cooperations:

To identify improvable vendor-related factors that determine the outcome of cooperations with our distribution partners we combined existing knowledge from current literature with the results of an exploratory study in which we consulted experienced internal and external experts.

By analysing the results of the study four vendor-related factors could be derived as particularly influential to the performance of distribution partners in the IT-market:

    1) Supporting measures

    The supporting measures subsume all services and rules that are intended to support the sales partners or their employees in achieving a high performance in the cooperation with the vendor:

    capacity

    Figure 1: Possible supporting measures for partners

    2) Products & services

    The products and services of the manufacturing company represent the second important factor.
    Their perceived quality is influenced by different variables like the market size, the market phase, the market share, the unique selling proposition, the breadth of the product range, as well as the quality offered and the frequency of the introduction of new products.

    3) Commission scheme

    Of course, the commission system also determines the performance of the cooperation by defining the amount and the occasion of monetary rewards that are paid out to the distribution partners.

    4) Operational cooperation

    The perceived quality of operational cooperation with a vendor depends on various factors:

    capacity

    Figure 2: Variables defining operational cooperation

    Our way to significant improvements for cooperations with our partners:

    Our next step in the pursuit of unlocking the full potential of our cooperations is to continue to evaluate and then to improve these factors. For that, besides ongoing internal analysis and private meetings we started an interactive session with our partners at the Partner Workshop 2021 to get their opinions about the satus-quo and on how the different factors could be made better.

    Figure 3: Impressions from our Workshop

    Doing that we already received a ton of valuable information that will help us to increase the value generated for both us and our partners.

    We see the upcoming months as a real opportunity and therefore commit a lot of time into revisioning and reworking our current partner management system.

    So stay tuned for updates!


    Florian Katzenberger

    Partner Communications Manager @ Infosim® GmbH & Co. KG

    After spending 1,5 years as a working student at Infosim®, Florian is now working full time on improving the cooperations with our StableNet® Partners. He finished his master’s degree in Marketing/ Sales/ Media management and wrote his master thesis in cooperation with Infosim® about how to improve partner management systems in the IT-industry.